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Question: iTunes Music Library.xml won't update, can't export new library.xml

the title basically says it all... my iTunes Music Library.xml inside my itunes folder is dated last modified 9/16/09 at a 6:53PM... I've opened itunes and have added new music to my library BUT the iTunes Music Library.xml doesn't update (therefore my DJ program, Serato Scratch Live, doesn't show the newly added songs as well as new changes in my iTunes playlists).

I've upgraded my itunes from 8 to 9, i've upgraded my serato scratch live from 1.9.0 to 1.9.1, the latest.

I've moving my iTunes Music Library.xml to another location, relaunching iTunes, going to File, Library, Export Library to create a new xml at any location but it does not appear when i create it.

I've redownloaded itunes 9 but same thing unfortunately. Any suggestions?

MBP 15", Mac OS X (10.5.8)

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Nov 21, 2009 4:25 AM in response to Chris CA In response to Chris CA

I am having the EXACT same problem as above mentioned, but this thread was never responded to and I can't seem to find the answer anywhere else. I am having the same problem with my scratch live not reading my updated iTunes playlist. I have added new songs and rearranged some of my playlists, but my scratch live is not finding the updates, rather it is reading an old version of my playlist (no new songs, no new updated or rearranged playlists, and some songs that were deleted from my itunes are still showing up). I though it may be a problem with scratch live, but after researching their support threads, I have found the problem is in the iTunes files. When I update or change my iTunes playlists, the "iTunes Library" (iTunes Database File) is always and immediately modified. From what I gather, the "iTunes Music Library.xml" file should also be modified every time the playlists in iTunes and the corresponding "iTunes Library" file are modified, correct? For some reason the iTunes Music Library.xml stopped updating. This has now happened twice. On Saturday Nov 14th, I noticed my playlist was not updating in Scratch Live. After researching, I noticed my Library.xml file had not been updating since Nov 8th. After trying many different things with no success, I deleted my playlist file and started over. This was Wednesday Nov 18, and everything seemed fine. When I updated my playlists in iTunes, both my "iTunes Library" and "iTunes Music Library.xml" files were being modified when I would make changes. After a day and a half of working properly, I noticed the same problem. My "iTunes Library" was last modified at 5:54 am, the last time I made a change in iTunes, but the "iTunes Music Library.xml" file says it has not been modified since yesterday at 1:41 am, over 24 hours ago. So after I thought the problem was fixed, it started happening again. Is this a glitch in iTunes? So... the situation is exactly the same as the description that started this thread, but was never responded to. To answer...
My first guess is the iTunes folder your iTunes is using is different than the one you are looking at.
Is the new music you added in the iTunes music folder in this iTunes folder?
I only have 1 iTunes folder, so I can only be looking in 1 iTunes folder. The new music I added to iTunes is in the iTunes Folder, and is on the iTunes Library, but the xml file is not updating accordingly. I have searched for other discussions or threads on this problem, but they either lead to nowhere or have different details. Can you please help?

Nov 21, 2009 4:25 AM

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Dec 3, 2009 12:28 AM in response to Clane912 In response to Clane912

Interesting. I've been experimenting with Beatport Sync, which also reads this Library file. I have had no problems. Could your Dj program be changing the permissions on the .xml file so it can't be written over? But I would think that if this were the case iTunes would give the "can't save iTunes library" error message when closing iTunes.

In the past when I deleted the .xml file (or moved it) a new .xml file was created as soon as iTunes was launched.


Dec 3, 2009 12:28 AM

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Dec 12, 2009 12:25 PM in response to Tracy Reynolds In response to Tracy Reynolds

I am still having this problem and have gotten no helpful response. I even deleted my entire iTunes and iTunes library. I copied the songs I wanted to keep to another folder, deleted everything associated with iTunes, and re-downloaded the entire application. Less than 20 minutes after installing iTunes, the iTunes Music Library.xml file stopped updating. I didn't even have a chance to add in all of my songs before it stopped updating the file. Please help!

Dec 12, 2009 12:25 PM

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Dec 14, 2009 11:09 PM in response to juniortai In response to juniortai

Okay, it seems I have figured out something here.
XML creation crashes on some of the characters that it's unable to convert to XML-entities correctly.
In my case, it was this particular sequence in the Composer field, which made it crash.

54 43 4F 4D 00 00 00 15 00 00 01 FF FE 9E DA

So just check whether any of your files contain some kind of weird characters.
The following method might be helpful:

1. Create new smart playlist with a rule "Playlist is Music"
2. Set limit to approx half your library size, ordered by Artist
3. Try to export in XML the playlist via File -> Library -> Export playlist
4. If the file has been created, delete it, increase the limit by some amount; if the export has failed, decrease limit by some amount.
5. After several tries you will find a limit number, after which the creation fails. Go down to the end of this playlist and check the info of the file.

It also might happen that several files contain those nasty characters, so you will have to clean them all up.

Dec 14, 2009 11:09 PM

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Feb 20, 2010 8:34 PM in response to Arseniy Ivanov In response to Arseniy Ivanov

Arseniy is a genius. I have been trying to solve this same issue for months. I undertook the painstaking (yet clever and effective)process outlined in Arseniy's post to isolate the music files that are prohibiting the XML file from updating itself. I found that the following symbols contained within the music file names were the issue, and once removed, the XML file updated itself automatically. Perfecto!

I'd remove all symbols except possibly commas, apostrophes, underscores, hyphens, but these definitely created the problem for me: "&", "." except those of course that distinguish the type of music file (like ".mp3" or ".m4p", etc.), "#", "+", etc.

Feb 20, 2010 8:34 PM

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Feb 21, 2010 9:26 AM in response to juniortai In response to juniortai

I was having the same problem. I've been trying to use this program called Tune Up and it wasn't finding a lot of songs (also has the problem with Djay and verified same problem in iPhoto). Tuneup Support suggested that I delete my iTunes library file and make a new one by reimporting my XML file, which is an odd suggestion since that's the file that I found was not being updated.
Instead I looked at the modification date of the XML file and then went to my iTunes library and found the last song I imported at that time and date. And what do you know, I found some gibberish looking character in the composer field of that mp3. Right after fixing that I saw that the XML file updated.
So checking your XML modification date and comparing it against the Date Added field of your library is another method of checking.

Feb 21, 2010 9:26 AM

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Dec 22, 2010 4:01 PM in response to juniortai In response to juniortai

all good replies although i've now deleted all composer data, hunted through the library for peculiar characters and still no result...

the xml file is stuck in mid '09 (i think i had to reinstall windows around then) and i've reinstalled itunes & the music folders since then.

any other suggestions?
how can i create a new library xml file from scratch?

thanks, this is driving me mad...

Dec 22, 2010 4:01 PM

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Dec 26, 2010 2:35 PM in response to juniortai In response to juniortai

I have the same exact problem. itunes wasn't updating the xml, and traktor thus couldn't read any updates. went to the date where it stopped updating, seen 3 albums around that date and made smart playlists for those albums and tried exporting an .xml file for that playlist. it only stopped exporting with one of those albums. so i checked that album for odd characters, but there was nothing out of the ordinary that i haven't done before, so i ended up deleting a duplicate song and the 3 of the songs i didn't really like. the library now exports an .xml file! so i guess you never know what it could be just check anything out of the ordinary around the screw up date. i hope apple fixes this in their numerous updates.

Dec 26, 2010 2:35 PM

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Jan 29, 2011 6:40 PM in response to Johnny Jr In response to Johnny Jr

Thanks to Arseniy and Johny Jr.

This led me to find that a 'dropbox' type application called Zumodrive that allows you to share your music from iTunes library so you can play from your iPhone at any time was holding the iTunes Music Library.xml file open and not allowing iTunes to update it so Serato was opening a stale copy all the time.

So it got the bash on the head and now all good.


Jan 29, 2011 6:40 PM

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Apr 3, 2011 11:28 AM in response to juniortai In response to juniortai

I have succesfully recovered from this issue. In fact I deleted the «iTunes Library.xml» file and had no backup. So I had to rebuild the XML, but I had no clue how to do that (I used PowerTunes). iTunes could not rebuild the XML correctly. According to this topic the solution was to get rid of the annoying characters. Instead of the xml exporting stuff I was using my iPhone and the Apple Remote App to quickly and efficiently scroll through the artists, song names etc.

I found that in my case the artist names had the annoying characters... All I can say that those charcacters were not latin characters. Remember it was my case, maybe yours are different.

Anyway, you can rebuild the iTunes Library.xml with the help of PowerTunes http://www.fatcatsoftware.com/powertunes/ which is a powerful library tool.

Good luck!

Apr 3, 2011 11:28 AM

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Question: iTunes Music Library.xml won't update, can't export new library.xml