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Move some iTunes library items to different drive?

I am looking for a way to move SOME of my iTunes files to an external drive ...

I've painstakingly rated all 7000 tunes, but half my library is 1s and 2s, which I'd like to move to an external drive, 'cause I NEVER listen to them.

I'd love a brilliant way to do this w/o doing them 1 at a time.


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marked as duplicate by ChrisF, BinaryMisfit Dec 23 '09 at 15:48

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

There isnt really a way to acheieve what you want without either possibly loosing some of the metadata, or resorting to an unsupported hack. See my response to Move some iTunes library items to different drive?:

The 'supported' way

You can disable iTunes from copying music to the iTunes folder for future imports by going iTunes > Preferences > Advanced > Uncheck "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library". This will add all future files to the library, but it will not copy them into the iTunes folder, so make sure you do not delete the files after importing.

The downside to this is that iTunes will not be able to keep those folders organized, so you would have to put them into the folder structure you want BEFORE importing them.

enter image description here

The hacky way

After importing the items into your library, move them to your alternate location, then create a symbolic link to the new location of the file. You have to use terminal for this:

ln -s /new/file/location/Britney\ Spears ~/Music/iTunes/Britney\ Spears

Assuming you moved the Britney Spears to /new/file/location/. The \ is used to escape the space in Britney Spears. This is important.

I have not tested this myself, so I do not actually know if it will work. I will try it out later and update this post

After further pondering, I have hypothesised a modification of the first method that should let you keep your ratings. After unchecking "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library", move the songs with the lower ratings to the external drive. Now, when you try to play the moved tracks iTunes should complain about the missing tracks. When it does, point it to the files that you moved on to the external drive.

If this works, it would be a tedious, song-by-song process which may be impracticable for a large amount of songs.

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