I have ripped 800 or so CDs onto my macbook via iTune.

Mac OS 10.6.8. iTune 11.4

I want to move these music files elsewhere (to increase mac's available memory capacity - I have moved all my heavy files to hard disc/storage elsewhere & was planning to do the same with music files). However, when I test this by removing a certain music files, iTune won't play those tunes I removed that does no longer exist on the macbook - it is clearly playing from the music file, and not from the iTunes. My iTunes does not seem to hold any of my ripped music. How do you actually COPY all my ripped CD music onto iTune so that I can move the music files elsewhere but will still play on my macbook? Apple support site provides no solution, only encourages me to sign up for things I don't need (i.e. regular music subscription) but there must be a way! Any help greatly appreciated!

  • Your music files need to be stored somewhere for iTunes to be able to play them, either on your computer or in one of Apple's cloud offerings. As you don't seem to want to subscribe to the later, what kind of solution do you have in mind?
    – nohillside
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 18:08
  • The steps are basically enroll in iTunes Match or Apple Music and ensure the song is uploaded before deleting your local copy. What version of iTunes are you using and what computer OS?
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 18:53
  • Mac OS 10.6.8. iTune 11.4. I rarely use iTune, apologies advance for backward Qs. I managed to copy the whole iTune music folder to google play, and it plays everything even when the music has been deleted from the iTune music folder. I reasoned that the same should be possible w iTunes. I want to "upload" all these ripped CD music onto iTunes so that it plays without local copy. My iTunes doesn't seem to have "my lirbary" either; Neither "Drag and drop" nor import worked. I'm totally baffled.
    – cm13
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 20:30

2 Answers 2


What you're asking for is called iTunes Match, also Apple Music. Since you don't want to pay for those I'd suggest an iTunes server instead. If you have a second mac you can set it up like this:


...or using a third party app (not free):


If you have a NAS you could use the built in iTunes server, e.g. Synology:



iTunes supports this from 10.5.1 and on. It's called iTunes Match.

Once you pay for the service, your entire library gets uploaded to Apple's servers. You could also try Apple Music for free and get three months to kick the tires, just be sure to cancel if you don't want to pay for that. It costs more than Match, but you get more too.

As for the corrupt library - make a Time Machine backup of the Mac and then hold the option key when you start iTunes.

Create a new library where you want the organizational files to live. You can then choose a location for the ripped files to exist temporarily while they are processed by iTunes. Once the tracks are uploaded, you can delete them. iTunes asks if you want to delete the local storage or delete it everywhere via the iCloud. Choose local deletion.

Alternatively, you could set up some DLNA player using open-source software and point the player software to your cloud backed storage. I've heard of people using Amazon, Google and DropBox and other vendors for this storage online.

It's not integrated well in iTunes, but a local DLNA software would let your iTunes stream from the library depending on which setup you choose.

For me, I pay the $$ each month to Apple for easy across all my devices. No Mac that uses Apple Music has more than a thousand songs locally, the vast majority of my library lives in iCloud (and also on several backup disks).

  • Thank you so much guys - this is beyond me. I just don't understand why I'm not allowed to store my OWN CD music on iTunes - absurd. Unacceptable in my view! Sorry! I will stick with google play - but I'm seeing posts that allow me to do this (copy CD music on iTunes without requiring a local folder) using a PC - so I'm planning to explore that.
    – cm13
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 17:04

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