How Do I play movies on external drive in itunes without copying to library

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by wesleym, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. wesleym macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2008
    I have started ripping all of my old dvds to mp4 files on my 2TB external hard drive using handbrake and the apple tv settings. I try to open them in iTunes with my external hard drive connected to my computer and it copies it to the iTunes library. Why does it do this and what exactly does this mean? Is it being copied to my computer's hard drive as well?

    Ideally I am trying to put all my old dvd's onto the external and then get apple tv or maybe new one if it comes out sometime this summer :D (one can hope). Will I have a problem once I can connect the hard drive directly to apple tv instead?

    I might go with a pc netbook or somethign instead just to keep playback simple and easy, but I want to start downloading new movies from the iTunes store and consolidate everything into one location that can be moved copied or transfered (like my2 TB external hard drive)


    p.s. I am a newb to this and I have searched around but it is a lot to sift through. Just pointing me towards another thread will help a ton.

    Someone needs to write up a basics for apple tv and dvd ripping for newbs like me:cool:
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Just deselect the "Copy to iTunes folder when importing" option in iTunes Preferences, and your media won't get copied to your itunes folder (Macintosh HD > Users > You > Music > iTunes > iTunes Music).

  3. wesleym thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2008
    But I want my music to be put into the itunes folder and organized through there. It has been and I download all my music through iTunes unless of course they don't have a song ( like a lot of remixes, etc...) then I jsut download them from internet. These also get imported and files into iTunes library right? I want to keep doing all of that and keep the movies seperate. How do I manage to do this?

    Sorry I wasn't very clear earlier. Thanks though!
  4. afrye macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2009
    The picture above is right when you want to have your movie located on an external hard drive you check that off and you move the file to the external devices if it is not already there and then you push command O this will take you to a window where you can select the movie. The movie will be selected and put into your itunes but the file will stay on your external hard drive. I currently have over 350 movies on my 1TB time capsule that it works great. I hope that this helps you.
  5. wesleym thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2008
    Ok I did all of that and it still shows up as an icon in the movies section of itunes when pressing command 'O' from the external hard drive file. It doesn't do the progress bar saying "loading file to itunes" or whatever it usually does. But I stopped playing it and played a song instead. And I went back to the movie section and the thumbnail was still there. Will it go away when I unmount the external hard drive ( I can't do it right now because I am ripping a dvd to the drive and it will make me quit)

    I guess I will find out soon, but its taking a while.
  6. maestrocasa macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2007
    Somewhere on the Buffalo National River
    What about this option: Connect your external drive. Hold down the "option" key while launching iTunes. A prompt will come up asking you which iTunes Library you want to use. iTunes will play the file from the external library and nothing will get moved to the library on your machine.

    I've done this with audio files with no problem. Haven't tried with video. there may be some "lag" time, depending on your configuration.

    Good luck!
  7. Sonicjay macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2008
    I wanted the exact same thing; here's how I do it. I leave the "copy to itunes library" setting checked, so all of my music sorts. I have all the movies I ripped sitting on an external drive. Then I open iTunes and the folder where all my movies are on the external drive, hold down the Option key and drag them into iTunes. Now, they're added to iTunes, ready to sync/stream to the ATV/iPod Touch, and they still reside solely on the external drive.
  8. RumMunkey macrumors 6502a


    Nov 3, 2006
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US) AppleWebKit/530.17 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Safari/530.17)

    +1 This is the answer!

    I did this for years before I got my Drobo and it works.

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