Portable iTunes Library for Notebook-Toters


This one goes out to all my fellow notebook users out there. As iTunes expands to offer more and more downloadable content, the size of the (ever poorly named) Music folder on your hard drive will continue to envelope your free space. My Music folder is just a shade larger than my Pictures folder, which starts to create a portability issue. So what to do in order to keep your music with you for any-time listening?

lots of musicA tip over at Macosxhints has a pretty decent sounding solution. The gist of it is, using one of Doug’s Applescripts to apply label color to your iTunes tracks. Then use a backup tool (the hint uses Chronosync) to only backup (from external HD to internal iTunes folder) aptly labeled tracks for optimal mobility. I can think of a couple potential drawbacks, but if you’re in need of space, and can eliminate some of that music you don’t usually listen to, this could be a step in the right direction.

I haven’t given it a shot yet, but hopefully I can find some time this weekend to get my hands a little dirty. If you’ve got some great ideas for freeing up space, or dynamic backup schemes for mobile Mac users, please share them in the comments.



I keep my entire music library on my desktop at home (you could do it with an external hard drive or a home-made server… think mac mini). then, when i’m away from home, i use hamachi (specifically HamachiX on my macbook pro) to connect to my personal VPN, and then I can grab my desktop itunes’ stream that’s being shared on my home network and stream my library to my macbook pro from anywhere in the world. the only catch is that you have to have internet access. but it sure beats moving music back and forth from my macbook hard drive. this works great if you’re college campus commuter or want to listen to music at work.


I have been using an external drive to store the majority of my music collection on while ripping and downloading to my iBook’s internal drive. Using iTunes new multiple library feature (hold option during launch to choose a library or create a new one) I just maintain two libraries: one which includes everything and one which only includes the items stored internally. I don’t download much from the iTunes Store (mainly just the free singles of the week once or twice a month) or rip new stuff very often but when I do need to free up some space I move older DRM free music from the internal drive to the external.

Comments are closed.