Moving iTunes lib from one ext drive to another. Difficulty level: GRAR
November 21, 2017 5:05 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to move my iTunes library from an older external drive to a newer external drive, following this how-to. I got all the way to the part in section 2 where you select iTunes and drag it to the external hard drive. This is where the problem starts. Specs and specifics inside.

  • Mid-2009 MacBook Pro running Yosemite 10.10.5
  • iTunes version:
  • Drive where iTunes Library currently resides: 2 TB WD Ext HDD
  • Drive where I want to move iTunes to: 2 TB Seagate BUP Slim RD
The copying goes along for a while, and then I get an error pop-up window that reads:
You can't copy $NAME because it has the same name as another item on the destination volume, and that volume doesn't distinguish between upper- and lowercase letters in filenames.
And the only choice I'm given in the pop-up window is an "OK" button--no option to skip tracks and continue or anything. Once I hit "OK," all copying stops.

So far, all of the duplicate names have been of sub-folders in various artists' names' folder. Right now, my only option seems to be:
  1. Find the duplicate folders.
  2. Consolidate the two folders with the same names.
  3. Delete the now-empty folder.
  4. Delete what iTunes had copied to the new drive.
  5. Start all over again until it runs up against the next duplicate folders.
  6. Consolidate.
  7. Delete
  8. Start over....

Which will take me approximately eight hundred and fifty billion years to get my iTunes copied over, because my iTunes library is 150GB.

Does anyone know of a smarter, faster way to do this?
posted by tzikeh to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
reformat the destination drive with a case sensitive file system.
posted by mce at 5:11 PM on November 21, 2017

Is it possible that the old drive is formatted to be case-sensitive, and the new target drive is not case-sensitive? If that is the case, then go with mce's suggestion and format the new drive the same way...
posted by BillMcMurdo at 5:33 PM on November 21, 2017

Response by poster: The new drive has other stuff on it. It's not empty. I can't reformat it without losing all my stuff, can I?
posted by tzikeh at 5:45 PM on November 21, 2017

No, but you can partition it! Open Disk Utility, select the drive, click Partition, click +, drag the size, select "Format: Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled)", click Apply.
posted by nicwolff at 6:40 PM on November 21, 2017

Response by poster: nicwolff - the "+" is grayed out. Here's a snap.
posted by tzikeh at 8:05 PM on November 21, 2017

Can you move/duplicate the stuff on the new drive temporarily, reformat, then replace the stuff?
posted by Rock Steady at 4:37 AM on November 22, 2017

Response by poster: I can maybe move it to my internal drive, and then try nicwolff's suggestion. I'll post an update when all of this has run its course one way or the other. Thanks for now, everyone.
posted by tzikeh at 4:24 AM on November 23, 2017

Response by poster: Update --

I was able to move all the stuff off the newer drive to my internal drive, then I reformatted the new one with the correct settings, and dragged my iTunes folder over to start copying. I didn't get any error messages! It was going and going! For four hours!

At four hours, the transfer window said "about twenty minutes" for remaining time, and that's when one of my cats jumped up on the desk and disconnected the reformatted drive with her rear feet.

So.... I'm going to go find an outlet for my rage that isn't my cat, and then I'll try again later.
posted by tzikeh at 12:08 PM on November 23, 2017

Response by poster: Everything copied over. I followed the directions in the article I linked above, to hold down the option key while opening iTunes, and then clicking on "choose Library," and then I navigated to the new iTunes location, and got an error message:
an iTunes library file could not be found in the folder.
I have googled every way I can think of to find how to fix this, and nothing is coming up. I hope someone is still reading here and can help me with what to do next. I see the LibraryUni.txt file right there, the first thing in the column, above all the artist folders. What am I missing?
posted by tzikeh at 5:02 PM on November 23, 2017

« Older How does/will American Net neutrality affect...   |   Ideas for workspaces please! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.