Manually synchronize your songs

Q: The hard drive on my laptop is full, and I need to move some of my music off the computer and onto a DVD. Is it possible to keep the files in the iTunes Library even though they are elsewhere? I do not want to remove the songs from the iPod. I understand I can change to manually synchronizing my iPod in order to keep the songs in the iPod even if they are out of the Library.

Should I forget it and just remove the songs from the Library and rebuild it later if necessary?

– Nancy

A: If you want to keep the songs on the iPod, your best solution is to synchronize manually. Yes, you can leave the “songs” in the iTunes library even after you’ve removed them from your hard disk: iTunes will display these songs with an ! before their names. However, each time you sync, iTunes will tell you that it can’t find the songs.

When you put the songs back, you have to make sure that they are in the exact same location on your hard disk as they were before, otherwise iTunes will not find them.

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.