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Why has iTunes Match deleted my playlists?

53409 Views 40 Replies Latest reply: Jan 5, 2014 8:00 PM by phillip62 RSS
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hughes.mike Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 15, 2011 1:38 PM

Shortly after enabling iTunes Match, all of my playlists disappeared.

Ten years of playlists that are intimately connected to significant events and memories for me.

Not just my smart playlists, or the playlists in folders- all of them.

 

Playlist menu is completely empty in iTunes on my Mac, and enabling iTunes match completely wiped all of the music off of my iPhone.

Very frustrated with this- any one else have the same issue? Any ideas of how I can retrieve my playlists?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • itsjared Calculating status...
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    Nov 15, 2011 1:51 PM (in response to hughes.mike)

    Mine did the same thing initially and then they magically came back.

     

    It's a magical system

  • bjw Level 4 Level 4 (1,325 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2011 8:01 AM (in response to hughes.mike)

    This happened to me too.  More information:

     

    • I installed Match on a Macbook that I DON'T use to sync my phone.  Experimented a little, matched some songs.
    • Activated Match on my iPhone.
    • Updated iTunes on an iMac that I DO sync with my phone.
    • Did NOT activate Match on that Mac.
    • Many playlists are gone from the iMac.  Inexplicably, many are still there.
    • Updated the iMac to 10.5.1.

     

    Still missing the playlists.

     

    Can't figure out what happened here.

  • ZigZagLens Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2011 8:01 PM (in response to bjw)

    Had a similar issue that went like this:

     

    1. Single Mac Pro computer with two user accounts

    2. User 1 did software update to update iTunes to 10.5.1

    3. User 1 subscribed to iTunes Match, lets iTunes scan his library, etc.

    4. User 2 logs in to Mac Pro

    5. User 2 finds her iTunes library completely wiped out and iTunes asking if she wanted to scan for music, import music, etc. as if she was starting with a new install of iTunes.

     

    Luckily I was able to use Time Machine to go back pre-'upgrade' and restore User 2's iTunes library file. That seems to have brought back her playlists, etc.

     

    Not sure what this is or why, but you are not the only one.

  • writern1 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 17, 2011 6:59 AM (in response to hughes.mike)

    Me too. iTunes Match didn't delete everything just quite a bit of it. And it didn't just delete it from my library, it deleted it from my actual hard drive. These were some of my favorite albums. What's up Apple? I want my money and my music back!

  • regriff Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 17, 2011 1:38 PM (in response to hughes.mike)

    I ran into a similar problem.  Playlists weren't deleted but they were emptied.  Essentially the same effect.  Years of playlists gone!

     

    This method, with a bit of effort, recovered all my playlists and their content.

     

    Restore Old iTunes Library


    1. Close iTunes
    2. Navigate to %User%/Music/iTunes/
    3. Rename iTunes Library.itl to iTunes LibraryOLD.itl
    4. Navigate to %User%/Music/iTunes/Previous iTunes Libraries/
    5. Copy newest iTunes Library file (e.g. iTunes Library 2011-11-01.itl)
    6. Paste copied file into %User%/Music/iTunes/ (where you renamed file in step 3)
    7. Rename file you just copied (e.g. iTunes Library 2011-11-01.itl) to iTunes Library.itl
    8. Restart iTunes

     

    Export Playlists


    1. Select Playlist
    2. Click File > Library > Export Playlist
    3. Save file (I created a folder called Playlist Backup here: %User%/Music/iTunes/ )
    4. Repeat for every Playlist you want.

     

    ** If the Previous iTunes Library you selected is recent enough and contains everything you want, you do not have to do the following.  However, if you have added any new media to iTunes, you will want to continue on because the Library does not know they exist.

     

    Restore Newest iTunes Library

     

    1. Close iTunes
    2. Navigate to %User%/Music/iTunes/
    3. Delete iTunes Library.itl (this was a copy of a file that still exists so it's okay to just delete it)
    4. Rename iTunes LibraryOLD.itl to iTunes Library.itl
    5. Restart iTunes

     

    Import Playlists & Backup iTunes Library

     

    1. Click File > Library > Import Playlist
    2. Select Playlist to import
    3. Repeat for each playlist.
    4. Click File > Library > Export Library
    5. Save somewhere so if this happens again you can simply restore this one file.

     

    Done! I really hope this helps solve your problem!!

     

     

    Cheers,

    Ryan

  • daniel_pierce Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 18, 2011 12:49 AM (in response to regriff)

    Ryan,

     

    Thanks, I had empty platlists for another reason but your solution worked perfectly for me to get all my playlists back.

     

    Best regards,

     

    Dan

  • regriff Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 18, 2011 11:52 AM (in response to daniel_pierce)

    Glad to have helped! Hopefully the original poster will mark this as a "correct answer" so we can help other folks out in the same situation.

     

    Cheers,

    Ryan

  • ann117 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 18, 2011 12:10 PM (in response to regriff)

    Ryan,

    I had bragged that I was going to bring my Iphone with all its great playlists to a small party- when I opened Itunes, all the playlists were gone, and I was uselessly scrolling through "purchased," wondering why a simple update for Iphone had caused so much damage. So much for being the life of the party!

    Everytime I update, I fear something like this could happen....I'm somewhat glad to hear that others have struggled too and it wasn't my fault.

    I am not as savvy as others on this forum, and if you had time, is there a chance that you could you expand on the instructions as if you were helping the the totally clueless?  These are probably so simple, but unfortunately, I am the totally clueless.

    Thank you for any help!  Ann

  • Moz Mac Calculating status...
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    Nov 21, 2011 7:39 PM (in response to hughes.mike)

    Adding my grief to this post. I lost lots of my playlists, mostly smart playlists that referenced other ones. However, I also lost some that were in folders with those playlist. For me, it happened a couple days after turning on iTunes Match. My wife plugged in her iPhone to sync and that's when the playlists disappeared (or got cleared...semantics).

     

    I've restored them by following the guidelines in the answer to this post. However, my question is this:

     

    How do we know this won't happen again?

     

    Am I going to have to restore my playlists every week? Every time my wife syncs her phone? Every time I sync my iPad?

  • Michael Allbritton Level 6 Level 6 (16,270 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 21, 2011 9:14 PM (in response to hughes.mike)

    hughes.mike wrote:

     

    Any ideas of how I can retrieve my playlists?

    Restore from your backup?

  • idrinkdeodorant Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 21, 2011 9:37 PM (in response to hughes.mike)

    My experience has been you can avoid this by:

    • Before turning on iTunes Match on your iOS device, go to sync and uncheck all playlists.
    • Sync so that there is no music left on your iOS device
    • Uncheck Sync Music in iTunes
    • Sync again
    • Now turn on iTunes Match in your iOS device

     

    I use downconvert to 128 kbps AAC option for syncing so maybe this was a culprit of some kind, I don't know.

  • Becky S. Calculating status...
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    Nov 22, 2011 5:38 AM (in response to hughes.mike)

    I encountered this situation also, except I deleted all my husband's playlists!  I am a bit of a technophobe, so when you say "navigate to" I am totally lost!  Is there anyway that you could do screenshots of what you mean?  I can get through it  with a visual.  Thanks.

  • regriff Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 22, 2011 5:42 AM (in response to Moz Mac)

    Moz Mac wrote:

     

    Adding my grief to this post. I lost lots of my playlists, mostly smart playlists that referenced other ones. However, I also lost some that were in folders with those playlist. For me, it happened a couple days after turning on iTunes Match. My wife plugged in her iPhone to sync and that's when the playlists disappeared (or got cleared...semantics).

     

    I've restored them by following the guidelines in the answer to this post. However, my question is this:

     

    How do we know this won't happen again?

     

    Am I going to have to restore my playlists every week? Every time my wife syncs her phone? Every time I sync my iPad?

     

    Moz - I feared the same thing.  Thankfully thus far it has not happened. While the bug is clearly repeatable, it appears to not happen again after whatever syncing occurs between the iCloud, Match, your iOS devices, and iTunes. 

  • regriff Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 22, 2011 5:43 AM (in response to idrinkdeodorant)

    idrinkdeodorant wrote:

     

    My experience has been you can avoid this by:

    • Before turning on iTunes Match on your iOS device, go to sync and uncheck all playlists.
    • Sync so that there is no music left on your iOS device
    • Uncheck Sync Music in iTunes
    • Sync again
    • Now turn on iTunes Match in your iOS device

     

    I use downconvert to 128 kbps AAC option for syncing so maybe this was a culprit of some kind, I don't know.

     

    This may work, I have not tested this method.  However, I can add that I never turned Match on.  It just wacked my playlists after attempting to sync my iPhone post Match going live.

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