Friday, December 31, 2010

Moving Itunes? Here's How!

I have a lot of music. I spend a lot of time listening to it. My ipod has 100 gig of music on it and I rotate the tunes from my itunes library on my computer.

So.... when the music folder on my hard drive got so big that it wouldn't fit, I bought a big hard drive and proceeded to move the music from one drive to the other.

This is actually not a big deal, just copy or move the my music folder from one place to another and then just remind windows where it is. In Windows 7, just hit the start button and right click on music. On of the options will allow you to select where Windows will expect to find music.

So far this is easy. Now open itunes. Oops. it can't find the itunes.itl file and so it makes its own. You are pretty much toast, all your playlists, checked songs etc are gone and itunes doesn't know where the music is.

Here is the trick that I learned... and you should use.

Start itunes with the shift key depressed. Then you can tell itunes where the .itl file is and voila, you will be good to go.

However, itunes still may need to relocate your actual music. Just select a couple of tunes, if there is a grey exclamation point next to the song name, then itunes has lost the location.

I bet there is a way to hack the .itl* file but for me it was easier to select all my tunes in itunes and add them all again. This gave me a new chance to organize the music the way I wanted it. Classical in one folder, vocalists in another etc.
I love my ipod but I hate itunes. At least now I can move it around without too much trouble.

One more quick note. My music is stored on my computer at the highest quality that is available. I'm not sure what the future holds but I want the best sound that I can store. When I load my ipod I use the convert to 128K AAC option. To load an ipod from scratch, i.e. 0 to 100 gig, takes more than a day because it has to convert each song as it loads. By the way, 128K is half the size of 320K on the ipod so it may be worth converting. Can I hear the difference? I don't think I can.
*in fact you can hack the itunes.xml file and then destroy the .itl file. I'm told that this will cause itunes to create a new .itl file based on the .xml file. I won't try this, at least not with the size of my library.