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How Do I Transfer Music With Songs To an External Hard Drive In Catalina?

I would like to transfer my Music program in Catalina to my new external drive , so that it will operate only from my external drive so that I can free up more space on my Mac mini hard drive. I have an enormous amount of songs and this will clear a large amount of space on my Mac.
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Northern Jim

Comments: 9 Responses to “How Do I Transfer Music With Songs To an External Hard Drive In Catalina?”

    2 months ago

    Basically, it is just moving your Music library from your home folder’s Music folder to your external drive. Then having your Music app point to the new location in Preferences. But the details depend on how you have things set up. Do you have your music files in your library, or external to it? Are you using Apple Music, iCloud Music, or iTunes Match?

    Another option is to leave your Music library in your Music folder. But then change the way it works in Preferences so that the song files are not copied into the library when you import them. Then store those files on your external drive. But that is tricky to switch to if you already have things set up to be in the library.

    Ralston Coleman
    2 months ago

    I am using Apple Music and presently my songs are in my music folder on my Mac mini hard drive in the program of Music. I am using Catalina 10.15.2

    2 months ago

    Ralston: If you are using Apple Music, and most of your songs are from Apple Music, then your library can be huge, but it shouldn’t take up much space. I’d leave them in your Music folder. Otherwise, I would leave your library where it is but move your local music files to the external drive.

    Linda Hong
    4 days ago

    How Do I Transfer Music With Songs To an External Hard Drive In Catalina? Most of my music is on an external hard drive and has been purchased with the old iTunes or CDs that I had. On the old iTunes it had been set up to look at the external hard drive automatically. I did not do this so I don’t know how it was done. HELP!

    4 days ago

    Linda: See my initial comment here on this page. I describe two ways to do it.

    Linda Hong
    4 days ago

    Gary, just watched these tutorials. Thanks for the references. But they did not help. Looking at older ones MacMost 631, it was most closely related but was for the old iTunes. On Catalina it does not show the hard drive on the left side like it did in iTunes. So what is the command for looking at the external hard drive that we put in preference, i.e. /volumes/external media/itunes media? What is the step by step procedure?

    4 days ago

    Linda: You don’t need to know the path. Just set the Music app to not import the songs, then drag and drop music files into the app. Try ti with one and you’ll see. It leaves the file on your external drive and adds it to your library list without making a copy on your internal drive. The song is then in your library, but the file is still where you had it, on your external drive.

    Linda Hong
    4 days ago

    Gary, I appreciate your help, but I am not tech savy and really don’t understand. I am also new to MAC. When I tried doing the steps that were laid out in the video MacMost 631, I got an error (-3201). I don’t even know where to look up what that error means. Starting to really get frustrated.

    4 days ago

    Linda: Don’t go by that old video. You are making it more complicated that it really is. Just try what I was suggesting. Keep your Music library on your internal drive where it is now. Change the setting to not import. Then try adding one song from your external drive. See how it works. The song stays where it is but it appears in your library. Then add more as desired.

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