14 Replies Latest reply: Dec 18, 2008 11:28 AM by milesthedog
aslas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
My itunes music file is on my external drive. My itunes is configured to find the music there but for some reason, it will not locate entire albums....maybe 5% of the albums in my folders cannot be found by itunes. An exclamation point will show next to the songs in the library and if I try to play them, a window appears that reads 'the song could not be used because the original file could not be found'. It allows me to locate the file and it is always right there with the other albums, but it would take forever to do this song by song. Why does it always lose track of the same albums even though they are right there where the should be with the other albums it does locate and how can I fix this?

Dell, Windows Vista
  • machei Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Funny, I was just coming here to research that very problem. If anyone has an answer, please pipe up...
  • aslas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am starting to think there is no answer as I see comments about the same thing all over various chats with no solution other than to delete your library and reload it again. When I go ahead and locate a so called missing song, the browser will open into a completely different album by a different artist - no wonder it can't find it! The question is, why is it looking for an elvis costello song in Led Zepplin IV? I have looked all over, and I do not see a fix for this other than to delete the library and reload....and I assume eventually, the same thing will happen again! Anyone out there know how to fix this?
  • Chuxter Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I'm having the same problem.

    Message was edited by: Chuxter
  • M1kend Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    It seems like when I plug in my iPod to recharge or to add to it, I'm getting the same message on alot of music & movies. It really ***** having to locate a majority of my songs over & over! I've tried to find for about 30 mins now to find a link to e-mail tech. service and had no luck. And apparently t/s are not getting these after seeing all messages that are saying the same thing.

    Oh well....


    Message was edited by: M1kend
  • Ann-Marie Deets Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I am having the exact same problem (been going on for a year), but my music file is local on my hard drive. I once spent 5 hours re-"finding" the original files, only to find that new ones were "missing" the next time I opened iTunes. And it's not just a few songs, it's hundreds and hundreds. Easy enough to show iTunes where the file is if you just have a few glitches, but not for that many! Has anyone figured out why this happens? I have already tried the delete/reload library trick.
  • Bgoodfire Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I just updated to a new ipod nano. when i plugged it in to sync my playlists to it most of the songs were not there. I got a prompt that reads original file could not be found. But i can browse and find it. any one now how to fix this problem?
  • khcrowley Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I just updated my husband's PC laptop to iTunes over the weekend. All was well. The songs in the library played including the purchased songs. Today, when I went to play a song from the iTunes library, only 3 purchased songs play with no problem. However when I select a song from the Music library (songs downloaded from personal CDs) the message, "The song .... could not be used because the orginal file could not be found. Would you like to locate it?" When I click "yes" I'm taken to a list of files that boggle my mind. The list has files that look like "$NtUninstallKB873339$". I'd sure like some help fixing this problem. Any ideas? Thanks ahead of time.

    Message was edited by: khcrowley
  • Fried Toast Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Just picked up an iTouch this weekend. TV shows and a movie that I'd previously purchased on iTunes sync'd up immediately w/ no problems.

    However, trying to get music into the iTouch was a major aggravation. Maybe Mac diehards will flame me, but really- has the iTunes team ever heard of Drag n Drop? I can't imagine that Redmond's got a patent on that. iTunes wouldn't import anything despite me choosing Import Folder (tried Import Files, too- didn't work). Finally got it to sync some songs after making a playlist. So far, not impressed w/ the usability here.

    Lined up a bunch more songs (different folder) to import and... the original file could not be found. Not sure what that's all about. Found this page after banging my head on iTunes' walls trying to figure out what the major malfunction is/was. Still not a clue. Have to say, though, that I'm definitely regretting buying the iTouch.

    Due to Vista, I planned on moving to one of the new Macbooks after XP. However, if it's this much trouble to simply copy mp3s from one device to another, I'll probably give it a pass and either sweat it out w/ XP or see if Ubuntu has enough in it to be a full-time OS for me.

    Didn't realize it was so hard to get on the Mac bus :P
  • Fried Toast Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    iTunes must've been watching in the background. I fought and fought w/ this thing and it just would not sync. Scoured Google, found this and a few other sites reporting the same problem. Aired my grievances here and went back to give it another spin. Somehow, the files sync'd up while I was typing my last entry.

    That makes no sense. Unless there's a bug in there where it saves the files even though it says it can't (GeoSetter 3.0.4 for Windows has a similar bug that I run into geotagging photos). Don't know. But it worked. Wish I knew what changed. Would rather not go through the frustrating process again. Especially since I don't know what changed to make it work.

    And if an Apple hooman happens to be around, how about some Drag n Drop love?
  • JDRT66 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I've been dealing with this same problem for over a year and the easiest answer I can give for finding the files is to use google desktop search. Just type in the Title or artist or album and it will come up and you can click on each one to reactivate it. A real pain, but the only way I found to get it done. Still working on getting rid of those exclamation marks!
    I tried going back to v6, reloading my library and a few other things and nothing helped.
    Now iTunes is spitting out my blank CD's after initializing them when I try to burn and announcing there is an error 4450. Tossed a few dollars in the garbage not to mention all the wasted time.
    Very curious neither of these problems have been addressed by management. Doesn't make me want to run out and buy a new Mac at all. And I used to rave about the way iTunes worked! sheesh
  • JDRT66 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    +Here is what "Polydorus" replied to my question about this a year ago last July+:

    You get exclamation marks or dead tracks because iTunes can’t find the file. This can happen for a number of reasons:
    The song file or a folder in its path was renamed
    The song file or the folder it is in has been moved
    The song file has been deleted
    The device containing the song files e.g. external drive is not accessible.

    The simplest way of dealing with large numbers of dead tracks if you don't mind losing playcounts and ratings, is to simply add your iTunes Muisc folder with File>Add folder to library...
    If you have music in other folders you have to add those too.

    Once that's done you can get rid of the dead tracks with a script. Robert Jaconson has one here:

    Download the EXE version and select itunesremovenotfound when you run it.

    It is advisable to backup your library files before using scripts see below:

    Backup the iTunes Library Files

    The library files are in:
    My Documents\My Music\iTunes

    Close iTunes and wait about 30 seconds.
    Copy iTunes Library.itl and iTunes Music Library.xml somewhere else e.g. into the Previous iTunes Libraries folder.

    To restore, with iTunes closed drag the current itl and xml file from the iTunes folder to the desktop, then copy the backup iTunes Library.itl into the iTunes folder. The xml file isn’t necessary but can come in handy if the library needs to be recreated and the itl file is causing problems.

    The problem with this answer is these are not dead files as all of you know. They are in your computer. Right where they are supposed to be. There is some glitch with iTunes that suddenly they aren't being recognized. You do a google desktop search for the song or album that is missing (not playing) and click on them and they appear in iTunes and work. Then you have to go thru and delete all the dead ones. All the explanation above does is help get rid of the dead tracks. Doesn't solve the problem of the music ending up in Limbo in the first place.

    Did I hear there was some support at Apple?
  • meangreengurl08 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I finally found people who have the same incredibly annoying problem! Yay. I'm just going to copy/paste what I sent to Apple Support (who couldn't help me because it was for billing and accounts):

    "This has been happening for at least a year, and it's really annoying. I get the exclamation point symbol next to my songs all the time. I've gone through and found them again in my Windows My Music. So it appears to be fixed, and then it happens again...sometimes it's only a few songs, and sometimes it's at least half of the songs (and I have over 15G of music!). If I restart iTunes, it also appears to fix itself, as there are no corrupt files. But if I connect my iPod, or attempt to play a certain song, then they become corrupt again. I want to know what could be causing this and how to prevent it. I continuously update my iTunes software, and I keep my iPod up-to-date too. I have some additional software like Genius, but this problem was happening before I downloaded that. It's a real pain, and it's hard to truly enjoy my music since it seems like I'm always trying to fix it."

    It's kind of a relief to see that I'm not the only one frustrated with this...but it's really discouraging to see that there isn't a good solution. I have imported my iTunes library again...I got a new hard drive several months ago, so I had to. But I had this issue before the new hard drive, so that doesn't work. A few times I cannot find the files again because I forgot to back them up after I bought them...which really ****** me off since I'm losing songs I paid for. However, most of the time...they're right where I left them!

    Oh, and to explain the window popping up with a different folder of music than what you're looking for...mine does that too. I've noticed it's the last folder that I opened...all you have to do is go back through to the main folder which stores all the artists.

    From reading other people's posts, it does sound like a glitch with the software...sigh. Every time it tells me to update to the new version, I pray it will be fixed....
  • Aaron500 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    The problem has been solved for both Mac and PC's.

    First things first, highlight all the songs in your library, right click, get info, then click ok without updating anything... this will update your entire library and mark songs as missing if they are missing. Then run the script that corresponds to your computer (pc or mac)
    Script to delete lost music files on a PC... If your unfamiliar with scripting, just open notepad, paste the following in it, save it as "script.vbs" and then double click it to run it. Be patient it may take a while if your library is large. A message will pop up when its done.

    ' RemoveDeadTracks.vbs --------------------------------------
    ITTrackKindFile = 1
    deletedTracks = 0

    set iTunesApp = WScript.CreateObject("iTunes.Application")
    set mainLibrary = iTunesApp.LibraryPlaylist
    set tracks = mainLibrary.Tracks

    for each currTrack in tracks
    ' is this a file track?
    if (currTrack.Kind = ITTrackKindFile) then
    ' yes, does it have an empty location?
    if (currTrack.Location = "") then ' yes, delete it
    deletedTracks = deletedTracks + 1
    end if
    end if

    Source: "clinko" of Digg (see comments) http://digg.com/software/MakeiTunes_rescan_folders_and_remove_missingfiles
    Script to delete lost music files on a Mac (not sure what script language this is, I'm not familiar with using a mac, but heres the script)

    tell application "iTunes"
    set thePlaylist to library playlist 1
    set musicFiles to the file tracks of thePlaylist

    repeat with mf in musicFiles
    --the name of mf as string
    set hasLoc to ""
    if (the location of mf as string ¬
    is equal to "missing value") then
    set comment of mf to the comment of mf & ""
    on error number errNum
    delete mf
    end try

    end if
    end repeat
    end tell

    Source : http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=2007031309145927
    Hope that helps.
  • milesthedog Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have had this exact same problem for at least a year and found a solution. Windows Media Player! plays all my music every time.