Enlarging and Relocating an iTunes Music Library

Albert Tarendash shared this question 9 years ago

I'm a novice with iTunes, so here goes: I have an iTunes Music Library located on my MacBook Pro and I also have an extensive library of digital music on an external drive. What I want to do is bring the drive's contents into the iTunes library and then relocate the entire library (including the drive's contents) onto the external drive. How do I go about this?

Replies (1)


Thanks for getting in touch!

So, the first thing you want to do is get the media on your external drive into your iTunes Library WITHOUT copying the files to the default media location. We want the listing in iTunes, but the files to stay exactly where they are.

This can be done pretty easily through iTunes, you just need to change one Advanced Preference.

So, open up the iTunes Preferences and go to the Advanced pane. Find the option "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library", and UNCHECK it.

With this option OFF, any files you import into your library will be left in place, but the listings will be added to the library.

Now, you can just drag and drop the media into iTunes and it will get added to the library and the files will stay in place. It may still take some time for iTunes to process all of the media, even though it's not being copied. So, be patient if you are importing a ton.

After the import is done and the media on your external drive is listed in iTunes, you can open back up the iTunes Advanced Preferences and RE-CHECK that "Copy files..." option for normal use, if you want.

From this point, you can use TuneSpan normally. Everything is in iTunes even though some is on your internal and some is on your external.

In TuneSpan, these tracks that began on the external (without using TuneSpan), will NOT be considered spanned, and the external will be listed as their original location. But, if you did even want them on your internal drive, you can span them to your default media location.

But, you want to move everything to the external. So, you can use the Locations browser in TuneSpan and select everything on your internal drive to span, and select the external drive as the span location.

If you want to reorganize everything on your external, you could even make a new folder on your external drive called "Spanned Media" or something, and select your entire library to span, and TuneSpan will move everything into this new folder and organize it like iTunes does, or according to whatever folder organization customizations you've made in the TuneSpan Advanced Preferences.

One note though... depending on how much media you have and how fast your computer is (how much ram, free internal drive space for virtual ram), you may want to span in smaller chunks. If you are doing a ton in TuneSpan, it may need a lot of resources during the span. So, spanning in smaller groups may be more manageable and avoid any possible issues like this.

Let me know if that all makes sense, or if you have any other questions or anything.

Leave a Comment
Attach a file