Hello everyone and Happy New Year -

My MacBook Pro is arriving tomorrow; until then I've had a PC. I do own an iPod classic. Part of the reason I wanted an iPod classic, was to take advantage of its 160 gigs so that I wouldn't have to keep, let's say, 100 cd's of store-bought music on my new MBP's HD. Since I do have iTunes, I realize that the importing goes only from your computer to your iPod, and that if you move your music files off of iTunes, the next time you sync your iPod, you'll lose whatever music had been on your iPod (if you've deleted its copies from your iTunes). But I do know that you can set iTunes to not automatically sync with a device; that you can manually manage music. You can import a cd of music to iTunes and manually drag the new album to the devices sidebar in iTunes, and stick the album manually in your iPod -- without iTunes syncing anything. So, theoretically, you could delete 100 gigs of music off your HD (in iTunes), save space that way, manually manage your iTunes and whenever you happen to add new music, you could manually drag each album or song or video right to the device. The music you'd already loaded on your iPod would still be there, even after you've deleted the same content from iTunes.

I tried it, deleting a single album from iTunes (to avoid disaster if I messed up) and adding a new, different album. I set iTunes to manually manage music, then dragged the new album right to my iPod in "devices". I checked (after I ejected the iPod) and the album I had deleted from iTunes was still on my iPod -- along with the new album I'd just dragged there.

This would seem to be a way to free up a lot of HD for people with a ton of content on iTunes.

Obviously, you'd want to back up your iTunes content before you deleted it. So my question is, could you create a sparse disk image (to save space, again, on the HD) and make it, oh, 300 gigs big max, and drag your iTunes music content into it? Then you'd have all your iTunes music nicely saved (either on your HD, but much compressed) or anywhere you wanted to copy and save the sparse disk image.

Does this make sense, or is there a problem with my idea? Maybe there's a better way?