Sync iTunes to an External Hard-Drive
Question: I saw your article on how to copy music to an ipod, but is it possible to point the ipod to an external portable drive, so that it finds music files there instead of from the main hard drive?
Answer: Since iPods get their music by syncing with iTunes, you'll need to either 1) tell iTunes to store music files on your portable external hard drive instead of your regular drive, or 2) import music files from your external drive into iTunes.
Option 1: Tell iTunes where to store music files
Open iTunes and select Edit -- Preferences. Then click the Advanced tab where you'll find the iTunes Music folder location.
Click the Change button and choose a folder on your external hard drive (you might want to create one first if you want files to be stored in a particular folder on the new drive).
If you want all of your music files to be moved over from your main drive to the external drive, then make sure the Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library option is checked.
Option 2: Import music into iTunes from an external hard drive
If you already have music on a portable hard drive, and just want to get them into iTunes so you can sync up and get those songs on your ipod, then you can just drag and drop those music files onto iTunes.
You can also use the File -- Add Folder to Library menu in iTunes, choose a music folder on your portable drive, and iTunes will add those to your library.
If you uncheck the Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library option, which is on this same tab shown above, then iTunes will leave the files on your external drive.
In the checked state (shown above), iTunes will copy all of the music files from the folder on your external drive over to your main drive. That might not be what you want (particularly if your external drive has more files on it than the size of your main drive).