managing an itunes library pulling from two locations?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jrm27, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. jrm27 macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    Hello all,

    I'm in need of a little help.

    I've spent about the last year converting my entire DVD library to .m4v files. I've got about 3TB of data on an external drive. I tagged everything with identify and then added the external drive as a source in itunes. After it processed all the data i saw that I mislabeled a few things, forgot to tag a few tv shows, etc... So I'm in the process of fixing those tags with identify.

    When I added the external drive as a source I told itunes not to organize my library. I don't want the data on my external drive changed by itunes at all. The external drive is actually a clone of a 3TB i keep in another location that hooks up to my TV via a WDTV live. My concern is keeping the file structure on these two 3tb drives the exact same. That way when I convert new dvds and add the file to one drive, I can clone it to the other and it will work in both places.

    Now that I'm changing the metadata of a bunch of files, I'm assuming that I'll need to delete those files from my itunes library and re-add them to get them to show up correctly. My question, however, is: will telling itunes to organize my library change any of the source data on my external drive? I'd like itunes to recognize when I add new files, but I don't want it to change the info on the drive, the structure of the files, their location, etc.. at all. Does itunes change any of then when organizing the library? Or does it just change some files in the support files that tell it where to look and how to sort?

    Does that even make sense?

  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    If I understood your post correctly, you want to have your iTunes library include media from both your internal and external drive. You can use the following link to split your library:
    How to split a single iTunes library over two or more media locations

    In addition, you want a backup of that external drive to another external drive. You can use Carbon Copy Cloner to accomplish that.

    The other thing to remember is that while you can clone one external drive to another, which will duplicate any metadata changes on both drives, it will not duplicate any playlists, ratings, etc. in another iTunes library.
  3. jrm27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    thanks ggj. I went ahead and did that and everything is working well. Thanks!

    The only thing I don't like is that whenever I add a file to my external drive, I need to go and "add to library" for it to show up in my itunes. I wish itunes had a "refresh" function that would scan my library and update whatever I've added or changed.
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I know what you mean. Do know that you don't have to search for the exact files to add, however. Let's say you have added an album in a folder structure like this:
    /Users/Shared/iTunes Music/Music/Blues/Etta James/At Last!/​
    You can add that new album by clicking File > Add to Library and selecting any one of the parent folders, such as Etta James or Blues or Music. You don't have to drill down to the specific folder. iTunes will scan any folder you select and add to the library only what doesn't already exist in the library. So if you add several albums in different locations within the Music folder, just add the Music folder and it will find them all.

    Alternatively, iTunes creates a folder called "Automatically Add to iTunes". You could try putting your entire media folder inside that folder. I haven't tried that, so I don't know if it would automatically add from subfolders, but it's worth testing.

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