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Music, Audio, and Podcasting Do you use your Mac to create music? This is the place for discussions on creating and editing music on the Mac!

Simple question about iTunes

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Member Since: Mar 03, 2007
Posts: 73
00bolt is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: Black Macbook - 2.2GHz, 4GB RAM

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Iv had a Mac for a while, but never really messed with iTunes that much. Usually just create a new playlist of songs I want and sync to iphone. But I finally had it with searching for all my mp3. I have tons of mp3 from the old Napster days on 3-4 different computers.

I went out and bought a huge 1TB external hard drive and put all my mp3 on there. I then opened up iTunes and added all the files. But I had the option to copy to my computer off. So it was just looking at the files on the external hard drive and didnt copy them all to my Mac. But I didnt realize this option was on when I did all this.

So... I now had about 5,000 songs and I spent about 5-6 hours sorting through them all. deleting multiples, adjusting artist name, song names, etc...

I finally have my itunes looking the way I want it. I can look up all my songs by artist or song name (still not 100% done with album names and artwork).. So I took laptop to living room to show my wife and BAM!!!! music wont play because Im not connected to my external hard drive..

so here is my question. which should I do?

1. go buy an ethernet external hard drive. This way my Mac can find the music anywhere in the house. But would I be able to find it when away from my house, like in hotel out of town with IP address or something?

2. just transfer all the files to my Mac's hard drive. But when I do this, will I lose all the information I did with artist names, song names, albums, genre, etc??

Id perfer not to fill up my hard drive if possible, but I realize with my current external thats the only way to make it happen. But Im mostly concerned about the 5-6 hours of organizing I did. I DO NOT WANT TO DO THAT AGAIN....

so, my question is.... If i buy a new external that is ethernet capable OR i copy to my hard drive, can I somehow keep all that information and organizing I did??
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Member Since: Oct 29, 2007
Location: Hamburg, Germany
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it must work that you keep all the information when you copy the songs to your hard disk, because you entered the information in your library....give it a try with some of your songs and don't start to copy all of your songs first.

Hope this helps!

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Member Since: Apr 15, 2008
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
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You are in luck. Music title, artist, album, and a few other details are stored within each file as ID3 tags. No matter where you move those files now, they will have the info you entered.

When my main Mac was a PowerBook, I kept my iTunes library on an external drive because of space constraints. iTunes is fairly good at handling this. If the external drive is off when launching, you'll get a little "!" icon when you try to play a song. Mount the drive before playing your music and you're ok.

Using a net drive might work fine if OS X abstracts it enough that iTunes doesn't know the difference (I'd expect it to be so). You'll just need to make sure the drive is mounted before launching iTunes.

The option to auto-copy added music to your drive can work with an external as well. You just have to set the location of your library drive in Preferences, Advanced.

I haven't done this since iTunes 7, but you can have iTunes copy your existing music to the proper "new" drive by using the Consolidate Library command, which is now under the File, Libary menu. If you do move your library to a network volume, this will ensure that iTunes knows where to find each file for playback. It also maintains the proper files associated with their playlists, play counts, ratings, etc. instead of importing all over again, which would probably cause iTunes to think it's entirely different music.

iTunes used to store album art inside the audio files directly, but sometimes it now does so in ~/Music/iTunes/Album Artwork. That would be another reason to use iTunes' built-in Consolidate feature to keep things together.

Glenn Gutierrez
Mac Pro 8-Core . Logic Pro 8 . biscuit?
Label . iTunes . MySpace
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