I have a large number of MP4 videos (non-iTunes purchases) in my iTunes library, which is growing daily. Due to the space it's taking up, I plan to unload these files to an external HDD. Home Sharing is the main reason why I use iTunes for my movie library to begin with (including streaming to my Apple TV, not just only iOS devices connected to my local network).

Here is my dilemma: I cannot, to my knowledge, run a partially referenced iTunes library- where Music is automatically copied to the iTunes Media folder, but Videos are not (but rather referenced on the external hard drive).

I know I can uncheck "Automatically Copy to iTunes" within iTunes' preferences and drag Music into the "Automatically add to iTunes" folder, but I'm hoping a simpler solution exists, either within iTunes or using third party software. Thank you in advance.

By the way, I'm running OSX Mavericks 10.9.3 and iTunes 11.2.1

  • 1
    I had (and still have) the same problem you have (not enough room for videos on the main HD) and actually solved it with the method described in your third paragraph. It works out quite well actually :-)
    – nohillside
    Commented May 18, 2014 at 12:32
  • @patrix thanks for the reply. Yes, it's pretty simple, but I download a ton of music from multiple sources and for ages have been used to just dragging the files into iTunes and having them automatically copied to the library. At this point, using "Automatically Add" folder is definitely the simplest solution. Still, looking for one that doesn't mess with my usual "routine" :).
    – njboot
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 4:16

3 Answers 3


Have you look into Tune Span? http://tunespan.com/

  • This may be what I'm looking for...do you have any personal experience with the software?
    – njboot
    Commented May 21, 2014 at 3:49
  • I've set it up for a friend who had their music library span across drives. However I haven't used it for videos but I'm assuming it should work the same. Commented May 21, 2014 at 13:25

You can create a symbolic link from within your iTunes folder to your external drive.

Let's say you want to have your "~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Home Videos" directory on another drive. Than move that folder to your external drive. Create an alias commandL and move that alias back to that location.


I have my music collection on a network drive, and podcasts/downloads on the local drive. iTunes doesn't actually complain, and will happily mount the drive if I want to play something, or show the (!) if I'm away from the network.

If your intake of video is light enough, I would suggest:

  • Quit iTunes
  • Back up your iTunes Library
  • Move all the videos to the external drive
  • Open iTunes and Turn off "Copy files to iTunes..." (Just in case)
  • Try to play a movie that's been moved
  • When prompted, locate the file in the new location, and confirm that you want to search the new location for any other missing files

After this is done, you can turn on "Copy files to iTunes..." again, and turn it off when adding new videos (which you have already placed on the external drive)

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