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Why is music ripped from CD's missing from my library?

5410 Views 25 Replies Latest reply: Aug 7, 2013 7:35 PM by Jandro13 RSS
  • R0ck0n Calculating status...

    I don't work for Apple and I'm not a programmer. I'm just another frustrated user like you.

    That being said, this is my experience. Maybe it will help you find your music, maybe it won't. No harm, No foul.


    In the past I've always had good luck with iTunes. Then I downloaded iTunes 11.

    Twice now my entire library has gone missing for no apparent reason.

    While looking for my music I discovered that in my "iTunes Music" folder there were folders with the names of artists whose music I had downloaded from eMusic. These folders were (like yours) empty. The music tracks were actually in my eMusic folder. I don't know why iTunes created a dummy folder for them. It seems to have only happened with music that I had bought (from eMusic) a while back. The newer stuff I bought was just put in the eMusic folder.


    As for CDs that I have ripped myself, I have found that iTunes puts them in the "iTunes music" folder under "Music". Just look down the list of artist folders and you will see a folder called Music. This is where iTunes puts all music that I have ripped. If I was looking for a Billy Joel album the path would be...

    C:\Documents and Settings\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music\Music\Billy Joel\Storm Front

    Clicking on the Storm Front folder would reveal the track names.

    To add the tracks back into iTunes use the "Add To Library" in iTunes and follow the path to the artist/album you need to add.

    Yes, it's a hassle. But it has to be done to get your music back.


    I hope this helps. Good luck.

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (44,125 points)

    Empty/corrupt library after upgrade/crash

    Hopefully it's not been too long since you last upgraded iTunes, in fact if you get an empty/incomplete library immediately after upgrading then with the following steps you shouldn't lose a thing or need to do any further housekeeping.  Note that in iTunes 11 an "empty" library may show your past purchases with links to stream or download them.


    In the Previous iTunes Libraries folder should be a number of dated iTunes Library files. Take the most recent of these and copy it into the iTunes folder. Rename iTunes Library.itl as iTunes Library (Corrupt).itl and then rename the restored file as iTunes Library.itl. Start iTunes. Should all be good, bar any recent additions to or deletions from your library.




    Alternatively, depending on exactly when and why the library went missing, there may be a more recent .tmp file in the main iTunes folder that can be renamed as iTunes Library.itl to restore the library to a recent state. There is also the possibility that Windows (Vista or later) has created backup copies of the iTunes Library.itl file which may be found if you right-click on the current copy and select Restore Previous Versions.


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


    When you get it all working make a backup!


    Should you be in the unfortunate position where you are no longer able to access your original library, or a backup of it, then see Recover your iTunes library from your iPod or iOS device.


    I've noticed more of these missing library posts of late and a common factor to most since I started asking is AVG Anti-Virus. It seems in some cases it might be at least part of the reason why the library file disappears. Try excluding the iTunes folder from any AV scanning process.



  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (44,125 points)

    Did you get around to backing up?



  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (44,125 points)

    I backup my iTunes library every time I make changes to it. Incremental backups that take a few minutes. I've actually got three copies. A while back I dropped the 1Tb portable copy that I move between by computers at work and at home. It died. In other circumstance it could so easily have been the only copy of my library and it would have been a major pain. Instead it was a minor cost to replace and a minor inconvenience to rebuild. Hard drives fail. Accidents happen. You've complained that iTunes has lost your files (as yet I don't think you have the evidence to rule out a third party) but despite being concerned that there is a risk you took no precautions? You should routinely backup all your important data.



  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (44,125 points)

    If your backup doesn't allow you to recover files deleted in error, or at least warn you that files will be pruned, then it isn't up to the job. I don't know what you're doing differently to me but iTunes never loses my files. And I can reproduce that on different computers too. Perhaps it makes a difference that I don't let it reorganise my files, but I've set up plenty of libraries for other people with the default settings and they work without any issue too.



  • Jandro13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I had this problem earlier today (found this topic):


    When I was importing an audiobook from CD, I noticed the first 4 tracks were missing. I looked everywhere and could not find them.


    Root cause: I allowed Itunes to do the auto import before I labeled the Audiobook CD, so it was going into my library with no categorization (therefore not associated to the rest of the tracks / book / cd / genre). So it labeled everything correctly from track 5 and on, but didn't realize I meant the first 4 tracks were the same thing.


    My solution: I hit "no" when it asks to import the CD automatically, then label the CD with all the details, then hit Import CD. Viola, all tracks are associated with each other, 8 full CDs worth.


    Hope this helps someone else!

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