URGENT! itunes and external hard drives


Hi All - excuse the 'urgent' but I'm off to buy a new Lacie d2 120gb firewire drive in a couple of hours. Basically, by 30gb iBook has run out of space because of the sheer volume of music I have and the most cost-effective option is a new external drive.

Question is, can I transfer all of my music to the new drive without upsetting iTunes? Is it possible to just relocate the music folder on my home drive and re-direct iTunes to it?



The Late: SuperMacMod
Yes it is possible. If you have any problems when doing it, come back here and someone will help.


Short answer... yes... no problem at all. this is what i do my self. Other than the music folder itself, ther are two other files to watch out for, the "iTunes Music Library.xml" file, and the "iTunes 4 Music Library" file. Make backups of these two files befor you move the music.


The best way that I have found to do this is to use iTunes to move the music. What you would want to do is:
  1. Open iTunes, go to preferences.
  2. Click on the advance tab-image-thingy.
  3. Click the Change button. Select your folder it will then appear in the box like so (i.e. HardDrive2:path:To:Folder:).
  4. Click "OK". If you are asked by iTunes if you want to update your library to reflect the changes, click "yes".
  5. From the Advanced Menu, select "Consolidate Library", it will then give you a message about how this "can't be undone". Don't worry about this, because it is only copying the music. So click "consolidate". Once this process is done, your music will now all be on your external drive. It is up to you if you want to delete the files from your old library.
Note: iTunes does not test the location of your library on start up like iPhoto. So if you have turned off or unplugged your external drive, iTunes will default back to the original library location (even if you have deleted the folder) without prompting you.

I have found a slight "work around" for this problem. If you move the iTunes Music Library (data) and xml files to the external drive and replace the ones in your ~/music/iTunes folder with aliases (or symbolic links) to the ones on the external drive, iTunes will give you a message that the Library could not be found or written to. This will remind you to turn on or plug in you external drive and won't change the location of the iTunes Library.


Thanks guys! Gnomo - presumably if I make sure the drive is connected and switched on then I won't have any problems with the library?



Digital Music Pimp
Here is the absolutely easiest way. Plug in the drive. format it how you want etc. with itunes CLOSED, move your entire music folder from your home drive to the external drive. Now create either a symbolic (or a hard one, i've experienced no problems with either) link in your home drive to the music folder on your external drive. Or of course you could do the same by just moving the actual itunes music folder and creating a link/alias.. either way.