Iâ€™ve just gone to install yet another app on my iPod Touch and noticed my hard drive fill up again in seconds as hundreds of Podcasts came down that I havenâ€™t had a chance to listen too yet. So, something has to be done:
- I have to listen to more Podcasts!
- I have to move my iTunes library to an external drive.
#1 I just need to do, #2 makes me a little nervous â€“ but letâ€™s give it a go!
- First things first give your iTunes a spring clean, get rid of anything you donâ€™t really need.
- Give iTunes the new location where your media is going to live
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man film
(Under Windows: Edit â€“> Preferences â€“> Advanced)
- Make sure that â€œCopy files to iTunes Music folderâ€ is selected.
- Click OK, iTunes may offer to move your files for you (mine didnâ€™t).
- Tell iTunes to consolidate your libary (File->Library->Consolidate Library).
- Go out for the dayâ€¦
At this point iTunes has migrated itâ€™s library to your external hard drive (it hasnâ€™t deleted it, just copied it) you can check that everything has copied across by selecting a song and doing a File->Get Info to see where itâ€™s being served from).
A long as your external hard drive is connected and powered on files will be served from it. If it isnâ€™t connected iTunes will default to the original location until itâ€™s connected again (this could be useful for subset data loss and the like â€“ I guess?!).
You can of course choose to keep your old library around as a backup â€“ Iâ€™m not going to as I was doing this to free up space on my laptop! So Iâ€™ve deleted the iTunes Music folder (NOT any of the other folders around it like the itl file etc!).
If you start iTunes in future and your external hard drive isnâ€™t switched on then you wonâ€™t be able to play an of the music from that drive (obviously), but you can download new stuff and simply â€œConsolidate Libraryâ€ again when you reconnect your external Hard Drive! Now that I like!!! Iâ€™m not sure if I then synced my iPod with it that it wouldnâ€™t wipe everything except the new stuff â€“ has anyone tried this?
Going off at a Tangent
So far what weâ€™ve done is to just move the Music library (and is the official Apple way of doing this). But what about the other stuff (databases, playlist, alburm art, ratings), surely it would be good to have all that in a secure offsite location to?
- Copy Album Artwork, iTunes Library.itl and iTunes Library.xml files to the folder above your iTunes library you just created.
- Point iTunes to this new library by holding down shift as you start it and selecting your iTunes Library.itl
Now you should be able to point any iTunes on your network at this library â€“ outstanding!