Jump to content

Two ITunes Librarys - one for HiFi one for Portable.


Recommended Posts

Hi all,


I am just starting up on the whole media server set up and unfortaunly I have very limited cash (due to 2 lovely but expensive children!)


So what I have decided to do is take things very slowly and work from the bottom up. I am going to re-encode all my CDs for now into AIFF at 16/44.1 and then take it from there. I will then play then through my vista based PC and Arcam AVR250 home cinema receiver and can use my Ipod touch as the remote. Hopefully I will be able to get a dedicated DAC at a later stage.


What I want to do is to re-encode all my CDs to AIFF 16/44.1, for stereo playback though my Arcam amp - this will at least get me going. Whilst the size of these files are fine on my PC, this will not be accetable for my Ipod, so I need to also convert them to AAC or MP3 to make them that much smaller.


My approach is to do one massive encoding project of all my CDs into AIFF and put them into an ITunes Library called "HiFi", but then I need to convert them into another library called "Portable" wich will be all the music in "HiFi", but at a more convenient and smaller file size - such as MP3 or AAC.


So can I set up two Ipod Library's on the same PC to accomplish this and if so how can I do it? Also, if I can do this will it be easy to maintain going forward.


If there are other solutions out there, I would gladly like to hear them, but I really would like to keep the whole library(s) within ITunes.


I look forward to the CA word of advice...







nothing is easy.

Link to comment

I'm faced with the same dilemma as I embark on re-encoding all my discs. (I just ordered my new iMac and Drobo at lunch!)


The answer is yes:



However, the another easy way to do this is with a pair of Smart Playlists:


For example, you could set one playlist to "Bit Rate" "is greater than" "320" and set the other playlist to "Bit Rate" "is less than" "320"


Check the online help for more on smart playlists, or check out http://smartplaylists.com/ for more ideas.


You might also try a Google search for iTunes Multiple libraries







Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one.

Link to comment

Thanks Bill,


This is really heplful and althouth the smart playlist would work, I really want to set up two libraries for easy administration, but can I get two Itunes Libraryies set up that I can see within my opened Itunes application?


This way I can really easily manage my main "HiFi" library and see what I have got in my "Portable" libraray without having to reload ITunes every time.




nothing is easy.

Link to comment

Hi Dan, best of luck!! It seemed to take me for ever to convert all my albums (6500 tracks) from AAC to Lossless but once done and backed up...... I was just wondering when you mentioned wanting to use MP3 or similar for your Touch, whether you really need to create both a Hi and Low Fi libraries? The reason for asking is that the 16gb I have available on my Touch is more than enough. By creating/deleting playlists and dipping in and out with the contents of those lists, I very rarely exceed 10 or 11gb, and of that about 50% is made up of video. Even allowing for a worse case 8gb scenario, unless you are likely to be away from your PC for long periods of time, I was wondering, with careful housekeeping, whether you might get away with keeping all your files lossy free?. Just a thought.


I wonder, Bill, if you could let me know how you get on with your new Drobo. It has had luke warm reviews over here (UK) mainly on speed related issues, compared to the earlier model. I am very tempted by the QNAP TS-209 II although it would not be that hard to twist my arm up to a 4 bayer - all depends on when the Apple 'HDTV' makes a showing.


Link to comment

Hi Dan - I've gone through this exact thing a time or two. I have an iPod Touch, iPhone, iPod Shuffle, iPod 60GB, and iPod Classic 160GB. No stock in Apple, don't ask why so many :-) I originally wanted to do the same thing as you with two libraries, one for the best quality and another for balancing quality and file size for my iPods. To be honest the two library thing is a mess. The largest problem is switching your library location whenever you switch libraries. It would be very nice if iTunes matched all your settings to your library. For example the music location, the import format and sample/bit rate etc... It's just not there.


After many attempts at this solution and that solution etc... I settled with multiple smart playlists based on resolution. I have a playlist for everything such as 16/44.1, 24/96, 24/176.4, and 24/192. Then I have a playlist for Apple Lossless when I want that on my iPod. Sometimes I go for AIFF and other times I cram all the music I own on my Classic in 320 kbps mp3. You never know when you need that one song from back in the day :-) Then I set my iPod to sync with a specific playlist only.


The iPod Shuffle is the only iPod that works perfectly for hifi and low resolution because there is a check box to convert files at the time of syncing them. This way you have one version of AIFF files and they get converted to lower resolution and smaller files on the fly.


Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems AudiophileStyleStickerWhite2.0.png AudiophileStyleStickerWhite7.1.4.png

Link to comment

I created a new user account (on Mac OSX, Leopard) for the sole purpose of having a lossless audio library in itunes. Everything is ripped in Apple Lossless on a 500 GB external hard drive. I share the library so lossless music is at my fingertips, even if I'm logged into a separate account.





Link to comment

Hey Dan,


I don't think it's possible to view two different iTunes libraries from the same computer at the same time. However, if you have two different computers on your network, you could put one library on each and enable sharing in your iTunes preferences.


The other 'solution' would be to think of your 2 master smart playlists as your separate libraries, which, in effect, is what they'd be.






Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one.

Link to comment

Multiple iTunes libraries can easily be created. On a Mac simply hold down the Option Key (I assume Alt Key on a PC) whilst opening iTunes. A dialog box appears with an option of creating a new library. If wanting one library with uncompressed music and a second with compressed, firstly make the uncompressed one, then create a second library in which you deselect "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library" (iTunes Preferences/Advanced/General). Then select your compression rate (iTunes Preferences/Advanced/Importing). Then "Add to Library" (File Menu) all the uncompressed files from the first music folder. Select all of these files once imported and then select "Convert Selection to AAC (or MP3)" (Advanced Menu). Once done, you will have duplicates of each song but the uncompressed version will still be highlighted. Select "Delete" from the Edit Menu and the uncompressed files will be deleted from the second library. Of course, be careful not to select "Move Files to the Trash" when deleting these files.

Once done you have two libraries. One compressed, one uncompressed.

Be sure to do all editing and adding of artwork before adding the compressed files to the second library. All this information will be carried over to the second library and so save time.

When opening iTunes next time, hold down the Option (Alt) key and then select "Choose Library".



Link to comment

Thanks, this sounds like a great option. I will definatly give thyis a try. Regarding the question of whether I do need compressed audio as well, the answer is I do. I want to have most of my music on my Ipod - you just do not know what you may feel like listening too.


nothing is easy.

Link to comment

All, I also wrote this up in detail in an another thread. Do a search on for iTunes/Vista conversion and you'll find it - I think it might be in "software".


It's easy and works long term without much fuss - I've been managing the two libraries for 6 or 8 months for exactly the original purpose described and added a third requirement, being the source library to copy to my remotely located Apple TV




Link to comment

Hey Paul,


I believe this is the thread in which you describe how you went about creating and maintaining the 2 libraries:



After you initial conversion from your lossless to lossy library (How's that for assonance?), how do you go about keeping the two libraries in sync?


Do you rip and tag the CD in your lossless collection first, and then import and convert it to your iPod library?






Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one.

Link to comment

Bill, yes exactly. A little extra work but worth it. When I have a bunch of CDs to do, I make it really easy.


I rip them in the lossless main library as usual. Then, when the CDs accumulate in a little pile, I flip over to the lossly librarly. First, you "add folders" to get all the music in the library (the pointer to the lossless version obviously). Then, I have a playlist I called Converter into which I add just the new CDs I want to convert. Change the preferences accordingly, and press go. The whole playlist of new CD material is converted and that's it.


If it's something I desperately want on my ipod or need to take to the cottage for the Apple TV, of course I just do them one by one as you originally suggested.


BTW, I don't bother deleting the lossless entry from the library. I just leave it there and use the smart playlist feature to ensure that I am only looking at and ultimately copying the downshifted version to the Ipod or a memory stick for transport. When I have the time, I'll create a ">320kbps" smart playlist and get rid of the lossless pointers so things are absolutely clear.


Link to comment
  • 5 months later...

I fully understand above process and have done this accordingly.

But now I want to clear my HD of my MacBook Pro.

I want to have the AIFF itunes music on my external Seagate FreeAgent Go FW.

When I do serious listening in my listening room I attach my MBP to the Seagate and play AIFF.

On the HD of my MAcBook I want to keep a AAC 320 KB copy of these music files.


What I have done sofare:

I copied the "itunes Music" folder onto the Seagate drive.

I have created a library called "Itunes AIFF" (my existing original, just renamed) and created a second library called "Itunes AAC".

I have created from all AIFF files an AAC file; these 2 formats are now both still in the "Itunes AIFF" library.


What I want to do next and where I need help how to do this:

1. Move the AAC files into the new library "Itunes AAC".

2. Delete the AIFF files on the MBP harddrive, to gain more space again. ( I do have a further backup on an other external drive of all AIFF files).


Would be great if you could give me detailed advice - dont want to do things wrong, as it takes a hell of time as my library is big.



Audirvana Plus ->15"MBP 16GB 1TB SSD -> USB-> Intona USB Isolator -> USB -> Chord DAC ->Borbely Balanced Preamp->Active X-over-> 4 Class A Monoamps->3 Way SpeakerHeavens SE

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...