FORCING Location of iTunes Music files

  • Posted: 29 March 2009 01:51 AM

    Hi there,

    Long story but let me Inigo Montoya sum up:

    My backup of my Music folder is on another drive of another name.

    I’ve taken this drive with me on the road and added music, made playlists, downloaded podcasts onto this drive.

    When I get home, I duplicate the Music folder onto my MASTER drive at home. This is the drive and drive name I want to keep using for both my “on the road” and Home Master drive. So, I go through a rename of drives. When I’m on the road, I give the portable the same name as my Master drive. Thus, when I get home, I go through duplicating the portable onto the home drive and a name swap so that the Home drive goes back to its original name and the portable gets an arbitrary name.

    Lomg story short, now iTunes thinks my music is on both drives (i.e. songs’ file location says that a song is either on my master or my portable drive). You get the idea.

    So, is there a way to rewrite the Location field for each song so that the field gets the MASTER drive’s location?

    [ Edited: 29 March 2009 02:10 AM by gulmatan ]

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    Posted: 02 April 2009 11:20 AM #1

    Maybe I’ve just gotten lost in all the back and forth, and it’s early in the day for my level of consciousness. So I’m not sure on this—but would this work?

    1. Make sure you have a complete, solid backup of all files on your secondary drive.

    2. Make doubly sure that you really, really took care of #1.

    3. Delete the iTunes music folder from your primary drive.

    4. Reindex. Totally brand new. If you have gazillions of files, start it just before you go to bed.

    5. Once you’ve confirmed that everything is well with the world on the primary, try just copying the library and xml to the secondary.

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER: I’m no expert. I welcome clarification and input from others who know better, and whose synapses are firing more efficiently than mine.

    Finally, I’m not sure, but is it likely that continuing your process may muck it all up again? Maybe you could reconsider the work flow.


    Good luck.

    cb

         
  • Posted: 02 April 2009 02:11 PM #2

    Hi there,

    Sorry to ask but, I need to be EXACT and have EXACT word-for-word instructions.  I’m not a ditz, I’m not dingy BUT this issue and my files are very important so, I do not wish to have any mishap.  So, here are the details:

    1—My primary music/iTunes contents drive is called G-DRIVE
    2—My secondary drive is named “ARCHIVE *G-DRIVE* ARCHIVE
    3—As usual, the iTunes Library & XML file, iTunes Library Extras.itdb, iTunes Library Genius.itdb, Album Artwork, iPod Games folder are alol om my boot drive called “Spock’s Brain”

    So, just exactly how am I to to to accomplish what you suggest?  Sorry but, I needd to be absolutely clear on this.

    Thanks

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    Posted: 02 April 2009 03:58 PM #3

    Let me try to integrate your drive names, to make sure I have the setup correct.

    My backup of my Music folder is on “ARCHIVE *G-DRIVE* ARCHIVE”.

    I?ve taken this “ARCHIVE *G-DRIVE* ARCHIVE” drive with me on the road and added music, made playlists, downloaded podcasts onto this drive.

    When I get home, I duplicate the “ARCHIVE *G-DRIVE* ARCHIVE” Music folder onto my MASTER “G-DRIVE” drive at home. This is the drive and drive name I want to keep using for both “ARCHIVE *G-DRIVE* ARCHIVE” and “G-DRIVE” Home Master drive. So, I go through a rename of drives. When I?m on the road, I give the “ARCHIVE *G-DRIVE* ARCHIVE” portable the same name as my “G-DRIVE” Master drive. [cb: Why?] Thus, when I get home, I go through duplicating the portable “ARCHIVE *G-DRIVE* ARCHIVE” onto the “G-DRIVE” home drive and a name swap [again, why?] so that the “G-DRIVE” Home drive goes back to its original name and the portable gets an arbitrary name.

    Long story short, now iTunes thinks my music is on both drives (i.e. songs? file location says that a song is either on my master or my portable drive). You get the idea.

    So, is there a way to rewrite the Location field for each song so that the field gets the MASTER drive?s location?

    I?m not sure at all that I do have the idea. I don?t understand that final question.

    Maybe it?s just terminology, but know my background: I usually download files first onto my MacBook Pro. Those get backed up, with the libraries and attendant reference files, to a Seagate 500 GB desktop drive, AND to a LaCie 350 GB portable. That LaCie goes home, where it backs them up onto my iMac. Further, my most valuable files stay archived for a month or two at a time, on yet another LaCie desktop drive ? in hopes of mitigating any damage from some inevitable file corruption.

    And I go through all this without ever renaming or unnaming anything.

    If you want two completely identical iTunes collections and libraries, no problem. Let?s use a very simple example.

    Before you left home on a trip, your
    iTunes Music/Pat Metheny (folder)/
    was identical on BOTH drives.
    ITunes Music/Pat Metheny/ contained three album folders:

    Travels

    Offramp

    The Way Up

    On this trip you’ve downloaded a fourth new album in its folder:

    Day Trip
    (which “G-DRIVE” does NOT have).

    When you get home, you need simply to connect your Macs as usual for file transfers (wifi, FireWire, Ethernet, whatever) and

    (A) copy Day Trip
    into “G-DRIVE”/iTunes/iTunes Music/Pat Metheny/

    and

    (B) copy the contents of SPOCK’S BRAIN from “ARCHIVE *G-DRIVE* ARCHIVE” to the corresponding in “G-DRIVE”, replacing its now-outdated libraries and so forth.

    You can set it up via Super Duper, Carbon Copy Cloner, etc., or, if you?re using Leopard, let Time Machine crank away while you relax. If you?re anxious about trusting a program, you can just drag and drop to copy them all appropriately.

    Does this miss anything? Why rename and un-name and so forth? How does that help?

    = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    Alternatively, if you don’t mind buying a third external drive, you can add another standard backup for an extra level of safety. Name that third drive, ohh, let’s say “iTunes Third”  wink

    When “ARCHIVE *G-DRIVE* ARCHIVE” has new downloads, connect it to “iTunes Third” and run that backup (again, via a backup program, or manually)

    THEN

    connect “iTunes Third” to “G-DRIVE”. Copy the new files and folders from “iTunes Third” to “G-DRIVE”.

    Of course, you can go in the other direction just as easily.

    Both active machines have the same files; both read the same contents from now-identical libraries.

    = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    HOWEVER: If you want one library with music files accumulating on only “G-DRIVE”, with both Macs able to FIND those files, it?s a little more touchy. I?ll go into details for that if needed. (But I?m just about to leave town within the hour, and I don?t intend to see much email until Saturday evening at the earliest.)

    I hope this helps.

    Chuck

         
  • Posted: 02 April 2009 05:15 PM #4

    Sorry, you seem to have mixed up the drives and sorry to say, I am REALLY CONFUSED so, let’s clarify:

    When I am home, the electric, G-Tech drive gets the name, G-DRIVE and the portable Rockstor drive gets the ARCHIVE *G-DRIVE* ARCHIVE name

    When I am on the road, I rename the Rockstor portable G-DRIVE

    When I’m home I go through the name swap all over again, in reverse:  The electric G-Tech gets renamed to its original G-DRIVE name and the portable Rockstor goes back to the ARCHIVE name.

    From this, I transfuse my additions on the road onto my G-Tech G-DRIVE.  So thus as the Mac/OS/X/iTunes gets bamboozeled and fooled into thinking it’s looking at a G-DRIVE, it’s actually accessing two different drives depending on if I’m on the road or home.

    So, how can I get this to work?

    [ Edited: 02 April 2009 05:19 PM by gulmatan ]

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  • Posted: 03 April 2009 01:04 PM #5

    I think there is an easier way to manage your iTunes library.

    You should use your external hard drive as your iTunes library. In your Music folder on your computer, you should just have an iTunes folder alias that points to your external hard drive’s iTunes folder.

    You can use a back-up program to then copy all changes from that iTunes library to a different folder location on your computer like User>Documents<iTunes Backup. I use Chronosync to sync my MacBook Air and Mac mini, and to also back up my external hard drive iTunes library to another external hard drive.

    I hope this helps you.

    Sky

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    Sky

         
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    Posted: 03 April 2009 01:29 PM #6

    As stated, just use the external as the home for your iTunes library for both machines.

    You don’t even have to have the alias, just go into the preferences for iTunes and under Advanced you will see where to tell iTunes to look for your library. Tell it to look for your external drive, and do this on both machines.

    This will make it so that both machines see one library that is sitting on your external drive. No need for backing up (beyond the normal backup routine you should already have), moving, and all the stuff you are doing.

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  • Posted: 03 April 2009 02:45 PM #7

    Spider - 03 April 2009 04:29 PM

    As stated, just use the external as the home for your iTunes library for both machines.

    You don’t even have to have the alias, just go into the preferences for iTunes and under Advanced you will see where to tell iTunes to look for your library. Tell it to look for your external drive, and do this on both machines.

    This will make it so that both machines see one library that is sitting on your external drive. No need for backing up (beyond the normal backup routine you should already have), moving, and all the stuff you are doing.

    Okay, now I do have ChronoSync and yes, after fiddling, diddling and migraining over this, I have resigned myself to exclusively using my Rocstor portable as my main drive for iTunes and my G-Tech (Thomas Edison fueled) drive as my backup.  So, even if, as it’s portable and subject to rough & rumble, wear & tear, my Rocstor konks out, at least my G-Tech will have a full archive of my library.  And then, all I need to do is just buy another handheld drive.

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    Posted: 03 April 2009 04:46 PM #8

    You might try to use the application… myTuneSync. It keeps multiple drives synced with iTunes files. I use it between a 500Gb portable drive (for on the road) to sync with my iMac at home.

    Hope this helps.

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  • Posted: 03 April 2009 05:30 PM #9

    Ah yes.  This looks (from Versiontracker’s viewpoint) to be quite more streamlined than ChronoSync so, I’ll give myTunesSync a go.

    Say, this is a nice spinning beach ball app!!!  Really cool.  Yup, for the last 10 minutes. all this thing has been doing is showing the initial workspace screen, two menus and a spinning beach ball.  Are you sure this program is working?  Are you absolutely sure this app works?!  For the last three attempts to run this app, I’ve gotten nothing but WAIT icons—spinning beach ball the first time and the barber pole thermometer the other two times.  In all three runs, I’ve FORCE QUIT each.  All this is from the authentic download direct from the developer’s site.  So, are you positively sure this app works?

    [ Edited: 03 April 2009 06:22 PM by gulmatan ]

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  • Posted: 03 April 2009 09:53 PM #10

    If you already have Chronosync, you should just stick with that. I have mine so it automatically backs up my iTunes folder every morning. Don’t have to think about it…

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    Sky

         
  • Posted: 04 April 2009 12:19 AM #11

    Well, the final nail is in the myTunesSync coffin for me.  From the experience I’ve just mentioned, I’ve become frustrated enough that I’ve not only deleted the installed app, any and all of its associated files and the installer DMG itself, I’ve Secure Deleted everything because, if this thing works as you’ve claimed, it sure didn’t behave for me.

    [ Edited: 04 April 2009 12:22 AM by gulmatan ]

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