Empty/corrupt library after upgrade/crash
Hopefully it's not been too long since you last upgraded iTunes, in fact if you get an empty/incomplete library immediately after upgrading then with the following steps you shouldn't lose a thing or need to do any further housekeeping. Note that in iTunes 11 an "empty" library may show your past purchases with links to stream or download them.
In the Previous iTunes Libraries folder should be a number of dated iTunes Library files. Take the most recent of these and copy it into the iTunes folder. Rename iTunes Library as iTunes Library (Corrupt) and then rename the restored file as iTunes Library.itl. Start iTunes. Should all be good, bar any recent additions to or deletions from your library.
Alternatively, depending on exactly when and why the library went missing, there may be a more recent .tmp file in the main iTunes folder that can be renamed as iTunes Library.itl to restore the library to a recent state.
See iTunes Folder Watch for a tool to catch up with any changes since the backup file was created.
When you get it all working make a backup!
Should you be in the unfortunate position where you are no longer able to access your original library, or a backup of it, then see Recover your iTunes library from your iPod or iOS device.
Can I check first that you successfully restored an older library? If you don't see the .itl extention then there is no need to add it when renaming an older file from the Previous iTunes Libraries folder. Also note that double clicking on an .itl file won't necessarily open the file you clicked on. Intead iTunes will open the last library file that was opened, or create a new blank one if it is expecting to open <User's Music>\iTunes\iTunes Library.itl and the file is missing.
You could try iTunes Folder Watch with its option to check for dead tracks on startup. This should allow you to make sure that the iTunes library reflects the content of the media folder.
Occasionally iTunes can do something funky where that tracks are in the library, but don't show up in the main music display. Sometimes they will show in a smart playlist based on say the album title. In such cases downloading another track such as the iTunes Free Single of the Week has been known to resolve things, or you could close iTunes and delete the hidden file called sentinel from the iTunes folder and then restart which should force an integrity check on the database.
First, let me say thank you for the response.
I restored the missing songs in the library by selecting "add folder" and selecting all the folders in the "music" folders in itunes. That solved, all I'm missing are the playlists. It appears the iTunes up deleted the songs not purchased through iTunes: deleting all the cd's and other songs from other sources.
I restored an old library.itl file from my backup drive, and placed it in the iTunes folder after placing all other previous libraries in a separate folder. iTunes failed to show any of my playlists.
So if iTunes will not automatically open the restored library file, how can I make it do that? Move all previous libraries to the recycle bin?
Thank you again for your time.
I took your suggestion and took the entire Previous iTunes and the other folder I created to hold the library files out of the music folders. The file I restored was from Dec. 2012 which I can live with because I did not purchase many songs since then. I'll just have to import them into the library. At least the playlists are there!
Now, should I delete all those other libraries that iTunes created since the update?
And does iTunes need those other files in the Previous iTunes folder: Album Artwork, iTunes Media, and another Previous iTunes Libraries.
Here are typical layouts for the iTunes folders:
The Previous iTunes Libraries folder should only contain the dated library from each update. Worth keeping a few of those just in case. As long as iTunes is actually using the .itl file in the main iTunes folder anything else in the Previous iTunes Libraries folder could go. Check last modified dates and after deleting check things work before emptying the recycle bin.
Thank you, again.
Everything is working. Next time I will backup the iTunes folder more frequently.
I still don't understand why this update created a new playlist and only listed songs purchased through iTunes.
Although the last couple updates were corrupted and I had to "repair" with another update effort. I have a PC, windows 7, 64 bit.
I appreciate the time you took to help me. This was a learning experience.