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Add Files to iTunes without Copying to Music Folder Apps
It's possible to add files (audio or video) to iTunes without copying them to the iTunes Music Folder, even when the preferences are set to copy files to this location. Just hold down the Command and Option keys and drag the file(s) to the main iTunes window (not the Dock icon). You'll notice that the plus-sign icon does not appear. iTunes adds the file(s) to your library, but the library's pointers are the files' location, wherever they are.

[kirkmc adds: Dang, I never knew this, and I thought I knew pretty much all of iTunes' tricks!]
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Add Files to iTunes without Copying to Music Folder | 11 comments | Create New Account
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Add Files to iTunes without Copying to Music Folder
Authored by: acidrich on Oct 03, '07 08:04:30AM

Great!! Ideal for Movies that I have dedicated drive for.

thanks for sharing



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Add Files to iTunes without Copying to Music Folder
Authored by: apapa on Oct 03, '07 08:41:23AM

Do you know how I can add a song to the library without dragging it into iTunes? Can I edit the Library file directly?



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Add Files to iTunes without Copying to Music Folder
Authored by: MurphyM on Oct 03, '07 08:58:25AM
Actually, save yourself some key presses! You only need to hold the Option key, not Command+Option. I posted this with some more information on Murphy Mac a few weeks back after first hearing it from The Mac Core in a podcast.

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Add Files to iTunes without Copying to Music Folder
Authored by: Hauberg on Oct 03, '07 09:04:39AM

Now how to make iTunes import the file without copying it but by moving it into the appropriate folder in the "iTunes Music" folder?



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Add Files to iTunes without Copying to Music Folder
Authored by: nickv2002 on Oct 03, '07 08:19:01PM
You could do this with AppleScript but it would basically have to add the file to iTunes and then delete the original... I'm not very good with AppleScript but perhaps check Doug's Scripts for iTunes.

I did a brief search but couldn't find anything already there that would do this... perhaps someone else can point us in the right direction? I'm thinking a droplet that would first add the dropped files to iTunes and then deleted the files would do the trick.

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Add Files to iTunes without Copying to Music Folder
Authored by: jjardoino on Oct 03, '07 10:38:12AM

I do that with the Option key only. Command key isn't needed.

---
jjardoino
France
http://www.graffitix.com



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Add Files to iTunes without Copying to Music Folder
Authored by: zzxx99rr on Oct 03, '07 11:05:44AM

I've been doing this for many months to avoid replicating large video files that are shared in different family member's iTunes. This way, I keep one large drive for all these files (on a USB drive that hangs off of an Airport base station) that everyone can access thru their own itunes.

I also have an AppleTV. Although I can sync any of the movies/shows to AppleTV the actual movie file is automatically copied from the USB drive. Works just fine but I was hoping that just the pointer would get transfered to the ATV instead so I could easily fit everything on to its 40GB disk.

Has anyone figured out a way to have ATV not pull the whole file down and only use the reference like iTunes can? This would make the complaints about the size of the internal disk a moot point.



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Add Files to iTunes without Copying to Music Folder
Authored by: Unsoluble on Oct 03, '07 12:29:53PM

Can't the ATV be set to stream video from the source, instead of copying it? I thought that was one of the major preference options. That's basically what you're wanting it to do, in your case.



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Add Files to iTunes without Copying to Music Folder
Authored by: nickv2002 on Oct 03, '07 08:25:48PM

Also note that this behavior is dependent on enabling "Copy Files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library" [in iTunes 7 this is] under the Advanced -> General preferences (which is on by default). If this option is disabled the option key will reverse it's behavior (in effect causing the added file to be copied to the library folder when normally it would not be).

I can also confirm that this key switching behavior has been around since the iTunes had the ability to automatically add files to the library and keep it sorted (which I think came in around iTunes 4 or so).



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Add Files to iTunes without Copying to Music Folder
Authored by: hankk on Oct 04, '07 07:42:34AM

Note that this is mentioned in the iTunes help, surprisingly enough under the section "Adding files to your library without copying them to your Music folder". Nevertheless a useful tip!



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Add Files to iTunes without Copying to Music Folder
Authored by: cupton on Jan 16, '09 09:15:40AM

So do you have to "Manually manage music and videos" in the iPod Summary tab with this trick? Ultimately what I want is to keep my movies on a separate drive from my iTunes music and still be able to have iTunes sync my music to my iPod and not touch my videos. The issue I am running into is that when iTunes sync's to my iPod it copies the music, but since my videos are in a differant location (or drive), it erases the videos from my iPod. I found out that I can "Manually manage music and videos" and keep my videos and music on my iPod, but it's a pain managing. Ultimately, it gives me what I want, but it would be nice if the music could sync over but not have my videos deleted when it's set to sync.



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