Moving an iTunes Library

Ok, it has been a pain trying to re-build my iTunes library since I re-formatted my computer (I had a sound card driver issue and it was about time to do a clean re-install anyway): I have my music located on a network drive (\\servername\mp3s\) but iTunes will not allow me to store a library on a network drive (wake up Apple- people have home networks and it is a lot easier to backup stuff on a server!)... the work-around for this is to map a network drive (like M:) and use that as the music library base.

Works great on one PC.  But if I want to trick my iPod into synchronizing to two PCs it gets more difficult. 

I setup my home PC and setup the songs on M: (mapped to \\servername\mp3s).  I coped all of the files + folders to a portable hard drive and took them to work.  I also copied the iTunes.itl and the iTunes.xml file from the iTunes configuration directory to the hard drive.

At work I copied them to C:\MP3s and did a SUBST command to make windows see M:\ as a similar path structure:


In theory, the above should work like a NET USE command, just pointing to the local drive instead of a network location.  I copied the iTunes.itl and iTunes.xml files over and Shazam! My iTunes at work thought it was my iTunes at home.  I did an iPod Sync and I thought I was good to go... 

I edited a few of my song ratings at work so I deicded to copy the iTunes.xml and .itl back to my hard disk for re-integration at home.

At home I copied the files back over to my PC and my synchronicity came to a halt; iTunes could not longer find my music!  I took a look at my iTunes.xml file and all files were being re-directed to c:\MP3s instead of M:\!

I did a find-and-replace in the XML, saved the file and stared up iTunes; no luck- iTunes was still looking to C:\MP3s for everything...

<pointlessly scream at computer>

A little research finds that the XML is just a backup of the ITL file- only used when the ITL is damaged for rebuilding. One web site indicates that making the ITL file 0 bytes and modifying the XML file will cause a rebuild on restart of iTunes (make sure iTunes is off as it updates the ITL when it closes!). 


So now iTunes is happy again- for the moment...

I wish iTunes would embed the ratings in the ID3 tag for ratings- that would eliminate 90% of my need to do this sort of modifications to the iTunes library (it takes a long time to manually update 3800+ songs!)

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