I just wanted to add to this thread what fixed the problem of greyed out songs for me. In my case it was a very simple fix (I consider myself lucky).
My specific situation might be a bit different from what some of the people who have arrived at this thread are experiencing, but this thread seems to be the closest to a discussion of my problem that I can find.
I deleted about 5,000 "matched" songs from my iTunes library/hard drive on my PC computer (Windows XP), planning to download the higher bit rate versions from iCloud immediately afterwards to replace the 128-192k ones. I've done this a few times before with segments of my library.
When I deleted the songs this time, all 5,000 were greyed out with no way to access them from iCloud. Also, songs I had deleted and tried to download earlier today that failed to download for some reason, also were greyed out and could not be accessed from iCloud. (Even though clicking on the download arrow icon beside the song produced the message "Download from iCloud", it wasn't actually possible to do so.)
The songs are also gone from my hard drive (didn't even go to the recycle bin for some reason, so could not be restored). Fortunately I do have them backed up elsewhere on the hard drive but wanted to avoid having to run a full iTunes match process from scratch for the 3rd time this week.
Anyway, what fixed it for me was clicking on "View My Account" from the "Store" menu in iTunes (188.8.131.52). Right after viewing my account page, I clicked "Library" and presto - all the songs were no longer greyed out and were available for download.
Again, this seems to be a different issue than what several people are discussing here, but my problem led me to this thread, so hopefully this might help at least a few people who land here because of the same issue.
Opening a Smart Playlist causes the "Download from iCloud" buttons in iTunes 11 for Windows to disable (gray out, not work).
Here's a workaround:
1) Open any screen this is not a Smart Playlist.
2) click Menu --> iTunes Store --> Update iTunes Match. A few seconds later the download buttons enable and they work.
3) Navigate to the your Songs tab, Artists tab, or Albums tab and the download buttons all work.
But opening any of my smart playlists like "Music Videos" or "Recently Played" causes the download buttons to disable again. ... One exception, I have a new smart playlist i created today called "Purchases" that does not trigger the download buttons to disable.
Note if "Update iTunes Match" is disabled then it's already running (assuming it's turned on). Instead, go to the Music section --> open the Match tab --> and click the Stop button. This action also causes the download buttons enable.
Someone else pointed out that there are many ways to work around this issue, and it's true.
I tried to log out / into iTunes to no avail.
I tried turning iTunes Match off / back on without any success.
I looked in my iTunes Music folder for any potential duplicates, but there weren't any.
So here's what worked for me.
First, I quit iTunes.
- go to the iTunes menu, then choose Quit iTunes at the bottom
Next, I opened a new Finder window.
- click once on the desktop, go to the File menu and choose New Finder Window. (keyboard shortcut Cmd-N)
I went into my Music folder, then from there into iTunes.
- double click on Music, then double click on iTunes
I selected these files and put them in the Trash (but did not empty the Trash):
- iTunes Music Library.xml
- iTunes Library.itl
- iTunes Library Genius.itdb
- iTunes Library Extras.itdb
- click on one of those, then hold down the Command key, and while continuing to hold it, click on the other files. You should see them highlight and remain highlighted. Then when you have them all, either drag them to the Trash in your dock or again hold down Command and press the delete key to move them all at once.
Don't empty the trash! If this doesn't work, you may want to move them back where you found them and head for the Genius bar at your friendly neighborhood Apple Store.
But to see if it works, open iTunes again.
(iTunes immediately creates fresh copies of the files you moved to your trash, and that's what we want)
When I did it, it started finding my music right away, but if it doesn't:
- in iTunes, go to the Store menu and press Turn on iTunes Match
Hopefully, all your songs will return to their playable status.
If that doesn't work, and you want to go back to where you were when we started, do this:
1) Quit iTunes again (same way you did above)
2) Go back to the iTunes folder and find those same four files that iTunes just made fresh
3) rename all of them (maybe just put an 'x' at the beginning - just so you know they're the new ones)
4) move them to the trash
5) open the trash, find the original ones you moved earlier and put them all back in the iTunes folder
I bet if I were more scientific, I could narrow it down to one of those four files that's the problem.
I hope this helps!
- iTunes Music Library.xml
I am having the exact same problem except: (1) this is between my MacBook Pro and my iPhone and not an iPad, (2) everything was working perfectly fine until last night when my phone ran out of memory and i was scrambling to delete everything to make more room. this included deleting my entire music library from my iPhone so i could resync it with iTunes on my Macbook, (3) i do not have iTunes match turned on, and (4) now, all of my music is showing up in my playlists as gray with circles. The grayed out songs play perfectly fine on my iTunes but DO NOT show up in my music library on my iPhone!
WHAT THE **** IS GOING ON WITH APPLE??? FIRST, NONE OF MY SAFARI BOOKMARKS AND READING LISTS ARE SYNCING WITH SAFARI ON MY IPHONE. AND NOW THIS??? NONE OF THE MUSIC EVEN GETS SYNCED PROPERLY??? this is completely ridiculous and i want to downgrade back to iOS6 because iOS7 has done NOTHING BUT CAUSE ME ENDLESS PROBLEMS!!!!!
The ajlewis1851 solution worked for me on Windows 7, iTunes 12.01.26, on a laptop with no local music I'm accessing about 14000 songs out. I thought I had it tested and working before I departed on a lengthy overseas assignment, but ran into the greyed out problem upon arrival. So glad to have this sorted!
I am on iTunes 12.0.1 and I was running into this same issue on my new MacBook. I deauthorized my computer, signed out of my account, and completely shut down iTunes (I even restarted my computer). I launched iTunes, authorized the account, and resigned into my iTunes account.... Next thing you know it was fixed!!