iTunes/External Hard Drive Kerfuffle
June 13, 2010 7:36 PM   Subscribe

My iTunes library is imperiled! Help me Metafilter, you're my only hope.

With my aging MacBook wheezing under the strain of containing my increasingly ginormous iTunes library, I purchased an external hard drive to contain all my music files. Then I set about transferring all my files.

I changed the location of my iTunes media folder to /Volumes/ExternalDrive, and then went to File->Library->Organize Library->Consolidate Files to copy all the music. After that, I checked the location of a few songs to confirm that I'd successfully moved the library. Then I deleted the original files on my hard drive to free up space, and powered down the computer.

This morning, when I turned the computer on, I switched on iTunes and tried to play a song. I got the message "The song XXX could not be used because the original file could not be found." It's the same with all of them. I've spent hours futzing with the Library.xml file and other things, but nothing works. Short of individually changing the location for 1000+ albums' worth of songs, what can I do? I'm running OS 10.4.11 and iTunes 9.1.1.
posted by Rangeboy to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I think if you just drag your new iTunes folder onto your iTunes icon, it'll churn through and add them all to its library properly. Kinda surprised it didn't do that when you Consolidated, but that sounds like your problem.
posted by mumkin at 7:45 PM on June 13, 2010

This link explains the details of what you have to do to move your library to an external drive and tell iTunes where to look. I did it not that long ago and it worked for me. I know from experience that if you don't follow the right steps, you have to re-import everything.
posted by monkeymike at 7:45 PM on June 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

I don't know if this is relevant for OXS, but when I did this with my PC I had to make sure that the external hard drive had the same drive letter as it did when I consolidated.
posted by Paragon at 7:46 PM on June 13, 2010

Response by poster: Huh. I did what you suggested, mumkin, and now each album has two copies of each song: one that works, and one that doesn't. Still, that's better than where I was before.
posted by Rangeboy at 8:00 PM on June 13, 2010

Best answer: Sort them by date added and delete all the old ones. Since you just readded everything at once the working versions will all have the same (new) date. I've been through this a few times myself!
posted by shelleycat at 8:26 PM on June 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

Just did this with my iTunes, this thread reminded me of about 50 gigs of music I had stashed away in various subfolders that I couldn't bear to sort through manually... now it's churning through the files.

There was an article online I lost the bookmark to about reconstructing the playlists from the old playlist file, does anyone have the link? Thanks.
posted by Spacelegoman at 4:08 AM on June 14, 2010

to get rid of the duplicates I always just go into the Itunes filder and delete the itunes library database file .xml to clear the itunes database then drag the itunes Music folder to add all the music again. it will create a new Library file.
posted by mary8nne at 4:51 AM on June 14, 2010

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