Hi, Now I KNOW this must have come up before. I'm sorry to repost if so. I searched this forum and others along with just looking on google, but I got no real helpful info. My question is simple... it's got to be common. I just bought my first laptop. Officially retiring my 1.25 Dual G4! In it is everything I have. I have about 130Gb of music. The past day I've been manually migrating everything over--what a hassle! I wanted to start from scratch and doing it manually made the most sense. I want to keep my music on an external hard drive that will stay on my desk. But I know I will be syncing my iPhone quite a lot when not at my desk. I would be *nice* to have some music to manage on my MBP but since I have an iPhone I won't cry about it-- I do know I can have multiple iTunes libraries, maybe I'll look into that in the future but it sounds complicated right now for my main concern. ---> How do I tell iTunes to not worry about syncing the music portion of my media when that external HDD is not attached? On an related note. My iPhone is only 8GB. A few months back I thought about creating a separate library of the music I mostly listen to and transcoding it to 128Kbps AAC (from the ~240VBR it mostly is). The resulting library should be small enough to manage on my MBP and I could sync my iPhone only with that. When I add music in the future I could do it to the main library and transcode into smaller files for the smaller library. I am concerned about how the playback quality would be affected, but when at home with my nicer stereo I would use the full quality music from my external HDD. Does this sound like a good idea?