Monday, May 31, 2004

Merging or combining two iTunes libraries

October 18 2003: iTunes Library on an SMB Share
I'm linking to an earlier posting on a related topic.

I recently merged two iTunes libraries. The full story of why I had two libraries is fairly complex and involves using an iPod as a temporary remote iTunes library store (not the same as synchronizing an iPod with an iTunes library), creating a special user so I could manage two iTunes libraries on the same machine (one sitting on an SMB share, the other on an iPod based disk image), and doing delayed CD track name lookup. I might add notes on the full story as it has some interesting aspects - such as a high speed approach to importing CDs when one lacks a net connection, but here I'll concentrate on doing library mergers.

In this merger a "secondary" library is moved into a "primary library". In the "secondary" track names and album names are preserved, but playlists and ratings are lost.

1. My primary library is mounted on an SMB share. iTunes 4.0 used to have problems with some characters when one hosted a Mac itunes library on an SMB share but I haven't run into that lately. If a problem shows up, look for odd characters.

2. Secondary library should be located in a folder that contains only music. (Advanced preferences can be used to move iTunes libraries.)

3. Set primary and secondary library advanced preferences to "Keep iTunes library organized". (I used one user account to manage the primary library, another account to manage the secondary library. I think iTunes Library Manager can do this with one account but I didn't bother.) In my case the secondary library was on a share accessible from both accounts.

4. Update all tracks in the secondary library with CD track name lookup.

5. Switch to primary library. Using the Finder locate folder containing secondary library. Drag and drop folder containing secondary library music into an empty area on the left side iTunes bar.

That's it. The files are copied into the primary library. I imported 300 songs (all legally btw) without a glitch. Songs had their title, etc.

No comments: