10 Replies Latest reply: Feb 3, 2008 3:08 AM by ceberlin
toowonphyve Level 1 (0 points)
Below is a message I wrote to Apple concerning the lack of an Undo function within itunes after a very drastic mistake I recently made. Please fellow frustrated users - Can I get some backup on this one? It's about time for an Undo function in itunes, right? We're only human - Are you with me?

Dear Apple,

I could not be more frustrated right now as I just accidentally deleted my most important playlist in itunes - the one that tells me "these are the songs that you have to organize into playlists when you get around to it". And what really adds insult to injury is that there has been a greyed out "Undo (ctrl-Z)" command under the edit list for as long as I can remember, that has never done a darned thing except frustrate every user who makes mistakes from time to time - which is everybody! After God knows how many updates there have been to itunes since I started using 6 years ago - why has this issue never been addressed? Seriously - I want answers. This has long frustrated users, and just cost me countless hours of work - I'm a professional dj, so yes - music management is work. Especially when you're dealing with 20,000 + songs. Now I have to sort through them all one by one to see if 20,000 songs are in the right playlists? This Is Ridiculous!

If for whatever reason an "undo" command cannot be implemented into itunes (wouldn't seem so difficult - just about every program has one), then how about a lock / unlock feature for individual playlists, that would prevent somebody from deleting an entire playlist when all they're trying to do is delete a song. This has been a long-standing problem amongst itunes users and it's about time that something be done. I know about the pop-up warning box, and I see it so often as I delete songs frequently and it pops up every time, that It's just become habit to press Enter when it does - Yes, I'm sure I want to delete the song - BUT NOT A PLAYLIST! UNGH! Deleting an entire playlist should not even be that easy in the first place - hide that in the Advanced tab along with the other commonly used features that users actually want to access regularly. Unbelievable.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this matter, and the logic behind why an UNDO command is apparently out of reach for your developers. Please - enlighten me.

Anxiously Awaiting,


Windows XP, pentium M 1.8, 1024 ram
  • licoricepizza Level 1 (0 points)
    I agree completely. There have been a few times in the past where I've mistakenly deleted a playlist and had to start over from scratch. It boggles the mind why a) playlists can be deleted with a single keystroke, and b) it can't be undone. This shouldn't be too difficult to fix, Apple!
  • Timmy Y Level 4 (3,115 points)
    It's not a single keystroke. It asks your if you're sure you want to delete it. Why are you people saying yes to this if it's an "accident?"
  • Jason Sims Level 2 (180 points)
    Actually, it does NOT ask if you're sure. The playlist simply disappears in a single keystroke and there is NO way to undo it.

    I just deleted my iTunes Store "Purchased" playlist by accident. I have one of the new Apple aluminum keyboards which places the "Fn" (function) key right next to the forward delete key. I have to hold the "Fn" key to adjust the volume of my computer, and sometimes I hit the delete key by accident.

    Since there is no undo function, the only recourse for me was to quit iTunes, restore the entire iTunes Library file from a backup (thank god for Time Machine), and start iTunes again. There is also no way to get the "Purchased" playlist back.

    I have to agree that this is completely ridiculous. How hard could it possibly be to implement an undo function in iTunes? And why do we STILL not have any way to recover from a simple mistake in iTunes 7.6? You would think something like this would be in the 1.0 version of any software -- which in almost all other cases it is. This is unacceptable for a prominent application from Apple, and needs to be resolved IMMEDIATELY.
  • christian studer Level 4 (2,470 points)
    Actually it does ask you.

    But in the same dialog you get the option to turn off the question. You probably did this the first time you deleted a playlist.
  • ceberlin Level 1 (0 points)
    Yes that is a bad surprise.
    Apple claim so much to be the master of UI-design. And fails do do so with one od their most important apps.

    I wrote to Apple several times and since many years about the missing undo for moving, mashing and deleting playlists and for sorting songs to playlists. Things that all other Apple apps, including the system would not have a problem with. That's a shame, really.
  • k-nice Level 1 (0 points)
    Just found the solution. Go into time machine and restore the document titles "iTunes Music Library.xml". I had to go back a few days before, but my playlist was restored. Yeah!!!
  • Chris CA Level 9 (78,255 points)
    Go into time machine and restore the document titles "iTunes Music Library.xml"

    Dunno why that would work. iTunes does not use that file. It is simply created for other applications to access the library.

    iTunes uses the iTunes library.itl file.
  • Fleur Level 1 (65 points)
    I too would desperately like to see an "Undo" in iTunes.

    Undo functions exist for a reason in most other applications - because people make mistakes.

    There's no need for sanctimonious people to say "Well, you should have noticed the text in the alert box". We all make these mistakes from time to time.

    Please, iTunes developers, give us an "Undo" button for playlists!

    Funnily (or actually NOT funnily) enough, I also just managed to delete my "Add these songs to playlists when you have time/when you have made the playlists" playlist. I haven't yet installed Leopard, so no Time Machine backup for me.

    Making a big mistake like this in iTunes is REALLY upsetting. Sometimes the mistakes made can delete years' worth of work, which can never be restored. I used to keep my playlists only on my iPod 3G, as my little iBook hard drive didn't have enough space to store all of my music. Stupid, I know. When my iPod hard drive died, so did all of my playlists of about 5 years work. Devastating.

    Message was edited by: Fleur
  • Fleur Level 1 (65 points)
    After some Googling, I found a way to restore an old version of my deleted playlist. Thought I would post my solution here for all.

    In my "Previous iTunes library" folder, I found a library only 2 weeks old, obviously superseded by the latest version of iTunes.

    I then moved my current version of iTunes to the desktop, as well as the current iTunes Library file. I then downloaded 7.5 (the previous version) from a site called oldapps.com. I installed that, and ran it using the older library file (which I did simply by deleting the date from the end of its name and moving to the iTunes folder).

    Success! There was my playlist (well, at least the version from a couple of weeks ago).

    I hope this helps someone else who is upset by the loss of their playlist. Obviously it won't work in all cases, but it was nice to have a solution (for once) to an iTunes deletion disaster.
  • ceberlin Level 1 (0 points)
    No, restoring the WHOLE library is not a solution if you inadvertendly deleted a playlist.
    (It's like restoring an old version of a pages document thru timemachine just because you inadvertendly deleted a paragraph of text?? No way!!!)

    No, Apple urgently needs to do some homework here and, according to their own UI-guidelines(??), intoduce an undo feature.

    The Apple folks have to realize that for people like me a lost playlist is much worse than a lost song (because I might have spent hours and days to create it). Even if this is a feature that does not make money to Apple directly, they should treat that subject as a priority fix.

    I sent a polite feedback to Apple about this serveral (!!!) times over several years: no action, no hope. Do they listen or do they play iPhone instead?