3 Replies Latest reply: Dec 8, 2008 10:08 AM by polydorus
cbrod Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have been having a problem for quite some time with iTunes and I can't seem to get an answer as to how to resolve it. On many of my songs listed in the iTunes library, when I click on the song I get an error message to the effect of "File not found. Would you like iTunes to try to locate this file?", and when I say "yes" to this, I get my "iTunes Music" folder (where my music files are stored) and I have to search around and find the file (which I am usually able to do) and then it plays. However, when sometime later I may try to play the song again, I get the same error message and have to go through the same process. Can anyone explain why this may be happening and how I can prevent it from happening again? What is the simplest way to store your music files on your hard drive to ensure iTunes captures everything and does not have difficulty locating files? Many thanks for your help and advice!
  • polydorus Level 6 Level 6 (11,950 points)
    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.

    It is hard to tell what the problem is from the information you have given. Is your music all on your internal drive and is it in the iTunes Music folder?


    In general if iTunes is losing tracks, suspect some other software on you PC of making changes. iTunes does not do folder watching so it will loose a file if the path changes.
  • cbrod Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks very much for your response. In my case, my music files are all on my internal hard drive within the iTunes/iTunes Music folder. This is the folder into which files are stored if they are imported from a CD, which is generally the only way that I import songs into iTunes. I will keep an eye out for changes to the name of the song file or folders in its path, but I believe that in my case I have received the exclamation points and "file not found" messages even where I simply imported music from a CD and did not change the file names or folder names. It seems that a lot of other people have had the same problem - Are there any particular settings you can think of that could be used to simplify the folder arrangement and make it less likely that this will occur in the future? Many thanks again.
  • polydorus Level 6 Level 6 (11,950 points)
    This really shouldn't happen. There are no setting in iTunes to prevent it.

    If you want to do a bit of detective work, you find out where iTunes this the missing file is located.

    If you want to try this, identify a track or two with exclamation marks.

    Open iTunes Library.xml with WORDPAD. (it's in the iTunes folder)

    Use search to look for the track or album name. If you know the actual file name you can use that but watch out for spaces, the space character is represented by %20.

    WHen you have found a track or album you need to scroll to the line starting:
    <key>Location</key>
    This contains the path and file name.

    Is it correct, or something different?

    That might give you clue about files being moved or renamed.

    If it is all correct them something odd is happening with iTunes.

    Message was edited by: polydorus