I keep all my music on a network drive; that way, all the computers in the house can see it.
I am smart. I know what I want. All the computers have the network drive mapped as their Y: drive, so, all the iTunes installations have their “Music Folder” location set to Y:iTunes. And, iTunes keeps, in its library file (one on each computer) a full path for each song in the library: ex.
Y:iTunesSugarCopper Blue 2 A Good Idea.mp3
Simple enough so far.
But, when I start my laptop, which connects to the network with WiFi, it sometimes takes a little time to make a network connection. And if iTunes starts (or is already running, like when the laptop wakes from Stand-By) and can’t find the songs, it automatically changes the music folder location to the local “My Music” folder (a folder Windows creates but which I never use) on the local drive. Of course the song files aren’t there, but iTunes goes ahead and changes its library files so that all the paths for all the files to point to the My Music folder – even though the files aren’t there!
iTunes thinks I'm dumb. It decides for me. So, then all the files paths in the iTunes library file end up looking like:
C:UsersCleekMusiciTunesiTunes MusicSugarCopper Blue 2 A Good Idea.mp3
Again, it does this without asking me, and it does this even though that file doesn’t exist – it doesn’t even check to see if the files exist.
iTunes is actually dumb. I know what it's doing and I know it's wrong. It just silently (and instantly) changes the paths in the library files; and then when I try to play a song, it complains that it can’t find the file.
The fix is to wait for the network to connect, then change the iTunes music folder back to what it should be. But that causes iTunes to scan the entire library (10000+ songs) and match the songs in the library file to the actual song files – a process which locks me out of iTunes for close to an hour (depending how slow the WiFi is feeling that day).
This path change even happens on my desktop machines, which are hard-wired to the network, from time to time, if the network is particularly busy; and it happens every time i do an iTunes upgrade.
Apple is fucking with me.
I’ve written to Apple multiple times, asking them to add a switch to prevent iTunes from making this change, no matter what – just leave the mutherfuckingdouchebagasshairshitshitpurpledicked library files alone!
No luck so far…
I know a better way. Apple prefers to cause me heartache.
Oh, and speaking of crappy software design… why does HP Digital Imaging Monitor need to create thirty seven thousand (literally) temp files in my temp folder ? There’s an HP software office on the floor below me, in the building where I work. Maybe I’ll stop in and ask them tomorrow. Now if only Microsoft had an office there, I could stop in and ask them why Vista spends 5 minutes thinking about deleting those files, before it actually starts deleting anything.
OK, the solution to the iTunes catalog file rewrite is to keep all the iTunes library files on the network drive, too. That way if iTunes can’t find the network, it can’t wreck the library files either.