Syncing ipod to external hard drive

Discussion in 'iPod' started by resolutions, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. resolutions macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2008

    I have a lot of music on my laptop right now, about 50gb and it's currently taking up far too much space, so I'm thinking about getting an external hard drive and moving some music/pictures/movies etc. to there.

    What I would like to be able to do is copy my itunes library to the external hard drive and sync my ipod to there. I know this can be done however I would also like to be able to keep some music (just my favourites) saved on my laptops hard drive so I can listen to it without having to plug my external hard drive in.
    Is this possible at all? As I know you have to move your entire itunes library to the external hard drive and then make sure to change in preferences where the library is, it seems with this way if I tried to delete music from itunes it would no longer sync with my ipod.

    Can anyone help with this?
    If all else fails I will just have to plug the external hard drive in everytime or just listen to my ipod.

  2. sal macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2007
    i had a similar issue and found it easier to just upgrade the hard drive. If you can't or don't want to do this, then only advice I can give you is to unselect "Keep itunes music folder organized" this way your music can exist in multiple locations. Just keep in mind that when the external is not connected, music on that drive will not be synced to your ipod.

    Another possible solution is to have multiple itunes libraries. A library for when the external drive is not connected and another library when the external is connected.
  3. resolutions thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2008
    Thanks. Multiple libraries sounds like it could work for what I want, how do you go about doing that? And can you have the some of the same music in both libraries?
  4. Earley008 macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2008
    I would also quite like to know how multiple libraries work and how you use them as i am in a similar situation.

    Thanks :D
  5. sal macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2007
    here is what I would try.

    consolidate library. this will move all music/videos to your itunes folder. Next I would move this folder to the external drive. Go to itunes preferences and change the location of the itunes music folder to it's new location on the external. verify everythign is working fine and that your itunes library can access your music off your external without any problems.

    Once verified, Quit itunes.

    hold down the option key and start up itunes. you should be prompted with a screen. Create new library. This time select a folder on your laptop. go to preferences and enable the "copy files to itunes music folder when adding to library"

    drag any music off the external to your "new" library. Itunes will make a copy of it and stick on the folder of your laptop that you specified.

    You can go ahead and delete the music off your laptop to free up space since you already moved your music collection to the external drive.

    There are a few setbacks.
    1) I don't think your metadata can be transfered over. so basically you'll have to recreate playlists, song ratings, etc.
    2) remember you can only sync your ipod to ONE itunes library.
    3) managing two libraries can be a pain sometimes.

    hopefully this helps. and as always, make sure you backup your music library in case something goes wrong(ie your external drive dies)

Share This Page