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OS X - Apps and Games Discussion of applications and games available for Mac OS X.

iTunes library on external HD only. Starting from scratch


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Doug b

 
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I know. There are many threads which deal with this question already, and I've seen this post on numerous occasions, by louishen:

Quote:
Keeping your iTunes collection on an external

The following assumes you want to keep all your iTunes music and movies on an external disk and ensure new music is always stored on the external drive.

First, you need to consolidate your iTunes Library to a folder you have chosen of the external drive.

Select the command consolidate library from the Advanced Menu. This will copy all your itunes media to the external folder and link the itunes library file to it

The files will now be on the external while the library.xml file (the index as it were) will still be in the Users > Me > Music folder of your mac.

If you want this file on the external as well as well, copy it to external iTunes folder, start itunes with the alt key pressed and you will have the option to select the library file now on the external



Select the library file you just copied and now both your music and the library are on the external

You can now delete the old Itunes folder off your mac

You can also use the choose library dialogue to switch between a large music collection on the external and a smaller music folder on the mac if you wish
My question though, is specific in dealing with the fact that my Macbook Pro has no music on it whatsoever. My original files have been copied over from my Linux machine, and I have my folders and files arranged as such:

Folders

A-F
G-L
M-R
S-Z

And within those folders the artist's who's names correspond to said letters etc.. Now I remember, the last time I went to copy everything into the iTunes library, it totally messed up that heirarchy, and started making rogue folders in random places, a total mess all round.

If I choose the "consolidate" option, will that automatically copy all of the files to the exact same directory that I have pointed iTunes to on the external drive ? Is that really necessary to do in order for the iTunes library to exist there ? I'm guessing that it is necessary in order for an iTunes library to be built, and that I can't simply drag the existing library (which is in the iTunes folder on the Mac) to the music folder on the external ? (because they're based on two different queries I'm thinking)

Third question: What's absolutely necessary, is that whenever I put new folders/albums on the external drive, iTunes should see them and import them automatically. Is this possible as well ? I don't download from iTunes. I rip my own music on my Linux box then usually transport them over to the external HD. I know that there isn't a "watch folders" option in iTunes (which is the dumbest thing ever) but how might iTunes otherwise know when there IS new music to be found ?

And I know all about the obvious, since I've read so many threads already which say to untick the boxes in preferences which say to copy to the iTunes library etc.. But I've also read other things which say that I should have the copy to iTunes library box checked if I want new files copied .. It just seems that there are many conflicting results for this one thing.

Either way, I'm ready to try whatever it takes to get this task done. I've finally got my Airport Extreme working with all my external drives, and wireless printer, this is one of the last steps. The next and hopefully final, is to achieve the same step with my photos in something like Aperture etc..

doug

Edit: I'm also guessing that I should create another folder on my external drive and choose that one for the iTunes library, so that if I do have to consolidate" the folders and files won't be mixed in with my original music folder, correct ?
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Doug b

 
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Problem. In that I'm starting from scratch (nothing in existing iTunes library), do I have to manually copy the files from the external HD unto its self ? I find this so confusing. What I did was, when opening iTunes, I held down alt, and created an iTunes library on my external HD in the music folder. I then tried to consolidate, but nothing happened at all. I changed the directory three times yet none of the times was able to yield any results. What am I doing wrong here ?

Again, there are ZERO files on my Mac HD or in the iTunes library right now, only on my external drive. Do I have to drag and drop my music folders from there directly into the iTunes playlist or something ? I thought this would be easier.

Doug
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Doug b

 
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32 reads and nuthin' ? Seems to me that if you are already a Mac user, it would be easy because all you have to do is move the location of your library. But for a "switcher", it's not so straight forward or easy to just start from nothing and want to do this. At least, that's what I'm observing.
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Here are the steps to take. Have a look and see if you can figure out what you missed: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=301748

Mary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug b View Post
32 reads and nuthin' ? Seems to me that if you are already a Mac user, it would be easy because all you have to do is move the location of your library. But for a "switcher", it's not so straight forward or easy to just start from nothing and want to do this. At least, that's what I'm observing.
Well what I am seeing here is that you're expecting iTunes to organize the music within the folders you have set up manually. None of the iLife apps like being told how to organize the data, and one painful experience for me when I switched to OS X from Windows, was that fiddling about with folders in Finder, is a bad idea.

If you let iTunes do the sorting, and are happy to manage your files via the application, rather than trying to force music into certain files you have labelled, you'll have a much better time of it.

That's probably not what you want to hear, but it's the best advice I can give.

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death.
- Joan D. Vinge

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Doug b

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skybolt View Post
Here are the steps to take. Have a look and see if you can figure out what you missed: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=301748
Thanks but, this doesn't address my specific problem. The article specifically states that this method is for dealing with moving the iTunes library from one place on a Mac to another place on a Mac (yes, I realize that an external is still part of it in a way), but even more to the point, that it assumes there's an already existing full library to transfer, files and all. In other words, when I choose to consolidate, nothing happens because there's nothing for iTunes to copy over, since the existing library is totally empty. I think this is where the problem lays.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post
Well what I am seeing here is that you're expecting iTunes to organize the music within the folders you have set up manually. None of the iLife apps like being told how to organize the data, and one painful experience for me when I switched to OS X from Windows, was that fiddling about with folders in Finder, is a bad idea.

If you let iTunes do the sorting, and are happy to manage your files via the application, rather than trying to force music into certain files you have labelled, you'll have a much better time of it.

That's probably not what you want to hear, but it's the best advice I can give.

Oh the irony ! A program that doesn't like doing what the end user tells or wants it to do.... Guess that OS X apps and I have at least one thing in common then eh? I actually haven't been messing with any folders in finder, only on my external drive. On that note, to tell you the truth, I don't care about how iTunes wants to arrange my stuff (well, on a basic level, I do) because at this point, I just want it to work ! What I don't want though, are redundant folders or files just tossed all about. But if that's what iTunes thinks is logical, then oh well I guess.

I'd be happy at this point just letting iTunes do whatever it wants, so long as I have a populated library for my external HD. So what the heck do I need to do then ? Because as I said earlier, "consolidating" does nothing because there's nothing to consolidate ! Do I have to create a library within the already existing music folder on my external, and THEN do the whole
consolidate thing ? That wouldn't make sense to me either, because I thought the whole idea of a library is that it's supposed to keep track of imported files and such.

So then the only way (from what I can see) for this to work for me, is if I imported my folders. But iTunes doesn't seem to work so simply like that. I can import individual files, but otherwise... ? (otherwise I might drag folders into the playlist window ?) Or am I missing something relatively simple here ? Why they couldn't have made iTunes more logical and simple like every other media player on the planet, is beside me.. Just choose a folder to import music from, and the library is created from that list, and then have that folder watched for new or deleted stuff. (that would be TOO easy I guess ?)

So, what now ?
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