iTunes

Created at: 2021-05-07 22:15:23
Questioner General

How to fix a wrecked iTunes music folder on an external HD?



I used iTunes to import and play music from my retail store-bought CDs since System 6.



I have migrated the itunes music folder from computer to computer, and

through system upgrades. Now its 30 years, over 600 GB—of music, mostly

imported CDs — stored on an external hard drive –largely without problem.



First, years ago,system 9 I think, iTunes lost track of my digitized

LPs. Then in OS10, it started denying permission to play albums I had

imported from my CDs. I switched to Swinson 3 years ago, a mistake, I never could get

it to work right, then back to itunes, which was probably

another mistake, still keeping the iTunes folder on an external drive.



I don't want the 600GB of music hogging up most of the space on my iMacs 1 TB SSD.



Last year with no changes I am aware of, iTunes seems to have lost most of my Music.



The files have been jumbled, renamed, removed from folders. The whole

folder structure is a mess. iTunes can only find about 1 or 2 files from any given album. if any at all, It DOES see the few I bought through the iStore.



I can see most of them in the Muisc folder, and as mention the iTunes

interface sees most of them as missing. I can relink most of them, one

at a time.



Which would take non-stop months to complete. Others are invisible in the the music folder as well.



I have deleted nothing. It's as though the computer itself has forgotten were they are?



Any ideas for repairing the music index in iTunes?

Answer #1:

By: Ward Turner IV

How to fix a wrecked iTunes music folder on an external HD?



I used iTunes to import and play music from my retail store-bought CDs since System 6.



I have migrated the itunes music folder from computer to computer, and

through system upgrades. Now its 30 years, over 600 GB—of music, mostly

imported CDs — stored on an external hard drive –largely without problem.



First, years ago,system 9 I think, iTunes lost track of my digitized

LPs. Then in OS10, it started denying permission to play albums I had

imported from my CDs. I switched to Swinson 3 years ago, a mistake, I never could get

it to work right, then back to itunes, which was probably

another mistake, still keeping the iTunes folder on an external drive.



I don't want the 600GB of music hogging up most of the space on my iMacs 1 TB SSD.



Last year with no changes I am aware of, iTunes seems to have lost most of my Music.



The files have been jumbled, renamed, removed from folders. The whole

folder structure is a mess. iTunes can only find about 1 or 2 files from any given album. if any at all, It DOES see the few I bought through the iStore.



I can see most of them in the Muisc folder, and as mention the iTunes

interface sees most of them as missing. I can relink most of them, one

at a time.



Which would take non-stop months to complete. Others are invisible in the the music folder as well.



I have deleted nothing. It's as though the computer itself has forgotten were they are?



Any ideas for repairing the music index in iTunes?

Answer #2:

By: Thea Adams DVM

The "missing file" issue with exclamation marks happens if the file is no longer where iTunes or Music expects to find it. Possible causes are that you or some third party tool has moved, renamed or deleted the file, one of its parent folders, the drive it lives on has had a name change, or you've moved a non-portable library to a different path (see Make a split library portable for details). It is also possible that iTunes or Music have changed from expecting the files to be in the pre-iTunes 9 layout to post-iTunes 9 layout, or vice-versa, and so is looking in slightly the wrong place, or that you've been too aggressive when deleting duplicates at some point.



Select a track with an exclamation mark, use Cmd-I to get Song Info, then click No when asked to try to locate the track. Look on the file tab for the location the library thinks the file should be. Now take a look around your hard drives. Hopefully you can locate the track in question. If a section of your library has simply been moved, a folder renamed, or a drive label has changed, it should be possible to reverse the actions. If the difference between the two paths is an additional Music folder in one path then this is a layout issue. I can explain further if that is the case. If everything is where it is supposed to be try Repair security permissions for iTunes for Mac - Apple Community.



In some cases the library may be able to repair itself if you go through the same steps with Get Info, or when playing a track, but this time click Locate and browse to the lost track. It may then offer to attempt to automatically fix other broken links. Although it says something like "use the same location" I think it expects to find the tracks in the same artist & album layout they were in previously, with one systematic change to the path.



If you want me to try to provide specific advice please post back the following details:

  1. The location of the media folder under iTunes|Music > Preferences > Advanced
  2. The location of a sample missing track shown under Song Info > File > Location that begins file://
  3. The true path to the file whose details you gave in 2





See also FixLinks - an AppleScript to repair broken links in Music - Apple Community.





tt2