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iTunes storage on external drive (Mac)


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Staff member
Mar 20, 2012
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Alberta Canada
This may be of interest to members who use Mac computers. I haven't attempted anything similar on my PC.
Since SSD drives are hideously expensive, my Mac has to make do with a ¼ Tb internal drive. I offset this by using an external (Western Digital My Passport) 2Tb drive.

With my music on this drive, it's a simple matter to point iTunes in the right direction to find it.

iTunes/Preferences/Advanced/iTunes Media Folder Location and then browse to the drive.

I've had this setup for a while now, and everything has worked well. The speed of a conventional drive is fine for media files, and leaves the SSD for the high speed stuff that it was designed for.

Today, I decided to experiment with my AirPort Extreme. I'd read that you can plug a USB drive into it and use it as network storage, so since my WD drive was the only one I had available, I plugged that in, and found it, as expected, in Finder.

I was expecting to have to redirect iTunes to the new position of the drive but, to my surprise, iTunes found the drive and continued as though nothing had changed. The one proviso is that on each reboot it is necessary to use Finder to mount the drive. Eventually, I intend to buy a MacMini to use as a music server, so this won't pose a problem. The drive and computer will simply stay hooked up to the system, while my MBP will continue to be hauled around with me.

I've probably mentioned this elsewhere, but it might be worth repeating. The Airport Express can be hooked up to hifi equipment using its combination 3.5mm/optical output and used to channel iTunes output wherever your wifi network will reach. I presently have two of these, so surround sound is taking on a whole new meaning.


Staff member
Sep 24, 2012
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Regina, Canada
I've used an external hard drive connected to my MacBook Pro to store my iTunes library for several years now. I can also use Home Sharing to stream this library to all computers and iOS devices on my home network.