Hello there, OzBuddy.
You have a variety of questions that the following Knowledge Base article should help you find answers to:
One section I'd recommend:
You're missing music or other media in iTunes
- iTunes Store: Finding missing purchases and downloads
- If you've recently updated iTunes, follow steps in No content shows up in iTunes after updating.
- If you're attempting to restore your iTunes library from a backup, see iTunes: Back up your iTunes library by copying to an external hard drive.
- If your iTunes library is unexpectedly empty (iTunes for Windows only), see iTunes creates an empty library file in Windows.
The other would be:
Re-creating the iTunes Library file
Note: After re-creating your library, any devices that you sync with iTunes (Apple TV, iPod, iPhone, iPad) will see your iTunes library as a new library and will completely resync. The next sync with such a device will take longer and may reset some options since your rebuilt library isn't familiar to the device.
1. Quit iTunes.
2. Locate your iTunes folder (this is the folder that contains the iTunes Library and iTunes Library.xml files).
Operating System Default location of iTunes Folder Mac OS X
Microsoft Windows XP
\Documents and Settings\[your username]\My Documents\My Music\
Microsoft Windows Vista
Microsoft Windows 7
\Users\[your username]\My Music\
3. Open your iTunes folder.
4. Drag the "iTunes Library.xml" or "iTunes Music Library.xml" file to the Desktop. If neither is available, learn how to add files back to the Library (because the XML file is not available, playlists and other information will not be available).
5. Drag the following file from your iTunes folder to the Trash:
Mac OS X "iTunes Library" or "iTunes Library.itl" Microsoft Windows "iTunes Library.itl"
6. Open iTunes.
Important: Do not add any content into iTunes at this point (such as by purchasing something from the iTunes Store).
7. Choose File > Library > Import Playlist.
8. Navigate to the "iTunes Library.xml" file on the Desktop.
- Mac users: Click Choose.
- Windows users: Click Open.
If your Podcasts list in iTunes is empty after following these steps, learn how to add them back into iTunes.
Thanks for reaching out to Apple Support Communities.
Ideally you would have moved the entire iTunes folder as a unit, then held down shift as you launched iTunes, holding until prompted to choose or create a library, used the choose option and opened the library in the new location.
Perhaps this method is still available to you. If not see Recover your iTunes library from your iPod or iOS device.
The principles are much the same on a Mac, though if the library was original created on a much older version of iTunes iTunes might be looking for a file called iTunes Library without the .itl extension, and there are different tools for making the library match up with the media folder. If you've let Time Machine do its thing then it might have a backup of the library file.
yes, it was an older version for sure. the two files in question have been fiddled with back and forth to no avail and I am not even sure what is what anymore as now there are even less appearing in itunes. All I did was try to recover purchased music from my stolen iphone, which I eventually found and dowloaded to icloud. When I tried to copy to ipod, it wouldn't sync. I consolidated the library and upgraded then all was wiped. Time Machine?
grrrrr! it seems to happen after that, or the upgrade. sadly, my music is gone forever. And I am pretty furious with Apple. I cannot believe this happened, there is no reason it should have! If I bring the computer to an apple tech do you think he/she could find wiped library? What is the other method if older version was used? thanks again
The default name for a new iTunes database file is iTunes Library.itl - back in the day, on a Mac only, it was iTunes Library. If you're playing copy and rename you need to match with the file iTune is looking for otherwise it will create a new empty library for you, however an "empty" library can still show all your purchases with downloadable links to the cloud so it may not be so obvious that it is empty.
Doug's scripts MusicFolder Files Not Added and Super Remove Dead Tracks can do the same task as iTunes Folder Watch that I recommend in the earlier linked post, provided the files really are in the media folder. If they've been deleted from both your library and your device the last restort is some kind of deleted file recovery tool. Not a topic I've explored on a Mac.