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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Apr 25, 2010
    Posts
    20
    Should I delete the original files after importing to iTunes and iPhoto?
    Hi Guys,

    Just moving from a Windows computer, so I think I've got some perception problems that I wanted to bounce of the forumers before I made a decision

    In Windows I normally keep my photos and files in a older e.g. Cmp3\julie\julie - song.mp3 and pictures in cphoto\birthday\birthday.jpg.

    Now the issue is when a copy a folder with some mp3 files somewhere to my Mac, and import the songs, iTunes copies it to the itunes media\music\<artist name> or something like that...so should I delete the original files that I had?

    I'm generally wary about deleting my original files, since I'm not sure what iTunes does to the file. From the most obvious point is that I see the files in the iTunes media folder have been renamed to <songname> instead of <artist - songname>.

    The same deal goes for iPhoto I guess, no point repeating myself.

    I obviously want to be able to copy out my pictures/songs to be put into a flash drive and taken around with me as and when I feel like doing so. (These aren't purchased tunes, ripped from normal CD using my Windows PC).

    Summary: Should I delete the source files after importing to iPhoto/iTunes? Worried I may need the originals in case of some mistake.

    Cheers and thanks in advance.
    Kinson.

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    48,783
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    Hi:

    Welcome to the forums! And congratulations on your new Mac.

    We have three iPods that we use in our family and a fairly large collection of various songs, books, Bible teaching, and so forth... While iTunes seems to be able to keep track of everything nicely, I have found on occasion that things get a bit out of sync and get lost.

    Keeping a backup of your photos, music, audio books, and whatever else you have is a good idea. The best way to do that (aside from the actual CDs and recordings you own) is to use the very handy Time Machine backup program that is included with the Snow Leopard OS. You'll need an external drive to use for the backups. External hard drives are fairly inexpensive even for large capacity units.

    Backups not only protect your iTunes collection, but more importantly, all your data, photos, documents, and the OS itself.

    Regards.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Apr 25, 2010
    Posts
    20
    @chscag

    Thanks for the speedy reply

    Yes, I do plan to do regular backups, just trying to figure out how I should partition my external hard disk.

    I agree that it would be a good idea to keep copies, that being said, if I keep two copies (the itunes library and my original mp3 files), i'll have 2 copies of the file, and when coupled with a backup, there will be four copies (2 copies of the itunes lib and 2 copies of the original file). I don't mind the redundancy for the backups, since that's the whole point of it, but having both the iTunes lib and my original files does seem a bit over the top.

    I suspect my problem is my lack of confidence and understanding how iTunes works. Sorry if I'm not being clear here. I'm trying to figure things out :p

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Sep 09, 2010
    Posts
    1
    Question
    Quote Originally Posted by kinson View Post
    @chscag

    Thanks for the speedy reply

    Yes, I do plan to do regular backups, just trying to figure out how I should partition my external hard disk.

    I agree that it would be a good idea to keep copies, that being said, if I keep two copies (the itunes library and my original mp3 files), i'll have 2 copies of the file, and when coupled with a backup, there will be four copies (2 copies of the itunes lib and 2 copies of the original file). I don't mind the redundancy for the backups, since that's the whole point of it, but having both the iTunes lib and my original files does seem a bit over the top.

    I suspect my problem is my lack of confidence and understanding how iTunes works. Sorry if I'm not being clear here. I'm trying to figure things out :p
    Hi there! I understand perfectly what you mean and I was wondering if you found an answer to this question...

  5. #5

    Oneironaut's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 23, 2009
    Posts
    1,339
    Specs:
    21" iMac * 2.8 Ghz Intel Core i7 * 16GB 1333 Mhz DDR3 * 1TB HD *AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512 MB
    Depending on your settings, iTunes generally copies music files into the iTunes Music folder when you import them, so if you're going to back up with Time Machine anyway, you probably don't need the original files. Seems like a waste of hard disk space to me.

    As for iPhoto, I've heard that fiddling with the files it creates in the iPhoto library folder can cause issues so you might want to keep an original set of your photos someplace else, but really, you if you needed to modify a file for some other use, you could always just copy the iPhoto version.

    I believe in either case it's the same principle; the application makes a copy of the file being imported for its own use but it can still be used for some other purpose if you just reveal it in the Finder and make another copy.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    Posts
    20,911
    Specs:
    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    Bottom line: both iTunes and iPhoto COPY imported songs/photos into their own libraries, so YES you can delete the "original" after they've been imported.

    Time Machine (or the backup strategy of your choice) will take care of keeping the data safe.

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