11 Replies Latest reply: Aug 6, 2007 1:40 AM by neil0626
Rlanger Level 1 (0 points)
A large number of my songs appear with an exclamation point next to their name, indicating that iTunes can't find the actual song files. When I try to access them (get info or play) I get the option to find them with explorer. When I look in the folder they SHOULD be(i.e. artist, album), they still are there! iTunes should have been able to find them itself. I can "re-connect" them by selecting the file(s one by one), but this is very time consuming for a large library, and it keeps happening - making it a never ending process. Those exclamation points HAVE to be cleared up, or those songs won't sync with the iPod.
1) Why does iTunes keep losing files that are still present in the correct folders ("iTunes organizes" is checked)?
2) Since the files ARE still located in the proper folders, is there a way to get iTunes to reconnect them automatically?

HP Laptop, Windows XP
  • tin10er Level 1 (0 points)
    I am having the exact same issue. VERY VERY FRUSTRATED!!!

    I need to download new rehearsal music for the group I sing with and I can't because I'm afraid to connect my iPod and have it update with all the "missing" music.

    So, I'm stuck with a mostly non-functioning iTunes and 2 iPods!!

    Someone, please help!!!
  • Agentdoubleobeaner Level 1 (0 points)
    Okay guys, I too had this problem. I did two things, I had a extra hard copy of the song/cd that had the exclaimanation point. The first thing I did was delete the song off iTunes, locate the song in its folder and double-clicked it to reacivate it into iTunes, almost like off a CD. That somehow worked. I guess iTunes was confused somehow. But if possible, get an extra copy of the song/cd and delete the song and file and just re-import it off the hard copy.

  • tin10er Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you for taking the time to respond.

    The one issue with doing it that way though is that iTunes won't even import them after upgrading to 7.2 so there are over 1000 songs in my iTunes music folder that aren't being recognized by iTunes.

    And, as the original poster said, even if I manually "import" each song, it happens all over again making my time a complete loss.

    Any other suggestions?
  • Dancagrl94 Level 1 (0 points)
    Same here, thanks for responding but i still have the exclimation points. I'm scared to update my iPod because im afraid i wont be able to listen to those songs on my ipod again which also means i wont be able to charge my ipod wich means i cant use my ipod when and as long as i want to. This REALLY STINKS!!!!! Why cant the people that control iTunes help us?! They should send us an email or somthing telling us about what's happeneing because trust me, we're not the only ones that this is happening to. I think the iTunes people should somehow fix it. But someone... HELP!!
  • nricca Level 1 (0 points)
    I had a similar problem after upgrading to Itunes 7.2. After the upgrade my library was there but Itunes wouldn't play the songs. I cleared the library and rebuilt it and noticed only about a third of my songs could be re-imported. After 5 days of trying everything under the sun (moved folders to different drives, manipulated ID3 tags and filenames, etc) to get Itunes to recognize my files I think I may have found the problem ... well, at least the one that was keeping my files from being recognized.

    I figured the problem may be an ID3 tag version problem so I downloaded a program called ID3-Tagit 3 (freeware) to do some batch fixing of the tags. I spent a few hours messing with the tags and didn't notice any difference. So I looked for 1 album where some of the files were imported and some weren't then looked what was different. I noticed in the "information" box in ID3 Tagit that the files that did get imported where MPEG 1 Layer 3 and the files that failed to import where MPEG 2.5 Layer 3. I then researched MPEG 2.5 and found that all though it is a valid MPEG version, it's not supported as a standard. My guess is that something changed in Itunes to enforce strictly the use of MPEG 1 Layer 3 files and MPEG 2 Layer 3 files. I figure that one of the programs that I used to rip my mp3's used the 2.5 encoder when making variable bit rate files (I like VBR to maximize file size to quality ratio). I then used an MP3 converter to convert some of the files to MPEG 1, and saw a notable increase in the number files detected by itunes.

    I realize this may only be one of the problems causing files to fail to import, but hopefully I can save someone the 5 days I wasted looking at this.

    PC Home Built   Windows XP Pro  
  • tin10er Level 1 (0 points)
    nricca - thank you!! I will look in to that on mine and yes, I really DO appreciate saving me the 5 days of work - I'm only at around 1!!
  • Steven Whatley Level 1 (95 points)
    I've had this problem since upgrading to iTunes 7.2 but on a much smaller scale. So far, only a few dozen files have went missing. Even some purchased iTMS songs have went missing. Dragging & dropping the files from Explorer to iTunes brought them back in. I then deleted the bad links. However, I had to re-apply some ID3 tags.

    Currently I am re-importing 200+ CDs into iTunes. I'm replacing the 320kbps MP3s with 256kbps AAC files. I've heard that the MP3 encoder in iTunes is not very good. So, instead of converting the MP3s to AAC, I am just re-importing the original CDs. Plus I hope to free up a little space on my 60GB iPod Photo which, currently, only has 10GB free. Yes, I am getting rid of any stray MP3 files that didn't get replaced due to song title differences.

    It was during this re-imporing effort I have found more iTMS purchased songs that have gone missing. I wonder if I am doing something wrong that I am doing. I've noticed that when I close iTunes for Windows that a about 30 seconds after the iTunes window goes away that a small progress bar pops up for about a minute. I guess iTunes is still running and saving stuff.

    Sometimes closing iTunes is the last thing that I do before shutting down the PC. Sometimes I forget to wait for this progress bar to appear and go way before I initiate the shutdown process. Also, I have recently had problems with my D-Link DGS-1005D gigabit switch which seems to cause the loss of network connection. The My Music directory is on a network drive (1TB Buffalo Terastation).

    The combination of these two circumstances may have contributed the problem of bad links. However, I only started having this problem since I updated to iTunes 7.2.

    BTW, this week, I replaced the gigabit switch with a D-Link DGS-2208 which supports jumbo frames. The DGS-1005D didn't support jumbo frames at all.

    Well, that is enough rambling.

  • Alia Ogron Level 1 (0 points)
    I suddenly started having problems with syncing a couple of individual MP3 files to my ipod -- no exclamation point, but the "X song cannot be moved to the iPod because the iPod cannot play this song" error message sure isn't helpful, esp when I can see the file, and play the song in iTunes -- and it's played on the ipod in the past! (A coworker couldn't import a CD to iTunes or put a podcast onto his iPod, and got the same error message, though he's using a different model ipod and is on the Windows platform.) I wonder if these issues are related to the lost-files issues you've got going on here? I may look at the tagging and such mentioned by some posters to this thread.
  • tin10er Level 1 (0 points)
    Okay, guys. I think I have a solution. It's working now anyway.

    There is a response to a post on a similar topic that I found helpful with this issue.

    Go to a post titled: "Loss of iTunes library, with entire library still on iPod". As of this moment it is on page 11 of the posts.

    In it is a write up with links about programs that transfer the music and playlists on your iPod back to iTunes. You can try the demo versions. There is also a link to reviews of some of the programs.

    I tried most demos that worked with Windows and found that the one that seemed best for me is called iPodCopy. I tried doing what I'm going to tell you about using the demo version but found that it doesn't allow enough transfers to do my whole iPod so I had to purchase it for $20. I didn't want to spend the money, but decided my time is worth more.

    So, here's what I did.

    Download and purchase the software.

    Make sure that iTunes is closed and your iPod is NOT connected.

    Open iPodCopy and go to "help" for the very simple directions of "how to".

    Follow the instruction carefully so you don't overwrite your iPod accidentally. Check out the instructions/FAQ's about not accidentally syncing your iPod while connecting.

    NOTE: If you have windows, press Ctrl & Shift and CONTINUE TO HOLD while and after you connect your iPod. This will ensure your iPod does not begin to sync.

    Once you get into iTunes, click on your iPod and check off the manual sync and enable disk.

    Next, I chose to create a new iTunes Music folder and directed iTunes to that folder. That way I knew it would be the restore from my iPod and not mess up my existing iTunes folder in case something didn't work right.

    Then go back to iPodCopy and follow the instruction.

    I have been able to recreate my iTunes now using my iPod and so far there are no exclamation points, all the songs and playlists are back, I'm playing music, and my iPod has been updated using the recreated iTunes. All seems well so far.

    Hope this works for you!! If you have any questions about this I'll try to check back later and answer.
  • dgmachine Level 1 (0 points)
    I have had intermittent problems with iTunes losing songs right from the start and it is really starting to annoy me.
    I have just spent a number of hours researching on the net and have found a large number of people have this problem, Windows and Mac, with no solution.
    I have imported most of my music via CD using iTunes, saving in VBR MP3 format. I have never moved or played with the music file location.
    1. Music files randomly get exclamation points when they are still there on the hard drive in the right spot. Solution: find and reimport the file... tedious and happens for no reason.
    2. Music files suddenly get moved to 'unknown artist' folder for no reason... again find and reimport file. tedious.
    3. The latest and most annoying: Music files/folders are suddenly not recognised by iTunes. They were created by iTunes. They play in Windows media. The files themselves are fine. I have read posts about ID3 tags... they seem fine.
    They are in the correct location. they are in the iTunes library but just do not play on PC when double clicked.No error is reported. They then do not play on the iPod after a sync. The iPod goes into a loop of trying to find each track in lost album... when it cannot play it.. goes onto the next track... forever.
    4. I tried to rebuild my iTunes library and reimported all the tracks from my My Music folders. iTunes did not import the 'lost' folders... as mentioned in point 3.

    This is just so frustrating. It is completely random.
    How much more music has randomly disappeared? It will take days to check folders vs iTunes library.


    Somebody please help...
  • neil0626 Level 1 (0 points)
    I will add to this - and keep checking to see if there is an easy fix.
    My problem is that when I copy from ITunes to my ipod every 3rd or 4th song appears with an ! next to it - and skips over / wont play.
    I've restored my Ipod twice. I've added one song at a time, albums and playlists - all to no impact.
    First time I had this problem was this week when upgrading to 7.2

    The problem seems to be completely random, and doesn't affect my kids two shuffles.