General Question

Mr_M's avatar

Can I keep my active iTunes librarys on an external drive and play the songs FROM that drive?

Asked by Mr_M (7586points) August 16th, 2008

My C drive is getting too full, mostly from my iTunes. Can I run iTunes (music libraries and all) from an external drive and remove it all from my C drive?

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12 Answers

osullivanbr's avatar

You can of course. Only thing I’d be cautious of however is if you have podcasts or anything set to download automatically you would really want to make sure that the external is turned on for the simple reason that if iTunes can’t find the folder you’ve set in preferences it will automatically reset the default folder. That’ll end up with you having to reconsolidate your library. Pain.

Mr_M's avatar

How do I move everything?

iwamoto's avatar

just move the itunes folder to the drive, start itunes pressing alt (at least on a mac, not sure what the button is on windblows, guessing alt as well) and you get to choose the new location for the library

Mr_M's avatar

I tried copying the iTunes folders to my H drive and when I try to delete the original from my C drive I get message “Can cause some programs not to work. Are you sure?”

iwamoto's avatar

well then keep it on there for now and just make it work first, then delete the old one…

Mr_M's avatar

But if I do that, won’t iTunes read the songs from the C drive?

iwamoto's avatar

no, because you didn’t read my description, you choose the new library when you hold down the alt button when starting itunes, and you of course point itunes to the library copy on the H partition, then, when that’s working, you can delete the old one

Mr_M's avatar

Actually I didn’t realize you meant hold the alt simultaneously. No matter. When I do that on my Windows pc I don’t get prompted for the redirect.

StellarAirman's avatar

Mr_M, here are a couple of articles that should be more helpful and actually work.

Lifehacker’s Guide (I’d recommend this one, it keeps all of your play counts, etc intact and is portable since you can plug your external drive into another computer and it’ll work the same)

Official Apple Method

Mr_M's avatar

All I know is I have changed the location of the songs in “Preferences”, yet iTunes can’t find them because the songs are actually in a folder named after the artist, ex. although my songs are on H:\iTunes they are not seen because they really are (ex.,) H:\iTunes\Beatles\Michelle

I tried removing the songs from the corresponding artist’s folder but, somehow, they went back.

StellarAirman's avatar

Did you do the step where it says to “Consolidate Library” after you change the preferences that it says to? iTunes automatically organizes all of the files into Artist/Album/Song, so even if you move them it will put them back. If you followed each of the steps in that guide carefully it should be working.

Mr_M's avatar

I did that to no avail. I did some research on the net and found the solution. FILE, then “Add folder to library”. That worked. Seems like that WOULD be a necessary step?

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