Moving itunes playlists & cover art

I moved my music files yesterday from my pc to the WD My Cloud Public Share folder by drag and drop. Now I want to move my playlists and cover art so that I run itunes on my pc but the music files are saved on the NAS (I’m planning to upgrade all my music from mp3 256 to Apple lossless).

Can anyone direct me how to do this? (Strangely, one of the first album folders on the Cloud has cover art for each track but none of the rest do - can’t figure out why)

This is really an iTunes question.  I was wanting to do something similar - share my iTunes music and libary across multiple clients.  I did the following and it seems to work.

  1. The iTunes Media Folder Location needs to be updated to point to your shared folder on WD My Cloud Public Share.  This will ensure all future downloads or CD imports go to your WD My Cloud.

  2. You need to create a new iTunes Library on the WD My Cloud Public Share.  On Mac you can do this by holding down the option button while double clicking iTunes icon.  On Windows it’s similar with control or shift. 

jdeviney wrote:


  1. You need to create a new iTunes Library on the WD My Cloud Public Share.  On Mac you can do this by holding down the option button while double clicking iTunes icon.  On Windows it’s similar with control or shift. 



I think you have the right idea, but I learned the hard way that you really have to be precise with which terms you use to describe which iTunes components. (I should point out that i use a Mac, not a PC, but I’m guessing the principle is the same.) Your iTunes “library” is *not* the big collection of artists and albums and song files, although for obvious reasons it’s often referred to as the “library.” The library proper is actually a single file, the “iTunes Library.itl” file, typically located on a Mac in [home folder] > Music > iTunes. It’s the index that tracks where all the track files are located.

I think the simplest setup is to keep that “iTunes Library.itl” file–and all other iTunes files *except* the “iTunes Media” in its usual spot on your local drive. The only thing that needs to get moved to the My Cloud is that “iTunes Media” folder, and then in the iTunes preferences, you specify where the app needs to look to find that folder (just as jdeviney said). So the main iTunes folder stays intact, as it’s always been, on your hard drive, with that one exception of the “iTunes Media” folder.

One last thing: moving your collection of tracks (or any iTunes media) doesn’t work so hot if you just drag and drop them from your drive to the My Cloud. The best way to migrate the media is from within the app itself. These are the official instructions for PCs, straight from the Apple horse’s mouth:

It’s a round about procedure, but it keeps everything intact, like playlists and all sorts of metadata like tags and ratings. I discovered the hard way that just moving the files can cause more headaches down the road. I’d follow Apple’s instructions to the letter.

Hope this helps. Sorry if I ended up just lecturing you on obvious stuff you already knew…

EDIT: I also learned the hard way that moving iTunes media to the My Cloud can bring it to a grinding halt. That’s because it’s OS not only indexes files you add to the device, there are processes for media sharing that automatically make thumbnails of images that get written to the drive. If your iTunes media has a lot of album artwork, the My Cloud stupidly begins making thumbnails of all those images… It’s indiscriminate in what it thumbnails. With my ~40k track collection, the drive just melted down. (My hunch is that that’s what’s causing so much grief for so many people on this forum.) This thread explains it all:

The fix described in that first post to terminate those processes and use the “update-rc.d” commands to prevent them from restarting with each boot worked perfectly for me.

pinax - you are correct … the iTunes Library (apple terminology) is the index of the actual media.  Your suggested solution of keeping the “Library” local to each iTunes client can work too but you will have to deal with resyncing the Library on each client as the actual media changes over time.  The *.itl file and it’s accompanying directory structure (for thumbnail album pics) can also be stored on the NAS and shared among multiple iTunes clients; just don’t try updating the media or library (read index) from more than one iTunes client at a time.  If you will ever only use one iTunes client from one computer there is no advantage to storing the Library (read index) on the NAS.

Thanks for the advice.

What I ended up doing was simplying copying the itunes .itl and .xml files to the same public shared folder on the NAS and now everything seems to be working. The playlists appear and when I delete an album from my PC the Sonos and iitunes are correctly reading it from the NAS.

What I didn’t do was restart itunes with shift held down, choose new library etc. Does it matter that I did a simple copy job or am I supposed to have a done a few extra steps to avoid trouble later on?

Well, if it works, it works…

Can’t really say off the top of my head whether extra steps were necessary, but I don’t think you want to go down the route of creating/choosing a new library (i.e., a new “iTunes Library.itl” file), if the one you’ve got has all your playlists, tags, etc.

jdeviney brought up the important point that the best configuration depends on how many computers/devices/clients you want accessing your music. It also depends on whether those clients belong to other family members who may have their own playlists, etc. (in other words their own “iTunes Library.itl” files). It kind of boggles my head–I learn enough to set things up in a way that works well for me, then promptly forget it all…

I did find this link very useful in the past though, and while it’s obviously geared towards Mac users, I think the PC implementation is similar enough that this could clarify things for you too (or at least not make things more confusing!):

But if things are working well as they are, you might just want to leave it alone.