itunes on internal and external?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Bokes, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. Bokes macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2008
    I think what I want to do is simple- but i can not figure it out.

    I store my music library on an external drive.
    Works fine when tethered via thunderbolt- but when I go remote I off course lose access. So-
    I want to keep part of my iTunes library on the internal local drive of my macbook pro. I also want the ability to make changes to the local media- adding and removing songs at will.

    Is there a way to organize iTunes to see and recognize a media file regardless of location?

    In other words- when I'm connected to the external I see and have access to everything.
    And then when I'm remote- iTunes will only show me the files on the local drive?
  2. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    The only way to do what you want would be to have two independent libraries, one internal and one external. You could switch libraries in Preferences > Advanced. Unfortunately, they cannot stay automatically synchronized. You would have to manage each separately. It's much easier to keep your library external, and use iTunes Match to listen to music when you're away from home.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
  4. Lord Hamsa macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2013
    Warning: Rant follows - the general question you have is part of a larger issue with an endemic design flaw in iTunes.

    The fundamental problem with iTunes is that it's two separate and distinct programs built into one, which winds up with it not performing either job as well as it could or should. Specifically, it simultaneously tries to be a media library manager (server) and a media player (client).

    As a server, it should allow the user to specify where all of the media is located, and further, to provide different views of the library to each user who uses it. (Imagine a family situation where the entire family shares a single library, rather than each person having their own copy of the library.) Additionally, there should be device profiles, much like it already can manage with iPod, iPhone, or iPad, to allow a user to sync a portion of the overall library to the local device.

    On the client side, the user's view of the library should appear the same on any device, syncing to the server any changes in playlists, ratings, or additions/removals of items from the library view. It should allow the user to specify sync settings for that device, and automatically switch from the full library view to the local sync view when it cannot access the server.

    So I share a library with my wife and kids. if anyone adds a new media file, it's available to everyone without additional imports. Each of us has our own view, so we can have individual playlists, ratings, play counts, etc., plus I can restrict portions of the library not suitable for younger kids from their views.

    On my iMac, it's going to be on the home network (and probably hosts the library server, though the files are on an NAS) so I'm not too worried about that, but when I switch to my MacBook, I want to have the same view of the library that I do from the Mac. However, my MacBook also syncs to the library to locally copy some subset that I specify, just like I would set up with my iPhone. When I take the MacBook away from home, it can't find the server, so the client automatically rolls over to using the local sync copy, then syncs back any profile information (playlist, play counts, ratings, whatever) once it can find the server again.
  5. Mavimao macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2005
    Lyon, France
    Actually it's pretty simple to keep some stuff on the internal drive and other stuff on an external. I keep all of my movies on an external drive due to the massive amount of space it takes.

    You simply drag what you want from an external drive into iTunes while holding the alt button (you'll notice the little green plus button disappears) and then let go.

    It'll still appear listed however even when you unmount your hard drive.
  6. Bokes thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2008
    Thanks for the replies.
    I figured a work around of sorts.
    I created a playlist and named it MacBook Pro.
    I then dragged all those files from the external to the local.
    When I'm remote I can switch to this play list and select grid view.
    It requires a little extra work via file transfer, but once set-up any swaps will be pretty easy.

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