Written by: Adam Christianson
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A podcast about all things Macintosh. For Mac geeks, by Mac geeks. Show 177. New Apple Store to open in Florida this weekend. Potential iPhone touchscreen lawsuit. Apple and Cisco reach iPhone settlement. Apple releases WWAN Update 1.0 for Mobile Networks. More Apple updates, mostly fixes for Daylight Savings Time (DST). Interesting new Apple dock patent. Apple may return to the sub-notebook market. Possible to hack 802.11n into a MacBook Core Duo. Follow-up on MBP C2D Airport issues. Listener review of iFlash. My rocky experience replacing my iBook HD. Review Newertech USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter. Drag and Drop not working in the Finder for one listener, help? Changing Photo metadata and EXIF data. Powering USB powered portable drives. Creating a 2nd “mobile” iTunes Library. Maccast Loop (LIVE) pilot episode airs this Sunday 2/25 at 10:00 AM PST on Talkshoe.com.
New music, Wide Awake by Canon (iTunes).
Promo for the Earmuff Awards
You are one wise Caucasian, Vic. – Shaft (1971)
Shownotes in: HTML or OPML
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Adam, I had a comment about the listener that wanted to use Multple iTunes libraries on his iBook.
There is a shareware iTunes plugin called MultiTunes (http://porkrind.org/multitunes) that allows to you have multiple iTunes libraries and switch between them from within iTunes at any time.
I haven’t tried it yet as I currently do not have a need for multiple libraries, but I thought it would be perfect for your listener as well as yourself.
The was also a shareware program fittingly called iTunes Library Manager that allowed one to choose your music library when starting iTunes. I don’t know if it has been updated but it worked for me when I had that need. Of course, you would have to quit iTunes to switch libraries but if you are only doing this to have a portable library, no big deal.
That said, if disk space really is a problem, why not just play off your iPod. Switch it to manual and voila!
Funny, as I was listening to the show, I had just replaced my HD in my 12″ iBook G4 too, using a HowTo document from ifixit.com. Getting the bottom case off was the hardest part of the HD replacement. Basically, if you follow the cookbook instructions in the document, things go well, but man, that bottom case is a bear! I have a few dig marks from where I had to use a screwdriver to pry it apart.
I put in a speedy 7200 RPM 80GB drive, replacing the stock 40GB, which ironically, decided to stop working, the day before I planned the HD upgrade. I have a MBP Core-2 Duo, and a HiRes G4 PB, but there is something about the iBook’s that are appealing.
I am thinking of commissioning my iBook as a media server, since I cannot purchase a Apple-TV, for the same reason Adam cannot. I really thought I could, because my TV has component inputs, but can only do 480i. Maybe my iBook, with some patches so it does not fall asleep when the lid is closed, can serve as an Apple TV replacement.
Oh, and the 7200 RPM drive, really makes a big difference in startup times, and basically anything that has a lot of disk access. I have a 7200 drive in my PB G4, and it is just as fast at getting to my desktop, as my MBP C2D! I highly recommend a 7200 drive replacement in any laptop, that may feel sluggish. Mine feels like a whole new system!
On the “mobile” iTunes Library:
Adam, your approach to the problem of using an external drive to hold a portion of a large collection of songs will certainly work. However, I think you’ll find that the new version of iTunes (7.0.2 (15)) has -without fanfare- solved many of its problems with using songs from multiple folders – particularly when those folders are on removable drives.
Simply use File>Add to Library… and bring in a folder of songs from an external disk. (in the Preferences>Advanced>General tab, the checkbox for “Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library” must be turned off!) iTunes will add these songs to the libray, but keep them in their original location on the external disk.
As long as the disk is connected, there are no issues. When the disk is not connected, iTunes will flag the songs that it can’t find, but in the new version will skip over them when playing seqentially or when shuffling. (If you try to play one of these “missing” songs directly, you will get an error, but not when iTunes goes from song to song.)
When you reconnect and mount the external drive, you can simply start iTunes as you normally would. It will now “see” these songs again.
All playcounts are the same and there is no need to worry about the juggling necessary to keep two versions of some songs on two disks with two libraries.
On some confusing issues with iTunes:
iTunes wants to simplify buying and playing music. As a result, it makes many assumptions about how things should be structured on your computer and it hides those assumptions from the user.
That makes life difficult for those of us who wish to impose our own order on our music.
I had an Ah-Ha moment when I came to realize – through painful trial and error – something about the “iTunes Music folder location”. This folder is set in the Preferences>Advanced>General tab. I always assumed that this was the location of the library and that by changing it I could change the location of the library. I was wrong.
It turns out that if the user changes this folder, it has nothing to do with the library. In fact, you can exit iTunes and restart in a completely different library and this folder will stay set to what you changed it to.
The “iTunes Music folder location” is simply where iTunes will put your purchased music and your ripped CD’s. Try this. Change the folder and go to the iTunes store and get one of the free songs, or download a podcast, or rip a CD. You will find that your music is placed in this new folder, no matter where it is – internal, external, network….
However, when you hit the “Revert” button on this page, it will change the folder to the default folder, which is one called “iTunes Music” and will be located wherever your current library is located. iTunes will even create the default folder if it does not exist.
So how is this useful? I generally leave the folder in its default setting for iTunes downloads (music and podcasts). When I rip a CD, I change the iTunes Music folder location to a folder I call “My CD Collection”. For all songs already on my computer that I bring in, I use the File>Add to Library… command and point to the folder where the songs are located.
This way I always have the music I purchased from Apple in one convenient location for backup. I also have my CD library isolated as well.