Moving Music Without Telling iTunes

Q: I listen to lots of Classical music on my iPod, so it’s far more logical to file tracks by composer rather than artist. Last weekend, I shifted items around in the library on my PC creating folders for each composer, then taking the works (or albums) out of their old folders, which were under artists, at placing them in the new folders.

Last night I plugged by iPod into my PC only to find a message on my PC screen ‘Files under ***** ***** etc cannot be located’.

I tried various things but to no effect, and it still will not update my iPod.

Is there any way I can get iTunes to understand the new location of the files and update the system?

– Chris

A: When you move music on your computer, iTunes doesn’t know that you’ve done so. It doesn’t scan your computer to find your music, so it simply notices that certain files are “missing.” If you’re not concerned about your play counts and last play dates, the best way to remedy this is to remove all the music from your iTunes library (select it all, then press Delete, but don’t have iTunes move it to the trash), then re-import it all (select File > Open, and select the main folder it’s in).

In the future, remember that iTunes can organize your music for you (iTunes > Preferences > Advanced has two options for this). Some of us who listen to a lot of classical music find that it’s easiest to change the artist’s name to that of the composer. If you have check Keep iTunes Music Folder Organized in the aforementioned preferences, you’ll have folders organized by composer in this case.