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  1. #1
    Disappearing files from library in iTunes

    Member Since
    Feb 11, 2009
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    403
    Disappearing files from library in iTunes
    Running iTunes 7 on an XP machine.

    Spent many hours deleting duplicates and cleaning up my 100+ GB library.

    Now, there are a few random music files that are simply removed from my Music library and replaced by the !. The file still exists in the folder and I can simply relocate and copy the file back to the library. However, the strange thing is that it is random files from a CD that I own.

    I am aware that iTunes 8 is out, however I am reluctant to upgrade as last time it removed about half of my Music library.

    Someone else on the board experienced a disappearing library, but this is just random files and happens at different times.

  2. #2
    Disappearing files from library in iTunes
    mrplow's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 01, 2007
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    UK
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    Specs:
    27" iMac i7 (2011) 10.10, iPhone6, iPad Air 2, AppleTV2
    This isn't a direct answer to your issue but the result will hopefully justify the means. . . .

    - Why not backup all your playlists (export to xml)
    - delete everything from your library (not move to trash, just from the library)
    - remove v7, install the latest version of iTunes
    - recreate your library
    - import your backed-up playlists.

    It's a little long winded but it will get you all your music in a library without the ! and you'll get the latest version of iTunes.

    If you're set on keeping 7 do exactly the same thing but just delete then re-create the library from within 7.

    I appreciate the library recreation will take a little while, my library is heading swiftly towards 100gb and it's becoming a monster to administer when this kind of thing happens, but it'll be worth it to be sure you have a complete and fully cataloged library IMO.

    As an aside the ! is probably a result of having 2 copies of a file. Say A and B.

    You believe iTunes is pointing at A so you delete B. When iTunes is actually pointing at B. What you're left with looks like the correct file and indeed may contain the same contents and have the same name but iTunes isn't linking to it. There are several scripts around to tame the iTunes library but I can't think of one that will automatically solve your particular issues, hence the suggested solution above. I really do ramble on don't I?!

    mrplow
    External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - top right of this post

  3. #3
    Disappearing files from library in iTunes

    Member Since
    Feb 11, 2009
    Posts
    403
    mrplow,

    I recognize that your suggestion is probably the best way to go.

    My only hesitation is this:
    Many of my files in iTunes are duplicated, even to the extent that I have 4 versions of the same song sometimes. This happened when I attempted to convert my files to mp3. I decided to cleanup the playlist rather than the folder structure. So, my iTunes library does not show any duplicates, while the duplicates files still exist. I found this to be the easiest way at the time. Now I am paying the price

    The ! that showed up though should have nothing do with the duplicated files because it just happened. I have been playing the songs for a long time now, and suddenly iTunes can not find the path to certain songs. Strange indeed.

    Well, I will have to decide what is faster. It may just be to point iTunes back to the proper file.

  4. #4
    Disappearing files from library in iTunes
    Nath316's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location
    Rugby, UK smack bang in the middle
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    37
    Quote Originally Posted by mrplow View Post

    As an aside the ! is probably a result of having 2 copies of a file. Say A and B.

    You believe iTunes is pointing at A so you delete B. When iTunes is actually pointing at B. What you're left with looks like the correct file and indeed may contain the same contents and have the same name but iTunes isn't linking to it. There are several scripts around to tame the iTunes library but I can't think of one that will automatically solve your particular issues, hence the suggested solution above. I really do ramble on don't I?!

    mrplow

    This is the key portion to this question

    I am assuming that your files are all under the same folder or are they in separate ones?

    I find that when I add more music to my laptop they appear automatically in iTunes as that is my setting I then have to remove any initial additons in my library before getting teh files in the correct place and manually adding them later.

    I am very anal with my music as I like to only have certain info on the fiels themselves and alot of custom albums covers.

    If your music is all in one location I would suggest removing the duplicate files (yes a chore but in the end a cleaner environment) and then rebuilding your libraries.
    I find your lack of faith in me disturbing!

  5. #5
    Disappearing files from library in iTunes

    Member Since
    Feb 11, 2009
    Posts
    403
    Thanks for the replies.

    I have begun deleting the duplicate files. They appeared when I attempted to convert all my files to .mp3's.

    My folder structure is on an external HDD.
    > Music
    >>iTunes
    >>Raw music files

    I have a copy of my music files as I used Windows Media Player, however I am determined to set up a network with my external HDD on the router and Airport Express to my stereo. I want to free myself of the external HDD wire!

    What is your suggestion for the following: if you have already ripped a CD into iTunes and there is only one song on the album that is by additional artists? I have recently discovered the "compilations" function, and have been finding all CD's that had even just one song with more than one artist, and putting designating them as compilations. I discovered that my file structure was not ideal otherwise. Is this what you do?

    Are there any suggestions for how to organize files with no info or ID tags? I ripped many CD's, some of which were 15 years old, and there was no info for them after the rip (these are store bought, not self-created CD's). Do you go in and manually tag and rename all of them, and put them in the correct folder?

  6. #6
    Disappearing files from library in iTunes
    Nath316's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location
    Rugby, UK smack bang in the middle
    Posts
    37
    Personally I store all my music in 1 place

    I have a folder called sounds and store all my mp3s there. Any music I rip or download I convert to mp3 and then remove original files straightaway.

    Just make sure your library is only pointing at the folder you are interested in and that way all files will be listed therein.

    As for mp3 details well as I said earlier I am anal about that stuff and have always sorted the details I want in them. Used to use winamp for that as you can point it at the folder and load up all the files and then you can go through and add or remove any details you want.

    As far as I am aware what makes iTunes go and search for albums etc is the details on them so if there are not any then you may have to do this yourself. If you know what they are then I would get them in a separate file and then edit them as you wish.

    As for compilations I dont use it so cant comment.
    I find your lack of faith in me disturbing!

  7. #7
    Disappearing files from library in iTunes

    Member Since
    Nov 10, 2009
    Posts
    2
    I have an iMac and have the latest version of iTunes and over the last couple of weeks may library was rendered unusable when the !'s appeared in front of the song name. I fixed it by moving the iTunes from applications into the trash and then putting it back into applications and launching iTunes. All of the !'s are gone. Don't know how or why but it was a very easy fix. I hope this helps.

  8. #8
    Disappearing files from library in iTunes

    Member Since
    Nov 10, 2009
    Posts
    2
    It didn't work after all. This is.....

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