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Saturday, February 02, 2008


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You can have more than one iTunes library. You might want multiple libraries so that you could, for example, have a library of holiday music that wouldn't appear in your Party Shuffle mix the rest of the year. Or you could use separate libraries to keep your music on your computer and your movies on an external hard disk.
To create or use a different iTunes library:
If iTunes is open, quit it.
Hold down the Option key while you open iTunes.

In the dialog that appears, do one of the following:
To create a new library, click Create Library.
To choose a different library, click Choose Library.

You can name your iTunes library (the folder containing all of your iTunes content and the iTunes Library file) whatever you like and store it anywhere.

I have no issues with deleting podcasts. Every-time I delete a podcast a dialogue box appears that asks me if I want to keep the file or move it to the trash.

In order for the tracks to appear in the same folder the info on those tracks needs to be the same.

You can also set up the iPhone/iPod to sync manually. I think there is an option to for full resolution photos (why you would want this on either device I don't understand but to each his own).

What lock in approach are you speaking of? If you let iTunes manage your music the music & media files are in the music folder...not very difficult to locate especially if you own a Mac & use spotlight for searches. Those files can be removed or copied manually to wherever you want. You can also tell Itunes not to manage your libraries...you can do that yourself if you so wish.

Maybe it's time to check the help files in iTunes. Hope this helps.


hello jsa. thanks for your comment.

what you are describing is the theory (how things should work), and what i was describing is how thing are actually working. maybe i should have added that i am using iTunes 7.6 on windows, and it could very well be that iTunes on a mac behaves more consistently.

lock-in means: you have no freedom of using your iPhone or iPod without iTunes. for example, if my laptop crashes, i will have a hard time recovering my music from the iPod (which i see as a backup), because apple's idea is that you should not be able to copy music from an iPod to a computer. other mp3 players are more open and allow me to choose freely how i want to move my data. apple forces me to use iTunes to copy music to the iPod, and this is what's called lock-in. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vendor_lock-in tells you more. apple actually faced a number of lawsuits because of this strategy.


The complaint you have about iTunes and its management technique is similar to one that was talked about years ago by folks who didn't want what iTunes is: a value-added front-end to the file system database. I'm not excusing it, but at least here's how I describe it:

Value-added: it plays music and does lots of sorting for you
front-end: it manipulates what is in the file manager (Finder or Explorer) but does not synchronize with changes you make in the Finder.

So, iTunes depends on the file manager being well-behaved. Your drive with the music has to be mounted for iTunes to have access to it. (For iTunes to store your music in a different location when your drive isn't mounted is a savior mechanism - you can do things even when your drive is missing.) Also, iTunes expects you not to mess with the iTunes Music folder, which iTunes organizes, not you. If you mess with it, it has no way of knowing what you did. (If you're deleting your podcasts from the file manager and not the program, the database won't know the music is gone.)

Like I said, these are debatable choices, and they were debated a long time ago when iTunes first came out. For what it's worth, Apple treats Mail the same way - you could manipulate the Mail files from the Finder, but why?! iCal is the same, and the new Filemaker product, Bento, is a different UI for existing data, as well. Daring Fireball referred to this as a library-based app, and that's what they are. Sorry that it's causing you problems, but perhaps the mindset choice Apple made helps you understand it a bit better.


hello mc. thanks for your comment.

sure, iTunes has made certain design choices which could have been made differently, but were chosen for some reason. but even if you choose such a design, it is not so hard to implement it so that it works smoothly and consistently. for example, it is simply bad implementation when i can see the right file path in a podcast and can even play it, but when i delete it, only the entry in iTunes is deleted, but not the file. it is just that bad implementation of data management that i was writing about, and that makes me particularly nervous when i am managing large amounts of data and cannot check everything to be done right, but when i occasionally do it, i find quite a number of cases where things went wrong.


The iPod can be used in disk mode for back up. Set the iPod to MANAGE MUSIC MANUALLY. It acts just like an external hard drive. Your music can also be moved to whatever device or drive you like from the Windows file system. You can also hold down the ALT key while dragging the file from iTunes to the desktop it will copy the file to that location. There are plenty of free 3rd party apps that allow you to move your music from the iPod to your computer. If you buy another device from another company are you saying your MP3's & unprotected AAC files can not be transfered to that other device? If so, you're wrong...how is that lock in.


It took a simple Google search to find this:

What lock in? If you are talking about Protected AAC files from the iTunes store. The DRM can be easily stripped away by burning a CD & importing the files again or using 3rd party apps to do this. WMA is a DRM scheme also...only it is not cross-platform. That seems like more of a lock in to me.


hello jsa. thanks for your comment.

if i do as you suggest and just use my ipod as a usb disk, then i have two copies of all of my songs on the ipod: one for listening that has been copied by itunes to the right location on the ipod and the database has been updated to reflect that, and another copy on the disk part, which is not used for listening at all. that does not sound like good data management to me.

and yes, there hacks around the limitations of the ipod and itunes, but you either need a different management software on the pc that creates the structures that the ipod expects, or you need to run a different ipod firmware. that's possible, but it is pretty far from what apple supports and has nothing to do with itunes.

Matthew Buchanan

I have an opposite, related problem. I had a podcast file which I downloaded on another Mac and then dragged into iTunes on my PowerBook. I watched the podcast and trashed the physical file. iTunes still has an entry for the podcast, because I can see it in the Recent Additions smart playlist (and it tries and fails to sync with Apple TV). It doesn't show up in my main library, presumably because it's filetype was set to "Podcast" and these files are handled separately. Any suggestions for removing it from iTunes completely?

Matthew Buchanan

May have found the solution elsewhere, which is to Option-Delete the entry. Forces deletion of item, even from a smart playlist apparently.

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