iTunes Library - Cross platform Win/macOS 'Updating library'

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Cattywampus_, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. Cattywampus_ macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2006
    Hi there,

    I recently subscribed to Dropbox Pro. One of the reasons was I wanted to put my iTunes library there so it would sync across all my computers.

    My music library is around 12000 files, approximately 140gb. I use both Windows and macOS, and when doing a test using a small selection of my music files, I found that if I made sure that my Dropbox folder was at C:/Users/Dropbox and /Users/Dropbox for Windows and macOS respectively, both OS's would see the mp3 files and play properly without any messing around, and while using just one single iTunes Library.

    What I didn't realise was going to happen, was when I set up the library and added all my music files to it, when I open the library on a different OS than when it was previously opened (i.e. I used it on macOS and then later opened it on Windows), it goes through an 'Updating iTunes library' dialogue.

    On my Macbook Pro, this isn't an issue as the library is stored on a fast SSD drive and it takes a few seconds. But on my Windows machine and I am guessing on a Mac mini I use as a HTPC, which both have the library stored on standard hard drives, it takes 10 minutes to run through this process.

    This will only get worse as I add to my music collection.

    I wanted to keep one single iTunes Library so that I wouldn't have to maintain 2 sets of playlists; and my play counts would update across all devices.

    Does anyone know if there is a way to work around this without having 2 separate librarys?

    Thank you.
  2. Cattywampus_ thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2006
    I did some more testing:
    1. I loaded the full library on my Macbook Pro which using SSD. As expected, it loads fast and without delay. I close iTunes and wait for Dropbox to sync on all computers.
    2. I open the library on my Windows 10 desktop. Here we have the issue - 'Updating iTunes Library' runs for approximately 15 minutes. After which I can use iTunes as normal and play my music. I close iTunes on Windows, and wait for Dropbox to sync.
    3. I load iTunes on macOS on my Mac mini. The library (synced through Dropbox) is stored on a USB 2.0 external hard drive, so should theoretically be even slower than an internal hard drive. Remember the library was last opened on iTunes for Windows. The library loads pretty much instantly - no updating. I am able to play music immediately.
    4. After waiting for Dropbox to sync I again open the library in Windows and again I am forced to wait 15 minutes to load.

    I was curious to see how fast the library would load when going from macOS-to-Windows if the library was stored on an SSD hard drive on Windows. Just something to point out here:

    Earlier I created a new, separate library and added just 700 mp3 files so that I could do quicker tests. As expected the smaller number of files in the library meant faster loading - but still very slow compared to when going from Windows-to-macOS.

    I did not have the space on my SSD to copy the entire library over, so as I did earlier, I created a new library with just 700 songs in. The library AND the mp3 files were stored on the SSD on my Windows desktop.
    1. When opening the first time in Windows, as expected everything zips along.
    2. I then opened the library on my Macbook Pro over the LAN, no Dropbox used. To be clear, I opened, on my Macbook on macOS, the iTunes Library that was created and stored on the SSD on my Windows desktop. This opened quickly and aside from having to relocate the mp3 files, everything worked fine. No 'updating'.
    3. I then opened the library on my Windows desktop - and boom. I get the updating issue and it takes ages to 'update' 700 files.
    I appreciate that is a lot of messing around to understand and to anyone who has read it all, thank you for trying to understand.

    It doesn't appear the speed of the disk (SSD or standard HDD) is the issue. It seems iTunes for Windows is the problem.

    When loading the library in macOS after having it open in Windows, the 'updating' dialogue does appear just as it does on Windows, but it is gone within 2-3 seconds. Something on Windows is being triggered to cause this extremely long updating.

    Remember, it takes just as long to 'update' when the library and music files are stored on an SSD as it does on HDD.

    All versions of iTunes are the same release as well by the way.

    Any help appreciated. Thank you.

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