I recently bought a MacBook Pro and I already have lots of media on my iMac. I don’t want to eat up the HD space on the MacBook Pro, but I also want to be able to use iTunes on my MacBook Pro with all my media. What’s the most elegant solution to the problem?

Here’s what storage I have:

  • An NAS server
  • An external HD
  • A 16GB USB3 drive
  • My 64GB iPhone

Here’s what I don’t have:

  • Access to iTunes Match
  • Access to anything like iTunes Match

Is iTunes Match an option? I have a a Mac Pro that has my actual iTunes library, but I have full access to it from my iPhone, MBP, AppleTV, etc.

It's not free, but it's a pretty significant service IMHO. I think it's probably the most elegant solution :)

Ok, so your best bet is probably going to be the external HD.

  • Make sure iTunes is closed on the iMac.

  • With your external HD plugged into your iMac, move the entire iTunes folder (~/Music/iTunes) to wherever you want on the external

  • Start iTunes while holding down the option key. This will allow you to tell iTunes where to look for the iTunes Library. Choose the iTunes folder you just moved to the external.

  • Quit iTunes and eject the external from the iMac

  • Plug the external into the MBP and start up iTunes, again, holding down the option key to then point the MBP to the Library on the external.

If you want to keep the iTunes library in sync between the two computers, you'll need to have that external plugged in and moving between the two every time.

If you're not terribly concerned with keeping it in sync all the time, you can skip the step above that tells the iMac to look in a new place. Just leave the iMac alone and point the MBP to the copy on the external. You could overwrite the external once a month or something.

  • Um, no. My country doesn’t have iTunes Match, and when I am travelling on a plane or train, I can’t expect to get Internet everywhere. – duci9y Aug 5 '12 at 15:13
  • @DeepanshuUtkarsh Oh, I see. You didn't mention those parameters. You might want to edit the question to better describe the problem you're trying to solve. – JoshP Aug 5 '12 at 15:56
  • Well I mentioned the storage options I have. – duci9y Aug 5 '12 at 15:57
  • @DeepanshuUtkarsh I understand that. You might want to mention also that you'd like to be able to do this without an internet connection. You'd like to be able to be mobile with it (public transportation, etc.) You may not have a power source all the time. Etc etc... You can see that the more restrictions you put on your question, the more restrictions you put on any answers you get. Just trying to help you get the answer you're looking for :) – JoshP Aug 5 '12 at 16:01
  • Thanks Josh! Whatever I have on the list is portable and does not require the Internet. The answers must be within those restrictions. – duci9y Aug 5 '12 at 16:14

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