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Danold

Synchronizing an iTunes/Music folder between Macs

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Hi: I am despairingly trying to establish a  work flow for synchronizing iTunes (now Music-) folders from one Mac to another without getting a complete mess. That means I am using two Macs in different places and carrying my 1.5+TB Music files (ALAC) between them. But if I add a new album at on location I want to have this album also in the other location.

 

For the time being I have done the meta-data work within iTunes and now in Music even though this new app is much less usable. And there is the catch: It does not always work to run a synchronizer app without getting a mess at one of the two locations. I am using Chronosync. Is CarbonCopyCloner more up to the task?

 

I'd indeed appreciate help in this unpleasant situation.

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I do it manually and avoid any potential mess.

 

I rip or download my files into one computer, import to the iTunes folder located in an external USB HDD (backup disc 1) then tag manually and add a cover image.

Once that is done I transfer the files to an SD card and import them, using a different computer, into the iTunes folder in the NAS (main server) that I used for streaming, which is located in a different network.

I also keep a copy the files in another external USB HDD (backup disc 2) that I keep off site.


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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Thanks. Just a few qustions:

1) "I rip or download my files into one computer, import to the iTunes folder located in an external USB HDD (backup disc 1) then tag manually and add a cover image. "

 

OK, fine.

 

2) "Once that is done I transfer the files to an SD card and import them, using a different computer, into the iTunes folder in the NAS (main server) that I used for streaming, which is located in a different network."

 

That's not quite clear to me. When you rip/import new music, there are several files that get changed including the artwork, .itl, .xml, and Music Library.musiclibrary. Do you drag all these files to the appropr places to replace the old versions?

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10 hours ago, Danold said:

Thanks. Just a few qustions:

1) "I rip or download my files into one computer, import to the iTunes folder located in an external USB HDD (backup disc 1) then tag manually and add a cover image. "

 

OK, fine.

 

2) "Once that is done I transfer the files to an SD card and import them, using a different computer, into the iTunes folder in the NAS (main server) that I used for streaming, which is located in a different network."

 

That's not quite clear to me. When you rip/import new music, there are several files that get changed including the artwork, .itl, .xml, and Music Library.musiclibrary. Do you drag all these files to the appropr places to replace the old versions?

 

No. All I do is add the new files to the second Library. Once the new music has been imported all those files will be updated.

 

I don't use Playlists but I think that you can export them from one Library (HDD #1) and import them to the other (HDD #2).

 

(in my case it's slightly more complicated because I have 9 different iTunes libraries, one for each genre, duplicated in all locations/HDDs)


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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This is fraught with difficulty. As said above, there are library files that need to be updated, it's not just putting the music files in their folder. 

 

Two options:

 

1 - Rip and tag the files, drag them to a portable storage device, then add them from that device to the second computer. You can either drag the files to the top of the iTunes / Music sidebar, add them to a playlist, or place them in the Automatically Add to iTunes / Music folder. 

 

 

2- Set up both libraries to use Home Sharing. Mount the first library on the second computer, then import all files not in the second computer's library. 

 

https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/itunes/itns56cd6f5/mac

 

 


I write about Macs, music, and more at Kirkville.

Author of Take Control of macOS Media Apps

Co-host of The Next Track podcast.

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1 hour ago, semente said:

(in my case it's slightly more complicated because I have 9 different iTunes libraries, one for each genre, duplicated in all locations/HDDs)

 

Why? That's needlessly complicated. There are plenty of ways to manage a large and complex library. 


I write about Macs, music, and more at Kirkville.

Author of Take Control of macOS Media Apps

Co-host of The Next Track podcast.

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29 minutes ago, kirkmc said:

 

Why? That's needlessly complicated. There are plenty of ways to manage a large and complex library. 

 

I agree that it is complicated but it's how it works best for me when browsing. I don't want to have rock mixed with classical music or jazz.

I have eight libraries for music – Rock, Soundtracks, Ethnic/Traditional, Jazz, Minimal, Clasical, Opera, Sacra – and one for Test tracks (pink noise, test tones, etc).

When I open the Classical library the Genres column in the Column Browser will show the period:

 

Baroque

Classical

Medieval

Modern

Other

Renaissance

Romantic


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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I used to have two libraries: classical and everything else. Now I list my classical genres like this;

 

Classical: Piano

Classical: Opera

Classical: Lieder

 

etc. 

 

I actually do want everything else mixed together. Is Bitches Brew really jazz? What about Hot Tuna? Rock or blues? 

 

Another option is to use playlists and/or smart playlists and view them in Songs view with the column browser. Each playlist can be one of your groupings, which you could put in any of a number of metadata fields if you still want to use Genre to browse: you could put it in Grouping, or in Comments. 

 

It just seems really complicated to have to relaunch the app every time you want to listen to a different genre. 


I write about Macs, music, and more at Kirkville.

Author of Take Control of macOS Media Apps

Co-host of The Next Track podcast.

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2 hours ago, kirkmc said:

I used to have two libraries: classical and everything else. Now I list my classical genres like this;

 

Classical: Piano

Classical: Opera

Classical: Lieder

 

etc. 

 

I actually do want everything else mixed together. Is Bitches Brew really jazz? What about Hot Tuna? Rock or blues? 

 

Another option is to use playlists and/or smart playlists and view them in Songs view with the column browser. Each playlist can be one of your groupings, which you could put in any of a number of metadata fields if you still want to use Genre to browse: you could put it in Grouping, or in Comments. 

 

It just seems really complicated to have to relaunch the app every time you want to listen to a different genre. 

 

Thanks for the suggestion but I already use Grouping and Comments for other things.

 

I don't mind relaunching iTunes, it's not much of a hassle. ⌘Q then ⌥ click on iTunes then select the Library I want.

Classical is large-ish and takes a bit to load...


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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I must be totally thick but what is wrong with the most obvious solution - copy everything within the iTunes folder to the disk connected to the second computer? After the first copy which will take a long time, use a back-up program (e.g. SuperDuper! for local or ChronoSync for cross-network copying) for subsequent updating which will be quick.


ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ running MinimServer with Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP for control >

Hi-Fi 1: Airport Extreme bridge > Netgear switch > TP-Link optical isolation > dCS Network Bridge AND PS Audio PerfectWave Transport > PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge Mk.II > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus Anniversary Edition .

Hi-Fi 2: Sonore Rendu > Chord Hugo DAC/preamp > LFD integrated > Harbeth P3ESRs and > Sennheiser HD800

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On each Mac, are your music files on the startup volume or a separate volume?

 

If the latter, are your "iTunes Library.itl" files in the parent folder of your music or in your user folder of the startup volume?


Mac Mini (2012 i7) > HQPlayer or Audirvana > exaSound e32 > Parasound JC-1 > Thiel 3.7

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3 hours ago, Bob Stern said:

On each Mac, are your music files on the startup volume or a separate volume?

 

If the latter, are your "iTunes Library.itl" files in the parent folder of your music or in your user folder of the startup volume?

 

I have identical copies of my libraries in three separate volume, 2 USB HDDs and 1 NAS.

 

I don't use the iTunes Library, I create my own custom libraries (see previous posts).

 

If you ⌥ click on iTunes (hold ⌥ until the contextual window pop's up) you have the option of creating a new Library which you can name as you see fit.

Cycling through Libraries requires that you restart iTunes.


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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2 hours ago, semente said:

I don't use the iTunes Library, I create my own custom libraries (see previous posts).

 

If you ⌥ click on iTunes (hold ⌥ until the contextual window pop's up) you have the option of creating a new Library which you can name as you see fit.

Cycling through Libraries requires that you restart iTunes.

 

That is the iTunes Library.  It's just that you have several of them.

 

In any event, I intended to direct my question to @Danold in order to suggest a solution.


Mac Mini (2012 i7) > HQPlayer or Audirvana > exaSound e32 > Parasound JC-1 > Thiel 3.7

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