Sunday, February 01, 2009

Technical question: external drives, macs and music

Okay, me and my mini-mac are going to anticipate the inevitable problem that will raise up its head sometime over the coming year. Most of my memory is taken up with music and photos. I know from good advice that iPhoto has to stay on my main hard drive (my mini-mac) but that my music COULD be relocated to my external drive. I currently use my external drive for Time Machine* and it is working very well and reassuringly.

QUESTION: can I partition my external drive (LaCIE) to be both the originator of my ITunes library AND simultaneously use it as the external drive for everything (including my iTunes)???

More importantly, I need an idiot's guide as to HOW to do this without making my head explode trying to read forums of know-it-all's telling me how simple it is before launching into incoherent technobabble. Basically I need a step by step guide that reads something like 'press this button here' and 'this button is located in (x) menu which can be found by clicking on the (z) icon on the (y) screen'.

I especially want to know how to get around the issue that though my external drive is large, obviously the backups created so far will be taking up quite a bit of space. SO... I'd prefer to do this partition and potential relocation of iTunes sooner rather than later.

SUB-QUESTION: some of my music was obtained through e-Music and may not be in the iTunes library (frankly I'm just not sure whether everything is where it should be!) How will this affect what I need to do?

I know this action will be obvious and easy to carry out once I get going but what I DON'T want happening is losing what I have got on my mac or drive in the process of creating the partition.

Please do feel able to direct me to helpful forums, but answers from those whom I know will understand my ineptitude with some degree of tolerance would be even more appreciated.

* And yes, I DO giggle every time I think of me having a Time Machine.


George said...

Well, I'll try for the easy one and say that it doesn't matter one bit where you got your music from. The 'library' file itself is more of a listing of all the music you have and where it is stored. In general, moving music around confuses the library file and you will need to re-import your music in iTunes from the new source.

This can have the side-effect of losing your play count information and once I even lost my playlists. These are both annoying events. There is nothing you can do about the former, but of course you can manually recreate your playlists if you write them all out first (I had and did!)

The rest of what you're after sounds possible but I've never tried such a thing!!

JoeinVegas said...

Is it blue?