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Old 03-08-2008, 10:07 AM   #1
John David Eriksen
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Latest iTunes Maximum Library Size (ie Number of track entries)

Just installed the Latest Itunes (v.7.6.1)

And having a LOT of music backlogged that I haven't added to the library (which is already a monster) because of my complex life... I decided it was time to catch up and clean up the mess (such as it is.. actually not all that out of control considering its massive bulk) SoooooOOOOooo...

I have been on apples web site and other places on the internet looking for a maximum library size for iTunes (i.e. maximum number of library track entries allowable) I'm either:
a) overlooking it somewhere.
b) it isn't being stated anymore

In any case.. can someone quote me an 'Apple officially stated maximum allowable library size' for the latest iTunes... (if indeed there is one)

Comments / Educated guesses / cold beer...?

Thanks in advance guys/gals
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:18 AM   #2
Mikey-San
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I don't know what the largest size is, but what do you mean by "size"? Library file size, song count, record count, artist count . . . ?

Each of the fields probably has a maximum allowed count of the size of an unsigned long int, which is about 4.2 billion. The file itself either has a limit of the maximum size of a file for the filesystem on which the file resides, or the maximum amount of data that can be read by the API used to read and write the file. (iTunes reads and writes the file all at once, which is the source of the "my library is huge and iTunes is slow" problem.)
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:24 AM   #3
Bigc
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Some people have over 240,000 songs in their Library but that even chokes a Quad Xeon 3GHz with 6GB of Ram
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:52 AM   #4
Mikey-San
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigc
Some people have over 240,000 songs in their Library but that even chokes a Quad Xeon 3GHz with 6GB of Ram

Yep. iTunes reads the entire library file into memory and writes out a brand new copy to disk when a field changes. Until Apple implements a less monolithic procedure for making changes to the library file, users with very large libraries will be swimming through molasses.

And now a word from our sponsor:

Remember folks, file a bug report on this with Apple! I doubt this issue affects an extremely large segment of the iTunes user base, but it seems to affect a lot of people. I don't know how many "a lot" is, but it's worth filing a bug report on.

http://www.apple.com/feedback/itunesapp.html

If they fix it, they have to fix it in a way that works for multiple OSes and architectures, and test it under those combinations as well, so it's not necessarily trivial . . . but that shouldn't stop anyone reporting it as a bug.
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:56 AM   #5
Bigc
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Problem is just scrolling causes beach balls without even changing anything. Has only gotten worse over time as Apple adds more crap to what iTunes does...

Need an audio only player now...
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Old 03-08-2008, 11:10 AM   #6
Mikey-San
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigc
Problem is just scrolling causes beach balls without even changing anything. Has only gotten worse over time as Apple adds more crap to what iTunes does...

Need an audio only player now...

I think if you have 24,000+ albums (240K / 10, let's say), your needs are in the 0.0001 percentile of iTunes users, and yes, you probably need a different solution. At that point, if scrolling causes beachballing, the problem could be anything from table rendering to . . . well, who knows. You'd have to profile the app with a performance tool at that point to find out.

The record nerd in me is impressed by anyone with that much music.
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:13 PM   #7
Bigc
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A lot of Libraries works pretty well...


...and at least Apple added that functionality
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Old 07-05-2008, 01:21 PM   #8
emeryemery
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Solving the Slow-downs in massive libraries! (Solutions)

The following information is for people who have a Macintosh computer. If you are on a PC based system many of the concepts I will touch on here will apply to you, but the formatting issues will not.

That said, I have solved the issues associated with a large library for a client and I think I can shed a lot of light on this for you all.

My client had an iMac that was accessing a PC formatted hard drive that was connected to a wireless network and when he got it up to 300GB with over 100,000 songs, it began to bog down and crash. The reason it was crashing and bogging down had nothing to do with limits of iTunes. It had everything to do with the following factors;

-Hard Drive Format.
-Wireless communication.
-Permissions.
-Corruption.

If you have a massive collection you MUST do the following.

1. Get your collection on a Firewire drive that is Mac Formatted!

When you buy a new drive, it is usually formatted Fat-32 Dos. While Macs can see, read and write to this drive, there are all kinds of issues that arise down the road when a Mac reads and writes to these drives over a long period of time. Serious corruption is an eventual guarantee.

Always format your new drives to a mac based format Using Disk Utility.
Intel based Macs prefer GUID Partition Table that is Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
Powermac Based Macs prefer Apple Partition Table that is Mac OS Extended (Journaled)

Stay away from USB drives. While the newer intel based Macs can communicate with a USB 2.0 capable drive at speeds near 400 Firewire speeds, I still see slow downs that hinder those drives on a MAC. Stick to Firewire or eSata and you will not have to worry.

2. The speeds of communicating with a drive that is connected via airport are dramatically slower than a drive that is connected via Firewire 400, 800 or E-SATA. If you have a large library, I recommend you abandon the idea of connecting to your library wirelessly. It just doesn't make any sense. Once you get to a certain size and/or song count, you are just asking for trouble.

Think about it.
Wireless system have a top speed of 54Mbps (Megabits Per Second)
eSATA can transfer data at speeds of up to 2,400Mbps
FireWire 800 can transfer data at speeds of up to 800Mbps
FireWire 400 can transfer data at speeds of up to 400Mbps

When your library gets huge, you need this kind of data throughput for a healthy and efficient communication between iTunes and it's database.

3 & 4. Permissions and corruption are simply part of life in today's world of computing. Get Disk Warrior, TechTool Pro and use them. Keep your hard drives free of corruption on a monthly basis and remember to use Disk Utilities to repair permissions often and/or when you see odd behavior.

For those in the PC world, the ideas behind data throughput absolutely apply to you.

I know this is not want some people want to hear, but until wireless communication reaches comparable speeds, it simply is not enough to serve a massive library.
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:09 PM   #9
jackbauer24
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iTunes Library Size

Quote:
Originally Posted by emeryemery
The following information is for people who have a Macintosh computer. If you are on a PC based system many of the concepts I will touch on here will apply to you, but the formatting issues will not.

That said, I have solved the issues associated with a large library for a client and I think I can shed a lot of light on this for you all.

My client had an iMac that was accessing a PC formatted hard drive that was connected to a wireless network and when he got it up to 300GB with over 100,000 songs, it began to bog down and crash. The reason it was crashing and bogging down had nothing to do with limits of iTunes. It had everything to do with the following factors;

-Hard Drive Format.
-Wireless communication.
-Permissions.
-Corruption.

If you have a massive collection you MUST do the following.

1. Get your collection on a Firewire drive that is Mac Formatted!

When you buy a new drive, it is usually formatted Fat-32 Dos. While Macs can see, read and write to this drive, there are all kinds of issues that arise down the road when a Mac reads and writes to these drives over a long period of time. Serious corruption is an eventual guarantee.

Always format your new drives to a mac based format Using Disk Utility.
Intel based Macs prefer GUID Partition Table that is Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
Powermac Based Macs prefer Apple Partition Table that is Mac OS Extended (Journaled)

Stay away from USB drives. While the newer intel based Macs can communicate with a USB 2.0 capable drive at speeds near 400 Firewire speeds, I still see slow downs that hinder those drives on a MAC. Stick to Firewire or eSata and you will not have to worry.

2. The speeds of communicating with a drive that is connected via airport are dramatically slower than a drive that is connected via Firewire 400, 800 or E-SATA. If you have a large library, I recommend you abandon the idea of connecting to your library wirelessly. It just doesn't make any sense. Once you get to a certain size and/or song count, you are just asking for trouble.

Think about it.
Wireless system have a top speed of 54Mbps (Megabits Per Second)
eSATA can transfer data at speeds of up to 2,400Mbps
FireWire 800 can transfer data at speeds of up to 800Mbps
FireWire 400 can transfer data at speeds of up to 400Mbps

When your library gets huge, you need this kind of data throughput for a healthy and efficient communication between iTunes and it's database.

3 & 4. Permissions and corruption are simply part of life in today's world of computing. Get Disk Warrior, TechTool Pro and use them. Keep your hard drives free of corruption on a monthly basis and remember to use Disk Utilities to repair permissions often and/or when you see odd behavior.

For those in the PC world, the ideas behind data throughput absolutely apply to you.

I know this is not want some people want to hear, but until wireless communication reaches comparable speeds, it simply is not enough to serve a massive library.

I have a serious Mac Pro, all internal HD's, 11k songs, 160+ movies plus all episodes of 3 long standing tv shows and i am noticing a lag of about 10 seconds or more, rainbow circle, when i open and close itunes. it actually just started happening when i past about 6-7k songs. all songs, movies and tv shows have meta data and cover art. could be just a coincidence since i just saw above someone having 240k of songs, impressive. i posted a request to apple.
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:23 PM   #10
Nuttsy1la
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I'm currently at around 150k, my iTunes library is at 55MB and even after cleaning it up, purging duplicates and such it's still HORRIBLE when I load the app. Gawd help you if I connect to my library shared over the network from my laptop, might as well have dinner before it comes up. I know that I'm in the top tier of people library size wise but still... they need to address it. I have only imported about 1/3 of my CDs and I am holding off adding anything else because I'm afraid it will crash and I'll have to rebuild the library again (happened once already).
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