mercoledì 23 novembre 2011

iTunes storage

Q: On computer A I have iTunes installed. The iTunes folder is on an external drive and the iTunes folder is specified in iTunes. iTunes works perfectly. The iTunes application on this computer was used to import songs.

On computer B I also have iTunes installed, with the iTunes folder specified as the same one on the external drive. I thought that was all that was needed to make iTunes work on the second computer but it doesn’t work at all. Do you know how to operate iTunes work with two computers and one external hard disk?

A: First of all it’s important to understand a bit about how iTunes works. It’s designed to manage your media for you without you having to worry about where the files are stored. That’s great on a single machine but when you want to move files or share them between systems it rather gets in the way.

Whilst iTunes stores media files in a location that you can change via the Edit menu under Preferences, it also has a database to keep track of everything. This is usually stored in your Windows My Music folder in a sub-folder labelled iTunes. The database path is not affected by your iTunes preferences and in fact prior to iTunes 7 you couldn’t change it at all.

What you need to do in order to share your tunes between two computers is to place the database on the external disk too. To do this, on computer A’s iTunes go to File/ Library/ Organise Library, check the Consolidate Files box and click OK. This will ensure all your media is on the external drive. You can now move the database, make sure iTunes is not running and copy the iTunes folder from My Music to the external drive.

Once you’ve done this launch iTunes whilst holding down the Shift key and it will prompt you to choose a library. Click Choose Library and browse to the iTunes folder you just copied to your external drive. You can now move the external drive to computer B and repeat this final step to select the library location. Note though that the iTunes database is not designed for multi-user access so if your external drive is on a network make sure that you don’t have iTunes running on both machines at once or it will become corrupted.

Start iTunes with the Shift key held down to select a new library location Start iTunes with the Shift key held down to select a new library location

Originally featured in PCU134


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