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Topic: iTunes Cant find all songs on external hard drive

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Old 07-23-2011, 01:01 PM
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iTunes Cant find all songs on external hard drive

Hi

I have put my library onto an external hard drive so I can use it with a WD media player through my TV. The whole library is apple lossless or m4a, so I need to convert them all to WAV as the media player doesnt support the other formats.

I selected all the library while connected to the hard drive and converted, but it has only converted a tenth of the library, and if I want to even play a song while it is connected I have to locate each specific song in its folder on the external. |I have input the location in the advanced tab so am unsure why it can find some and not all

Although I have organised the files into individual folders on the external hard drive so it is easier to navigate on my media device through my TV

Any ideas?
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Old 07-23-2011, 01:27 PM
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First, can you play all of the original songs in iTunes? If iTunes can't find the song to play, it won't find the song to convert either; it's not clear, but when you say: "... and if I want to even play a song while it is connected I have to locate each specific song in its folder on the external.", it sounds like iTunes cannot locate the original file.

This would be the case if you simply moved the files from their original location out to the external drive via the OS explorer vs. doing this from within iTunes. Once you've added a song/song file to iTunes, you cannot "manually" move that file somewhere else - iTunes will have no idea where it went.

Post back with more details about the move; there are a number of tutorials here on iLounge that helpw with this (under the Help! menu at the top of the page).



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Old 07-23-2011, 02:01 PM
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iTunes does not "look for" music files. Rather, when you add files to iTunes, their filepath is recorded in the iTunes Library file; to play a track iTunes consults the library for the track's filepath and plays that file. If you have moved files around by hand ("I have organised the files into individual folders on the external hard drive so it is easier to navigate on my media device through my TV"), their filepaths will no longer match the paths recorded in the iTunes Library, and iTunes won't be able to play them (or convert them to another format, or change their tags, or burn them to a CD).

I have input the location in the advanced tab so am unsure why it can find some and not all

The "iTunes Media folder location" setting tells iTunes where to put files that iTunes creates (CD rips, format conversions, Store purchases and rentals, iOS app downloads); it is not an instruction for where iTunes should "look for" files.

Assuming you've moved a bunch of files around (100+), trying to put them all back where they were is p'bly out of the question. Ditto for spending the time to locate every file via a File dialog in response to the iTunes message that a file is "missing". You are kinda/mostly screwed....

If you have a backup of your iTunes library and music files from before you moved things around, you simply need to restore from that backup; problem solved. But other than that, your only options are to either do the tedious work of relinking files by-hand (or moving everything back to where it was); or to simply start fresh, either by creating a new library and adding all your files, or by re-adding everything to your current library and then eliminating duplicate tracks (which isn't all that hard).

Just so you know, the smooth-sailing way to have moved everything to the external drive would have been to 1) Set the "iTunes Media folder location" to a folder on the external drive,and then 2) Use the File menu->Library->Organize Library->Consolidate Files command to copy everything into that folder and automatically update the iTunes library with the new filepaths. The files on the external would have been grouped into a folder structure of Artist->Album->track1, track2, etc.

Whatever you choose to do, post again for specifics on how to make it work best...
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Old 07-31-2011, 03:29 AM
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Question missing podcasts

Quote:
Originally Posted by S2_Mac View Post
iTunes does not "look for" music files. Rather, when you add files to iTunes, their filepath is recorded in the iTunes Library file; to play a track iTunes consults the library for the track's filepath and plays that file. ......
S2_Mac & others,

I presume this is similar for podcasts downloaded through the iTunes store? I have a problem with missing podcasts. Using Windows 7, some time ago, I set up an e: drive for all my iTunes media. Set iTunes Preferences/advanced to that location and all was fine until recently. When trying to diagnose a problem with my son's computer, I disconnected my extra hard drives to salvage data of his drive. When I reconnected my hard drives, I forgot about the reassignment in iTunes until I noticed that five years of podcasts were missing (exclamation mark against the names in iTunes).

According to an article by Jesse Hollington in iLounge, simply reconnecting the external drive and changing preferences back to e:/iTunes should find the missing podcasts. Sadly, they remain missing (not located by iTunes).

>> Basically, when you start iTunes with your external drive disconnected, the iTunes Media folder path will temporarily revert to its default location on your local hard drive. This allows iTunes to run properly, although obviously you will not have access to any of the content thatís not already in that location. You will get broken links to any files that you try to access, since the external hard drive is not present. No need to worry, however, as this will correct itself once the drive is available again. (J Hollington) <<

Any thoughts on locating those missing podcasts? I have a very small number of them on my iPhone and could copy them back to the computer. But that leaves a few gigabytes lost in the wilderness.

WHen I click on 'Get info' for one of the missing podcasts, I receive a message stating iTunes is unable to locate the file and a pop-up appears with this information: 'Where: file://localhost/C:/users/Family/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Podcasts/file_name. Presumably the computer is looking in that location but the file does not exist at that location.

Regards, Allan
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:03 AM
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You could restore your podcasts from a backup which you should have been making regularly...
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:50 PM
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When you re-connected the external drives, Windows assigned your "iTunes drives" a drive letter other than E: -- that's the problem. (You quoted the relevant info in your post's opening -- the iTunes library records filepaths for all your stuff; when those paths change outside of iTunes' knowledge -- such as your "iTunes drive" receiving a different letter such as D: or G: -- the paths that iTunes has recorded no longer lead to your stuff.)

Once you get the drive-that-used-be-E: back to being the E: drive, all will be well. Your surest shot is to first quit iTunes, then disconnect every non-essential external device, and then connect the "iTunes drive". Now, using Computer Management, permanently assign the E: letter to that drive -- this will make all your previously stored content available again, and prevent the drive-letter-switcheroo problem from occurring in the future. Once that's done, launch iTunes and open Edit menu->Preferences->Advanced tab, and make sure the music-containing folder on E: is still set as the "iTunes Media folder location"; this will ensure that future downloads go into the right spot (sometimes Win iTunes reverts to the boot drive when an expected external drive disappears and returns).
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