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Slow response editing iTunes media and library file on My Cloud

Discussion in 'General iTunes Usage' started by Stubaan, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. Stubaan

    Stubaan New Member

    Hi folks

    Setup: I keep my entire iTunes folder on a My Cloud, i.e. media folder and iTunes Library file (*.itl). When I open iTunes, I point it to the My Cloud location to load up the .itl library file.

    Problem: I am finding the response time of iTunes when working with these remote media - especially when editing their metadata - to be excruciatingly slow.

    For example, just accessing the metadata ("Show info" : CMD+i) for an album, or even a track, entails a 20-second spinning wheel. If I edit any metadata fields, then processing those changes takes an additional ~15 seconds per track (and sometimes minutes if I've embedded album artwork). For an audiobook with hundreds of small tracks this process takes ~15 seconds to apply to each and every track. If the tracks are larger then the time to process is proportionately longer too. Embedding audiobook art is the peak nightmare scenario.

    Likely the issue lies with the way iTunes is doing its thing in concert with the My Cloud NAS, but I'm hoping someone in this community has the same setup as me and has found some success alleviating their frustrations.

    Known issues due to relatively slower upload speeds:
    I know that upload speeds are always far slower than download speeds, and uploading plays a much more prominent role when hosting iTunes on My Cloud. I can accept the wait-time to load up the large library each time I open iTunes (even though this seems like it should be a download process), and I can even live with the slow process of importing new music (constrained by wifi upload speeds). However, I am constantly organizing my music and audiobooks by editing metadata, and this process is excruciatingly slow.

    I went with the My Cloud route for the benefit of wireless access. I assumed that the inevitable bottleneck due to upload speeds would only apply to the process of initially transferring the library, and subsequently adding any new media to the library located on My Cloud. This appears not to be the case.

    Known issues due to separating the locations of the iTunes Media folder and iTunes Library (.itl):
    When I initially elected to move my large music and audiobook collection to a My Cloud, my research suggested that it would be wiser not to keep my media and library file in separate locations. My personal experience supported this advice: previously I had kept the media on an EHD and the .itl library file on my local machine, and I consistently encountered broken links and repeatedly had to regenerate my iTunes library file. For a collection as large as mine this was an extraordinarily time-consuming process on each occasion. The current setup has proven much much more stable in this regard, but working with the media is an untenably frustrating process.

    Has anyone encountered this issue and figured out a way to improve performance?
  2. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    You should keep the .itl file on your computer. I have a MyCloud, which houses a test library, and showing the Info window is just as fast as with my normal library on an external drive. iTunes has to read that file each time you do something with metadata, and it's your network that slows it down.

    I wish I had remembered that a few days ago when we recorded an episode of The Next Track podcast about storing an iTunes library on a NAS. The episode will be published Friday.

  3. Stubaan

    Stubaan New Member

    Thanks kirk - I may move the .itl back over to my MacBook and experiment a bit.

    How long have you had your system setup like that? I have very bad memories from past experiences with such a setup, albeit I was using a wired EHD back then. I was also shifting between Mac and Windows systems. In my memory, corrupted libraries were an ongoing headache, as were library updates every time there was an iTunes update.

    I'd also be interested to know roughly how large your media library is. I have yet to fully consolidate my media, which wound up separated into a few different libraries of the years, but I expect I must be approaching a TB by now, and were I to consolidate them all I'd be dealing with a few TBs I'm sure.
  4. Stubaan

    Stubaan New Member

    Following up:

    I've moved my library file back to my local drive, and updated it to reflect the media folder on the remote My Book.

    I am seeing absolutely no improvements at all in the time it takes to make edits to track metadata.
  5. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    The library I have on a NAS is about 30,000 tracks, must from Apple Music (so not that many physical tracks; about 22 GB, I believe).

    I've been using external hard drives for may main iTunes library - about 70,000 tracks - for at least a decade, and never had any problems.

    When you say it's still slow, is it slow when you press Command-I to see the Info window, or just when you apply changes? The latter will be slow no matter what, because it's over a network. But the former should be quicker, because iTunes is only reading its library file, and checking your media files, and probably doesn't need to read the files entirely. I see no such slowdown with my NAS library. What's the speed of your network?
  6. Stubaan

    Stubaan New Member

    Command-i still takes on the order of 10s of seconds to respond, but the real ball-ache (on the order of 10s of minutes) is applying the actual changes.

    Latest test was 25Mbps down, 2.5 Mbps up.

    More Wiley Coyote than Roadrunner.
  7. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    That's the speed of your internet access, not your internal network.
  8. someToast

    someToast Member

    I had similar problems with Get Info/editing with my library (30,400 tracks on an external USB 3 drive, .itl file on the boot drive). My issue turned out to be 100+ smart playlists that had accumulated over the years. All had live updating on, most were interdependent with other smart playlists, and many created playlists with tens of thousands of tracks. I deleted the bulk of them and my metadata editing beachballs went away.

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