iTunes and an External Hard Disk | iLounge Article


iTunes and an External Hard Disk

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Q: I store my music on a removable hard drive with my laptop. My problem is that iTunes does not know where the music is at once the drive has been removed and then hooked up again. What can I do to make iTunes know where my music is stored besides going through each song and showing iTunes where to look?

- Peter

A: In order for iTunes to work with a library on an external hard disk you have to first choose the appropriate music folder in iTunes Advanced preferences. Then, you must connect and mount the hard disk before launching iTunes. If you do this, iTunes will have no problems finding your music. If, however, you connect and mount the hard disk after iTunes has launched, the program will have already looked for your music and not found it. You should also quit iTunes before you unmount the drive to avoid any such problems.

Kirk McElhearn is the author of several books including iPod & iTunes Garage. His blog, Kirkville features articles about the iPod, iTunes, Mac OS X and much more.

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As far as having multiple iTunes “accounts”, if you’re on a Mac, have a sepparate Mac OS X account for you and your wife, and you will be able to maintain two sepparate libraries.

If you’re on a PC, I think this will work with Windows as well.

Posted by mattwardfh on March 29, 2005 at 3:42 PM (CST)


How do I download my old LP records onto my laptop so I can get them into my Ipod? I also have loads of cassette tapes I’d like to transfer as well.  Anyone out there know about this stuff?
Pete 61

Posted by pete61 on March 30, 2005 at 2:03 PM (CST)


I thought it went into “deep sleep” mode after 36 hours? That’s what I’ve read everywhere else, anyways.

Apple’s page about this.

Posted by YHELOTHUR on March 30, 2005 at 5:40 PM (CST)


Thanks for the correction on deep sleep. I’ve seen variable times for this - Apple says “about 36 hours”; in my tests, I’ve seen both a bit less and a lot more than that. (Yes, I have actually tested it… took a long time…)

Posted by Kirk McElhearn on March 31, 2005 at 3:42 AM (CST)


Regarding the comment on the accounts question… The question was one of many that we’ve received for the column. Most people asking want to share the same iTunes library, with the same playlists. When you create two accounts (which is great for some users) you have to have some music in both iTunes Music folders. If you do want to truly share libraries, though, the only way to do it is to use the method described above. (At least until Apple adds multiple libraries to iTunes; with the number of multi-iPod families, I expect this to be added soon. Maybe in iTunes 5?)

Posted by Kirk McElhearn on March 31, 2005 at 3:44 AM (CST)


I would like to just make 5 to seven seconds snippet of each song in a selected Playlist.
I would like to then play each 5 - 7 seconds song, stop it and ask people who is it by, name of song etc…. Kind of like ‘name that song”
Is there a way to do this?
Thank you in advance

Posted by Red Devil 1968 on April 1, 2005 at 2:34 PM (CST)


I have attempted to connect my ipod to a stereo using the RCA jacks. However, when I play music it only comes out of one speaker. I have tried different cords and different stereos all with the same result. When I play the Ipd throough headphones it comes out both sides. Any ideas what I am doing wrong.

Posted by marc3211 on April 2, 2005 at 1:48 AM (CST)


when is a new ipod going to come out or is there a ipod 5th generation going to come out?

Posted by soulreapor on April 2, 2005 at 1:52 PM (CST)


To answer mattwardfh’s question, yes if you have separate users in Win 2000 or XP each can have a separate iTunes library.  But as Kirk said, these will be completely separate and must be maintained individually.

Posted by mtully on April 2, 2005 at 11:31 PM (CST)


This is purely speculation, but could you not have some music in a shared folder, and some music in different personal folder?  This way, the music that both want is in both libraries, and each one’s “personal” music will not show up in any of the other accounts.

You couldn’t use the feature to copy music to the iTunes folder, among other things, but it seems like it has the potential to be a solution to the problem.

Posted by Third on April 3, 2005 at 11:41 AM (CDT)


When I use itunes music store it won’t let me copy the files downloaded to a cd+rw disc, why and can I fix this?

Posted by ghjcrazy on April 4, 2005 at 1:59 PM (CDT)


Hey Pete61,

I recently transferred LPs to computer using Adobe Audition, but that is very expensive, and you probably won’t know how to use it. Basically, what you need is a way to plug the sound from your record player into your computer. If you have a standard male plug from your record player (like the one on your iPod headphones) then it should plug straight into the sound card at the back of your computer. If not, then try and connect up the headphone out port on your stereo system to the sound card on your computer. I did this with a guitar lead, and an adaptor to change down a size. Sort this first, and ask at an electronics store for adapters if you need help.

Next. I am on Windows, so I can’t help with programs if you’re on Mac, but someone will know. There is a very useful guide to copying LPs to computer on, have a hunt around there. They recommend a program called Goldwave. A free one is Audacity. Basically you just have to record the sides of the LP as whole tracks in real time to your computer. Connect up some decent speakers to your computer and listen along, invite friends around and make a day of it - is it takes some time. Same deal with the Cassettes - link up the headphone out of your stereo system to the computer. Email me if you have specific problems, i’ll see what I can do. It’s not hard once you get it set up, just takes a bit of plugging about until you get it right.

Check out for sure, they are likely more pro than me at it!

Posted by MisterMiagi on April 5, 2005 at 2:29 AM (CDT)


is it possible to get an internal 20G ipod (4G) battery that lasts more than 8HRS and without voiding my warranty

Posted by wambiru on April 15, 2005 at 8:30 AM (CDT)


I received my 40GB Ipod for my Bday, and my brother downloaded music from his I-Tunes to my Ipod.  The problem is that when I download music to my personal I-tunes, I am unable to transfer the music from my personal downloads and combine them with the music that is currently on my Ipod.  Is there a way to get around this problem?  Otherwise I have to delete 3000 songs that I would just rather add to.  Any help is appreciated.  Thanks

Posted by Tedotw on April 29, 2005 at 7:57 AM (CDT)


I have two iPods.  One is a 10 GB touch wheel with 1.5 software, the other a 60 GB Photo with 1.2 software.  Pause while playing a playlist, go away for a week, then try to resume playing.  The old model picks up where it left off.  The Photo reboots and loses its place.  I like the old behavior, hate the new.

I have read the description of Deep Sleep in

but am unsatisfied.  The device has a 60 GB disk.  The OS can’t need more than a few KB to save the device’s context before entering Deep Sleep, so that it can restore this context when it wakes up.  Or is this hibernation, supported only on the nano and on 5G models?  (BTW, Apple should fix the misspelled “Hiberation”.)  How hard can it be to retrofit this feature to older models?  It doesn’t need a UI, since it should be the default behavior.

Posted by Art Wong on November 23, 2005 at 1:20 PM (CST)

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