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Topic: iTunes (synch?) randomly deleted half my iPod's songs

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Old 08-30-2010, 09:26 AM
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iTunes (synch?) randomly deleted half my iPod's songs

My iPod nano randomly had this problem just now.

I have always manually managed my music on my nano, I do it very carefully, and I've never had any problems with manually deleting or adding songs to it (which I like, since I have limited space, older nano, only 2GB). I connected my iPod to my Mac and discovered that about half of my 2GB's worth of songs had been deleted. The only thing I did prior to checking was delete one of two versions of a song I had just added.

Scanning through the songs that had been deleted, almost all the songs deleted were "older" ones (meaning I had added them a while ago), and all the songs I had just added recently were all on there. But then I found several of the newer ones were also deleted. If a song was added to the iPod within about 3-4 months before today, then it appears to be okay; everything else "older" than that is gone. But since some of the newer songs are gone too, it appears to be random.

Under my Options, I have checked: "Open iTunes when this iPod is connected" and "Manually manage music." Under the tabs for Music/Podcasts/etc., none of the Sync options are checked. I'm running the latest version of iTunes (9.2.1(4)). My format says Windows, I'm using this nano on a Mac, but I've never had this problem before.

Obviously it'll be a huge pain trying to remember the songs that got deleted, but I want to make sure this doesn't happen again. Thanks for any help.

EDIT: Okay, I thought it was random, but after checking/remembering, it seems like every song added up to a certain date was deleted, and every song added after that date is still there. Any idea what would cause that to happen? Synch problem? New version of iTunes clashing with songs added under an older version? Such a bizarre problem.

Last edited by joker101; 08-30-2010 at 09:51 AM. Reason: Updated the problem
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:47 AM
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Hi and welcome to iLounge.

In the Capacity bar that appears at the bottom of your iPod configuration screens in iTunes, are you seeing any significant amount of space on your iPod nano being used up by "Other" (orange) space? This may indicate that the songs themselves are still physically on the iPod nano but the iPod's index has become corrupted somehow so that it can no longer locate those specific songs.

Unless you've taken your iPod out of manual mode or manually deleted all of those older tracks while working in manual mode, there's really no reason that iTunes should be removing them on you -- this is certainly nothing I've ever encountered before. In manual mode, iTunes should pay absolutely no attention to the music and video content already on your iPod with the exception of those few categories like Podcasts that can still be synced automatically.

It is possible, however, for the iPod database to become corrupted for a variety of reasons that often have nothing to do with iTunes itself. The most common reason for this is disconnecting the iPod without ejecting it, before iTunes has finished writing information to the database, but it's also possible for other third-party software apps to interfere with the iPod as well, since it appears as an external hard drive to your operating system while it's connected.

If you're seeing a lot of "Other" content and the tracks are actually still there you can dig them out of the iPod_Control folder manually. See our article on Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer for more information on this.



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Old 09-01-2010, 02:05 AM
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I figured out/remembered the problem. I was doing a software/system update for OSX that required a restart, and I manually restarted my nano (menu+center button) so that I could disconnect it (instead of doing it through iTunes, which I should have done). I've done this before when simply restarting my mac because it seems to shut down for a period before starting up again, but during this software update my mac never actually shut down, so the nano's manual restart counted as a disconnect without ejecting. Weird that only some of my songs got deleted though.

That seems to be what happened. Thanks for your help, the lesson for me as always will be to only eject ipods through itunes.
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:54 AM
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Actually, rebooting your computer should eject your iPod nano for you automatically as part of the shutdown process. You can also eject it from Finder as long as iTunes isn't actively syncing to it. The Click Wheel iPods simply appear as external hard drives as far as Mac OS X is concerned, and can be ejected like any other device. Unless you're managing your iPod content manually or have Disk use enabled, however, iTunes should automatically eject your iPod following an automatic sync.

Rebooting your iPod (or even trying to) while it's in "Do Not Disconnect" mode is probably the worst thing you can do. Anything that's still cached in memory waiting to be written to the file system on the iPod, either by your computer, or by the iPod itself, will be lost, and this will definitely cause problems with things like the iTunes database. This is probably exactly what happened in your case. Ironically, the newer iPod nano and iPod classic models are more immune to being unplugged during a sync as they have some capability to finish up on their own. Rebooting the device negates this, however, so it's a very bad idea.



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Old 09-02-2010, 07:22 AM
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Thanks for the clarification, I won't ever do that again (not sure why I thought for so long that it was a good idea).
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Old 11-27-2010, 06:19 AM
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I actually had a similar incident occur, except all of my songs have been deleted.

I have iTunes 10.0.1 and have an iPod that I bought two years back in Taiwan (80GB I believe). I bought a new Mac in the U.S. in August 2010 (17" MacBook Pro). It has the Mac OS and Windows 7 via dual boot. I have previously inserted my iPhone 4, and my iPhone is backed up on iTunes. I uploaded all my songs on iPod from a computer that I had in Taiwan. I'm living in America now, and no, I don't have my Taiwan computer presently, since it's a cumbersome desktop.

So a few nights ago, I plugged in my iPod; iTunes did not detect my iPod, and I manually played a random song by accessing the iPod from the Finder. It played one song from A Bug's Life. I proceeded to go to bed, and simply shut the cover of the MacBook.

When I woke up, all my files were gone. Vanished. When I checked in Finders, I could not find a single file. I recall that iTunes detected my iPod this time around and claimed my iPod to be corrupted or something similar. However, the space that occupied the songs was still occupied.

I proceeded to look for an iPod recovery program, and found one for Windows. I did a scan through that program, and was relieved to find the songs there; however, to recover, the program said that I would have to pay for the licensed version (since the program I found was only a demo). I have not seen many reviews on the program, so I'm hesitant to by the full version of the program.

Anyways, is there another way to recover my songs? The songs appear to be present on my iPod, so I'm hoping for a straight-forward solution.
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