How to have 2 libraries for iTunes?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by musicman59, May 21, 2009.

  1. musicman59 macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2009
    I have an iMac and just bought a Seagate 1T expernal hard drive. Currently most of my music is encoded AAC so I can keep it in the imac hard drive and be able to loaded in my iPod 30 Gig.

    Currently I have about 24 Gig in the library.

    Since I use my iTunes as music server for my home Hi-Fi systems using a wireless network and Squeezebox devices connected to my steroe system I would like to create a second library with just Apple Lossless files. I would like to use this library for my home listening but keep the current library in the iMac haddrive with the AAC files to sync them to my iPod.

    Can this be done? How?

    Thanks for your help.
  2. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Close iTunes, then next time you re-open it, hold the OPTION key down as you click the icon.

    You should have the options to create new libraries (and specify the location), as well as telling iTunes which library to use.

    There's also a way you can hold a key down and drag music from your external drive, and what it will do in iTunes is just link to it. That way your normal iTunes music can stay on your internal drive, and your lossless stuff stays on your external, but it's all listed in one library, so you won't have to switch back and forth. I'll see if I can find a document about that.
  3. musicman59 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2009
    Thanks Aristobrat. it will be great if you find the document.
    So doing what you are saying I will have 2 music folders but just one playlist folder and idrectory right?
    So I have dock the iPod to sync it which library will be use? I want the iPod to always sync to the internal hard drive library.
  4. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    You can have multiple, separate libraries in iTunes, but iTunes can only access one library at a time. So if you created one library on your iMac with music, and another library on your external, and then you plug your iPod in, your iPod will sync with whichever library iTunes used last. It'd be up to you to make sure you pointed iTunes at the correct library.

    If you setup a single library on your iMac, you can manually arrange your Apple Lossless files on your external hard drive (meaning you make the folders they go in, etc). If you drag those files from Finder into iTunes while holding down the OPTION key, iTunes will add their names to your library (so the songs will show up in Music and other playlists), but it won't copy them to your iMac (they'll still be on your external drive).

    This way you end up with one iTunes library that contains music located both on your iMac and on your external drive. You wouldn't have to remember to point iTunes to the correct library when you sync your iPod.

    I may have misunderstood your original intent, though. I thought you were putting the lossless files on the external drive so that you wouldn't fill up the iMacs hard drive. If you were putting them there because you really want two separate libraries, then go with option#1 above, but just remember that when you sync your iPod, you have to point iTunes manually to the library that has your iPod music.
  5. musicman59 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2009
    So on option 2, when I upload the song from a CD they will go into my internal hard drive and then I will have to manually move them to a folder in the external hard drive? or how do I get them from the CD to the extranal hard drive folder?
    Also, having the names of the files (Apple lossless format) in the external hard drive in the library what like in option 2 what will havepen when I sync the iPod? Will it be loaded only from the internal hard drive files?

    What I am basucally intending to do is to have two versions of the same songs. One in ACC and one in Apple Lossless. The ACC version is just to be able to load them to my iPod and fit and the lossless version to play at home through the Squeezebox and Hi-Fi systems.

    I did started yesterday with option 1. I created the new folder with music files and library in the external drive. I also created a playlist and everything looks fine in iTunes. The problem I am facing is that I don't see the "Playlist' folder created in the external drive and when I direct the Slimserver (Squeezbox software) to the external drive it finds the songs and play them fine but it does not find the playlist. It acutally says "Playlist : Empty" I think it is becuase the file does not exist in the external drive for some reason.

    Now, I think option 2 might solve the problem, correct?
  6. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Ah, good point. Yes, that's what would happen. iTunes would rip them to your internal drive, and then you'd have to manually move them to your external drive.

    Problem with that is iTunes would still think they're located on your internal drive, so after you manually moved them to the external drive, you'd have to delete them from iTunes and then re-add them from their new location. Yuck.

    If you tell iTunes to sync your entire library to your iPod, it will mix files from internal and external.

    Here's how I would do this.

    I'd have one library, and since it'd contain both AAC and the big lossless files, I'd put the library on the external drive.

    Whenever you uploaded (ripped) songs from a CD, they'd wind up on your external drive, so you wouldn't have to worry about manually moving stuff around. It shouldn't matter that your AAC and lossless files are on the same drive.

    To solve the problem of which version of a song your iPod syncs, I'd create two Smart Playlists.

    Playlist #1 would have the rule "Kind contains Lossless". I'd call it "My Music - Lossess". iTunes will automatically put every lossless song into this playlist.

    Playlist #2 would have the rule "Kind does not contain Loseless". It'd call it 'My Music - Other". iTunes will automatically put anything not lossless (like your AAC stuff) into this playlist.

    I would then tell iTunes to sync only the "My Music - Other" playlist to my iTunes. This guarantees that no Lossless stuff gets put on the iPod.

    Also, if you want to make other Playlists that contain just your AAC music, you just start off with the first rule being "Playlist is My Music - Other", and then add your other rules.

    That I'm not sure about. The playlist itself should be stored in the iTunes library you created on the external. :confused:

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