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?
- WSJ: Apple brings in trusted executive Mansfield to head Apple Car project
- CarPlay to be available in all 2017 Ford models
- Rumors claim new iPhone will be released Sept. 16, could have ‘iPhone 6 SE’ name
- Photos claim to show alleged ‘iPad Pro 2’
- Apple to sell limited-edition Olympic Apple Watch bands exclusively in Brazil
- Report: iPhone 7 will include Lightning adapter instead of Lightning EarPods
- Edward Snowden designing device to prevent iPhone wiretapping
- Report: Apple Car team running into challenges, launch may slip to 2021
- Corning announces Gorilla Glass 5
- Apple under fire for providing refurbished replacements under AppleCare+
- Netatmo Tags for Welcome Smart Home Camera
- iDevices Socket HomeKit-enabled Light Adapter
- Koogeek Wi-Fi SmartPlug for Apple HomeKit
- Marbotic Smart Letters for iPad
- Ecoxgear Sol Jam Bluetooth Speaker
- Gumdrop Cases DropTech Case + Hand Strap for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Braven BRV-1M Bluetooth Speaker
- Braven BRV-Blade Bluetooth Speaker
- Invoxia Voice Bridge
- Incase Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2
- 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
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app