13 Replies Latest reply: Mar 13, 2008 3:47 PM by beppie
ECowdery Level 1 Level 1
Today I restarted my computer as normal and then when I opened itunes it showed a message that I had never seen before: that itunes could not work without a library - I pressed ok which was a mistake since now my itunes is a clean slate - as if I just downloaded it for the first time. I know my music is still obviously on my computer - but this means I have lost (literally) dozens of playlists - I work from itunes to make CDs for people. I had never realized (naively) that I would need to backup my playlists - in fact, I don't know how to.
Is there a backup file somewhere of my "old library" that I could find - and WHY did it suddenly act like I didn't have one at all? I never want this to happen again.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Sony Vaio, Windows XP
  • perrster12 Level 1 Level 1
    I had the exact same thing happen today. Years of organizing my library and playlists were completely wiped out. If they don't have a fix for this, I'm using another player and NEVER using iTunes again. It's TOO big of a hassle to have to redo everything and I highly doubt I'll ever get it close to where I just had it. How terribly disappointing it was to see my whole library gone! Who's the moron who programmed the wiping of all information in the last upgrade?! And I can't believe they didn't catch that in their debugging.
  • BuckeyeNation Level 1 Level 1
    Same thing happened to me today, i opened up iTunes only to find all my music and playlists gone.It looks as if it was just installed. I cant understand what would cause it to remove everything. If anyone has a fix or a reason why it did this it would be greatly appreciated.
  • beppie Level 1 Level 1
    Wow - me too, as much as this is really bad for all of you I am really relieved this isn't just an issue with my computer. I see we all use Windows XP - it's got to be something wrong with the latest windows update. I've been looking around on my computer and I found a folder of previous itunes libraries but I can't seem to open/import/do anything with them ....
  • BuckeyeNation Level 1 Level 1
    Today in class i was discussing what happened to a friend and someone sitting near me overheard and had the same thing happen to them on Saturday, they also use windows XP. So it would definitely seem as if this not just a couple of isolated cases. But what confuses me is my iTunes on my laptop, also with XP is just fine.
  • theprune Level 1 Level 1
    well, it's not an XP-specific problem. happened to me on Vista too. several times, there's been a partial wiping of the library (ie. all the comments, info on when last played etc.) have been wiped. Then it started in earnest about 6 weeks ago when i connected my remote drive (where i store the songs) direct to my laptop instead of across my LAN. It couldn't "find" any songs, until i pointed to them. OK no prob, some kind of obscure config requirement i figured, silly me for believing that apple made things easy.
    but then after i reconnected everything back to the LAN, **** broke loose, in stages. 1st some songs were missing (by this i mean you couldn't see them in the itunes "library-music" listing, even though it was pointing to the right directory, and in Windows it was clear the song files were still there. For others, you needed to connect it to the right file again. some usage data were missing too, as above.
    Then one day, i opened up itunes and it was completely blank. no songs at all apparently. but still visible on my other computer. then a few days later they went missing from that one too. i wound up reading the entire folder again into itunes (took about a day), and now both pcs can "see" the files, but all the library info is missing and none of the songs is recognised. so not only is this a multiplatform problem but it recurs and is seemingly random in when it occurs and how much damage it does.
  • Madam Level 1 Level 1
    You might find a backup copy of your itunes library file in a folder called "Previous iTunes Libraries". The location of the folder can vary depending on your configuration, so just search for it.

    Inside the folder you will find a file "iTunes Library 2008-xx-xx.itl". The most recent can be renamed and used to replace your "new" useless library file. It will be out of date, ie changes since the date it was created will be lost. However it is better than starting from scratch.

    Personally, I have learned the hard way to make a manual backup copy of my iTunes library every time I make changes, which works out to be almost daily. I keep a copy of the most recent and the one before that (in case the first one is damaged).
  • ReddExx Level 1 Level 1
    i do not have windows XP and all my songs have been deleted except for the ones i bought on itunes. part of me thinks this is karma for not buying off of itunes, but i kind of find it sketchy and such a hassle (as somebody already said). anyone know what else you can do (besides looking for previous libraries? tried that, and it only opens to my 'current' itunes...)
  • ReddExx Level 1 Level 1
    how do you 'replace' your current library with an old one?
  • GermanSuplex Level 1 Level 1
    Strange. This happened to me too suddenly. I have no idea why.

    Luckily, I back my iTunes library up routinely. Once a week (or after a large importing/editing session), just backup your iTunes library files. You don't have to back up the music/videos every week, just the library database files: the .itl & xml files especially.
  • palmtree69 Level 1 Level 1
    This happened to me also tonight. Where do you put .itl & xml files back into? Mine just got wiped out with no explainion why. I have a product called undelete so I was able to recover the files. I put them back to the orginal location but still nothing shows up in my library. (I am trying to avoid reimporting 110 + gigs) Thanks
  • John Harvey Level 1 Level 1
    I agree that something is amiss and Apple would be wise to get it corrected soon.
    A few weeks back both my iPhoto library & iTunes library disappeared. I managed to use
    a backup for iTunes and far as I can tell lost nothing. Today I had a situation like yours and
    this time I lost two new songs but at least recovered (after a long process) via the Apple Backup
    software (backup on an external drive). But the root question is still: WHY???!!! I had gone many months with no dilemmas until recently.
    As to my iPhoto I switched everything to Adobe Lightroom ($$$); but after a couple weeks I did
    discover advice in a discussion that enabled me to get my iPhoto app back to operation.
  • John Harvey Level 1 Level 1
    this is a p.s. to my previous post.
    when I say that a few weeks ago I recovered from backup and lost "nothing"; that is only true of songs.
    My playlists, play counts, ratings, etc. were lost.
  • beppie Level 1 Level 1
    Yeah - of anyone knows how to do this "replacement" - it would really help