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How to revert iTunes Library/Playlists

1947 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Mar 9, 2013 6:13 PM by turingtest2 RSS
AIB01 Calculating status...
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Jan 20, 2013 6:47 AM

I’ve been trying to love the new iTunes 11 for the last month or so and have concluded I never will. I’d like to revert back and can see how this can be done but the issue I have is I’ve made lots and lots of changes to my playlists and added lots of additional music since installing which I’ll obviously lose if I simply revert to an older library.


I see there is the facility to export my library and there are a few option formats there. Is it possible to export as an earlier version or in a format that the old version of iTunes will just import as is?

  • polydorus Level 6 Level 6 (11,950 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 20, 2013 6:59 AM (in response to AIB01)

    Presumably you know how to make iTunes 11 look more like 10

    ALT shows the menu bar temporarily

    CTRL+B show/hide menu bar

    CTRL+S show/hide side bar

    CTRL+/ show/hide status bar


    To make search more like it was, click on magnifying glass in search bar and uncheck "search entire library"


    If you still want to downgrade uninstall iTunes and install version 10


    iTunes 10 will not work with the 11 library.

    Normally you would recover the backup made at upgrade from the previous iTunes libraries folder.


    In you case you would need to recreate your library from iTunes library.xml



    All the tracks will have the recreate date as date added, at least it did when I last looked.

  • polydorus Level 6 Level 6 (11,950 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 20, 2013 7:17 AM (in response to AIB01)

    If you do decide to attempt this, I suggest you save a copy your iTunes Library.itl from iTunes 11 so you can go back to it if you need to.


    Personally I don't think it is worth the bother of downgrading, but the only thing that worried me was iTunes DJ and it is possible to simulate it with a smart playlist.


    iTunes 10,7 download



  • polydorus Level 6 Level 6 (11,950 points)
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    Jan 21, 2013 12:22 AM (in response to AIB01)

    Rebuilding from the xml file as I indicated will get you your library as it currently except that the dates added will all be the date that you reimport the xml file.

    If you can live with that, it is straight forward.

  • todd bisson Calculating status...
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    Mar 9, 2013 8:46 AM (in response to AIB01)

    I have a wrinkle on this issue that I am looking for help with before downgrading. I have only had 11 on my window 7 64 bit computer for two weeks so not many changes additions have taken place since the upgrade. The biggest thing for me is that I have 20,000+ wav files in my music library. wav files don't hold metadata so that information is in the .xml and or itl files as I understand it. I want to make sure that doing as instructed in the many posts about downgrading will not lead to the loss of the meta data for these wav files and that would be a devasting loss for me.

    I am hoping someone has experience with a similar library of wav files and can speak to how the transition back to 10.7 worked and whether or not they got their wav metadata through it okay.


    Thanks in advance for any help/responses.

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,870 points)
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    Mar 9, 2013 9:37 AM (in response to todd bisson)

    To roll back to iTunes 10.7 first download a copy of the 32 bit installer or 64 bit installer as appropriate, uninstall iTunes and supporting software, i.e. Apple Application Support & Apple Mobile Device Support. Reboot. Restore the pre-upgrade version of your library database as per the diagram below, then install iTunes 10.7.




    See iTunes Folder Watch for a tool to scan the media folder and catch up with any changes made since the backup file was created.


    Backup your entire library before downgrading, then update the backup once you're happy the downgrade is successful.


  • todd bisson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 9, 2013 9:32 AM (in response to turingtest2)

    I appreciate this, but I am unsure if it answers my question. I doubt that the iTunes Folder Watch can be used to add/manage information to an old itl file and I doubt equally that it could recover lost metadata for wav files should the reversion process and associated old library file usage not include that information.


    Can anyone tell me where metadata for wav files is stored for iTunes? Also, there is plenty of talk about using old library files for the reversion, but no mention of the equally important .xml file. How is the later file effected by the downgrade?

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,870 points)
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    Mar 9, 2013 10:01 AM (in response to todd bisson)

    iTunes Folder Watch is indeed more useful for tagged files, but you may still have a use for it if you have added or removed a lot of files under iTunes 11.


    Everything that iTunes knows about .wav files is stored in the .itl file. Restore it and you restore what is known. Unless you've been rampantly editing your library the pre-upgrade library should be mostly up to date. The .xml file is provided for third party access to the library. It can be used for a partial reconstruction of the library, but it is not ideal. Offhand I would assume it could restore details of .wav files, but I've not tested it. 


    When iTunes import a .wav file all iTunes works with is the filename. If you make sure that the advanced preferences to Keep... and Copy... are turned off you can use my TagFromFilename to fill in many of the blanks. Keeping these options disabled ensures the files will remain in their artist & album folders even if reimported, otherwise iTunes would move them to Unknown Artist\Unknown Album.


    If you grab a complete backup of your library you will be able to restore things should anything go wrong.



  • sellerfella Calculating status...
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    Mar 9, 2013 5:30 PM (in response to turingtest2)

    Success! Thanks for your help.


    The reversion went smoothly. Sad how Apple has lost the plot in the past two years. iTunes has always been a rickety beast, but version 11 is an embarrassment. I know the Siri dude got blown out for that debacle. I hope whomever led the charge on this travesty is not allowed anywhere near the iTunes app going forward.

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,870 points)
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    Mar 9, 2013 6:13 PM (in response to sellerfella)

    You're welcome.




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