Learn to Love the Database

I recently found that my iTunes library was living in two places. The media was divided on 2 hard drives. Everything was moving along nicely until I decided to retire one of the smaller hard drives. I copied files over with all diligence and everything seemed just fine. When I went to sync my iPod I found myself staring at all sorts of grey exclamation marks and a whole lot of empty playlists.

Knowing a bit about databases helped me get my library back in shape. In the past I’ve dabbled around with Filemaker Pro so I had a bit of prior knowledge with database structures. Nothing close to the expertise that my friend Andy possesses, but enough to get myself in and out of trouble. This ended up saving me hours that it would have taken trying to build my library from scratch and re-importing music.

I sometimes hear about problems with iTunes or iPhoto libraries and other databases. Understanding how they are structured makes sense to the developers, not always to us. I found that learning a bit of the rational behind the organization of databases gives me some peace of mind that my media is happy where it’s living.

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