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Nevis99 Level 1 (0 points)

The list of my songs in iTunes has an exclamation mark on all of them. This indicates the the locations could not be found on mt drive.

I tried to re-establish the link, but get an error "Program has stopped now closing program" and iTunes shuts down.

I have all my songs arranged in a folder with each folder for an album.  How do I delete the current library an rebuild with the original music folder?


iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iOS 5.0.1
  • turingtest2 Level 9 (69,070 points)

    This happens if the files are no longer where iTunes expects to find them. Possible causes are that you or some third party tool has moved, renamed or deleted the files, or that the drive they live 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.



  • stevie_butler Level 1 (0 points)

    Nope that don't work for me


    Tried create AAC version - that dont work as they are all AAC versions


    Its now affected my ipod because it will not transfer any music to that now, its only transfered the songs I can listen on my computer (74 out of 593)


    Just keep getting file does not exist

  • turingtest2 Level 9 (69,070 points)

    Who mentioned "create AAC version"?


    Please re-read my post.



  • stevie_butler Level 1 (0 points)

    Yep tried Ctrl + L


    nothing came up on highlighted song

  • stevie_butler Level 1 (0 points)

    AAC is the solution when I put the problem into Google

  • turingtest2 Level 9 (69,070 points)

    ctrl-i or Get Info.



  • stevie_butler Level 1 (0 points)

    Yep tried all that I'm afraid


    Get info comes up with all the info but the PC still cant locate it when I put the song or file in, I might have to buy the 500+ songs again I think.

  • turingtest2 Level 9 (69,070 points)

    Let's try again...


    I have deliberately moved one of my tracks to show what you should get if you attempt to Get Info for a single file which is missing and say No when prompted to locate the track. I've relocated my library to D:\ however the usual path would be something like <User's Music>\iTunes.




    The location iTunes reports for the missing file is in a slightly unusual form. My example reads:

    file://localhost/D:/iTunes/iTunes Media/a-ha/Take On Me/01 Take On Me.mp3

    so the file should actually be at:

    D:\iTunes\iTunes Media\a-ha\Take On Me\01 Take On Me.mp3

    where the "file://localhost/" bit vanishes and the slashes have changed direction.


    I know where I've moved my file to, but if I didn't I could now use the search tools in Windows Explorer to scan my entire computer for all files called 01 Take On Me.mp3. Assuming that the files can be found I can then decide how to go about moving them back.


    If, for example, the entire iTunes Media folder has been moved to a new path, simply move it back again. Another possibility is that the files have been moved around by Windows Media Player and are now somewhere like <User's Music>\<Artist>\<Album>\## <Name>.<Ext> instead of <User's Music>\iTunes\iTunes Media\<Artist>\<Album>\## <Name>.<Ext>. In this case the FindTracks script pointed at <User's Music> can repair things.


    If the files really cannot be found then you can download your previous iTunes purchases by logging into the iTunes store and clicking the Purchased link. You will need to delete the broken entries in the library before you can download the corresponding tracks as otherwise iTunes thinks you already have them.



  • Nevis99 Level 1 (0 points)

    The above post helped me to understand how the library is organized and linked to the songs.  However, I could not use the "FindTrack" script.  Eventually, I decided to delete the iTunes Library file "iTunes Library.itl" and allow iTunes to rebuild the Library using the known location of the songs.  This worked fine and had my songs and video files located and linked properly.  I connected the iPad and got another suprise - the iPad does not recognise the Library  and I got the error message that the iPad was synchronized with a different Library and will be erased !  I got scared a bit, but since I was more confortable with the staus of my iTunes library, I indicated  for the erasure to go ahead. 


    Other than a few Applications that was not on the rebuilt iTunes Library, everything was synched into the iPad.  My songs, video, books ets were all back on iPad.  The missing Apps have been re-installed and both my iPad2 and the iTunes Library are now ok.  I am now keeping a copy of the iTunes Library on another drive..just incase.


  • turingtest2 Level 9 (69,070 points)

    See this User Tip for a backup strategy.



  • stevie_butler Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for your continued attempts to help me and I have printed and re-read the instructions 3 times and been trying for 2 hours and nothing is working, I have all those screens and can physically and clearly see the location the files are in and tried to copy paste (it won't highlight) and tried every angle and program suggested but nothing is working


    I have asked a mate of a mate to come and look into it

  • turingtest2 Level 9 (69,070 points)

    Would you care to post back a detail of a missing track as I've illustrated above, i.e. in this form:


    file://localhost/D:/iTunes/iTunes Media/a-ha/Take On Me/01 Take On Me.mp3


    And the true location of the same file. With Vista/Windows 7 there can be a number of "phantom" paths to the same folder so it might be a question of reinterpreting the path.



  • ElviaY Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Turingtest2,


    I'm having the same problem as Nevis99. I have 20000+ songs on an external Hard Drive. (My computer's hard drive is smaller than my music library.)

    Since Itumes 9, my files are going to "localhost"

    Locating my songs is not a problem, but re-linking them one by one is an impossible mission. Is there a way to re-link the songs without loosing rating and  played songs?

    So far I've been deleting my library and adding the files again. I hate this procedure as I loose track of my playlists, stars and played songs.

    And yes, you read right, I've BEEN doing this repetedly as my library will play ok for several days and then, out of nowhere it will no longer locate the files. It has happened 4 times since November 2011.

    Do you have a solution for this?

  • ElviaY Level 1 (0 points)

    Using your "find tracks "  succesfully.


    Is there any way to avoid this issues to happen again?

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