How to use an external HD with iTunes

May 25, 2014
 by Paul McGowan

In many cases we may wish to use iTunes as our media interface, especially if we use an add on program to help iTunes sound good such as, Bit Perfect, Amarra, Pure Music, Audirvana.  And when using iTunes as the media organizer for ur library, we may also wish to store our media on an external hard drive.

iTunes allows users to choose where their music libraries are located: either locally or over a network.  By default, iTunes stores music and media on the computer’s main internal hard drive, in a folder labeled iTunes.  If you wish to change this location it is easy.

Open iTunes->Preferences->Advanced to see the location of the iTunes library.  You may select Change if you wish to use an external hard drive or NAS.  You must first make sure the desired drive is attached and recognized by your computer.  Once you select this drive, all music that iTunes manages will be accessed on this drive.

You will also note there is a checkbox that allows for iTunes to always copy any new additions to the iTunes to this location or not.

Screen shot 2014-05-25 at 7.04.09 AM

One comment on “How to use an external HD with iTunes”

  1. The above process is fine for making iTunes media accessible to other music players in addition to iTunes but suffers from the drawback that ‘house-keeping’ of the library (ripping CDs, editing meta data etc) can only be done by the single user / computer who has the top-level ‘iTunes’ folder: Users/Paul/Music/iTunes in the example above.

    The entire iTunes library, including meta data etc, can be put on an external disc by moving the top-level iTunes folder and its contents to an external disc. When iTunes is first run after the move it will request a path to the library. Once this is set (e.g. Musicdisc/iTunes/) the library can be accessed as normal, not only from the User ‘Paul’ computer but by other users on the same computer. In addition the disc can be plugged into another computer and the library accessed.

    I find this facility very useful as I can put the library on the NAS connected to our home network and access the library from wherever I wish. One needs to be aware of course that iTunes cannot be run simultaneously by 2 or more users trying to access the same library. As I only use iTunes to personally do all the library housekeeping, music can be played simultaneously from the library using either JRiverMC/JRemote and/or MinimServer/Audionet server/player software.

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