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I stopped getting -50 when I installed with no files in the "Podcasts" library. I can't guarantee it, but I believe you will NOT see the -50 error if you don't have any podcasts.
Now if you are saying you have podcast files, but aren't subscribed to anything, then I'm not sure, but I suspect you could have the same problem.
A FIX IF YOU CUSTOMIZED SORTING!
This worked for me, with no loss of any library information. YMMV.
For me the problem was that I had customized some of the new "Sort" fields introduced in the last version.
I could tell it was a problem because I had used the sort field to sort by last name (for example "Simon, Paul" instead of "Paul Simon") and it was sorting by "Paul Simon" even though the sort field said "Simon, Paul". But after opening the information panel and hitting OK (or Next), it did sort it by "Simon, Paul". So then I had two Paul Simon entries, one for P (for the ones that hadn't been fixed yet) and one for S (for the ones that had).
I then fixed all my entries by viewing all the songs in the browser, viewing information for the first, and clicking Next all the way through. Boring but it worked! I also only had about 800 songs, so it wasn't actually too bad.
And after that it was able to write the library!
This version also does nicer things with the Artist listing; for albums mainly by one artist but with one song done jointly, (example: I have a B.B. King album with a song by "B.B. King and U2"). I use "B.B. King" as the sort field for both and then only "B.B. King" shows up in the artist listing; the song by "B.B. King and U2" is under the B.B King list. Nice!
This may sound like a stupid question, but if you have both customized sorting and podcasts, how do you get the library to save your modifications if, uh, it can't save in the first place?
I tried deleting my podcasts, and naturally, the next time I opened iTunes, they magically reappeared.
A solution NOT involving iTunes 7.2 would be nice.
Just for the record: after getting bored with 7.2 for a few days, I thought it was worth another shot. So I dragged my podcasts to the desktop, backed up just in case, and then installed 7.3 again. I held my breath while it updated my library. Tense pause....no error message. Yippee. I dragged my podcasts back to iTunes and now all seems to be well.
Having the same problem with a 4th Gen Video iPod.
Have over 30gigs of podcasts, suspect this might be causing the problem. (Didn't Apple test with large file quantities??)
Also my iTunes files are on my external "e:" drive, not in My Music.
In any case, saw someone suggest checking macworld.com.
Very strange -- did a search for "Unknown error (-50)" and I was directed to a blank forum page with "FORBIDDEN" prominently displayed. What are they hiding??
I had a few video podcasts (only the Ratatouille ones from Pixar) but they didn't cause a problem for me. For me, it wouldn't save the library at first, but after I went through the above process (viewing Information on all songs) it would.
There's a post above (or maybe on another site, I'm not sure) that says that if you wait long enough after deleting the podcasts it will eventually delete them.
From my experience, I would think it would work without downgrading to 7.2 if you can get your library in a state that it can save, either by deleting podcasts, fixing sorting, or both.
I don't know why my first impulse wasn't to check here on the forums for common complaints. Thankfully I thought of it today.
Deleting the podcasts and re-importing them solved the problem for me! Thanks for the great tip, as I was ready to do something more drastic and time consuming). Now I have to see if I can find those free songs I tried downloading last week. They seem to have disappeared.
I wonder what's causing this problem.
I am not good with computer, let me say that. But, I am trying to learn.
I followed the steps that apple suggested on rebuiling your libary. I exported with in apple my libary to my desktop and deleted the original on the c drive. The imported the file (oringinal libary from desk top). Now my libary 2,500 songs is gone. I get a message that says ~libary.xnl~ were not imported because not found. I was able to get my purchaed item by going into puchase history but not my original libary (with songs that friends gave me.
I am afraid to sync my ipod for fear of loosing the songs that I still have on there from my orignal libary.
Can someone help me please. I would love to get my original libary back.
I can't believe that Apple could be so reckless & cause all these problems and then hide from them.
(NO comments, no warnings, etc.! It seems more like something that Microsoft would do! - But they usually admit their mistakes!)
Just realized that this whole problem began after my update to 7.3 - an iTunes window opens and says: "Updating iTunes Library" This takes about 3 minutes or so, AND Then I start getting the "iTunes 7.3 can't save library Unknown error (-50) message!!
Once I finally get the message to stop popping up (like a game of Hit the Mole), then if I close iTunes and open it up again the whole process starts all over again!!!