Experiences running iTunes off an Airdisk?
July 13, 2009 10:30 AM   Subscribe

Experiences running iTunes off an Airdisk--particularly when things go wrong?

Hello, I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts on running iTunes off an Airdisk. I tried moving the entire iTunes library over to the Airdisk and it was painfully slow (because it is almost always better to move entire iTunes folders rather than just the music subfolder).

This doesn't seem to have worked too well, as either Aiport Extreme or my iMac (yes, latest firmware on everything) will periodically drop its connection. If iTunes loses track of its library files for even a second it freaks the hell out. Plus, it makes launching really slow.

So, I've since moved all the support files over to my iMac and have symlinked (through ln -s, not an alias) the music directory, which is on the Airdisk.


What will happen to the symlink if the Airdisk is disconnected? Is it persistent?

What will happen if the Airdisk disconnects while iTunes is running? I imagine I'll get an exclamation point for each song it tries to access. Will I have to rebuild my library in any way? Will "lost" songs be magically refound when the drive comes back? Will iTunes freeze the way it does if its library files go missing?
posted by yesno to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Oh yeah, there's an old TUAW post about the topic, but as it advises putting the support files on the Airdisk as well as the Music, I have trouble taking it too seriously given the problems I've experiences doing that.
posted by yesno at 10:31 AM on July 13, 2009

I did this. Kind of. I put my music on a NAS on my network and I have that automount in finder whenever I log in. I only put my music files on the NAS, though, and kept my iTunes music library file local on my computer. When I ran it with the music library file on the NAS, iTunes was painfully slow and very sensitive to network drops (in that, if the mount wasn't there iTunes wanted to create a new library file and if the mount dropped out while iTunes was open it would freak the hell out).

Now with my current setup, if the mount drops out, I get those exclamation points you mention that hang around until I remount my NAS and try to play the song again. So, yes they effectively are magically refound when the drive comes back, but you need to try to play them first before they are found.
posted by kurmbox at 11:15 AM on July 13, 2009

Why not move your music to an external mount and keep the iTunes app and library on your local machine? The library is only a few megs and it that should prevent iTunes from crashing.

Under advanced, just change the location of your music folder. Then run a consolidate library (File->Library->Consolidate Library) and iTunes will copy your music to the new location and leave your library where it originally was.
posted by wongcorgi at 1:43 PM on July 13, 2009


The default location actually is not ~/iTunes/iTunes Music. It is iTunes Music subfolder of whatever folder.

Doing what you suggest alters that setting. This makes it difficult to launch another iTunes library. What I mean is, you can option-launch into different iTunes libraries, but the settings remain the same. As long as you keep the iTunes music in its default location, each library launches just fine.

You can have an entire self-contained iTunes library on an external drive, and launch into that, and you don't need to tell iTunes where to find the music belonging to that librart, as long as it's in the iTunes Music subfolder of the folder containing the library. But where you to change the music location for your main iTunes, when you option-launched into another library it would also look for the music in that same exact place, which would be bad.

Also, for a long time, if you had your music manually switched in iTunes to a different drive, and that drive became unavailable for even a second, you'd have to rebuild your library, which took forever. I think this was fixed, but it makes me wary of fiddling with the music folder location, especially as there's no need to.
posted by yesno at 2:01 PM on July 13, 2009

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