Balls of steel: Intentionally erasing my iTunes Music Library

Another reason why I love my Mac. This weekend I needed to edit some video in a pinch. The project was going to take about 20 gigs of hard drive space but I was away from my external hard drive and only had about 10 gigs of free space on my laptop. So what did I do? I did what any Mac user would do – I deleted my entire iTunes music folder. It cleared up about 65 gigs of space, and I was able to edit the video and all was well. Then when I got back home I restored all the files with Time Machine, which had automatically backed everything up. That’s how badass I am.

Comments (44)

  1.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    Very badass. Good job.

  2.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    Yeah, you know what? I kinda hate you right now.

  3.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    that is so cool, did you do it wirelessly?

    how long did 65 gig take?

    but your faith in apple is amazing, I would have never ever done that, and you made digg front page through

  4.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    Hey Steiner – it took about 40 minutes to transfer with FireWire 800. That’s right – I roll with FireWire 800.

  5.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    That’s a risk and a half! I don’t even want to imagine ripping 65GB’s worth of CD’s back into iTunes.

    I might just buy that old Time Machine now!

  6.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    Holy crap.

    I *might* have to try that some day… and have a gun handy in case it doesn’t work.

  7.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    That’s pretty much on the same level as punching Chuck Norris in the face and living to tell about it – well played sir, well played.

  8.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    Wow. I just don’t have what it takes to live where you live…

  9.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    That’s pretty ballsy man. That’s probably why I’m a gunther, and you get all the freakin’ chicks. :-)

  10.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1


    What’s the big deal?!? That’s what Time Machine is for. That’s how it’s supposed to work. No balls required. But if this is what makes you think you’re badass, I feel a bit sorry for you. Don’t worry though, you may grow out of it.

    And to Josh H, who said he “might just buy that old TM”. Dude, you don’t buy it, it’s part of Leopard.

  11.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    That’s why I moved my iTunes library out of my Mac Book Pro’s hard disk. Instead it sits in a 500GB external USB2 drive. This way I don’t ever have to worry about putting too much crap into iTunes, and my laptop now always has about 100GB of free space, when before I would constantly struggle to keep 10-15GB free.

  12.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    Zews – by your logic, it wouldn’t require any balls to go skydiving because parachutes are “supposed to work” too.

    Yes, while Apple hypes their products and most of us buy into that hype, we’d be kidding ourselves if we blindly believed that everything would work flawlessly all the time. So basically, I took a calculated risk and it payed off. But does this make me a “badass”? Absolutely. And also the greatest person ever.

  13.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    Major Kudos old boy! That is impressive!!

  14.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    this isn’t badass, this is bullshit

  15.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    Greatest person ever? Don’t let your ego go to your head. It wasn’t much of an achievement, you know. Yeah, it was a great risk, but I wouldn’t mind doing the exact same thing. There’s nothing to it.

  16.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    Oh yes. In your original post you said, “I did what any Mac user would do”. Hmm, you did what any Mac user would do, and for that you call yourself the greatest person ever? Impressive.

    If anything here is badass, it’s Apple. Apple, Mac OS X and Time Machine. You’re just a user. You didn’t create this technology. Apple did. Kudos to Apple.

  17.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    I happen to be a sky diver.

    Do you really want to compare testing Time Machine with skydiving as far as “requiring balls” is concerned? Didn’t think so.

    I wanna see you jump out of a plane at 12,000 feet.

    Testing TM, and then boasting how badass you are?


  18.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    You know I own you, Mike Solomon. Who’s the real badass…

  19.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    @Zews: After what he did, people might say “Oh I can do that too, blah blah blah”, but would they say that BEFORE what he did? He’s the first one to do it, and it’s risky. Kudos to him. Just like skydiving, you are a skydiver, but not the first skydiver, right? Pussy!

    And, whoever you are, stop imitating Apple or Steve Jobs. Imitators are just pussies as well.

  20.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    Mike, how are the Google Stats looking after the link love!?

  21.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    Jon – everything is pretty much the same, except there are a few more people commenting on the site who don’t seem to appreciate my subtle and highly refined sense of sarcasm. Oh well. Keep up the good work – dig your blog.

  22.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    Hello guys, I’m back.

    @Le Son

    Interesting. How do you know he was the first to do it? First to take a risk with Time Machine, AND brag about it, maybe. First to do something extraordinary? Don’t think so.

    Anyhow, how can you compare skydiving to taking a risk with Time Machine? If your parachute’s faulty, that’s it. It’ll be a miracle if you managed to survive the impact. But deleting an iTunes music folder? The worse that can happen is that Time Machine refuses to work and he has to restore the 65GB of music manually. Depressing, yes. But not fatal.

    Oh, would we say that BEFORE what he did? I don’t think so. You know what we would say? Nothing. Yeah, nothing. Because we’re not overly egotistical enough to go bragging about “accomplishing” something when all we did was use a feature of Leopard.

    Another thing, what’s wrong with imitating? I chose to address myself as Apple not because I want personal gain. I gain nothing out of it. I just like it. Simple, yet so nice, in my opinion. And it’s one of my favorite brands when it comes to electronic equipment. Is that a problem?

    @Mike Solomon

    Subtle and highly refined sense of sarcasm? You’re getting more admirable by the second.

  23.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    Hey Mike, thanks for the comments!

    Ignore the snipey comments, highly refined sarcasm requires a degree of intelligence.

    Miserable bugger.


  24.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    it is badass. Do you know how many hours it might take to restore an 65gb itunes library with god knows how many special playlists etc? Time machine is nice…

  25.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    Have you tried Apple’s repair service?

  26.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    What if I used Time Machine to restore my entire 116 GB music collection while sky diving? Would that make me the greatest person ever?

  27.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    Whats the problem with you suckers eh ? This guy’s trying to show us something important through true user experience and you keep trashing him !

    Dont you cheap losers have a little space in your worried minds to spare for a joke or two ? Are you people THAT wasted ?? I pity people like Zews and crap.

    @ Mike: much thanks

  28.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    -enters in a fireball of raging steel-
    “I must stop this infighting and these snipey comments!” (Playing the part of the “militant” all-loving mediator)

    “Jeeesus this guy is such a jackass, pft… he’s just sitting there at his computer thinking he’s cool, being all smug. ALL HE DID WAS SOME STUPID TIMEMACHINE THING. hehe I’ll rib him for that… that’ll be cool… o.0″ (Playing the part of the guy that doesn’t get sarcasm, or the irony of his situation)

    “Hey Mikey, it’s ok man, ignore the naysayers. We’re here behind you. We love you. It’s all good. We know you’re awesome, because we’re awesome.” (Playing the “awesome” friendly protector).


  29.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    So when you restored your library with Time Machine, it kept all your playlists intact? To me, re-making all my playlists would be just as bad as rebuilding my library. Doing my first Time Machine backup now…

  30.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    Hi Rachel – Yes, playlists weren’t affected because I didn’t delete the whole “iTunes” folder, just the “iTunes Music” folder which is a folder deeper than where the playlists and other information are. Hope that helps.

  31.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    Thanks Mike. What I was really asking is this – if I’ve backed up my macbook using time machine, and at some point my hard-drive crashes and I loose everything (including iTunes) – would a restore from Time Machine keep my playlists intact, or would I need to re-create them after the restore.



  32.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    Hi Rachel – assuming the Time Machine backup works properly (it usually should) your computer will be almost completely back to normal – including your iTunes playlists. James Duncan Davidson has a great step-by-step article about his if you need a better resource:

  33.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    I came upon your site(from duncandavidson) after plunking a 1/2 terrabite into my MacBook Pro and runnign TIme Machine to restore. I really dig your sense of humor! Thanks for the giggles…

  34.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    Well Apple is BadAss !!! You are just arseLickin’ :-) If U really are badass I dare you to shoot/edit video on your laptop in realtime as you skysurfdive SilverBallsSurfer !! BTW: I AM THE GREATEST HUMAN EVER.

  35.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    I am impressed and agree that you are a total bad ass…First because you think you are a bad ass, Second because you survived!!!

    To all the Haters…Don’t hate the Player, Hate the Game!

    Between Mike and Duncan I hope to have a new hard drive installed shortly on the PowerBook ;-)

  36.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    I thought Mike was a hero, until I tried the same move with my 190gig of asian porn! Now who is the BADASS Mikey boy.

  37.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    This is fantastic, what a great use of time machine.

    That is badass.

    I’ve love time machine but I don’t have a mac :(

  38.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    jeez, this is what happens when something makes Digg, the morons attack in droves with their lack of humility.


    Back on topic, there’s no way I’d have the balls to do that, but now I’ve read this, I’d be slightly more tempted to if in a similar situation

  39.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    You can’t spell Macgyver without Mac. You are a man among men with whom honor safe and virtue secure. Please, do continue rocking sir.

  40.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    Ghehe, cool move dude. I wonder if it’s also possible to restore my system to Leopard with TM. I installed Snow Leopard a few days ago (without researching consequences, yes, Apple had me by the balls again) but there are quite a few bugs and I would like to go back to Leopard until Apple comes out with 10.6.1. Cheers and do keep up the refined sense of sarcasm. =]

  41.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    That kicks a$$!

  42.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    First of all – thank you for a hilarious article – how people have missed the joke, I don’t know.

    I also don’t know HOW to restore just my iTunes library with Time Machine – everything I can find seems to assume that I want to restore my whole system – I don’t. I have restored some of the iTunes library folder – but the mp3 files just sit there and don’t transfer through to iTunes for me to play – I can’t believe I’m supposed to import them (50g worth) one by one!?1

  43.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    More than the article itself, I enjoyed going through the comments.

    The comments have their own little short stories to tell. LOL

  44.  Rate Comment Up Rate Comment Down  error|1

    Have you ever thought about including a little bit more
    than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and everything.
    However imagine if you added some great pictures or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with images and clips, this site could
    undeniably be one of the greatest in its field. Terrific blog!

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