Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Aug 25, 2012 12:01 PM by Limnos
Pearljamluvr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I tried posting this in the iTunes for Mac section of this forum but no one responded.  Please forgive me for reposting here.  I hope that someone can help me.  (I've had this problem before and all the help I've received on this forum has not worked.  I just really want to get my iTunes library sorted out.)

 

To start from the beginning I originally kept my iTunes library on my internal hard drive.  However, it was getting large and I needed to move it so I moved it to an external drive.  Then I recently upgraded my internal hard drive to a 1 TB hard drive so that I would have plenty of space for everything.  I then moved my iTunes library to the new drive, or so I thought.  It is all technically there.  (As you can see from the bottom screen shot.)  However, for some reason iTunes is looking in the trash for a good portion of my library.  (I have 4400+ songs and 4000+ of them are showing the exclamation point and this error.)  I know that I must have done all of the moving around incorrectly.  (I followed directions from some blog I googled, big mistake.)  Now I just want to get my library how it should be.  All back together on this new internal drive with no dups etc.

 

I have over 4000 songs giving me this error.  I can go in one by one on each song and find it in the iTunes Media folder.  But I certainly don't want to do it that way.  Here is the info on where the song(s) seem to be currently:

 

Screen Shot 2012-08-14 at 2.33.53 PM.png

 

Here's a shot of my preferences:

 

Screen Shot 2012-08-14 at 2.34.10 PM.png

 

Just FYI, I know that apparently iTunes is looking for this music in the trash.  However, if I go here:

 

Screen Shot 2012-08-14 at 2.36.52 PM.png

Then I find the music there as well.  (Which is where it is in my preferences.)

 

Please help!  I don't want to have to go through over 4000 songs and update them one by one.  The music is apparently in both the trash and in my iTunes media folder.  How do I get iTunes to look for these 4000+ songs in the right place without going in one by one to fix them?

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!


MacBook (13-inch Aluminum Late 2008), Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (41,285 points)

    I have requested this be moved to iTunes for Mac since it is about iTunes on a Mac.

     

    Note that people here are volunteers. Some questions fall through the cracks.

     

    How did you move your library?  I see that iTunes is looking for your media on your internal drive.  I am thinking you did not move your library correctly.

     

    iTunes: How to move [or copy] your music to a new computer [or another drive] - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4527

     

    Quick answer if you use iTunes' default preferences settings:  Copy the entire iTunes folder (and in doing so all its subfolders and files) intact to the other drive.  Open iTunes and immediately hold down the Option (alt) key (shift on Windows), then guide it to the new location of the library.

     

    Do not confuse moving your whole folder and library with moving just media files as in

     

    iTunes for Mac: Moving your iTunes Media folder - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1449

     

    unless you really want to move just media (there are several disadvantages to doing it this way unless you absolutely must).

  • Pearljamluvr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for your help!  I do know that everyone volunteers their time and I really do appreciate it.    So I followed your quick answer by opening iTunes while pressing the option key.  I then chose my iTunes library (/Users/me/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media).  However, when I go into the library to play songs I am still getting the same error.  Can you tell me why?  And more importantly how to fix it?  I obviously did the original move incorrectly.  Should I start all over?  (Not sure even how to do that but...)

  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (41,285 points)

    Do you remember how you moved things?  From the pictures you show it looks like iTunes thinks your files are on the internal drive.  Did you just drag all the folders out of the iTunes/iTunes Media folder to the external?  That would account for what you're finding and what I'm seeing in your pictures.

     

    Read a bit about how iTunes works and its various files.  /Users/me/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media is not your library, it is where iTunes thinks your media is stored.  The library.itl file is your library in the strict sense, though in reality all your files in the iTunes folder (or should be there) are your library.  When you moved some files you broke it up.

     

    What are the iTunes library files? - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1660

     

    More on iTunes library files and what they do - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITunes#Media_management

     

    What are all those iTunes files? - http://www.macworld.com/article/139974/2009/04/itunes_files.html

     

    iTunes 9 [and later]: Understanding iTunes Media Organization - http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3847

     

    One thing you can try (but I am not sure it will work) is try to play one file.  When it asks to find the fine say yes and then locate the actual file it should be playing on the external drive.  It may then ask if you want to find others based upon the same criteria and if you're lucky it will work for quite a while but find others.  It depends upon if you left them ordered in the same way as they were originally.

  • Pearljamluvr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for your reply again.  I originally followed the advice of an online blog (big mistake) which told me to move ONLY the iTunes media folder, not the entire iTunes folder.  I first moved them off my old internal drive and then on to an external drive.  I then installed a new internal drive (1TB) in my machine.  Then I followed the same instructions to move them to the new internal drive.  (Just in case it matters, when I moved them the first time I had this same problem.  But miraculously it sorted itself out somehow, I don't remember the specifics.)

     

    I did what you said above and tried to play a file.  I then located it and found a bit more (my library has 4432 songs and now it is only not finding 2883 of them, better than the original).  I can see from the reading above I did this whole thing the wrong way.  I am just not sure if there is a fix.  I have all of the "back-ups" still.  (Meaning I kept the files I moved to the external drive (the first move) in tact.  I also have a copy of all of the files on another external drive. 

     

    Should I start over?  And I have to say that if the answer is yes I am unsure how to even do that.  Would it make an even bigger mess?  Oy, so confusing and frustrating.  I will never again follow advice from some random blog.  Thanks for any help in advance!  I truly appreciate it.

  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (41,285 points)

    A couple of ways to go.

     

    The easy way (for me) is if you are not unseparable from your playlists, ratings, playcounts, then just rebuild the library from scratch.

     

    The harder way is to try to unscramble the situation as it is now and try to save playlists, playcount (either way your media files should be okay).  It sounds like right now you can find some files but not others using the revised method, but then some were being found before that anyway which suggests they may be on the internal drive. All over the place?  I and others can help but the last couple of times I saw this situation I recall we were up to around 100+ posts on the topic over several days with each party having spent about 4+ hours typing...

  • Pearljamluvr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'll take the easy way!  I don't ever rate anything and I could care less about playcounts.  I can always rebuild any playlists I have, no biggie.  Is there a thread on this forum and/or a guide in the support literature that can help me "rebuild the library from scratch"?  (You may have already told me one but I couldn't find it.  Also I am assuming building it from scratch means using what is already on my computer and not having to re-import all of my music.)

     

    Thanks again so very much!

  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (41,285 points)

    Start iTunes and immediately hold down the option key.  Select a location for your new iTunes library.  I presume this will be on the external drive where you wanted them to be.

     

    Open the iTunes folder that you just created on the external.  In it you should find "Automatically add to iTunes".  Drag files/and or folders from your old iTunes folder to this folder.  It should move them to the correct location in the new iTunes Media folder.

     

    Have a look in your iTunes folder on your internal drive in case there's media still there.  If there are, are they ones for which you already see copies added to iTunes from the other drive?  If yes then they are duplicates which you can ignore or delete at leisure.  If they are unique then make sure they get added to iTunes too.

     

    Ideally once you have finished doing this you should have a few mostly empty folders on your external except the brand new iTunes folder.  Your internal drive iTunes may have things but you will have added those to the external so you can get rid of it.  Hopefully there isn't anything else scattered about.

     

    In future you need to make sure the external drive is turned on and mounted before starting iTunes.  If you forget, it will revert to default on the internal.  Quit iTunes and repeat the option key thing, this time selecting the folder on the external.

     

    Check the "automatically add" folder to see if it has a "not added" subfolder.  iTunes 9: Understanding the "Automatically Add to iTunes" folder. - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3832

  • Pearljamluvr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you thank you again!

     

    Real quickly, I am NOT wanting the iTunes library on my external.  (I only moved it there until I could install a new internal drive big enough for my needs.)  I do want to have it on my internal drive.  So just for clarification, do I follow the sames step outlined above?  Except just create a "new iTunes library"?  Perhaps naming it iTunes new or something like that?  In order to distinguish the two (or more than two at this point, sheesh)?

     

    Also it bears mentioning that I have music showing in two places in my "iTunes" folder:

     

    1- iTunes/iTunes Media/iTunes Music

     

    2- iTunes/iTunes Media/Music

     

    Not sure why this is but probably from moving things around incorrectly.  Will moving my entire "iTunes" folder over to a new "iTunes new" folder solve this problem?

  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (41,285 points)

    Hold everything.

     

    I don't know why you have an "iTunes Music" and a "Music" folder in the iTunes Media folder in your lowest picture.  Browse through their contents.  Do you see duplicate items?

     

    The display you have in the lowet image.  Is that on your internal drive or your external drive?  Yes, it is for your "Music" in "Favorites" but I don't run the newest OS and I can have multiple folders in my favorites all with the same name on different drives.

  • Pearljamluvr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    As I browse through the two folders I find something interesting.  It seems as though all of the items in the "music" folder ARE showing up fine in my iTunes.  Playing with no problems.  (Also as a side note everything that is in that folder seems to be music that I have added to my library only just recently.)  However, again it seems that all of the music in the "iTunes Music" folder is what is showing up with an exclamation point.  Maybe that is the problem...?

     

    The image at the bottom of the top post is showing the shot of that folder which is on my new internal drive.  I do not have any of my external drives plugged in right now.  (I only use them for back up now that I've upgraded my internal drive.)

  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (41,285 points)

    I notice you have "Copy music to iTunes folder" etc. turned off in your preferences.  So do I, but I have a reason for doing that and more or less know what I am doing (I hope).   Until you've really internalized how iTunes works I would suggest sticking to default settings which is having both "copy to" and "organize" selected for your iTunes.

     

    Maybe that is the problem...?

    Uh, you're going to have to tell us what the problems are! I'm not in front of your computer! You say you have 4400+ tracks of which 4000 are unlinked.  Do you have that many in that folder of unlinked items?

     

    Do this:

     

    - Make sure iTunes is using the library.itl in your Music > iTunes folder (the default location) (it may already be doing that).

     

    - Activate the preference settings so iTunes organizes things and moves them into the iTunes folder in future.  It may ask you if you want to do that now for existing items and say okay.

     

    - Drag the folder that seems to have all your missing items (that "iTunes Music" folder) to the "automatically add to" folder.  Maybe it will end up with you having a bunch of duplicates, half of which are dead links and the other half of which are those files which are now moved to the Music > iTunes > Media > Music folder.  Dead links we can take care of later.  Right now we're trying to collect your music and make it active..

     

    - I'm also a bit concerned about those items you are finding in the trash.  Not having sat at your elbow for the past month I don't know their origin.  Note a couple of track names and see if they are duplicates of anything that ends up being active in your iTunes collection.  If they are truly unique then drag them out of the trash onto the add-to folder.

  • Pearljamluvr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    YAY!  You solved my problem!

     

    I know this is taking a lof of your time up so I really want to say thank you again.  Your insight is very helpful.  Where you said:

     

     

    Do this:

     

    - Make sure iTunes is using the library.itl in your Music > iTunes folder (the default location) (it may already be doing that).

     

    - Activate the preference settings so iTunes organizes things and moves them into the iTunes folder in future.  It may ask you if you want to do that now for existing items and say okay.

     

    - Drag the folder that seems to have all your missing items (that "iTunes Music" folder) to the "automatically add to" folder.  Maybe it will end up with you having a bunch of duplicates, half of which are dead links and the other half of which are those files which are now moved to the Music > iTunes > Media > Music folder.  Dead links we can take care of later.  Right now we're trying to collect your music and make it active..

     

    - I'm also a bit concerned about those items you are finding in the trash.  Not having sat at your elbow for the past month I don't know their origin.  Note a couple of track names and see if they are duplicates of anything that ends up being active in your iTunes collection.  If they are truly unique then drag them out of the trash onto the add-to folder.

    On this first point of making sure iTunes is using the library .itl file -- I know what you mean when you say this.  But I do not know how to make sure it is doing that.  Can you dumb it down a bit for me so I can make sure it is doing this?  Do you still think I need to do this?

     

    Second point -- did this just now.  (Just for clarification the reason I have the "copy file to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" box unchecked is because I have been taking my mp4's from an external hard drive that houses all of my DVD collection and putting them in my iTunes so that I can watch them on my Apple TV.  Whenever I add music I make sure that that box is checked.  But if I have it checked all the time then I am copying my movies to iTunes instead of just telling iTunes where to find them so I can watch them through my Apple TV.)

     

    Third point -- did this as well now.  THIS IS WHAT DID IT!  Yay!

     

    So now that everything seems to be linked (there were only 2 or 3 that I found unlinked in my quick 10 minute scan) I do have many, many duplicates as you mentioned may happen.  Do I just go into: File/Library/Organize Library click "consolidate files" and hit okay to fix the duplicates?

     

    Again thank you so, so much!

     

    Complete history of move as easily put as possible. 

    1- Moved iTunes media folder from old internal hard drive to an external drive as a temporary fix to not having enough space on my computer.

    2- Installed new internal hard drive.

    3- Moved iTunes media folder from external drive to the new internal drive.

    4- Then I emptied my "trash" (I did keep a back up of everything first).

    5- Since then things have been unlinked.  At least most of them.  That is why I think they are showing up in the trash.  Because for some reason iTunes is looking for them where they used to be (on external drive).  As you can see from the screen shot at the top I have my iTunes Media folder location as:

     

    users/me/music/iTunes/iTunes Media

  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (41,285 points)

    For me the easiest way of telling which one you are using is using the start iTunes + option key method and point it to the one it should be using.  Probably not important; wasn't sure if you ended up with more than one valid iTunes folder and wanted to make sure you were using the right one.

     

    To add something to iTunes but have it leave the original where it is, hold down the option key while dragging the item to an iTunes window.

     

    Consolidate will move everything in your library to the media folder.  If you have movies in the library you don't want moved then don't do this.  If everything there is what you want in the media folder then it might be a good idea to consolidate just to make sure things are nice and tidy.  It won't get rid of duplicates though.

     

    Are the duplicates both active, or is one dead and the other active?  If the latter case, try Dougscripts (web site) Super Remove Dead.  If they are both active then they are likely real duplicates.  No easy way to deal with those and be safe.  I do it all manually (rarely have them).  As you can see from turingtest2's post in the links, some duplicates are not really duplicates. Some tips at:

     

    How to find and remove duplicate items in your iTunes library - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2905

     

    http://dougscripts.com/itunes/itinfo/dupin.php (commercial)

     

    Posts by turingtest2 about different types of duplicates and techniques- https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3555601 and https://discussions.apple.com/message/16042406 (Note: The DeDuper script is for Windows)

     

    Good luck!

     

    Under 15 posts, well done.

  • Roll Over DJ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'd like to piggyback onto this post.

     

    I've been keeping my iTunes libarary on an external HD for a few years now...no problem.

     

    However, a few times in the last couple of months, I get the dreaded "!" next to songs--thousands of them.

     

    I've tried all of the above suggestions, and have ended up simply starting from scratch and moving all my songs into a new library. Not a great solution when you're dealing with 88 GB of files.

     

    My questions are this:

     

    How do I prevent this from happening again?

     

    How do I actually fix the problem rather than just do a brute force work around?

     

    Thank you!

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