Syncing iPod to a laptop when travelling
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 frequently travel with my iPod classic. I keep my music on a removable drive which I don’t take on the road. If I sync the podcasts without the external drive plugged in, iTunes removes all my music. I’ve found that Winamp will manage the music just fine, but its interface with podcasts is a bit clunky. With no particular loyalty to iTunes or Winamp, what’s the best way out of this dilemma? I can’t be the first person to want to sync a podcast on the road.
A: If you are using the same iTunes library database and simply disconnecting your external hard drive, there should not be any problem with your music being removed if you sync your iPod while the hard drive is disconnected. iTunes will not remove content from your iPod as long as it remains listed in your iTunes library database, regardless of whether the actual files can be found or not.
To make this work properly, you should leave your iTunes library database in its default location on your laptop’s hard drive (ie, your C: drive), and simply point your iTunes Music folder to the external hard drive under your iTunes Advanced preferences. When your external hard drive is disconnected, iTunes will show exclamation marks beside any tracks that are on the external hard drive, but syncing your iPod will not result in these tracks being removed from your iPod, since they are still listed in your iTunes library.
In fact, when your external hard drive is not available, iTunes will simply revert to the default iTunes Music folder location on your C: drive, so you can download podcasts, and even purchased tracks and import CDs while you’re travelling. When you return to your desk, simply connect the external hard drive and restart iTunes. The Music folder will revert back to the external hard drive location, and you can transfer any content that you downloaded or imported while on the road back to the external hard drive by using the Advanced, Consolidate Library option.
You can find more information on this in our iPod 201 article, Managing your iTunes Library on an External Hard Drive.
- 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?
- Universal calls an end to exclusives amid criticisms that Apple Music is hurting the industry
- Apple reveals some of its upcoming AI advancements for the iPhone
- Apple Music’s royalty rates complicate Spotify’s contract negotiations
- iFixit highlights ‘Touch Disease’ affecting many iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models
- Rebranded Nike+ Run Club app adds new tracking abilities
- Apple Music Festival set for Sept. 18-30
- Report: Apple planning three iPhone models for 2017, one with curved OLED display
- Apple investigating after two Foxconn employees died last week
- Apple buys health data startup Gliimpse
- Report: Apple passes on Lyft acquisition
- Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected Bluetooth Toothbrush
- Audeze EL-8 Titanium Over-Ear Headphones
- Defined Corp Dome Stand for Apple Watch and iPhone
- Speck StyleFolio Pencil for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Audeze Sine On-Ear Headphone
- First Alert Onelink Wi-Fi Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm
- Logitech Create 9.7” iPad Pro Keyboard Case
- iDevices Outdoor Switch Power Outlet
- 808 Audio Canz XL Bluetooth Speaker
- Standzout Helix Dock for Apple Watch
- 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