Organizing iTunes Library

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by talk, Sep 14, 2007.

  1. talk macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2007
    Hi all,

    This is my problem, and I hope that someone will be able to help with a quick solution :confused:

    I have an external HD with lots of music (hundreds of GB). My music folder on that HD was not managed by Itunes so the directory structure is different thatn the way Itunes organizes the structure.

    Until today I was accessing the music available on this hard drive using Itunes, but I never "asked" itunes to "keep music folder organized" and/or to "copy files to the music folder". While 90% of my songs are located on that external HD, i got some additional albums on one of my internal HD. At this point, however, I would like to let Itunes organize my music folder and to consolidate all my music on the external drive. I know that the "formal" way to do it is to change the music folder location within Itunes, and than to check the "Keep Itunes folder organized" option and to run a consolidate library. The problem however, is that there is not enough free space on my HD for the process. Because this process will "copy" all music rather than "move" it appears that I need to have enough space on the external HD to duplicate my music library - which I don't. That is, I have 300gb of music on the external hd, but only 200gb of available space. What are my options???

  2. Coprolite macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    This may not be the elegant approach, but do you have enough free space on you internal drive(s) to temporarily move some songs there from your library drive? You could then follow the classical "Keep music organized" route and then delete the old structure....
  3. talk thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2007
    This was actually something that I was considering doing:
    External HD 300GB music (unmanaged) 200GB Free
    Internal HD: 30GB Music (unmanaged) 250GB free

    1. While iTunes is open: move approx 150gb of songs to internal drive
    Comment: The itunes library will get updated with the new file locations correct? :confused:

    2. At this point there should be ~350gb of available space on the External HD - enough for it to hold a full copy of all my music library.

    3. Change in iTunes the location of my library to the External HD.

    4. Check the allow iTunes to manage and copy files to library

    5. Perform consolidate library

    Am I correct to assume that at this point ALL my music files will be copied to a new directory structure, managed by iTunes, and located on my external HD?

    If so than at this point the only reminding thing to do is to delete the music files from the internal HD and the copies of the file the reside in the old directory structure on the external HD.
  4. Coprolite macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    iTunes won't know where you manually moved the files.

    How many playlists do you have? If you don't have too many or have a large bunch of files that aren't on a playlist, then you can copy those to your internal drive. After you consolidate the first time, you can simply reimport the smaller section of files...
  5. markjewiss macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2007
    Dunmow, UK
    I went through a similar excercise about four months ago, but I was luck enough to have lots of spare disk space to do it. I basically:

    * moved all of my music to a 'temporary' location
    * deleted my entire Library within iTunes
    * set the iTunes library to be on my networked drive
    * added all my music to iTunes, letting it move it on to the hard drive

    Now I've only got about 60Gb of music, and it took *hours* to do this... good luck.

  6. talk thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2007
    Question: What if I'll -
    1) delete my iTunes library
    2) allow iTunes to manage my library
    3) import music to iTunes

    will it rearrange the files by using "move" or will it try to copy everything to a new directory structure - hence, it will complain that there is not enough free space on the disk.

    Clearly i will lose all my playlists, ratings and additional info, but at least it should be much quicker because it will not involve copying all files from the external drive to the internal and then from the internal to the external.....
  7. twistedlegato macrumors 65816


    Jun 15, 2006
    Sorry, but that's just INSANE! Hundreds of GB?:eek:
  8. Phutchi macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2007
    Not surprising at all. My current collection is 130GB and that doesn't include Movie Soundtracks or music videos ;).

    To the OP: I Have found it is easier to manage your music by not letting iTunes do it. In iTunes you will be able to see albums/tracks/artists with no problem, but navigate to the actual directory on the HDD and you will see cryptic folders and file names.

    I divided mine up by directories artist/Band name.
    Want AC/DC? go to Dir: A > Folder: AC-DC > Folder: High Voltage > MP3s.
    Want Led Zeppelin? Dir: L > Folder: Led Zeppelin > Led Zeppelin I > MP3s

    Just and idea
  9. markjewiss macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2007
    Dunmow, UK
    Don't think so, I think it creates it's own directory structure for you, and copies everything around. Maybe it's time to by another external hard drive that you can use to do this, and then use it as a backup for your existing external drive?


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