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I have a MacBook Air, which means I'm perpetually hitting my head on a low ceiling when it comes to hard drive (technically SSD) space. To make this a little less painful I put my music on a thumb drive, so that more critical things can be always available on my internal drive.

Not long ago I created a separate iTunes Lite folder inside ~/Music, so that I can use it when my thumb drive is not plugged in, and just stream songs from iCloud.

Then today I ripped a CD to transfer it to my iPad, and first switched back to my normal iTunes directory. When I did this, I discovered that all of my iTunes data was gone! All my files are there, but nothing shows up in my library.

Here are the directories:

  • ~/Music/iTunes Lite, a normal directory
  • ~/Music/iTunes, a symbolic link pointing to /Volumes/Coco/Music/iTunes. Coco is my thumb drive, of course.

I'm fairly confident I've done this without any problem before iTunes 11. How can I do it now? How can I recover my lost data?

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Was it a mistake to post over the Memorial Day weekend!? I'm really surprised no one has answered... –  iconoclast May 31 '13 at 14:22

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