Q: I want to rip CDs and then transfer them to my iPod. However, I do not want the music to be stored on my computer’s hard drive. I want all the burned music to be stored to an external harddrive, then downloaded to my iPod. My objective is to not have any stored music on my computer harddrive. Can this be achieved?
A: Actually, this can be achieved quite easily, simply by specifying a path on your external hard drive as your “iTunes Music Folder” in your iTunes preferences.
To do this, simply go into iTunes advanced preferences by selecting Edit, Preferences from the iTunes menu, and then selecting the Advanced tab:
Change the path shown for the iTunes Music Folder to your local hard drive, and any CDs that you rip will be placed in this location instead of on your computer’s hard drive. Further, if you also check the “Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library” option, any music files that you import yourself from other sources will also be copied to this location during import.
Your iTunes library database will still reside on your local computer by default, but your media files will be stored in the location specified. The iTunes library database is used to store information about your actual media tracks and where they are stored, and doesn’t take up a lot of storage space compared to the actual media files themselves. If you would like to move this to the external hard drive as well, this is certainly possible, although a few extra steps are required. See our iPod 201 article, Managing your iTunes Library on an External Hard Drive for more information.