Forum Question: iTunes and external hard drive

Forgive me if this sounds like a crazy idea and I’m not above an alternative, but I’d like some help with iTunes.
I already have my entire CD collection ripped to my iMac hard drive. I used the AAC codec and listen to such when I’m on my iMac or sync songs to both my iPhone and Shuffle.
However, lately I’ve been thinking about purchasing an iPod Classic and re-burning my CDs as Apple Loseless files. I’d like to attach the Classic to my stereo as an input and let the tunes roll.
Is it possible, with iTunes already filled with AAC versions of my music, to burn the CDs to an external hard drive (as Apple Lossless) for the explicit purpose of syncing the Classic to those files?
Mark A.

Comments: 7 Responses to “iTunes and external hard drive”

    1/12/11 @ 5:21 pm

    The way I would do it is to create a second iTunes Library. (hold option down while starting iTunes). Place it on the external drive. Rip your CDs to that external library. Then sync your iPod Classic to that library.
    That would do it. But do you really think you can tell the difference between AAC and lossless? Why not pick your favorite song, and rip two copies of it: AAC and lossless and have a friend give you a blind test to see if you can tell the difference. Might be worth doing before going to all that effort.

      samantha robinson
      9/16/12 @ 6:18 pm

      You do not need top the CD’s are already in “lossless” code.

    1/12/11 @ 5:41 pm

    I agree. I have tried listening to both AAC, Apple Lossless and AIFF. And aside from “maybe” AIFF and I stress maybe you can here a difference in the AIFF but you have to have a good ear. Also many new receivers enhance .mp3 and AAC files when played through. Again I agree with Gary, why the trouble and taking up of storage?

    Mark A.
    1/12/11 @ 8:32 pm

    Thank you Gary for the set-up advice. It’s good to know I can do this.

    My thinking was such that I can tell the difference between my AAC files (256kbps) and the straight CD (Red Book) sound. It’s not overwhelmingly different, but there are subtle losses in the highs and lows in particular (reminds me of the way Dolby used to roll off highs and lows).

    I thought, since I would be using my stereo (nice one) I might like to bump up the overall sound quality, but now that I think about it I almost never do any ‘critical’ listening. It’s usually just music to have in the background or for hearing about the house while doing things.

    I will very likely be well served by sticking with what I already have, save myself the headache of buying a drive and re-burning ALL those CDs and just get down to the business of enjoying the music.

    Thanks for making me rethink this a bit. Of course, things brings up a new question: Which player? I originally thought the Classic because of it’s prodigious storage capability, but if I’m sticking with my AAC files would I be better served by using a modern iTouch instead?

    I don’t want to tie up my iPhone to the stereo so the desire to purchase another player becomes strong.

      1/13/11 @ 12:29 am

      I don’t think there will be any difference in sound between the iPod Classic and iPod Touch. But if the files are on your Mac already, and you are going to play them “through” your Mac, why not just play them from the Mac. Why put them on an iPod at all?

    Mark A.
    1/13/11 @ 9:18 am

    The stereo and Mac are in different rooms. And while I understand there are technology fixes to stream to another room and through my stereo, I’m guessing I’ll spend more on running the iMac (and place more burden on the hard drive over time) by using it instead of an iPod.

    At least that’s my thinking. I’m open to correction and/or suggestions.

      1/13/11 @ 9:23 am

      Sorry, I misunderstood. You can attach your Mac to your stereo wirelessly with a variety of devices, though, including the Airport Express.

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