View Full Version : Any itunes experts out there ?

15-01-2011, 12:20 PM
Long story but here we go...

I have an old machine that has a small hard drive (40gig). My itunes music collection is larger than that 60gig or something.

So this is what I did. I got an external hard drive and used this as my itunes folder location but it crashed and burnt after a year or so. The bloke in the shop told me they are meant to be used for back ups now and again rather than ongoing use as a hard drive. So I got another and copied my music from Ipod onto this and pointed my itunes to this location for music storage, then unplugged and walked away. This means every time I open itunes I can't listen to music through Itunes unless I plug in the external hard rive but that didn't bother me.

Here's where it gets funny. I listen to alot of podcasts. They download I upload them to my ipod without pluggin in the external hard drive.

So the other day when I wanted to sync all my music I plugged in the hard drive and itunes told me it couldn't find any of my music. I looked at the preferences and it told me the music folder location was in c drive rather than the external hard rive. Again this is fine for small things like podcasts but will not work for my music library.

So my (rather long winded it seems) question is how do I manage this. I am happy to reimport all my music to get this sorted but how do I download podcasts daily without having to have the external hard drive constantly plugged in ?
Can I have specify the location of the podcast folder and similar for the music ?
Do I need to do a complete reinstall of itunes (happy to do this if need be) ?

I know the real answer is a new machine or extra internal hard rive but financially this is not an option for me at the moment.


(Itunes 10 by the way on windows)

15-01-2011, 12:32 PM
my guess is that itunes uses the same location for everything, since you have the external drive as the default location, it needs that location to be available in order to download the podcast.. just had a look at my itunes and couldnt find the option to change the location for podcast only. the best way would be to change the media location to c: or keep your external drive plugged in all the time, or put a second bigger drive in for itunes only location.

15-01-2011, 12:48 PM
I got an external hard drive and used this as my itunes folder location but it crashed and burnt after a year or so. The bloke in the shop told me they are meant to be used for back ups now and again rather than ongoing use as a hard drive. An external HDD is no different to a internal HDD. Meaning the actual drive it self is the same.

All an external HDD is, is a normal drive in a fancy case.
If you were to open the Case you could remove the drive. What may have happened is the circuit board in the internal case died - the actual HDD may be perfectly fine, and could be attached as a slave drive inside the PC.

16-01-2011, 10:31 AM
So I posted the same question on an itunes forum and in case anyone is interested here's the answer I was given.

Here's what happened, and why: The "iTunes Media folder location" sets the folder where iTunes will put files that it creates. That is, when you rip a CD or download podcasts, iTunes has to put those files somewhere. Rather than ask you for a destination for each and every file (annoying!), iTunes simply puts those files in the designated "iTunes Media" folder -- annoyance averted!

But -- what happens if the drive containing the designated "iTunes Media" folder isn't present? iTunes still needs a place to put any files it creates, so it falls back on the default location -- the "iTunes Media" folder in your user account's "iTunes" folder.

Here's where it gets slightly weird. With the Windows version of iTunes, when the drive containing your designated iTunes Media folder goes missing (and thus iTunes falls back to using the folder on the boot drive), iTunes silently changes the "iTunes Media folder location" pref to the default folder, forgetting about the other drive. So the next time you fire up iTunes with that drive connected, it's up to you to reset the "iTunes Media folder location" pref to the music-containing folder on the external.

In the Mac version, iTunes remembers the "missing" drive and falls back to the default only on a temporary basis -- the next time you fire up iTunes with the missing drive connected, the original pref is restored. Seems like this would be a simple fix, but apparently not -- this problem has been around forever.

So what happened to you is that at some time you launched iTunes without having the external drive connected and mounted, and iTunes set the "iTunes Media folder location" back to the default. You'll have to change it back "by hand" in iTunes Edit menu->Preferences->"iTunes Media folder location".

To fix things -- to get all your content files on the external drive -- you need to do this:
1) Quit iTunes; connect external drive, turn it on, wait for it to appear in My Computer (i.e. make sure the drive is mounted)
2) Launch iTunes; open Prefs->Advanced and set the "iTunes Media folder location" to the music-containing folder on the external. Also put a checkmark in the "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" box; save prefs.
3) iTunes File menu->Library->Organize library, and put a tick in the box for "Consolidate files". (If there's also a box marked "Upgrade to iTunes Media organization", leave it unchecked.) Click OK to start Consolidation and wait....
4) iTunes will copy all the files it knows about -- including your podacsts on the C: drive -- into the designated iTunes Media folder on the external. The originals will be left where they are (iTunes is very reluctant to delete your files), so it's up to you to trash them when Consolidating is done. Before trashing them, make sure Consolidate did its job -- select a podcast in iTunes and then Get Info on it; make sure its file path originates on the external drive.

All your iTunes content files will now be on the external. You can use Consolidation at any time to clean things up, should this problem accur again.