Can you move files instead of copying them?

Brian shared this question 7 years ago
Answered

So basically for years now I've been manually doing what TuneSpan does for you. I'd like to put all the files I've manually moved to external drives under TuneSpan's control. But it seems like there is no way to do this without copying the files unnecessarily. I don't even have room to make second copies of all the files, and it would take forever as I have over a terabyte of video. Is there some way to tell it to just move things instead? (I basically want similar functionality to iTune's "keep media folder organized" feature)

Comments (12)

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At this point, TuneSpan only makes copies of files, but that's to allow for extra flexibility. TuneSpan has options to trash original files and clean up empty folders so no stray files are left behind after you span. In the end, it's essentially the same as "moving" but it allows for more options on the users part, as well as more security. If a span fails for some reason, and the location is not updated in iTunes, TuneSpan will trash the copied file and leave the original in place since iTunes still knows that location.


I think that answers your title question, but you say some other things in there that I'm not sure about. When you mention "under TuneSpan's control", anything in iTunes can be moved by TuneSpan. Are you hoping to move around media files that aren't in iTunes? That's not something TuneSpan was made to do. But it is quite easy to add media files to iTunes from where they are, without having them copied to the default iTunes Media folder. Let me know if that's what you're looking for and I can give you more info on that.


I think there are just some details about you're setup that I'm not sure about, so I'm not sure exactly if TuneSpan can help you without extra overhead. Let me know more and I can try to give more information. But, maybe some info in the other question you asked covers that. Anyway, I'm here to help the best I can as you start using TuneSpan.

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"Control" was a bad choice of words, I just meant I want TuneSpan to handle organizing and naming these media files, and to know that they're spanned there (have it marked as spanned, instead of having it marked as a manual location that's not in my default library directory).


Copying and trashing isn't really the same as moving, because it takes way longer, and like I said is impossible for me to do easily because I have a lot of videos and not enough space to copy them all (unless it deletes after each copy and not after the entire operation, but that still would wind up way slower).

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I guess also related to what I'm asking is how to have it reorganize things I've already spanned by moving them around, but now I've noticed the comment in the pref pane that seems to imply that is not supported and the organization settings only apply to new spans.


So I suppose what I actually want is a new feature that behaves like iTunes's "keep media folder organized" check box (aka go through everything in an external span directory and move/rename all the files so they match TuneSpan's organization settings).

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I see, so you are trying to have TuneSpan reorganize media on an external drive. Essentially spanning from and to the same drive, but you don't have room for the copy to happen. That is not something that TuneSpan currently supports, I'm sorry.


I've recently had another user with the same issue and request. It would be possible for me to make these changes in TuneSpan, but it actually takes a lot of tweaking throughout the spanning process, some of which would be pretty big changes in the verification phase, etc since there would be no files to trash, and empty folders would still need to be cleaned up.


That's not to say it's not doable, it's just not as easy as a flip of a switch. I would also have to take extra care if a span failed, the files would need to be moved back to where they were before. Again, all doable, but time consuming.


It is something that I want to look into and think about more. I don't have any great reason why TuneSpan shouldn't do a move instead of a copy when spanning to the drive the file came from.


I made the decision to always copy files for simplicity and consistency in TuneSpan's behavior. This is also not a way that I intended TuneSpan to be used from the beginning, but I can see it's a natural evolution of it's functionality.


That all still applies to new spans though. So, to reorganize, you would have to re-span. A feature to have TuneSpan watch a span location and update paths COULD also be possible, but would require a lot of overhead as well. It couldn't really be done in the background as gracefully as iTunes does it in the default location, since TuneSpan would have to run through the process of updating each location for iTunes to make sure it keeps up. It would essentially be the exact same kind of "re-span" we are talking about, just more automated, prompting the user that track info has change and the organization can be updated.


It is a good idea, and something that I will continue to think about, but it is a lot of work. It's not something that will be able to make it's way into this next update that I am wrapping up, but POSSIBLY the next (major) update after that one. But I don't make guarantees on that sort of thing. I don't want to make promises that I may break.


The next big feature that I have been planning to focus on in TuneSpan is automatic spanning. Prompting to span sets of stuff to a location based on some criteria set by the user instead of having to select the tracks each time you use TuneSpan. So, like if you have movies in this location, and you add a new movie, iTunes will offer to span that new movie to the set location.


Automatic organization you are talking about is a different feature, but could be coupled nicely with the automatic spanning prompt. The user interaction could be very similar, but in the source they would be distinct features with independent changes to the code.


So, that's a really (really) long way of saying, I'm sorry, TuneSpan doesn't currently have the capability you're are looking for. But, I hope to work on it in the future.

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Haha thats ok, thanks. I think I've figured out enough of how the app operates now that I can get most the functionality I'm looking for.


A similar feature that I think could also solve some of my issues, is a way to tell TuneSpan that I manually made a span outside of it. Something like "Hey, I know you didn't span it yourself, but I manually spanned these directories outside of the app. Treat this directory as if it was span from my default iTunes media directory."


Because basically that's my problem. I did a bunch of this stuff myself before I got TuneSpan and it does not seem designed to handle that case :)


Thanks for your quick and helpful replies!

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In this big update I'm working on I added a related feature to set any span location as the original location. It's a hidden option, you will have to hold the Option key while opening the track list contextual menu to get at it.


I thought about doing the other side of that that you're talking about... Set any track to be spanned, it's just a bit different. I would have to make the assumption about the original location. As you say, it would be good to have the default iTunes Media folder be that location, I just wasn't sure if that was the assumption users would want, or even if was something people wanted and was worth doing.


But, since you've brought it up, I guess it is worth doing. I'll look into it and it may be something that can make it's way into this next update as a hidden option along side the hidden force restore option. But as usual, no guarantees :-)

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No worries, I understand how it is. But if there was some hidden option in the future to select a bunch of things and set them as spans with an original location in the default iTunes directory, I would be very grateful :D


It's an awesome app by the way. I plan to use it for everything going forward so I should have way less headaches with this stuff.

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Great! Thanks!


I'll let you know if I get this force span option completed, and if I do I can send you an build to help test it. If you're interested.

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Force Spanning is DONE.


Email me and I'll send you a built tomorrow, if you want.

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TuneSpan 1.1 is now available on the Mac App Store (http://mas.tunespan.com) and has Force Spanning built in.


You can right-click a selection of tracks and use the "Force Span/Restore" submenu.

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I am not sure this would be Force Spanning? I have an EHD that is full of TVshows I ripped, do I have to import them into iTunes and then span them or can I "Force Span" them to work.


If so How do I "Force Span"?

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Is the media not in iTunes already? It must be in iTunes first for TuneSpan to recognize it.


To get them into iTunes without having them moved to your default iTunes Media location, you can go into the Advanced iTunes Preferences and turn off the "Copy Media to default library location when importing" option before dragging your media into iTunes. And then after its imported, you can turn that option back on for normal use.


Then, you should see your media in TuneSpan with everything else. If you want that media marked as "spanned" in TuneSpan, that's what Force Spanning is for.