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itunes and external hard drive


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Being a relative noob to the iTunes world, I have what is probably a very basic question. But, as you say Chris, if I have the question I would bet others do too.


I get very confused reading discussions about an iTunes "library" versus the "library file", so I really don't want to go there. I'll just present my basic issue.


I have my music files on an external hard drive connected to an Airport Extreme. My Macbook black is my music server in my living room. I sometimes use another Macbook Pro to rip music via iTunes onto the external hard drive.


1. How do I get those songs ripped by the Macbook Pro to appear in iTunes on my Macbook black music server? and, (OK two questions)

2. Should I do something in iTunes on the Macbook black server to insure that I don't end up with duplicate files or the dreaded exclamation points?







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Hi Tim - This is a common question, thanks for asking. First I'll start with some basic definitions and then answer your specific question.


iTunes library - This is a single files located in your iTunes folder on both Macs. The file is pretty much a "database" of your music and where each track is located etc...


iTunes library file - Exactly the same as the above. Just a difference of terminology.


iTunes Music Folder Location - This is the location of all your music. It is set in the Advanced preferences pane of iTunes. This location is NOT scanned automatically by iTunes like the music folder location is scanned by many other application.


Now that we are both talking the same language, here is what happens when you rip a CD.


When you rip a CD iTunes places the tracks in your iTunes music folder location (pretty obvious I know) and iTunes updates your library with all the information about the CD. So, when you open iTunes from a computer that did not rip the cd it does not have any idea the new tracks are in the iTunes music folder location even if both computers are pointing to the same music folder location. Apps like MediaMonkey don't have this issue because it scans the location automatically. To get your library in sync with the music folder you can use the Add To Library function from the file menu. Browse to newly ripped content and add it to the library. You can also drag the new content to the iTunes window and it should work as well


You might want to play around a bit with adding to library so you get comfortable with exactly how it works. Let me know how it goes. I'm happy to help.






Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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Thanks Chris. A pretty basic function, I know, but one I wasn't sure about. Yes, Add to Library worked as advertised. It's too bad that iTunes doesn't scan like other applications, since now if I do a fairly large ripping session using the other machine I have to remember what's new and then pull them all into the server's library. No great tragedy though. Onward with my initial mass ripping!





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