A little help from my friends

Well, I hope we're still friends. I know I abandoned you last fall, once again, but I do love spend time with the vinyl in the winter. I went through most of my soul/funk/R/B/disco/etc, and reggae/world lps & I had a blast.

However, this last week my mac mini computer (10.6.8) quit reading the LaCie external hard drive I use to store my itunes library on. It's also where I store all of the garageband files of the albums I digitized over the years so I'm kinda bummed. The newer alternate external hard drive pops up on the desk top when I changed to that one, so I can only assume the the older one will require a visit with someone much more computer savvy then myself to get back those files.

My big problem is I can't remember how I got this computer to add the downloads to the external hard drive in the first place. My spare external HD has most of what I had downloaded up till 2013 and old My eMusic folders if need be. I tried the itunes help but I can't figure out how to start the tutorial. It sucks getting old.

On the plus side I still have a current My eMusic folder on the desktop and the last 5 garageband folders that have been split into tracks. I kept forgetting to cancel my emu subscription so I still have everything since last Sept 25 that has hardly been played. I just used up the last of my double boosters before they lapsed and decided to cancel my Emusic account. I should have enough to keep me busy till fall.

Darned computers!

Your Friend

Ps.... by the way, all the newest downloads(since Mar 9th) from emusic are downloading to an itunes music folder on the Macintosh HD.


  • I'll take a stab at trying to help - however, I'm not a Mac person and I don't care for iTunes - so take my suggestions with a grain a salt:

    I would think the place to start is to determine if you have a software or hardware issue. I would try and access the LaCie external drive from outside iTunes. If the Mac will not talk to the drive then:
    1) most likely the drive is dieing/dead (professional help is likely your best bet), or
    2) the drive interface maybe going (not as likely, I'm guessing on a Mac the interface is integrated to the mother board (professional help is not a bad idea unless you are comfortable using drive diagnostics)
    3) less likely is the connection cable has gone bad (or if you are really lucky came loose). With your system turned off unplug the drive and then reconnect it. If that doesn't work try a different cable (assuming you have another that matches).

    I don't know enough about Macs to tell you how to determine if iTunes has gone flaky. There was a time when iTunes didn't play well with external drives but that doesn't sound like the case here (early version). If you recently upgraded iTunes try rolling back to an earlier version.

    If you have made any backups (I'm guessing not) then you might be able to restore the files to a new drive (if the drive turns out to have died).

    Hope some of the above helps....
  • @confused, not sure I can help with garage band issues, but good to see you around.
  • I'm glad you didn't give advice, GP. confused's iTunes would probably explode.


  • edited March 2016
    dataGuy's suggestions should be looked into first,
    then maybe things can be pinned down to something
    narrower after those have been checked. I love iTunes
    and have everything on 12TB's of external, and YES!!! -
    you really do have to have extra backups if these things
    are precious to you. It's said over and over, but it really
    can't be emphasized enough. People have their favorite
    HD brands, but you can't expect these to be foolproof.
  • edited March 2016
    Well, Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm pretty sure that older hard drive is pooched. It won't even load to the desk top and a message comes up telling me the disc cannot be read.
    My wife is going to take it into work where one of the young techs has volunteered to take a look at it.

    I still can't figure out how to make itunes choose my working spare hard drive to retrieve my backup files from before 2013 that are on it. I thought there would be a preference button to choose where to access & store your library. It used to somehow know to send everything to the now faulty hard drive and now sends them the the hard drive on the desk top. I just can't remember how I made it do that. There's not enough room to copy them to the mac mini and although itunes still shows all my library, it can only access the latest downloads which are on the internal hard drive.

    I'm sorry to make this so confusing.
    Edit I couldn't make the next part of this post work so I've deleted it until I can that figure out

  • If I'm understanding you correctly, you attach your old external and "point" your iTunes to it: go to iTunes Preferences, Advanced and choose that drive to be your "Media folder location." Make sure "keep iTunes Media folder organized" and "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" are checked (if you're going to use this old drive for new storage). Click "OK." If you mean other than what I'm getting from your comments, you can also try going to the dropdown: iTunes > File > add to Library after you've pointed to it in iTunes Advanced and then you can add the stuff from your old drive directly to your iTunes.
  • "It used to somehow know to send everything to the now faulty hard drive and now sends them the the hard drive on the desk top. "

    I imagine iTunes defaulted to the iTunes music folder on your hard internal drive once the external drive went kaput.

    A tech could probably read + copy the contents of that defunct drive for you. 
  • Yes, I'm thinking that's what happened too - the iTunes default.
    Again, check your advanced settings. If you're lucky enough
    to get a copy of your failed drive - immediately make another - 
    then use that first copy as what iTunes points to when adding
    (or retrieving) your music.
  • Thanks rostasi, That's it. Now I've got a window that asks if I would like to move and rename the files in your new media folder to match the "Keep ITunes Media folder organized" preference?  Yes or No. I don't understand what the choices will do?

    I'm hoping not to lose all the ratings and # of plays etc.
    Thanks again
  • edited March 2016
    Yes. It will make sure that your media files are organized in one place so it's easier to backup or transfer in the future. It will also organize everything for you by artist, album, disc and track numbers, etc... Here's a helpful page ... and another (concerning backup to an external drive).
  • I need to run that too, as files tend to get scattered over time.  Always a little nervous-making to click that button!  But it has never let me down yet, and in fact it just copies stuff, never deletes anything.
  • When it comes to scattered, orphaned files and just plain ol' unruly stuff,
    I highly recommend "Song Sergeant." This page gives you some detail on
    what it does. I run this about once a month and it really does a great job
    of keeping the collection tightly organized for me.

  • edited March 2016
    Well,  thanks again......but, I guess I've still done something wrong.

    I copied the music folder contained in the iTunes media folder on the internal hard drive to my working LaCie hard drive into a folder called 'Howards new itunes'. I then dropped all the pre 2013 back up itunes music folders on the new "Music" folder.

    The Keep iTunes media folder was clicked to organize, as was the copy files to iTunes Media folder.

    I selected the new location as "/Volumes/LaCie/Howards new iTunes/Music"

    It then came up with that little window asking if I wanted to move and rename the files and I clicked Yes. That ran for quite a while and the media location window then showed it's supposed to point to the LaCie hard drive.

    However, when I try to play a track that I know is in the Music folder, it says the track can't be located.

    My apologies for my little brain.

    Ps I've just tried dropping an album from My eMusic desktop folder onto itunes and it indeed now goes to the LaCie hard drive and plays when I hit play.

    I just don't get it.
  • edited March 2016
    confused said:
    Well,  thanks again......but, I guess I've still done something wrong.
    I copied the music folder contained in the iTunes media folder.
    Actually, don't divide the folder up like that. Leave the one on your internal drive alone. 
    Your new location should be just: /Volumes/LaCie and iTunes will make it's own folders.

    Here's mine:

    and on my external drive, iTunes automagically created this:

    I didn't have to create any folders beforehand, it just reads your files
    and creates the appropriate folders based on whether they're Music,
    Movies, Podcasts, etc.

    Afterwards, you might want to go to your iTunes dropdown under
    File > Library > Organize Library and you'll get a window like this:

    and checkmark both if you're able to. Mine's already organized,
    so that's why the second option is grayed out for me.

    In the end, I end up having this on my external My Book Duo:

    You will always have files and folders that look something like this on your internal drive:

    IMPORTANT: Don't screw with them!
    The second one down ("iTunes Library" under the Artwork folder) holds all of your important info concerning your song, video, podcast, playlists, info etc. and the "xml" file is important for other reasons - just saying, don't mess with them. iTunes will extract whatever info it needs from there to build up what you'll see in your iTunes window or will add any info needed when you add new tunes. It's OK to have your actual media on an external drive while having basic info about it on your internal one (and, again, consider Song Sergeant when you're all done to weed out extras, fix spellings, kick out dead tracks, etc). The "Library Extras" and "Library Genius" files are two that you might not have. That's OK. One is for "Genius" if you ever tried using that function and the other is for Gracenote CD info. I tried, but my collection is too big for Apple Genius to deal with, so it sits unused.
  • @Craig, Too right. I have not updated the saga on that other thread. But I could have.
  • Well, I just got the computer and the hard drive back from the tech at my wife's workplace. The hard drive is kaput and none of the usb ports on the computer work either. I guess it's lucky that I have a wireless keyboard & mouse or I wouldn't get the chance to thank you again for all your help.

    I never did get itunes to recognize the old itune backup folders. I probably didn't back them up correctly in the first place. I ended up just dropping them back on itunes and it re-added them to it's library. It's really confusing to look at now, but until I get a new computer this will have to do. I don't mind waiting to see what I can extract from the hard drive - I waited over 30 years to re-hear some of the vinyl I digitized this winter. I still have all the music I downloaded from emusic since last September plus there's still the current downloads folder on the mac which has 14 GB of music in it, most of which I haven't played very much. 

    What I am going to miss is not being able to add most of the winter's digitized vinyl to this years garden project. This Spring certainly isn't what I expected -- yesterday most of the snow had melted and today it's snowing.

    I'll miss adding Matumbi - A great British Reggae band from my youth.

    1977                                                            1979 A favourite pop/reggae album


    Bevin Fagan, Dennis Bovell, Sly & Robbie

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ixBevv_l8GM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Rats. Why does the embed(https://youtu.be/ixBevv_l8GM) work in My Drafts and not when I try to do it here.

    More help please.
  • edited March 2016
    Howdy @confused,  nice to see you again  :)
    I think it depends on what browser you use. I've more or less stopped using IE on this forum. Firefox and Crome works well, eventhough this new version of #Emusers has some occational strange behaviour.

    Matumbi - Rock

    ETA: checking IE:

    Allright ! - To my surprise, it worked.
    Could it be that you are missing &feature=youtu.be in your url ?
  • Well, howdy to you too.

    Could it be that you are missing &feature=youtu.be in your url ?

    I'm surely missing that, among other things!

    I did learn a little bit more about why they work in My Drafts.  I used to normally
    just use the same old draft to add links etc to. I would then just copy & paste it to the thread I wanted to post on. The old drafts show this message:

    You can use Simple Html in your post. 

    Just above the post comment button.  The new drafts (like this one) don't seem to have any sort of code help or whatever.

    I've only got one browser on this computer and that's Safari Version 5.1.10. I'm not too keen to confuse this computer any more before I replace it. I think I added a firefox many years ago to the computer I replaced with this one and if memory serves me right I never used it. Well, actually I can't remember.

    Currently, I've just been going to youtube and copying the embeb link on their share option and pasting it in the post.  Works on the old, won't work on the new.

    It's great to be back here again and look forward to contributing a little more.

    Thanks for your patience

    PS -before, I used to know how to make a clickable image. Seems I can't figure out that one either. I did search that upgrade thread but.....
  • edited March 2016
    ..Currently, I've just been going to youtube and copying the embeb link on their share option and pasting it in the post.  Works on the old, won't work on the new

    I use the url and not the "embeb" link :)


    youtube.com/watch?v=ixBevv_l8GM&feature=youtu.be -  (this is without the http etc.)

  • edited March 2016
    I really must apologize for my lack of computerness. I've tried hard to avoid stepping into the future but it's getting harder and harder. I can't seem to get beyond my ears.

    This is the url for one of my old vinyls 

    do I just add (&feature=youtu.be) after that

    Edit well, I can't believe that worked. I just copied and pasted the url right up there
    and it worked. at least it does when I look at it
  • edited March 2016
    Hmmmm ? this youtube.com/watch?v=llTV9yNaULM seems to be doing the job in this case.
    - The trick is simple, just copy the url and paste it into the post window.

  • Wow! thanks again. Now, I just need to make that clickable album cover.
    Haven't got that one so far. 
  • edited March 2016
    clickable images are a little more work. This is my method:
    1. Find the image on another website. Right click it and do copy image.
    2. Paste the image here in the comment box.
    3. Position the cursor after the image and hit space bar. (Yes, this step is weird, but there is a glitch that means unless there is something equivalent to text the board does not recognize that there is anything there to link)
    4. Select the picture together with the space that you just inserted after it.
    5. Copy the url that you want to link to from whatever page you are linking to from the address bar of the browser page.
    6. Click on the icon above the comment box that is just to the right of the smiley face - the one like a slanting number 8.
    7. Paste your url in the little dialogue that opens up and OK it.
    8. Post the comment.
    it usually works though it does go weird on me sometimes.
  • edited March 2016

    Try pasting the link first into your message - using the one that looks like a slanting 8 (its two links in a chain, get it?) and then pasting your copied link into the popup.

    Then highlight the full URL of the link in your message then click on the 'image' icon (the one with the sheet of paper with the upper right hand corner turned down (dog eared?)  and the pasting the link to the image in the subsequent pop-up box.

    ....or something like that... I somehow got it to work in the new thread I just created but apparently missing a step because this post shows both the linked-image as well as the stand-alone link.

    Nix all the above... If you just paste a youtube link in your raw message (without involving the slanting 8 icon or any other icon) it 'just works' (worked).


  • edited March 2016
    Yeah, youtube links work by direct posting...I was talking about linking cover art. Trying your method now.

    It works. Cool.

    ETA and OT, this book cover from that same blog is hilarious:

  • Thanks to both Germanprof and luddite for the tips. It took awhile but I believe I got it.
    I couldn't get it to work with the spacebar but if I hit the return and then highlighted
    the space below and above, then added the url with the link it worked. This is my edit.

    Some great dub. 4 tracks that I can't even remember how I got.
    This was the kind of music I loved discovering in the 70's. I believe that I'll try to change  my first link to include another cut from this album.

    I also downloaded this from emusic 

    I believe this is from 1999. It's well produced but it couldn't give me that early vibe.
    Happy to add it to the library.

    Thanks again

  • Well, I apologize, when I look back on this thread I see not much has changed. Still saving up for an upgrade and recovering the last 3 years on that hard drive. I don't remember posting any question marks but, they're there. Darned computers. 
    At any rate, I can't help but notice that most folks use.....
     Never mind, I think I get the @ sign. 
  • Well, Howdy to all. A year later and not much has changed. I still haven't fixed that broken hard drive yet.  A little late getting to the garden this year - crappy spring, getting that torn rotator cuff back in digging form, finally finished rating my tracks between 4 & 4:59 minutes and finally got the last of the planting done. Corn went in June 4th and was up by the 8th.  I'm looking forward to catching up here.

    This year's problem is that emusic has disappeared from my Safari browser and bandcamp only appears in a primitive type written form. I'm guessing that my Safari (5.1.10) or this mac OS X(10.6.8) is out of date. Emusic was working last month just after my account renewed but I don't think I've visited bandcamp since last fall. Everything else appears normal as far as I know.

    Is it possible to just change something in the preferences or do I need to download a different browser. My account (emusic lite) should have renewed on the 20th & I'm itching to use up that $6.49.

    -as always
  • edited June 2017
    Hello ! - It's always (!) nice when you stop by . . .

    I've been checking your Last FM now and again to see if you were still moving.
    I'm not a Mac user but when it comes to browsers, I hardly use anything but Firefox because it works so well and you can resize images on this board
  •  Well, since tending the garden is much easier than preparing it, I'll have time to get around to listening to some albums and catching up here. I'm already up to Tara's Room from January's listenings to and then I'll head back to Oct and Petrels in the New & Notable.

    Oh yeah, I tried to download firefox but this computer is definitely out of date. I also tried to get chrome but it won't support anything under OS 10.9 either. It's time to check the Air Miles and see what the points add up to. In the meantime, I'll have to download to my wife's computer (10.10) and force myself to learn Yosemite.
    Darned computers.

    Ps. I'll have to reread this thread to remember how to make those links. 
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