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pixelaine Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I had iTunes installed on my old computer, and had lots of playlists set up.  When I recently bought a new computer, I used an external hard drive to transfer all my music files to the new computer, and then I installed the latest version of iTunes on my new computer.  When I opened iTunes, all my songs and playlists were listed, but all the songs had little exclamation points in front of them, and all were "unchecked" -- and therefore none of them will play.  When I try to play a song, I get a message telling me iTunes cannot locate the file, and I have the option to locate it manually.  I obviously don't want to do this tedious task for each and every song -- there must be a better way.  Any solutions?


iPod nano, Windows 7
  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (55,285 points)

    I suspect you missed out a step in the transfer process somewhere that was designed to avoid this situation...

     

    The exclamation mark shows if the file is no longer where iTunes expects to find it. Possible causes are that you or some third party tool has moved, renamed or deleted the file, or that the drive it lives on has had a change of drive letter. It is also possible that iTunes has changed from expecting the files to be in the pre-iTunes 9 layout to post-iTunes 9 layout,or vice-versa, and so is looking in slightly the wrong place.

     

    Select a track with an exclamation mark, use Ctrl-I to get info, then cancel when asked to try to locate the track. Look on the summary tab for the location that iTunes thinks the file should be. Now take a look around your hard drive(s). Hopefully you can locate the track in question. If a section of your library has simply been moved, or a drive letter has changed, it should be possible to reverse the actions.

     

    Alternatively, as long as you can find a location holding the missing files, then you should be able to use my FindTracks script to reconnect them to iTunes .

     

    Ctrl-click on an empty check box will check them all...

     

    tt2

  • pixelaine Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks.  I am trying to use your script.  I downloaded it, double-clicked on it, filled in the path for the location of the iTunes Media folder, and clicked OK -- but now it doesn't seem like anything is happening???

  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (55,285 points)

    There should be a progress bar running in an IE window depending on which option you chose. If you choose track-by-track confirmation there is no feedback while it is scanning for tracks that need fixing.

     

    FindTracksProgress.png

     

    tt2

  • pixelaine Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    What I meant to say was that after I type in the path to where all of my music is stored, and I click OK, then it just keeps looping back -- the box that asked me to type in the path has not gone away, and the path I typed appears highlighted in blue.  I have tried typing in the path with varying degrees of specificity, starting with C:\Users\Elaine\My Music, and then down to more specific levels, and it doesn't seem to like any of them.  Any suggestions?

  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (55,285 points)

    It should be something like C:\Users\Elaine\My Music\iTunes\ITunes Media...

     

    Hmm WIndows 7? It might be that you have to use C:\Users\Elaine\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media

     

    Windows Vista/7 have some odd redirects that make the "old" XP paths visible to some processes but not others. The script simply checks for the existence of the path that was entered. If it can't find it then it loops around again. Might be worth checking under Edit > Preferences > Advanced that iTunes hasn't got the extra "My " in the media folder path.

     

    tt2

  • pixelaine Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I don't have any music files in my iTunes Media folder, so I typed the path for the folder where I actually have my music stored.  This time I did it without the "My" and it did work -- but because of the way I had renamed my files a long time ago before I got an iPod, it had lots and lots of messages that required me to pick the correct match from a list -- and it only ended up linking up about half of my songs.  I guess what I'd really like to do is just import everything (music and playlists) from my iPod back into iTunes.  Do you know of a way to do that?

  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (55,285 points)

    Recover media from iPod

    See this post from forum regular Zevoneer for options on moving your iPod data back to your computer.

     

    However if you have the media then you can just import it again and throw away the dead links using iTunes Folder Watch and its Check for dead tracks on startup option.

     

    Was your libray full of dupes before you moved it? Would you mind giving me an example of one of the match lists? I'd like to improve the script if I can but part of that involves working out in what novel ways people manage to break their libraries.

     

    tt2

  • pixelaine Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yesterday I did try re-importing the music files from my new computer into the newly installed iTunes, and that worked fine to get them all into iTunes -- but the problem was that all of my playlists still had just the dead links -- and I didn't want to have to re-create all of my playlists from scratch.

     

    I remember having a similar problem a year or so ago on my old computer (which had separate C and D drives) when I moved all of my music files from a folder on my C drive to a folder on my D drive.  Somehow at that time I found an answer on the iTunes support site, and I think it involved using an iTunes Library file in some way -- finding one with a certain date on it, or something like that.  I wish I had saved those instructions, because this time I can't seem to find any instructions that work.  The only instructions I've been able to find this time involve transferring songs that I purchased from the iTunes store, but most of my music library is stuff I've ripped from my CD's.

     

    You asked for an example of one of the match lists, I think mostl of those came up for files that I had renamed with a 2-digit number in the front,  I am probably the only person on earth who ever renamed an MP3 file that way.

     

    I really appreciate your continuing to try to help me on this!  If there is some step I didn't follow in transferring my music to my new computer, I'd be happy to start over again and do it right -- if I knew what to do!

  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (55,285 points)

    Ok, if you still have a working library on the old computer do the following:

     

    1. On the old compuer, if available, use the command File > Library > Organize Library > Rearrange files in the folder "<Media Folder>".
    2. Make sure your iTunes Media folder location is given as ...\iTunes\iTunes Media or ...\iTunes\iTunes Music. If it is something else change it to ...\iTunes\iTunes Media where ...\iTunes\ is the location of the library files. If space on the hard drive is a concern don't consolidate at this stage - everything outside the iTunes Media folder will need to be copied into it which may double the space your media takes up on the drive.
    3. If you didn't consolidate due to space concerns use my script ConsolidateByMoving to move files to the correct location instead of copying them. After using my script on the whole library use File > Library > Organize Library > Consolidate Files to pick up any stragglers the script didn't cope with. (Should just be any ringtones which for some reason are invisible to the script)
    4. On the new computer rename the existing iTunes folder as iTunes Temp - you can delete it later, but might as well make sure the new copy works before you do.
    5. Now copy the entire iTunes folder from the old computer to the new one, putting it into your profile's music folder.
    6. Start iTunes - it should "just work"

     

    tt2

  • pixelaine Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you so much!  I will definitely keep these instructions in a safe place for future use!!

  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (55,285 points)

    I take it all is working now? BTW If your media folder is/was called iTunes Music it is probably a good idea to rename it as iTunes Media to make it match the default layout introduced with iTunes 9. Simply close iTunes, rename the folder and start iTunes again. iTunes will automatically adjust for the change.

     

    In future, as long as you keep all your media inside the iTunes Media folder and keep the media folder inside the main iTunes library folder then to migrate from one computer to another you just copy the iTunes folder.

     

    PS. You should really back it up as well.

     

    tt2

  • pixelaine Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, all is working now.  Thanks for the additional suggestions!

  • gyggyg Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi there. I am having a similar problem. I recently deauthorized iTunes on my old Mac after transfering all of my iTunes files (following the Apple Support Directions using an external hard drive) to my new Mac. I am also receiving the ! message stating that iTunes cannot locate certain songs. I no longer have my old Mac. I still have my external hard drive with all the old files from my old Mac (as well as those on my new Mac) on it. I can't seem to figure out how to fix the problem. I'm guessing the song files are in the wrong place and that is why iTunes cannot locate them, as you said above. I'm hoping you might have some suggestions as to how to remedy given my situation? I tried to start with what you wrote in your initial response (pasted here again below), but can't figure out how to commence after that:

     

    Select a track with an exclamation mark, use Ctrl-I to get info, then cancel when asked to try to locate the track. Look on the summary tab for the location that iTunes thinks the file should be. Now take a look around your hard drive(s). Hopefully you can locate the track in question. If a section of your library has simply been moved, or a drive letter has changed, it should be possible to reverse the actions.

  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (55,285 points)

    gyggyg wrote:

     

    Select a track with an exclamation mark, use Ctrl-I to get info, then cancel when asked to try to locate the track. Look on the summary tab for the location that iTunes thinks the file should be. Now take a look around your hard drive(s). Hopefully you can locate the track in question. If a section of your library has simply been moved, or a drive letter has changed, it should be possible to reverse the actions.

     

     

    On a Mac CTRL+I becomes CMD+I, You should see a path beginning with file://localhost/ - I'm interested in that and the real path to the same track as seen in Finder. I may be able to suggest an easy fix, otherwise we can try to prompt iTunes own self-repair mechanism.

     

    Also useful to know where your iTunes Library.itl is, where you think your media folder should be and what is given under iTunes > Preferences > Advanced.

     

    tt2

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