I've experienced just about every iTunes error message known to man over the years and have persevered through all of them. However, this one really has me scared.
Yesterday - while importing some songs into my iTunes, the program froze and my iMac crashed. After restarting the computer iTunes displayed a lengthy error message which I quickly scanned over, just fast enough to only remember the latter end of the message which said something to the extend of the library being damaged and renaming the library "iTunes Library Damaged". This made me suspicious however, it wasn't until I noticed iTunes scanning my entire music collection that I became particularly wary. Also, I noticed that every playlist folder (as well as their subfolders) was opened, displaying every playlist I have. I figured I'd let iTunes run its course and analyze any changes when it was done.
After ten agonizing minutes I had noticed the program was done sifting. Gazing through iTunes' contents I was dumbfounded at some of the changes I had noticed. No longer were there tabs under Library for Books, iTunes U, or Podcasts, they were in their own 'music-like' playlists rather. Other playlists of this nature that were created include Genius, iTunes DJ, Movies, Music, & TV Shows which still had their respective tabs under Library. They also seem to have all, or at least most of their original contents. The only media that I've NOTICED is gone is a couple hundred book titles, which I'm not too distraught over because I hardly ever read them (I notice I prefer hardbacks instead) and most were free. Also, at least 20 custom ringtones that I've created for various contacts in my phone are now gone (from their original file location as well). iTunes, however, hasn't lost my add/modification dates, playcounts, etc. (which I've found common with this particular error message).
At this point I'm very panicked but still grateful. I can't be sure of what exactly is missing - as it is hard to remember all 16k+ digital media files however something tells me that pre-crash I had something around 16,700 files - which has since been reduced to just under 16,400 files.. I've thoroughly researched the matter for about a day now and many people have lost their entire library contents upon receiving this error message. This would be a death sentence to me as I've spent over a decade meticulously organizing my library of over 16k items and hundreds of playlists. I would be completely devastated if my intangible property were to disappear into the cyberspace abyss. This is why I'd like to tread softly as I proceed. Though I've came across a dozen different recommended fixes for similar circumstances, I'd hate to try an amateur quick fix only to notice that although my iTunes Library looks the same and all missing Books & Tones have been recovered, I've now lost all of my playlists as a consequence. Hopefully someone will recognize my specific symptoms and can provide the exact remedy.
My questions follow:
1) Is there a way I can find out all that is missing ?
2) Can I locate my missing Ringtone & Book files ?
3) Can I re-add the missing Books, iTunes U, or Podcast tabs that used to be under Library ? (I know iTunes 11 will be out any day now with its brand new look, so perhaps this is irrelevant)
4) Or is there a safe all around fix that I can get iTunes completely back to the way it was before the error message appear ?
**I've attached a picture of my current iTunes folder.