3 Replies Latest reply: Jun 9, 2013 3:51 PM by Joey!! 【ツ】
ClaireRosie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hello. This is going to take a while to explain, but thank you in advance if you are brace enough to tackle this problem.


This is how it started..


I had an itunes library already and it was perfectly sorted etc. I don't know what was going on behind the scenes in terms of music folders etc, but in itunes it looked great. Then I took some music off my friends mac. Basically I wasn't thinking at the time so I should dragged and dropped whatever I wanted into myhardrive without creating a folder or anything (Like i said i wasn't thinking). Then when it came to putting the new (1000 songs approx) onto my laptop I stupidly just command + A'd my entire harddrive and copy and pasted it into itunes. So needless to say everything in my harddrive, like my past back ups of my mac etc, went into my itunes. It took hours to transfer over by which time i was starting to realise my mistake and sobbed whilst leaving it on over night to finish transferring.


Anyway thats the first catalyst in the construction of this mess..The plot, unfortunately, thickens.


My itunes obviously had ALOT of duplicates and through running a little experiment with a song i didnt care about losing i noticed that if you 'display duplicates' and delete all the duplicates this doesnt leave ANY copies of the song in itunes, which is beyond annoying and almost makes the feature redundant, for my needs anyway. I also had all the random mac 'sounds' and random things that shouldnt have been in itunes due to me copying EVERYTHING from my harddrive into poor itunes.


So I recruited some help from a friend. This was his plan: Delete everything in itunes, go back on time machine and back up itunes from there so i was back to the position i was in before transferring everything from the harddrive and then going back into my harddrive and importing the music in a more organised, less hasty manner. So he backed up my itunes as it was just incase something went wrong. This took a good half hour and he named the folder 'new old itunes'. Then he deleted the contents of itunes and went backin itunes to my last back up and restored itunes. However this is where things start to go more wrong. There was lots of stuff missing, as if the back up hadnt worked. Like the albums would be incomplete etc. So we went into the folder mentioned above 'new old itunes' and in there too there was music missing. If you clicked on an album it would be empty or only have 3 tracks when there should be like 15 or whatever.

Anyway he had to go, so i started doing some investigating and the music is still on my mac, just in random folders. so one particular song for instance wouldnt be in my itunes, wouldnt be in the back up, wouldnt be in the 'old new itunes' but if i searched for the track name in finder i would find it in other folders.


I know im getting a bit sketchy on the finer details but im not 100% what my friend did, this isnt his fault just itunes and mac acting funky but its even worse now. Anyway I seem to have multiple copies of lots of music. The music from the import that messed everything up is still on my mac in random places and needless to say, due to all these duplicates all over the place, my mac is full to the brim so i need to delete stuff but am unsure of what is safe to delete!


There is probably stuff i have missed out that if you suggest something to me i might reply saying that i have tried that and explain why it didnt work, please dont think im being rude. I've spent many hours trying to sort this and i think i have probably inadvertently messed it up more! I have delete the folder mentioned above, but it is still in my trash so could get it again, but as mentioned it is incomplete anyway.


If someone has any clue how to solve this i would be very very grateful, im so sad about it. I like having my itunes all nice!


Basically i want all the music, pre-mess up and all the new music on my harddrive to be in my itunes all nice and stuff.


Many thanks in advance and I'm sorry that its a long one and ive been lacking in grammar and punctuation alot.

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.3)
  • 1. Re: I have the most messed up iTunes/Mac ever at the moment.
    Joey!! 【ツ】 Level 2 Level 2 (255 points)

    Well, indeed that does not sound like a fun situation to be in. But, it is VERY good you are using Time Machine.


    Let me explain, that there are two options when it comes to storing files in iTunes. When you import files, it will either leave the file in its original location on the hard drive and iTunes will know its location, or it will copy the file and store it in Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music/Artist_Name/Album_Name/, IF you have the option enabled titled "Keep iTunes Media folder organized."


    I imagine you have it set to copy everything into the iTunes Media folder, which explains why your hard drive is filling up. Otherwise no extra space would have been taken up.


    Therefore, my recommendation is this:

    Quit iTunes first. Then navigate to ~/Music in Finder, then Enter Time Machine. Restore the ENTIRE iTunes folder in that location from a previous backup that occurred BEFORE this whole thing happened. Depending on how much space you have left on your hard drive, it may be wise to first delete the entire current iTunes folder. The restore could take a long time, depending on how much data you have in iTunes.


    This will guarantee you get back to a previous library, exactly as it was at that date and time. Yes, it may be a bit overkill but it is by far the simplest solution. Hope that works!

  • 2. Re: I have the most messed up iTunes/Mac ever at the moment.
    ClaireRosie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your reply. Yes this is a shituation alright.


    We did that initally after the 'mess' and that was when i started noticing that alot of tracks were missing. Which therefore leads me to believe that the back up didnt happen correctly in the first place a month or so prior to my mistake(s). For example one artists who I had say 6 albums for was missing an album or two and some of the albums that had been imported were missing tracks also.


    Hope that makes sense. 

  • 3. Re: I have the most messed up iTunes/Mac ever at the moment.
    Joey!! 【ツ】 Level 2 Level 2 (255 points)

    Perhaps you stored some songs in the iTunes folder and some outside of that folder in another location on your hard drive, say for example, Documents? In which case, restoring the entire iTunes folder wouldn't solve the issue of missing songs outside of that location.


    Even if that's the case, that may be a better starting place than anywhere else. You'd just have to see where iTunes expects the missing files (right click a song, click Get Info, Summary, and note the Where location at the bottom), find the file on your hard drive and place it back where iTunes expects it.


    After you get everything sorted out, I'd recommend organizing the library (File > Library > Organize Library) and keeping the folder organized (Preferences > Advanced) so all your music is in the iTunes folder. This will make everything much simpler and prevent the problem in the future, among other issues and difficulties.