Moving Itunes music library to external hard drive

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by elainem, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. elainem macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2008
    I recently moved my music library to an external library by changing the pathway in Edit/Preferences/Advanced and then consolidating the library. Everything worked for a while but now when I open itunes it is not able to find all the files. Bizarrely for a lot of albums it can find one or two of the songs but the rest all get the "Unable to locate original music file" error message. The music is all there on the hard drive but I don't want to have to manually locate each one. Does anyone know what is causing this or have a script to locate the rest of the music automatically?
  2. ziwi macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    Right back where I started...
    THe easiest way to put the library on the external drive is to move it there and then create an alias to the location on the external and put that on the main HD where the iTunes library is.
    I would bet the consolidation did what it was supposed to do to the library on the external and the songs you can get are probably more recent additions. Do the alias. ;)
  3. hbrice macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2008
    Further Question

    So I have just transferred my iTunes Library to an external Hard Drive to make more room on my hard drive. I have a question though - I would really like to be able to have a really small music collection of my absolute favourites on the Mac so that if I don't have the external HD I can still listen to music. Is this possible?

    Thing is I am slightly confused as when the external HD is not connected, all the songs are still listed on iTunes - they just don't play - where is this list coming from? So is there anyway to keep a small music selection on the Mac so that when iTunes loads you see only the music ON your Mac? If this is possible is the way to do this to change Itunes Music Folder location in preferences every time?

    Your help would be much appreciated,

  4. iMerlin macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    I dont understand what the consolidate feature actually does. I moved my library to an external drive last night. I simply used Windows Explorer to copy the iTunes music folder from my PC to my Drobo, then went into iTunes, deleted everything and then changed the music directory to the Drobo, 5 minutes later everything was back to normal.
    Does the consolidate simply do the cut and paste for you?

    I think there would be a way to do this but it would take some manual intervention.
    I personally would go into explorer or finder and find the artists you want to see in iTunes, make a copy of those artists and put them on your Mac or PC. But still have a copy on the external drive. Then go into iTunes and delete those artists (since they currently reside on the external) then re add them from the mac or PC drive they have a copy on. Then you would have 90% of your music addressed to the external drive, and your favorites on the HD of your machine. Hope that makes sense.

    I dont think there is a way for iTunes to display only what is actively connected. Would be a nice feature but I dont know of how to do that.
  5. Steve Jobs=God macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2007
    Hey guys,

    I used the guide linked above to help transferring my library to my external, i've changed the library location in iTunes and consolidated the folder to the new library, however when it says go back and find my original library folder and delete them, but not the library files, i've found other folders aswell, which i'm not sure if i have to transfer, delete or just leave where they are. The folders i have are:

    Album Artwork
    iPod Games
    Mobile Applications
    Previous iTunes Librarys

    Don't have my iPod anymore so can probably delete iPod Games, however i'm not sure about the others, any advice would be great :eek:
  6. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030


    Oct 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I've tried most methods of moving my iTunes folder, but most are needlessly complicated. It is a two step process:
    1. Copy (or just move) your library folder to the new location.
    2. Upon launching iTunes, hold down option (I think it's shift on Windows) and it will ask you to select a library. Browse to the new location and click Open.

    That's it. No iTunes Preferences involved, no consolidating your library necessary. It's just done.
  7. SCStevens04 macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2006
    Alias Method

    I created an alias & named it "Movies" then moved into my iTunes library. When I go to play through iTunes it says it can't find it but it lets me browse to it then start it. After that, I can play the movie as normal however I have to do it for each movie in that directory. Am I missing a step to have iTunes find it automagically?
  8. tedpiper macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2010
    Have a similar question to hbrice - I would like to make a copy of my music to my external hdd. I would also like to have all of the files on my mac in their original location so I don't have to plug my external hdd every-time.
    Is this possible?

    I have the music on my Mac and on my ipod so I see no reason why I can;t have it on my external hdd as well!

  9. jazzbo macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Bangor, ME
    Here's what I did: I have my iTunes music on my external hard drive, the but Library xml file itself is in my ~/Music/iTunes folder.

    If I am at home and can mount the external hard drive, all rips/downloads/plays happen with the external drive. If I'm not at home, and the external drive can't be found, iTunes automatically falls back to looking at my ~/Music/iTunes folder. It marks a whole bunch of stuff with the (!) to indicate it can't be found, but what I do happen to have on my HD I can play. Also any rips or downloads I do outside of home -- and for example, I've been taking CDs to work with me, ripping me them during the day, end up on my harddrive.

    When I go home and consolidate it moves the stuff from my harddrive to the real library (on the external drive). I then delete stuff out of my ~/Music/iTunes (or keep it, so I can play when i don't have the HD available.)

    This is how it is supposed to work, and is seamless -- I never play around with my library settings, iTunes just gives me the best available library depending on what drives I have mounted.

    When I moved my files to an external drive, I found this guide was helpful to explain how things work when you do (and don't) have an external connected:
  10. jazzbo macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Bangor, ME
    Seems like the equivalent of this would be accomplished by establishing a backup routine; i.e keep your music on your hard drive and just designate your Music folder as one to backup in Time Machine or whatever backup tool you use.
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes, just drag your iTunes folder to the external drive and it will make a copy.
    You DO realize this is a 2 year old thread and hbrice hasn't been on this forum since August, 2008, right? It's doubtful he'll see your suggestion.
  12. jazzbo macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Bangor, ME
    Nope, didn't see that. Just that no one had really responded to the original question and the new poster seemed to be referring to it (although he really had a different issue.)

    Sorry if it bothers you that I responded.
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    It doesn't bother me. Just thought you'd appreciate the heads up that you're offering help to someone who won't benefit from it. If you like responding to outdated threads, knock yourself out!
  14. cryer macrumors regular

    May 3, 2010
    Actually, as your signature suggests, I used Mroogle to get to this thread and appreciate further suggestions even if the original poster isn't around
  15. evoldeal macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2011

    after docking around with every way imaginable I tried Darth's method


    thanks man


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