Storing iTunes library on external HD

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by tills24, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. tills24 macrumors member

    May 10, 2010
    I know that it's possible to have iTunes point to an external HD for storage. My questions to the board are:
    a) has anyone or does anyone currently do it
    b) how difficult is it to set up
    c) plusses or minuses that you've come across
    d) synchability with iPhone

    I realize that my question is rather broad, but I am looking more for peoples personal experiences.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. mox358 macrumors 6502


    May 22, 2002
    I have mine setup this way and it's not bad at all. I have a 13" Macbook with limited storage and a rather large iTunes library so it was more out of necessity than preference, but I'll answer your questions individually :

    It's not hard at all to setup - Just move your music to the external and make sure you change your iTunes preferences to look for your library on the external drive. Quit iTunes while you're doing all your moving around though.

    The major plus is that it frees up a lot of space on your boot drive for documents and applications, plus I always feel a system runs better if it has more free space on the the boot drive. The biggest drawback is if you unplug your external for any reason you have no iTunes access.

    You can even setup multiple locations - if you want all your music on your main HD but want o store movies on an external you can make a seperate folder, go into iTunes preferences and uncheck the "Auto copy to iTunes folder", add all the files you want, then re-check that box and it will still work across multiple HDDs (internal or external).

    iPhone syncing is not affected - it'll work the exact same way as it does with iTunes on your main HDD. (again, unless you unplug your drive)
  3. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    I've been doing it now for nearly 2 years on my Mini with absolutely no issues, serving up my content to my AppleTV, sharing with my wife's MB and syncing 2 iPhones and an iPod Touch. As long as iTunes knows where the files are (and you follow the above instructions to a T and DON'T just move the files will be good.)
  4. hxs28 macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2010
    Three external HD


    at 10 October 2010 I hold 280.000 Songs on My Itunes which are spread over 5 terabytes, namely: two western Digital 2tb each and a WD 1tb;
    A part of these are 24bit format 44.1; a
    Another large part is still in mp3 but I am changing all of them and eventually all the songs will be 24 bit, 44.1.
    I need another couple of years to reach quote 500.000 as I that is the time needed to convert the remained of my vinyl collection.

    I use a MAc Pro 2 X 2.8 GHZ quad Core Intel Xeon where my Itunes is installed.

    I do not have problem in having itunes on three different Western digital HD, connection is Firewire 2 and I-tunes responds quit quickly;

    I I am going to expand the system to a third 2 terabytes disk bringing the whole to 7 terabytes on December 2010 and I will let you know if it is going to work...i really hope so...
  5. sn0warmy macrumors 6502a


    Mar 26, 2009
    Denver, CO
    It's easy to setup. Just move your music to the secondary drive then open iTunes and navigate to Preferences/Advanced and point iTunes to the folder on the secondary drive where the music is located. It's easy as that.

    I've had absolutely no issues with this setup. It allows you to keep from filling your SSD drive up with music.
  6. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    a) I do this now
    b) Very easy (follow ^ sn0warmy's guide)
    c) Gets the large library off of the MacBooks internal drive. Have to have external drive connected to play music and sync iPhone.
    d) iPhone syncs perfectly
  7. ptys macrumors newbie


    Oct 12, 2010
    You should do it, only thing you need to keep aware of is when you untick, "copy files to iTunes Media folder..." in the advanced tab of preferences, it's basically telling iTunes you want to be responsible for all your files. So if you misplace locations on things you'll need to find them again. I find the best thing to do is, keep all your music, podcast and TV shows in the iTunes music directory and have all your movies on the external drive. To add files to the iTunes directory (music folder) when the automatic option is off "Right Click" on the file and click, "Consolidate Files.." This is basically saying, save to iTunes music folder and it can be done to multiple items e.g. "Command+A" in your music library and "Right Click... Consolidate Files..." Anything in that selection, which isn't already added will be put in with the rest, and it only does the files which aren't in there.

Share This Page