Questions about re-installing Itunes.

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I am erasing and reinstalling my OS on my macbook.

My current iTunes is a bit of a mess. Here are my issues:

I have been keeping my iTunes library on external hard drives for the last few years to keep space free on my macbook.

My first external drive died a couple years ago and I have not been able to play the songs listed in my library that are stored on it. I have a new library full of songs that I have downloaded since, and many of them are sorted into playlists for my iPod.

However, my songs library continues to have a lot of tunes listed in it that i cannot find and play. I need an easy way to get rid of all this missing songs from the list.

After I reinstall iTunes can I somehow use TIme Machine to back up only the songs and playlists that I have stored on my new external Hard Drive?

If not, is there another way to get rid of all the old songs that I cannot access.

If instead, I choose to go the route of starting iTunes from fresh, and manually reloading the songs I have saved, what do I do with my iPod that is synched to my current iTunes set up?

Is there anyway I can still sync to my new iTunes and retain the playlists and song info without erasing, rebooting and reloading the iPod again from scratch?

Any advice I can get to help make this process run smoothly would be appreciated.
 
M

MacInWin

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Try this sequence. I'm working from memory here, it was a while ago, but I seem to recall this set of steps:

1. Open iTunes, choose the music view with a list of songs, not icons.
2. Right click on the bar just above the columns to open a drop down list of items that could be in the columns.
3. Select "Beats per Minute"
4. Now the BPM column should show.
5. On the top bar, Edit/Select ALL
6. Right click on any of the songs, choose Get Info, answer Yes to the question about editing all of them.
7. Under BPM, enter 999, click OK
What will happen is that iTunes will go out to set the information for every file it can find to BPM of 999. For the ones it cannot find, the change will fail, so it will leave BPM at blank.
When it is done:
8. Click on the BPM column header to sort by BPM.
9. All of the 999s will now be grouped together--those are the tracks it could find. All of the blanks will be grouped together--those are the ones it couldn't find. Select all of the blank ones, then Right click again on one, and click Delete. iTunes will work a while, and eventually be done deleting the unfound.
10. Repeat steps 5-7 to change the 999s back to blank.
11. Repeat step 2 and deselect BPM.

Done.
 

Slydude

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Wish I had though of this the last time I had this issue. That's a great tip. That might be a good one for the Sunday Chat. I think the last time I did this I deleted the songs from the library and repeated the Add to Library process. This can take some time depending upon the size of the Library.

One word of caution: When you delete things from the library using this method, iTunes should ask if you are sure about deleting the music. Let it continue. When you are asked do not delete the files. In essence all you want to do is delete the "pointers" iTunes is using to show where the files are located.
 

chscag

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I'm kind of paranoid about our iTunes library because of all the custom recordings we have in there. I actually have two complete backups of all our recordings from 5 years ago up to the present. But I agree, that's a great tip by Jake.
 

Slydude

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Since RadDave is expecting to be out enjoying the benefits of retirement this Sunday perhaps I can twist Jake's arm and get him to join me for the evening.
 
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Yes, thanks so much for this great tip, Jake!

It seems to have worked properly and solved all my problems! I really appreciate the time you took to walk me through it.
 
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MacInWin

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Sly, I am not available Sunday as have house guests. But feel free to share the tip however you want. It's NOT original to me, but I don't remember where/when I saw it. It was many years ago and those particular brain cells have shuffled off this mortal coil...
 

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