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Artist search is broken for MP3 files in iTunes 11?

466 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Feb 15, 2013 11:56 AM by slaterk RSS
BradPDX Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 16, 2013 4:36 PM

I am having a first world problem.


I am using iTunes 11.01 on 2 Macs - an old 2006 iMac running 10.7.5, and a new MacBook Pro running 10.8.2. Both exhibit the same odd behavior.


  • If I add new MP3 files to iTunes (such as tracks from Amazon), artist name search may fail even though it is 100% certain that the artist is present in my library
  • If I add new AAC files, buy tracks from the iTunes Store or rip a CD to AAC, everything works fine
  • If I search for the album name(s), those always work correctly.


I can "fix" this by unchecking the search parameter "Search entire library", but that is not terribly satisfying. I cannot determine what is causing only certain file types to have this problem.


This is complicated by the fact that I use iTunes Match to coordinate about 20,000 tracks among my 4 devices (iMac, MacBook, iPhone, iPad).




  1. Buy MP3 tracks from Amazon from an artist not presently in the library
  2. Add them to iTunes (the Amazon downloader does this automatically)
  3. Verify that the tracks play fine (they do)
  4. Search for the artist name


Expected result:

  • Artist name is found, album is displayed


Actual result:

  • Nothing is found


Bizarro exception:

  1. Go to another device connected to iTunes Match for this account
  2. Search for the same artist as above
  3. It works


Visual example:




In this example, I downloaded the new Bill Fay album from Amazon (hey, it was on sale!). As you can see, the search field is looking for "Bill Fay", and reporting that there are "No Results". But the album is plainly visible (and playing) in the album browser.


My hunch is that something about the new MP3 files causes the iTunes database to fail in some manner. The reason that other machines connected to iTunes Match work correctly is that the MP3 files are not present; only the "Matched" AAC files from the iTunes store and in iCloud.


Thoughts, y'all?

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • EssPow Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 17, 2013 12:47 PM (in response to BradPDX)

    Maybe also related to this, but all of my music that was not bought on iTunes disappeared this morning.

    I tried re-importing all my music that I did not buy on iTunes, but after it runs through the import process, they still won't show up anywhere.

    If I go to the 'Playlists' section then I can see it does show the playlists that were imported in my Music folder, but nothing else.

    If I search up an artist name that I didn't buy on iTunes, it shows up in the dropdown, but if I click on it, nothing happens.


    This is a really weird issue, and I hope it's not a bug or at least I hope there's a fix for it. Just thought I'd throw this in here in case it's related.

  • Steve Taylor1 Level 5 Level 5 (4,660 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 17, 2013 1:23 PM (in response to BradPDX)

    To return search to the previous method of working


    Click on arrow in Search Box and untick Search Entire Library. Search should now work how it used to

  • Steve Taylor1 Level 5 Level 5 (4,660 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 17, 2013 1:31 PM (in response to BradPDX)

    I guess the tagging on the MP3s is different on Amazon downloads compared with apple downloads.


    Have a look at both and compare get info information

  • Steve Taylor1 Level 5 Level 5 (4,660 points)

    Try changing search as i said and it should find the mp3 files. I have mp3 files and it works, but i did not get any from amazon

  • slaterk Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    that solved it for me (un ticking the seach all) ... go figure!


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