13 Replies Latest reply: Dec 30, 2012 2:41 PM by turingtest2
ianfromselkirk Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I am trying to play songs on my itunes and all I get is a message saying `the song could not be used because original file could not be found``

  • 1. Re: How do I locate original file of songs on my itunes
    mjkomjko Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Success!!! I had this same issue after I replaced my desktop harddrive.  Upon running iTunes, and attempting to import files, folders and playlists, and even choosing the right directory for iTunes to get my music, most of the songs would not play because of that ! asterisk, and the message that the original file could not be found.

    One thing that needs to be done, is that all of your mp3s should be either moved or copied into one directory, so you don't have iTunes looking here there and everywhere for your music. Do a Windows search for "*.mp3" to display all of your music on all of your drives.  Then copy this entire list into one file where you can direct iTunes to find them all together.

    Once you do that, you need to access your iTunes library file, the most updated, and largest.  Do this by going to Windows file search and typing "*.itl".  This should be the link that you choose under iTunes Edit, Preferences, Advanced.

    Now for the tricky part.  You need to do one more Windows search for the iTunes xml library. Do a Windows search for "itunes music library.xml".

    This should be your most recent or the one you know has the last good complete list of music.  It most likely will be the largest, or at least to your recollection, the last known date that your iTunes worked right.

    Then you need to open this xml file in Word.  It will look like programming script, which it is.  On the top header of Windows Word under the Home tab, far right, is the selection "Replace".  Pick this and after scrolling down through the script and finding the path of your music that is directing iTunes to the wrong drive, replace all incorrect drive paths to the new one you have made.  Or if you haven't made a new one, to where all of your music resides.  Example, in a string line that starts with the word pathname, look at the dirive it's referring to. So as an example, Replace /C:/  with /F:/ and choose Replace All. 

    This will correct the paths that were all wrong and giving you all the asterisk errors finding the original music files.Save this file under your music directory.  (Save this as a Word xml file under your music directory.)

    Then simply restart iTunes holding the shift button and select this correct xml file as iTunes loads.

  • 2. Re: How do I locate original file of songs on my itunes
    mjkomjko Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    You'll have multiple copies of your music now.  Sort your entire music by date added, and just delete all the older versions.  (This is a box selection under View/ View Options. Good luck.  It fixed my headache.

  • 3. Re: How do I locate original file of songs on my itunes
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,550 points)

    Too late now but my script FindTracks can manage remapping paths if you move the media folder without breaking all the library stats such as Date Added, Rating, Play Count etc. which I suspect yours will have lost.

     

    tt2

  • 4. Re: How do I locate original file of songs on my itunes
    bradleydean1954 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    mjkomjko:

    I'm afraid I'm not bright enough to follow your written instructions . . . anyway you could call me or skype me and walk me through this process so I can find my 700 missing songs?

     

    bradleydean54

    Thanks!

    Brad

     

     

    < Edited by Host >

  • 5. Re: How do I locate original file of songs on my itunes
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,550 points)

    Hi Brad, select one of the missing songs, press CTRL-I to Get Info, then cancel when asked to try to locate the file. Look at the Summary tab and note down the location. If should begin file://... Now search you hard drives for the actual file in question. Post back with both paths and I can give specific instructions on how to either slide the data back to where iTunes expects to find it, or use my FindTracks script to make the repairs.

     

    tt2

  • 6. Re: How do I locate original file of songs on my itunes
    bradleydean1954 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)


    Thanks! Well, the FI worked for me and it gave me a very long pathway, but when I put it into the Start search box (whatever that's called) - it cannot find it. I'm sure I putting it in the search box incorrectly, as computers and I are like oil and water . . .

    Brad

  • 7. Re: How do I locate original file of songs on my itunes
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,550 points)

    When searching for the file you can either hunt around by hand or search for part of filename. Don't use the whole path as we know the file isn't there. For example, say my drive holding my media has been changed from D: to M: for some reason. My copy of "Take On Me" would now show as file://localhost/D:/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music/a-ha/Take On Me/01 Take On Me.mp3. Hopefully I'd notice the change of drive letters and work out the obvious path but if I needed to seach then I'd look for 01 Take On Me.mp3 across the whole computer. In this scenario I can either force the drive letter back to its original value or use my FindTracks script and point it at M:\iTunes\iTunes Media as the location for the missing files.

     

    tt2

  • 8. Re: How do I locate original file of songs on my itunes
    bradleydean1954 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I cannot find this tune (one of the 700 I 'lost,' but found a pathway for using your FI advice): File://localhost/J:/mymusic/the best air guitar album in the world ever III/cd 1/06 - the red hot chili peppers - higherground.mp3 (I'm not sure where the spaces are between words.)

     

    I notice this is a "J" drive, which would not be correct. Could I have truly lost these 700 songs? If so, I will go outside right now and throw my ipod into the ocean . . . except that I'm located in Nebraska.

  • 9. Re: How do I locate original file of songs on my itunes
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,550 points)

    Hmm, that rather looks as if the missing track was on an external drive or network share of some kind which is not currently connected. Time for some headscratching... Don't suppose the tracks in question are still on the iPod you want to drown? If so they could be recovered from there.

     

    tt2

  • 10. Re: How do I locate original file of songs on my itunes
    bradleydean1954 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Well, I downloaded Music Rescue (thanks for the tip), but all it did was duplicate the songs on my ipod that I already had access to, without finding (I suppose) the missing 700 songs listed on my itunes listing (with ! next to them). I recall loading all these songs from CD's (of a friend who is now in a different state!), so not sure how/why they now show "J" drive when I >Control-I< them. Am I SOL??? Where in the #$%& did they all go????????

  • 11. Re: How do I locate original file of songs on my itunes
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,550 points)

    Ah well, if they were your friend's CDs and not yours, then you ought not to have been loading them up into your library.

     

    tt2

  • 12. Re: How do I locate original file of songs on my itunes
    halohill Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I had my comupter crash and they whiped the harddrive.  I have no back up so I am getting ! on every song when I try to make it to an mp3 version.  I just want to put the music I have on my IPhone now on itunes to a usb so I can play the music I already purchased in my car.