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Easily move music between drives with iTunes 7 Apps
After reading this hint (and the associated comments) about multiple library support in iTunes 7, I realized everyone has overlooked an important feature: iTunes will let you move your music from one drive to another with ridiculous ease. This was a lifesaver for me, as I had filled my internal hard drive and was constantly getting "out of space" errors. But I didn't want to be without any of my tunes, or switch between two different music libraries.

Here's all you do.
  1. First, tell iTunes to start storing music on a new drive (Preferences > General and clicking the Change button under 'iTunes Music folder location'). All music you import from now on will go to the new folder location ... but iTunes will continue to recognize and list all of your music from your old folder as well. Indeed, you won't know what songs are in your new folder and which are in your old folder. It's seamless.
  2. Now let's move some of your music over to the new folder. Go to your old iTunes drive (usually [home] > Library > Music > iTunes Music Folder). Open the folder and you'll see more folders, labeled by artist.
  3. Select some artist folders from the old folder location and drag them into iTunes. I drag them over the iTunes logo in my dock, but you can also drag them over the iTunes window.
That's it! iTunes will begin copying the folders and song files inside them to the new iMusic folder. It automatically detects the duplicates and updates your iTunes index so that the copied songs play from the new folder, not the old one. When it's done copying, you can go back to the Finder and trash the duplicate folders stored in your old music folder (the ones you originally dragged into iTunes).

If you're like me, you'll want to test this out before deleting your old music folders. Highlight a song from an artist whose folder you moved and select Show in Finder from the pop-up menu. A Finder window should open with the song file located deep inside your new iTunes Music folder. (Or, just open your new iTunes Music folder and navigate until you see the copies of the folders you dragged into iTunes.)

When you're satisfied, you can start moving your iTunes folders off your hard drive and free up some valuable gigs!
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Easily move music between drives with iTunes 7 | 8 comments | Create New Account
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Easily move music between drives with iTunes 7
Authored by: j-beda on Oct 02, '06 07:47:32AM

I think you need to have the "copy files to iTunes folder" turned on for the files to actually be copied to the new folder - otherwise I think they just stay in the old one, and may get trashed if you are not careful!



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Easily move music between drives with iTunes 7
Authored by: notverypc on Oct 02, '06 07:59:28AM
There's also an Apple Support document detailing how this is done, here.

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Easily move music between drives with iTunes 7
Authored by: kirkmc on Oct 02, '06 08:05:11AM

This has been possible for ages... It's nothing new in iTunes 7.

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Easily move music between drives with iTunes 7
Authored by: crivera on Oct 02, '06 05:43:26PM

Not exactly. Using this method in iTunes 6 or earlier, the music would not be immediately identified by iTunes. You would have to get info for each of the items in the library and find them individually in their respective locations in the new folder.



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Easily move music between drives with iTunes 7
Authored by: wheeles on Oct 02, '06 08:54:33AM

I really wish iTunes would allow you to specify a different location for things like Movies and Podcasts. I subscribe to a lot of video podcasts like Photoshop TV and they can be 100MB each. It would be nice to put these on a separate drive or partition.



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Easily move music between drives with iTunes 7
Authored by: superg on Oct 02, '06 09:12:44AM

I always used the "Consolodate Library" feature in the Advanced menu. Does the same thing and you don't have to leave iTunes to do it. It's been there for a long time too.



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Easily move music between drives with iTunes 7
Authored by: xianman on Oct 02, '06 02:44:52PM

One problem with this is that if you unmount a drive that has some of your music on it, it will still remain listed in iTunes. When you try and play it you will get that little exclamation point mark.

I still think the best solution would be for Apple truly support multiple libraries that would show up as separate devices in iTunes, just like how iPods currently work but with external hard drives.



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Easily move music between drives with iTunes 7
Authored by: nostrings on Oct 03, '06 02:34:59PM

I recently ran out of room on the hard drive in my iBook. I moved all my music to a removable drive by changing the location that iTunes stores the music files and consolidating the library. This was in iTunes 6. It worked well for the music files, but not necessarily for videos & TV shows. Its also a pain to listen to the songs on the computer, cause I have to remember to fire up the removable drive before I open iTunes. If iTunes is already open, it won't find the songs and I have to restart iTunes to make it work.



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