Moving an iTunes library with iTunes Match enabled
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I already have iTunes match, with the home library on my macbook. I use a work MacBook, plus iPad and iPhone to access via iCloud. As the library is taking up so much space on my computer, I want to move it to an external hard drive. If I do this, will iTunes match still work - both on my home computer and other devices?
A: Moving your library with iTunes Match enabled won’t be a problem at all, and in fact the process is exactly the same whether you’re using iTunes Match or not—see our guide to Transferring your iTunes Library for more information.
The iTunes Match service works at the library database level, so it uses the information that’s already in iTunes to track your actual file locations. However, once the actual matching and uploading process is completed, you don’t technically even need to keep the actual files in your library, since you can stream or download them from iCloud to your original computer in the same way as you would for any of your other computers.
It is recommended that you keep a backup of your library somewhere, and if you’re using an external hard drive it’s usually just as easy to move your files there and keep them in your library. However, you could also just transfer your files to offline storage for backup purposes and then delete them from within iTunes. With iTunes Match enabled, you’re given the option when deleting a track to remove it only from your current iTunes library or remove it from iCloud; with the also delete this song from iCloud box Unchecked, the track will remain accessible in your iTunes library for streaming or you can re-download the matched version from iCloud at any time. For matched tracks this method can also be used to replace older, lower bit-rate tracks with the 256kbps iTunes Store versions.
Keeping the actual files in your library will of course be necessary if you’re still syncing music directly over USB or Wi-Fi to an iOS device or a traditional iPod model, or if you need to have access to your entire music library even when not connected to the Internet.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple releases first iOS 10.3, tvOS 10.2 betas
- Pokémon Duel released for iOS
- Report: India likely to reject Apple’s tax break requests
- Apple releases iTunes 12.5.5
- Apple releases tvOS 10.1.1, watchOS 3.1.3
- Apple releases iOS 10.2.1
- Foxconn considering $7B investment in ‘highly automated’ U.S. facility for Apple
- KGI: 3D Touch upgrade coming in new iPhone, Touch ID and facial recognition upgrades in future model
- Apple files lawsuit accusing Qualcomm of withholding patent royalties
- Apple releases updated iOS Developer Design Resources
- Revogi Smart Lightbulb, Smart Lightstrip, Smart Candle + Smart Meter Plug
- Audeze iSine10 In-Ear Headphones
- MOCACARE MOCACuff Connected Blood Pressure Monitor
- Apple AirPods
- Elgato Eve Motion
- Olloclip Core Lens Set for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Logitech Pop Home Switch Starter Pack
- Elgato Eve Light Switch
- iHome iPLWBT5 Docking Clock Radio for iPhone and Apple Watch
- Brydge 12.9 iPad Pro Keyboard
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10