New iTunes Library - Keep it off my MBA

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by summitRun, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. summitRun macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    #1
    Hey all - I searched but am confused... I have a new MBA (i5/4/128) running 10.7 with no music on it and would like to once and for all rip my 110+ CD collection to a high quality format and box them up for good! What I am wondering is if I uncheck the "copy files to iTunes media folder when adding to library" option can I rip the original music file directly to an external drive (preferably USB 16 GB stick) and essentially bypass the SSD? Is this a bad idea? Or is it easier to actually enable that option, move the library and then delete the original files? Will iTunes function properly without an original file on the SSD?

    My goal is to have all of my music on an external device and none on my MBA...and preserve the option to use iTunes or an alternate player if desired. Alternative suggestions are appreciated!

    Bonus question - when ITunes match becomes available will all this be a moot point. In other words should I wait and just store the music in the cloud? Thanks for reading...appreciate the help. I havent used iTunes since version 4 (still have my mini and CD :))
     
  2. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #2
    My approach would be to keep the "Copy files to iTunes Media folder..." option checked, tell iTunes you want to keep the Media Folder on the external drive, and then import your CDs using iTunes at Lossless or whatever import settings you want.

    My understanding is that this approach would rip the CDs directly to the external drive. They would never be put on the SSD, and there would be no files for you to delete.

    I think you can move the iTunes Media Folder even before you put anything into the library. Go to iTunes-->Preferences-->Advanced and use the Change button to specify where on the external disk all the music files should be kept. Your library's meta information (play counts, ratings, etc.) will still be on the SSD but doesn't take up much space.


    From what I've read, it will cost $25/year for you to have your CD music stored in the cloud. And of course you'd need internet access whenever/wherever you wanted to listen to it. If those two conditions are OK with you, then if I were you I'd not bother ripping all those CDs and backing up all that music!

    Regards,
    Brian33
     
  3. summitRun thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    #3
    Brian - thanks for the reply! If you are right then this is exactly what I want to happen. I wasn't sure if by changing that location under preferences>advanced right from the start would also make that the new default location for imported music. I guess I can rip a CD and do a before and after check of my hard drive to make sure it isn't storing it locally.

    Will anything have to be done to the external drive (format etc) in order to facilitate ripping new music directly to it? I would like to use a 16GB USB Flash Drive...unless thats a really bad idea?
     
  4. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #4
    I'm pretty sure changing that location will do what you want. Rip a CD, and you should be able to find the artist name and album name folders and the m4a or mp3 (or whatever) files within the Media folder on the external drive, and you won't be able to find them within the iTunes folder on the SSD.

    The external drive just needs to be formatted with something OS X recognises. I'd recommend "Mac OS Extended (journaled)" (also known as HFS+) but you could also use FAT. I'm not sure about how slow to read a USB Flash drive would be, but I expect it would work OK.

    Hope you have enough room, though -- you'll need to choose some compression setting. I've got 200 CDs, almost all are ripped Apple Lossless, and my iTunes Media-->Music folder is 53 GB!
     
  5. summitRun thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    #5
    OK, great stuff and thanks so much for your help!

    But now I'm a little nervous on space...I've got a little over half as many CD's as you and want to rip it all at Loseless or at least 320... Looks like you're on an iMac so space is perhaps not as big an issue. Sounds like I should consider going to a 32 GB USB Drive. I dont have much in the way of purchased music to add so that would also give me a cushion of around 5 GB (roughly) for new files. Yikes, maybe I need to go to 64 GB!

    Anyone have thoughts on the speed (or lack of) when accessing your library solely from a USB Flash drive? Any reason I should't do it this way? Other than the obvious lack of convenience, that is...
     

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