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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Sep 03, 2008
    Posts
    3
    ITunes from External HDD
    Hi all, I have a music folder containing around 50gb of music. I would like to access this from a previously unused ITunes application on a machine running snow leopard but have no idea where to start. I do not want to move the folder onto the machine running ITunes, I merely want to access the music from the External Drive.

    I would be very grateful if anybody could provide a step by step.

    The external drive is usb.

    Thanks in advance guys...

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Apr 18, 2010
    Location
    the Netherlands
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    MBPU 13" (Late '09); 2.53GHz 4GB; OSX 10.6.3
    Hi there,

    I recently had the same issue, and here's how I solved it.

    First, make sure the USB-drive is connected.

    If you hold down the option key while clicking the iTunes button, a menu will open. This menu will allow you to Select or Create a library.

    I basically used this option to create a new iTunes library on the external disc (just browse to the location). And I enabled the iTunes options "keep iTunes media folder organized" and "copy files to iTunes media folder when adding to library" under iTunes preferences -> advanced.

    Also note that you can set the location of your music folder here. This also means that the first step of creating a new library is not strictly necessary (you can just change the location of the media folder in the preferences), but this step ensures that iTunes will not mark songs as "unavailable" if you forget to plug in your USB drive before launching iTunes.

    The downside of moving your library file to the external drive, is that iTunes will not launch if the external drive is not connected. (Instead, it will say that the library cannot be found, and the same menu -asking you whether you want to select or create another library- will open.

    Hope this clarifies things a bit.

  3. #3

    clayneal's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location
    Lincoln Nebraska
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    Specs:
    late 08 macbook 2.0 4gig 320hdd10.7.3 32 gig iPhone 4s
    Here is a great read about a lot of of itunes library related stuff including keeping it on an an ex-hdd :

    Transferring your iTunes Library | iLounge Article

    Hope it helps
    Clay
    MY ADVICE COMES WITH A DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Sep 03, 2008
    Posts
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    Thanks Guys, very helpful and I seem to have things up and running now.

  5. #5

    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 15, 2009
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    North Louisiana, USA
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    2.8 GHz MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone 6+
    Kaham is right about needing to make sure that the external drive is connected. My solution was to create a little Automator application that checks for the external drive and then launches iTunes. I haven't used it since I moved my Music to a Time Capsule. I could cobble it back together if need be.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  6. #6

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2007
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    Why not just leave the location of the "iTunes Library" alone in the default location, uncheck the option to copy music to the Library, then just drag/drop your music off the external drive into iTunes? Then you won't have to worry about that drive being connected.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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  7. #7


    Member Since
    Apr 18, 2010
    Location
    the Netherlands
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    Specs:
    MBPU 13" (Late '09); 2.53GHz 4GB; OSX 10.6.3
    Quote Originally Posted by lifeisabeach View Post
    Why not just leave the location of the "iTunes Library" alone in the default location, uncheck the option to copy music to the Library, then just drag/drop your music off the external drive into iTunes? Then you won't have to worry about that drive being connected.
    Well the issue I found there, is that when you do forget to connect the drive (happens to me on a daily basis *cough*) and start playing your entire library on shuffle, some songs will get marked with a (!) in front, because they are not found (obviously). Its been a pain to fix all those 'broken' links after plugging in the HDD, because you would then have to manually click all songs (the random shuffle function will then by default skip them until you make iTunes realize manually that these aren't broken any more).

    So unless you can provide me with a neat solution to prevent these broken links from happening, this is what I deem to be the best method.

  8. #8

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2007
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    The Republic of Neptune
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    7,740
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaham View Post
    Well the issue I found there, is that when you do forget to connect the drive (happens to me on a daily basis *cough*) and start playing your entire library on shuffle, some songs will get marked with a (!) in front, because they are not found (obviously). Its been a pain to fix all those 'broken' links after plugging in the HDD, because you would then have to manually click all songs (the random shuffle function will then by default skip them until you make iTunes realize manually that these aren't broken any more).

    So unless you can provide me with a neat solution to prevent these broken links from happening, this is what I deem to be the best method.
    Nope… no neat solutions off-hand here. It sounds like this is the best one to me. In fact, I'm filing it away for future reference.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
    ------
    Links: Onyx | EasyFind | Apple Hardware Test | How to test your hard drive | The Safe Mac » Adware Removal Guide | Uninstall MacKeeper
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    Lifeisabeach - Mac-Forums Member of the Month June 2009, Feb 2012, and March 2013.

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