Moving then spanning external iTunes library

Bryan shared this question 7 years ago
Answered

I have a number of iTunes libraries, the main one is located on an external drive. How do I make this library local on my laptop and then spanned back to an external drive? Do I first have to copy this external library onto the laptop (its pretty large, would need work to make room for it) and then span it back?


I also have iTunes match: how does this work with a spanned library if the external drive is not connected (and say one downloads that song to the local drive)?


What is the best procedure for merging songs from one library to another (I seem to have songs in one library that are not part of another for various reasons).


Thanks!

Replies (7)

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Thanks for getting in touch.


But, I'm sorry to say that TuneSpan is not made to handle managing multiple iTunes Libraries when it comes to merging them, etc.


It can handle loading multiple libraries, but they are treated independently from each other. TuneSpan is designed to allow you to move media files to various location with one library.


It sounds to me like maybe you should check out PowerTunes: http://fatcatsoftware.com/powertunes/


PowerTunes is made to manage and move tracks around between multiple iTunes Libraries.

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Thanks for the swift response. But to my original question: do I need to move the external library to the laptop before spanning it back out to another drive? I assume the answer is yes if I want to have the iTunes library local.


And about the iTunes match part of the question above?


Thanks

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You don't need the iTunes Library to be on your local drive to use TuneSpan, you can load the library into TuneSpan from it's current location by holding the Option key when you launch TuneSpan to select a custom library location, or by selecting "Change Library..." from the File menu when TuneSpan is loaded.


But, it isn't as convenient to have you library files on an external drive since you can't load any of the library if that external drive isn't mounted, even if some of the tracks have been spanned to your internal drive, or some other available external drive, you need to be able to access the library files to load up iTunes.


About iTunes Match, TuneSpan doesn't conflict, but when you download a file when the external drive isn't mounted, the file is downloaded to the local default location and when TuneSpan runs next, it will consider the track "restored" and only be aware of the newly downloaded file, leaving a stray on the external drive. Which isn't a terrible situation if you want to span the downloaded files back to the external, TuneSpan will detect the file already exists and allow you to choose to use the existing file rather than recopying.

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thanks that is helpful. So I should figure out a way to move the entire external library to be local before spanning it to external drives correct?


Is there anything to be avoided when syncing with an iPhone in this spanned situation?


Also, I have noticed that there is a slight file structure difference between older and newer iTunes libraries: having to do with the media folder and music folder. This is not an issue in any way is it?

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Manual syncing isn't really an issue. When the files aren't available, you may get an alert from iTunes that some files couldn't be synced, but they shouldn't be deleted from your device. But, with iTunes Match, there's not much need for a manual sync since everything is coming from Match on the device.


There's no issue with iTunes' old file structure. TuneSpan will use it's own file structure in the selected Span Location folder, which is very similar to the newer structure iTunes uses, but it's also customizable in the Advanced Preferences.


When TuneSpan restores files, it keeps an internal record of the original location, so it will put it back where it came from regardless of the general iTunes file structure.

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OK! thanks for the info, there is a lot to watch for.


So: move external library to local disk before spanning to external drive if I want to have access locally to parts of the library when the external is not connected correct?


I wish there was a nice list view in iTunes that was available in all categories that I could use for playing music...

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Yep, you go it. Local iTunes Library files are nicer so that you can access any of the files that are available no matter what is connected.


iTunes still has it's old list view, you can turn it on for all Media Types in the General iTunes Preferences under the "View" section there's a "Show list views for all media" checkbox.

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