iTunes newbie need help

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
I play my 11,500 songs on my desk top no problem. Now I want to play them from my laptop, which has limited storage space. I copied my "iTunes Music" file to external hard drive and plugged that hard drive into my laptop. I went to edit>preferences>advanced and changed the path to the location of my songs. Despite that, iTunes will only play the music that was pre-loaded on the laptop. All my songs come up with an message, "The song "xyx xyz xyz" could not be used because the original file could not be found. Would you like to locate it?" If I answer yes, I can find and play the file. It appears to make a duplicate entry in the library. Also, the vase majority of the 11,500 songs have an exclamation point beside them in the library.

I'll bet this is an easy setting tweak but...see the part about dummy! Any suggestions deeply appreciated!


  • Reply 1 of 1
    dentondenton Posts: 725member
    I'd be willing to bet that your iTunes Library file still believes that your music is stored on your desktop hard drive. Am I right that iTunes can no longer find your music when you have your external drive attached to your desktop as well?

    What might work is the following (though I've never tried to migrate my music, so this may not work as I expect).

    1. Return your music and iTunes Library file to its original location on your desktop. If you have done this correctly, you should be able to play all of your music in iTunes on your desktop as you always have.

    2. Open iTunes and go into Preferences (on the PC this is in the Edit menu, on the Mac it's in the iTunes menu). Click on the "Advanced" tab. In the "General" sub-tab, change the "iTunes Music Folder Location" to point to your external drive. For this, you will obviously need to have the external drive attached, and you will probably want to create a folder called "Music" on the external drive into which iTunes will put your music (next step). Once you've selected the "Music" folder on the external drive, click OK at the bottom of the Preferences. Now you have your library set-up to put any new music, podcasts, video, etc onto your external drive, however, everything that is currently in your iTunes is still on your desktop.

    3. Lastly, to get iTunes to move your music to the external drive (and know where it's all located), choose "Consolidate Library" from iTunes' Advanced menu. This will take a while. I'm not sure if iTunes copies or moves the music (probably copies, but who knows). After this action is completed, the iTunes music library ought to be stored on your external drive in the location that you specified in (2). If iTunes copies your music, you'll probably want to delete the original files from your desktop.

    4. Plug your external drive into your notebook and import the iTunes Library file to iTunes.

    The problem that I might foresee is that your notebook may map the external drive differently than your desktop. If this is the case, then your notebook will still not be able to locate your music (the exclamation marks that you have experienced) because it will be looking in a location that does not exist. If this is the case, I don't know what can be done to remedy the situation (there may be some way to specify how your notebook maps the external drive, in which case, you might be able to force it to map it in the same way as is done on your desktop -- I don't know how to do this).

    Hope it works out for you.
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