1 Reply Latest reply: Feb 3, 2013 3:49 AM by jeanphicrosoft
iteachmusic Level 1 (0 points)

I have an external hard drive that has never been disconnected from my iMac.


About 3 weeks ago, I started noticing that some of my iTunes library songs had "!" in front of them, and I wasn't able to find them to play.  Over time, more and more iTunes songs had this problem.  Someone recommended that I look in the hard drive library, for individual titles, and sure enough, there they were!  I've been dragging them back to iTunes but this is going to take forever, because I'm a music teacher and I have a lot of songs in my library.


In this process, I decided to see if the songs were still on the external hard drive, the Time Machine.  However, I get the message "your time machine back up disk cannot be found."  I have no idea what this must mean, because the Time Machine has been plugged in for a couple of years now.  But somehow, the computer doesn't recognize it any more.


Are the two problems related?  And what should I do?

iTunes, Mac OS X (10.6.8), using Time Machine external hard dr
  • jeanphicrosoft Level 1 (30 points)

    There is no relation.


    Time Machine backups : my opinion is that this is a real waste of disk space, usefull for a few number of files but that's all ! In case of a reinstallation, everyone is performing a fresh installation ... In addition, after a certain time, TM erases the oldest files.

    I personnaly backup only on mediums (CDs, DVDs, DVDs) etc ... then i'm always sure to find again what i'm searching for.


    iTunes : a "!" means that you have moved from one place to another an audio file (or erasing it by error) and iTunes has just stored a link to the file and not the file inside its own folders. Probably you have never consolidated you library. The question is : where are you storing your files ? inside your mac plus inside external drives ? Please make sure, if you are managing often files in iTunes, to consolidate them in order for iTunes to copy them inside its own folders, else it becomes quickly a nightmare.

    iTunes manages files on 3 different ways now :

    - real files inside it

    - links to files out of its folders

    - files from iTunesMatch