Right now, I have all my music on my internal hard drive, but it is running out of space.

So, I bought an external hard drive, copied all my music over and went into the advanced preferences in iTunes and changed my music location. However, when I view the iTunes music library XML file in notepad, I still see a lot of things pointing to my regular hard drive.

I didn't check the Keep music files organized tickbox because I didn't want iTunes trying to copy everything over from my regular hard drive, as I already did that.

Is there any other way to simply refresh a music list that's been given a new root directory?


This article may help you.

Managing your iTunes Library on an External Hard Drive


Okay, here's my brief summary for users of iTunes 9:

I've purchased a new SSD system drive and wanted to migrate my old iTunes Media folder (~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music) to a harddisk. At the same time I wanted to rename the folder from iTunes Music to the new name iTunes Media. Apart from that I also wanted to keep the iTunes database (referencing the media files) on the system SSD (for better performance). Here's how I accomplished this:

  1. Create a new, empty media folder on the 2nd harddisk. In my case /Volumes/WesternDigital320GB/iTunes Media.
  2. Go to iTunes Preferences->Advanced->iTunes Media folder location and change it to this new location. iTunes now updates the file paths in its database to the new location but does not copy the files.
  3. Then go to File->Library->Organize Library... and select Consolidate Files and click Okay. Now iTunes copies the files from ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music to the new location.
  4. Verify that the contents of both directories is the same. Afterwards you can manually delete the media files at the old location (~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music).

On my Mac i've made a symlink so that the default iTunes folder points to the location on my (wireless) hard drive.

Maybe you can do the same with Junction? It works great, but AFAIK only supported from XP. I use it all the time on my (work) Vista machine. Don't know how the Windows iTunes version will react on it though (but since it's an NTFS feature, it should work OK)


One last step! You need to "Consolidate Library" (look under the File menu) which will move your iTunes folder to the external disk. Good luck!

  • will this just update the XML library file or will it try to copy over files from my hard drive to the external hard drive. – leora Aug 27 '09 at 13:48
  • as mentioned in the post, i have already moved the data, i just need the XML file to be regenerated. I guess i could manually do it in notepad (find / replace) – leora Aug 27 '09 at 17:27
  • Like I said, Consolidate Library just puts all the media in the location you specified in the Advanced options. The XML never moves nor do you need to do anything with it manually. Let itunes handle it. – user8095 Aug 31 '09 at 13:59

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