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iTunes STILL deleting playlists

637 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Aug 4, 2013 1:18 PM by turingtest2 RSS
geogan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Apr 2, 2013 1:03 AM

I created new playlist for first time in maybe two years a few days ago (i have other playlists from before that that are still there) and I noticed

for the second time that it is GONE from both iPhone 4 AND iTunes in Windows 7. This is the second timje I have created this playlist and the second time it has disappeared. It appears to go after sync with phone.

I created it using latest iTunes using the Playlists->New Playlist option and then added songs using the "Add To..." icon. After adding all the tracks, I then added the new playlist to the Music->Playlists to sync to phone and it worked fine. I had the playlist working on my phone for maybe a week and I'm sure I synced the phone to iTunes a few times since then, but this morning when I tried to play music on phone, there was no music at all on it, the playlist was GONE and since all music on phone was just from this one playlist, it deleted all the music too. Then I looked in iTunes on the PC and all my old from years ago playlists are still there but the new one I created is now gone again. *** is going on? Am I doing something wrong or is this bug still there in iTunes from years ago?

iPhone 4, iOS 6.1.3
  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (44,105 points)
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    Apr 2, 2013 1:31 AM (in response to geogan)

    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 copied and renamed as iTunes Library.itl to restore the library to an earlier state. Look for a recent .tmp file that is similar in size to the .itl files in the Previous iTunes Libraries folder. If it has happened repeatedly you may want the earliest such file generated since the last iTunes upgrade.


    If applicable, 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 (44,105 points)
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    Apr 2, 2013 4:30 AM (in response to geogan)

    iTunes makes a temporary copy of each database file as it updates them, then delete the originals and renames the new copy to replace it. The temporary files you can see result from the process being disturbed. How big is iTunes Library 2012-09-29.itl? Is there a temporary file of a similar size dated around the last time your library was working properly? The earliest one that is within the timeframe is the most likely to work. Otherwise, unless you have some other backup, you will just have to go back to the last known good .itl from the Previous iTunes Libraries folder. You will lose recent ratings, playcounts and recently added playlists, but any media added in the meantime can be imported by adding the media folder to the library and at least your iPhone will be able to sync with a restored version of your library. If you're really keen not to lose the ratings & playcounts my script SyncStats might help



  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (44,105 points)
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    Apr 2, 2013 6:46 AM (in response to geogan)

    How many songs are (or should be) in your library? The library file is an index to these and also holds your playlists, it isn't necessarily that large. The .xml file is larger in comparison. For me iTunes Library Genius.itdb is somewhere between the two and iTunes Library Extras the smallest. As far as I can tell each of these files gets updated via the .tmp file mechanism. Each .tmp file you see may be a complete or partial copy of one the database files.



  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (44,105 points)
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    Apr 2, 2013 1:11 PM (in response to geogan)

    The library records the path to each file, a local copy of the tag data and playlist membership, in a custom SQL database from what I can gather. It should be quite compact. The XML is most of the same data in a plain text form, and typically much larger.


    Yep, they're supposed to appear briefly, the original deleted and then the .tmp renamed. If iTunes is functioning normally the only time you see one is if you happen to be watching for them to flick in and out of existence (though my home PC is so slow and I can actually refresh the view and see the size change) or if the computer crashes mid flow and they are there when you reboot. iTunes does a bit of fault tolerance by using the hidden sentinel file to note when it is updating files so it will do an integrity check in certain circumstances, but if your library is in the normal location of <User's Music>\iTunes and iTunes Library.itl is missing on startup then iTunes behaves as if it has just been installed. No error messages given.


    AVG seems to be linked to a lot of these, though I guess another mechanism could be in play. That said I'd try disabling it, or whatever AV you use, while you're trying to get sorted, at least until you've found and backed up a good file.



  • funkyphill Calculating status...
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    Apr 2, 2013 1:54 PM (in response to geogan)

    Exactly the same thing happened to me this evening, but I managed to get it all back.  Have a look at all the temporary files that are now sat in your iTunes folder.  I wondered if these might have been created by some error with the libraries.  Here's what I did.


    Delete all your music in iTunes, but remember to 'Keep Files'

    Close iTunes

    Delete the 'iTunes Library.itl' file.  Also delete 'iTunes Music Library.itl' if that's also there.

    Look at the times that the temporary files were created.  Choose the most recent, but at a time when you had your full library available.  There will be more recent ones that will just have the new 'minimalist' library in them!

    Rename it 'iTunes Library.itl'.  It will warn you that changing a file type can do all sorts of nasty stuff, just confirm you still want to do it.

    Re-open iTunes, et voila, music SHOULD be back.

    Probably worth backing up at this point if it worked

  • Firzen777 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 2, 2013 9:26 PM (in response to funkyphill)

    FunkyPhill, you just saved me from flipping millions of tables.  All my playlistsfor the second time in the week had disappeared off itunes.  I recreated it the first time it disappeared, slightly ****** but I kinda needed to clean the playlists as it was a mess.  But when it disappeared again today, I couldn't redo all that work recreating from scratch again.


    I remember seeing itunes had a "Previous itunes Libraries" folder on some versions of itunes but not on my computer.  Your steps to fixing the problem were perfect. I never knew itunes just kept the old playlists and renamed them to "iT 1.tpm", "iT 2.tpm" etc.  I found my iT 13.tpm was 419kb while the next tmp file was "iT 14.tmp" at 5kb.  Following your steps on deleting and renaming that 13th tmp file to iTunes Library.itl fixed everything. THANK YOU.


    When I reread Turingtest2 post after fixing, it now kinda makes sence what he was saying so credit to him too.

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (44,105 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 4, 2013 1:18 PM (in response to geogan)

    My advice, ditch your current AV in favour of Microsoft Security Essentials and backup!




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