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Ruprecht
Jul 8, 2006

I decided to sleep in the car so my snoring wouldn't bother you, but I left that recording of my snoring so you wouldn't know I'm gone.

f#a# posted:

Not if you're using an external hard drive on OS X. Believe me, I've tried every way I can think of, and not letting it manage files is the best way I've found for my workflow (which is: new music sits for a holding period on my internal hard drive so I'm forced to listen to it, then I batch move all of that over to the external with MediaRage).

Way 1: Let iTunes handle poo poo, set the library to my external hard drive and use smart playlists to listen to new tracks.
I've lost files this way. I forgot the exact details, but I double clicked a file when my external wasn't plugged in. I listened to it fine in iTunes, and when I got home iTunes said it was syncing my library back up. Except the song (no, the entire folder it was in) randomly disappeared. Nowhere to be found on my external either.

Worse, every other tune somehow pops up missing even when my external is plugged in. I can double click it, sure, and they work fine, but otherwise they're just skipped over.

Way 2: Handle poo poo myself.
I've never had any file loss with this, but it has a lot of minor annoyances. Whenever I migrate my new music over to my external (I generally do a lot at once), I just readd the entire "Music" folder of my external. This does typically take ten minutes but I can find other things to do. The catch is if any file was marked as missing, it adds a duplicate of the file. That and all the proprietary tags that iTunes does (or even changes in titles from something like π to ) get erased.

Any way, I'd love to hear if there's some way I'm missing, or if anybody has the same situation as me.

I use a similar method (holding cell on internal hd, good files "graduate" to the external). I let iTunes handle everything itself, but I always have the "move a copy to the iTunes folder" or whatever checked. That way, when I want to add files to the library, I just use File > Add Folder to Library, or drag-and-drop (no need for whole-sale rescans; wtf?), and delete the internal hd copies. There are usually no missing files this way (see below), unless the external isn't plugged in.

The trick is that the "holding cell" files are always played with some other media player (MPC usually). This keeps the iTunes library fairly static and stable; no MIA files or random de-tagging. The downsides have already been noted - idiotic characters and stupid proprietary tags. I am lucky that most of my music falls into the typical Artist - Song scheme, with no mucking about with compilations, live versions, etc.

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