saving "Itunes 4 Music Library" to an ext. HD, how to?

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Here's my question:



how can i set up iTunes so that it saves my 'iTunes 4 Music Library' file to an exteranl HD and so that it reads from here in the future?



here's my problem:

i have my entire iTunes music library on my external hard drive and im thinking of sharing this HD between two computers of mine. But if i do i want them to both use the same Music Library. I dont want them to just use the same music files, but to keep track of exactly the same stats (eg. playcount, last played, etc).



I think that if i could convince iTunes to save the Music Library file to the HD, then i could use the same one on both computers, right?



aslo, when i got to my dad's house i take my HD with me, but because i dont have the file on there it means that when i get there it loads them all into iTunes and they've got no playcount data, etc.



ive had a look and i cant see any preference options in iTunes that will do this. Or if iTunes cant do it, then does anyone know of an app or an apple script that can?



-that's all, thanks

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    dhagan4755dhagan4755 Posts: 2,148member
    That's a tricky situation. There's many ways to attack this one, and the easiest I think is looking into getting an iBook or PowerBook. Be that as it may, if your external drive is a Firewire drive, you could conceivably put OS X on it, and boot from it when you go from computer to computer. Otherwise you're going to be stuck with the misery of copying the iTunes Music preference file to its specific spot in the home directory on each of the computers.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    spiers69spiers69 Posts: 418member
    Booting from an extrenal Firewire drive.... would it seem any slower? Also, is there anyway i could have only MY user account on the HD (This exact account im using now) and keep my sister and mother's accounts on computer's HD?
  • Reply 3 of 8
    spiers69spiers69 Posts: 418member
    also, if i had my User Account on the HD and my sister and mother's still on the computer (assuimg i can do that), what would it look like when i started the computer? would all three accounts still appear at the Login window?
  • Reply 4 of 8
    blue2kdaveblue2kdave Posts: 652member
    Hi there,



    I have been attempting what you are dexcribing for several years now. Here's my advice. Personally I would recommend a G-Raid for your external device, since you don't want ot go through the ripping process again when your drive crashes (and it will). Then, turn on file sharing on your Mac with the external drive. On yor other machines, mount your external and set your local iTunes prefeences. Under advanced set your default folder to the networked drive. Another solution is to name your main folder on the firewire drive iTunes Music., and create aliases in your local ~/Music/iTunes folder (cool trick,,,, command-option dragging creates an alias of an object). Now, whenver you rip from any machine the files are in your main library. If you want to share playlists, do that within iTunes sharing. Don't try to use the method you descibed, of two seaarate apps accessing the same prefs and music folder. I promise, you will wreck your data. You will not be able to share ratings and play counts, but it works. All you have to do is regularly reimport your main library with command-O.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    spiers69spiers69 Posts: 418member
    blue2kdave, what you described sounds very useful, thank you! when i get my second computer i'll try it out.



    one question though...



    "All you have to do is regularly reimport your main library with command-O...."



    You mean from within iTunes obviously, but what will this do? And when would i need to do it? Everytime i shut down both computers? Or is this a way of attempting to keep the stats the same? Instead of having both computers use the same file i simply import the file every time i make changes?



    also, what is a G-Raid and what does it do? And what's its retail price?



    i hope im making sense. thanks
  • Reply 6 of 8
    blue2kdaveblue2kdave Posts: 652member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by spiers69

    blue2kdave, what you described sounds very useful, thank you! when i get my second computer i'll try it out.



    one question though...



    "All you have to do is regularly reimport your main library with command-O...."



    You mean from within iTunes obviously, but what will this do? And when would i need to do it?




    No, I should have been more clear. You only have to reimport from your satellite macs whenever you have added new songs from a different machine. For example if you rip three new CDs on your main machine, you will need to do the command O thang on of you other machines using the main library. Even though the files will be put in the main folder, iTunes does not rescan the main library at launch each time. In fact, even if you reset the library folder in preferences and it rescans the library, it is only looking for what is already in its current library. By adding the library to itself, iTunes will rescan the main folder adding only the new material (you don't get duplicates).



    Couple of things to look out for though. Occasionally iTunes resets its main folder to local HD for some reason. This is why I started using aliases instead of setting the root music library to a network mount in preferences BTW. If you have set the main library to the network drive, and left "copy files to iTunes music folder checked), aannnd your machine has reset to the local drive, iTunes will try to copy your entire library to your root drive when you do the Command O. You might want to turn off "keep iTunes organized" as well, except for your main machine.



    Quote:

    also, what is a G-Raid and what does it do? And what's its retail price?



    i hope im making sense. thanks




    Google is your friend, but here ya go A G-Raid is a product made by these guys that looks like a shruken G5. I have three of them. You may have heard of RAIDS, but basically a G-Raid is a little case that has two hard drives in it, but shows up as one on your desktop. Whenever you write a file to the RAID, you are actually getting two copies. That way if one goes down, you plop another in and it rebuilds itself (in theory). You can make a RAID out of two firewire drives on any Mac, but I had problems with this.



    Good luck, and I'll check back to see if you have more questions.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    spiers69spiers69 Posts: 418member
    thank you so much blue2kdave! you've been great. when i finally get some money together i'll let you know how it all goes - but it sounds promising!



    the idea of comand o-ing my iTunes 4 Library file makes sense now - it's basically to keep my computer in check with what's on the family's computer (which would be quicker for ripping CDs).



    Also, you talked about iTunes occasionally swapping back to your computer's HD from your ext. HD.... i've had this happen, but only when i forget to turn on the ext. HD or when it seems to eject itself (if i haven't been using it for a while, it seems to eject itself - as if it feel unwanted.. poor thing). I just have to make sure i turn on my ext. HD before ripping CDs.



    i'll check out the G-Raid now.

    Thanks again
  • Reply 8 of 8
    one last thought, try the alias solution. it eliminates the reset issue, and iTunes will automatically mount the drive when launched. just remember to set your main machine to never sleep.



    oh, to brag, i am not done yet, but i am re-ripping everything in lossless. about 3/4 done, 250GB so far...
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