Changing iTunes default Library

My music is on. NAS drive and iTunes accepts the library OK under normal circumstances - e.g. close/restart iTunes.

But sometimes, e.g. powering down my iMac or after a power outrage, iTunes resets the library back to its default setting.

Has anyone been able to get iTunes to always use an alternate library path?

Willie - Not ALWAYS, but things seems to work pretty consistently for me with
library file stored on external hard drive (along with a copy of the iTunes folder).
I do occasionally have to respond to a popup about BitPerfect or iTunes not being
able to find the library and have to click NEXT on a popup to give permission to
search for the library. Most of the time (8 out of 10?), Bitperfect launches iTunes
and the library comes up without any popups. I do "Quit" out of
iTunes and BitPerfect when shutting down for the evening. Power outages and
especially when the power comes back on are the worst. Sorry I can't be more
Ghost - I leave my system on 24/7 so I'm not affected too much with NAS library issues and for the most part it's not a problem, just when I power down

iTunes upgrades also reset the library to the default.

I've searched the web but it appears to be another one of those annoying undocumented "apple standards"

One other thing - do you find there are times when the computer resets the output to its internal speakers?

It happens about 4 days out of 7 (roughly)

I'm using a Schiit Bifrost and it does not need drivers for the Imac, which sees it OK, but it flips back to the internal speakers for no reason.

I'll keep searching and post any results here

Willie - on output changing back to internal speakers....YES. Every once in a while, I'll have to reset the output setting either in MIDI or in BitPerfect preferences. Sometimes BitPerfect does not seem to "see" the V-Link 192 or when listening to headphones, the DragonFly. Occasionally the device is not even listed in the Output selection popup and I have to restart BitPerfect and iTunes. Doesn't happen all that often so not that big a deal. Not having much other experience, I just sort of accept this as more or less normal. Let us know if you learn anything. Maybe if you post to Apple support you will learn something.
Ghost - I tried starting iTunes and specifying the library (which I found "how-to" instructions online) and it unleashed the demons again.

Music is safe, but iTunes toasted my genres and playlists - but it does look promising, since after I restarted it remembered the library name :-)

Fortunately you can "import" all the songs from their folders and iTunes will rebuild its libraries (provided you don't use WAV)

At least it's a step in the right direction - sort of a sideways shuffle - NOT BACKWARDS :-()

Last time I tried this it toasted my entire collection and I had to reload.

Once I figure it out I'll post instructions
Ghost - a couple of things you mentioned got me thinking about my setup and I think I now have it figurred out

Please note the text below reflects the setup on MY iMac

OK - after some searching and playing, here's what seems to work for my iMac...

1. Make a backup of your music library - just in case :-)

2. IN iTunes PREFERENCES : Advanced tab

2.1 set the Library to the directory(folder) of the NAS Drive - in my case it's set to "/Volumes/Volume_1/iTunes Media"

2.2 Ensure the "Keep iTunes Media Folder Organized" box is checked

2.3 press OK/Save

3. In SYSTEM PREFERENCES: Users & Groups

3.1 select your User profile and click "Login Items"

3.2 add the folder containing music - in my case I added "Volume_1" (just the NAS Drive Volume)

3.3 Make sure the little lock(bottom left) is unlocked when you do this and lock it afterwards

3.4 initially, make sure the "Hide" checkbox is unchecked
(NOTE:- it displays a Finder window on startup once the connections to the NAS is established - you can change this back to HIDE later)

3.5 - once that window has started you can start iTunes without any prompting for a library

3.5 Once those changes are complete, close iTunes

4. RESTART iTunes: while holding the "Option" (or Alt) key, start iTunes

4.1 - a dialogue box will request the location of the "the Library" - here's where it gets a little tricky...

4.2 DO NOT select (in my case) "Volume_1/iTunes Media" as selected in 2.1 above

4.3 Simply select (in my case) "Volume_1"

4.4 For some reason, this dialogue recognizes the lower levels of folder/directory.

4.5 stop/quit iTunes

5. STOP iTunes FROM STARTING AUTOMATICALLY - Ensure that iTunes is setup so that it will not start up during the logon process.

5.1 this is because during logon, the folder added in 3.2 above is allocated to the system and it takes time to link to the NAS

5.2 once the folders have been "assigned" a Finder window will be displayed

5.3 once the window(s) have been displayed iTunes can be started.

5.4 If you don't wait for the Finder dialogues to be displayed, iTunes will ask you to select a Library again

Once setup like this iTunes will point to the NAS drive without reverting back to the "default library" even after powering down
- a power failure will start iTunes before the NAS is allocated, so just quit and then restart after the Finder window for the NAS is displayed

That's is - At least on my machine :-)


Please note that some of this narrative may vary depending on which NAS drive YOU have

Willie - Sounds like progress. If problems persist (I don't have my library sorted or tagged) the Mac support forums can be very helpful on matters like this. ALSO - if by chance your NAS is something offered on Amazon, the reviews and comments section under the product listing will allow you to post a question. Never, know, might get some informed advice from that quarter. Good luck.
Thanks Ghost - I've fully tested this out now and the only time it prompts for a library is where iTunes was running when the power is cut.

Even then, I just quit itunes , wait for the NAS to be assigned (takes about 10 seconds in my case) and then restart itunes - voila!

Not sure why Apple couldn't document this - it's pretty simple.
- actually, not sure why they couldn't code it properly in the first place:-)

Thanks for the pointers

Glad you got it fixed. Not sure I had much to do with it, however
Ghost - it was the part about getting the pop-up prompting for the library
after a restart. On my setup iTunes just started and I went to preferences to
reset the the NAS drive path each time

I had never experienced that pop-up - so I played around until I got it to
display. Once I entered the NAS path in there it never reset back to the

See - every little piece of Info helps - thanks again :-) :-) :-)