Choosing a custom location for your iTunes Music folder

Q: I am using Microsoft XP Pro and have an 80 GB external hard drive. My songs are arranged by artist in their own folders and inside a main iTunes folder. When I load a folder to be added to the iTunes library, it creates an identical folder outside the grouping I have set up, effectively cutting my drive space in half. If I try to send the new folder to the recycle bin, iTunes won’t let me play the music until I bring it back to its original location. What am I doing wrong?

– Steve

A: It sounds like you want to put your iTunes music in a non-standard location, but haven’t chosen the appropriate settings in iTunes. iTunes’ Advanced Preferences holds the key to this problem.

First, it sounds like you have �?Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library�? checked. If so, iTunes copies the songs to the folder that you have designated as the iTunes Music folder. Look at the top section of this preference pane, and you’ll see the location of the iTunes Music folder. You can change that location, or, given the way you’ve described your setup, simply uncheck the Copy option mentioned above.

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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