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?
- Report: Apple SVP Eddy Cue proposed bid to buy Time Warner
- Beta testing for Pokémon GO begins in the U.S.
- Apple’s plan to open stores in India hits a snag (Update: India’s finance minister ratifies ruling)
- Apple looking into charging stations for electric cars
- Apple hires hint at improvements in encryption, health monitoring
- Hyundai adds CarPlay support to more vehicles
- Plaintiffs file new motion to keep ‘Error 53’ Touch ID lawsuit alive
- Report: Apple developing Siri home speaker to rival Amazon’s Echo; will release Siri SDK at WWDC
- iOS Spotlight search now offers relevant results for some emoji
- Cook discusses ambitious plan to beef up Apple Watch’s health monitoring
- OtterBox Symmetry Series Hybrid Case for 12.9” iPad Pro
- Logitech Logi BASE Charging Stand for iPad Pro
- Twelve South TimePorter for Apple Watch
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- 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
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)