How to isolate missing tracks (exclamation mark)

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Galley

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If for any reason you find yourself with random missing tracks, (or are trying to recover from a dying hard drive like me), there is an easy way to isolate those missing tracks.

1. Create a standard playlist called "Not Missing".
2. Drag your entire library into that playlist. Missing tracks cannot be copied to a playlist.
3. Create a smart playlist called "Missing" where Playlist - is not - Not Missing.

Voila! All your missing tracks with the dreaded exclamation mark are now in a playlist. You have three options:
1. Delete them
2. Reconnect them by manually finding the proper files.
3. Reimport your CDs, which will retain the ratings and playcounts, etc. :)
 

NJtoTX

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Thanks.

But how do you delete them? All it does is delete them from the playlist, not the library.

Also, I need to see them in context with other files. That way I can tell if I have two copies of a song where one is missing. Often I move files and re-add them to iTunes.

Galley said:
If for any reason you find yourself with random missing tracks, (or are trying to recover from a dying hard drive like me), there is an easy way to isolate those missing tracks.

1. Create a standard playlist called "Not Missing".
2. Drag your entire library into that playlist. Missing tracks cannot be copied to a playlist.
3. Create a smart playlist called "Missing" where Playlist - is not - Not Missing.

Voila! All your missing tracks with the dreaded exclamation mark are now in a playlist. You have three options:
1. Delete them
2. Reconnect them by manually finding the proper files.
3. Reimport your CDs, which will retain the ratings and playcounts, etc. :)
 

eqblues

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NJtoTX said:
But how do you delete them? All it does is delete them from the playlist, not the library.
On a Windows machine, iTunes 8, you hold "Shift" and "Delete" and it deletes the song from the library from within any playlist.
 

studogvetmed

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Hmm... Seeing the broken tracks in context would require you look through your main library to do so.

You may be able to isolate the track and then hold down your option key and click the music store link in iTunes of the broken tracks album or artist. Holding down the option key for the arrow takes you to all songs associated with that album or artist in the library. This would allow you to look at things album by album or artist by artist.

Galleys method is more for brute force deletion/organization than anything.
 

hestaman

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OK - I'm hoping this is a relevant question... Let's say you use this method to erase missing tracks (ones with exclamation points). Also - let's assume you have an album in iTunes - half have the dreaded exclamation point, the other half does not. So now, you've deleted half of the album. If you go back and import the album again (whole folder) will some songs now show up twice?

I've had an odd thing happen to my library where upon resetting my iPod, 45% of all my tracks got the exclamation. I've done nothing - no hard drive remapping, no new apps. They just somehow got corrupted, I suppose. If I highlight the exclamation file, right click, select 'Get Info' then the exclamation goes away! I wish there was a way to automagically correct a few thousand tracks at once w/o loosing play count, rating, etc. data!
 

Galley

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I am still recovering from a failed hard drive, so I do have some albums where only some of the tracks are missing. If I import the CD again, it will replace the missing tracks, and not create duplicates.
 

eqblues

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I read a comment on the iLounge article about iTunes 8.1 that said this doesnt work anymore on the new version. They said that with the new iTunes, ALL tracks copy to the playlists, including the broken ones with the "!" sign.

What a bummer. I sure have many reasons not to upgrade.
 

Code Monkey

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I read a comment on the iLounge article about iTunes 8.1 that said this doesnt work anymore on the new version. They said that with the new iTunes, ALL tracks copy to the playlists, including the broken ones with the "!" sign.

What a bummer. I sure have many reasons not to upgrade.
I just tested it an it worked fine (using the variation posted in my smartlist paper).

1. Create a regular playlist "Not Missing".
2. Create a smartlist, "Find Missing" with two rules:
{Bit rate IS GREATER THAN 1}
{Playlist IS NOT "Not Missing"}

Select all the songs in that smartlist and drag to Not Missing.

Same idea as the original posted in this thread, so I don't know what, if anything has changed, only that this does work with the latest iTunes.
 

eqblues

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I just tested it an it worked fine
Thats good to know. Thanks for doing the test.

Im still not upgrading iTunes until the sync issues with older Shuffles get sorted out. What a crappy team of programmers the iTunes bunch has to be for them to break something different with every new version of the software.

I thought software was supposed to get BETTER with each new version, but iTunes just seems to get more bloated and break things that worked fine previously.
 

greeniPoduser

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Here is what completely baffles me. I had those "exclamation marks" so I deleted entire CDs in my iTunes library and re-ripped the CDs. Then, when I manually synced the iPod with my library, those stupid exclamation points again appeared, even though I had just re-ripped the CDs! The exclamation points are random; some CDS have none. What's even stranger is that the songs, even with the exclamation points, still do play -- both in my library and on my iPod. There seems to be no reason to say "file not found so it could not be copied."

What gives? I'm starting to think I'd be a lot better off with a generic program instead of iTunes. All I really want to do is transfer my CD collection to my iPod.
 

Drjones

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I have almost 19,000 tracks, 116GB of music and I tried dragging them into a playlist but it does not work......any ideas?

Thank you!
 

Pomarola

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I found this trick at Edited to remove link. here that might solve your problem:

1. Select all the files in your library
2. Right+Click, GET INFO and enter 100 in the BPM box (this is an unused attribute)
3. Now when you sorted by BPM all your dead files (!) will be together and easy for deletion.


Edit: Please read Forum Policy - No Soliciting members or advertising of other websites, blogs or forums.
 
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SkeeK

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I found this trick at Edited to remove link. here that might solve your problem:

Edit: Please read Forum Policy - No Soliciting members or advertising of other websites, blogs or forums.
Wow, 'advertising of other websites' includes citing them when you discover something mentioned there? absolutely brutal. you would be kicked out of college immediately with that kind of paranoid, close-minded censorship :p. Unless the site removed was a spam-hub.. but can't tell now!
 

Jim4413

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If for any reason you find yourself with random missing tracks, (or are trying to recover from a dying hard drive like me), there is an easy way to isolate those missing tracks.

1. Create a standard playlist called "Not Missing".
2. Drag your entire library into that playlist. Missing tracks cannot be copied to a playlist.
3. Create a smart playlist called "Missing" where Playlist - is not - Not Missing.

Voila! All your missing tracks with the dreaded exclamation mark are now in a playlist. You have three options:
1. Delete them
2. Reconnect them by manually finding the proper files.
3. Reimport your CDs, which will retain the ratings and playcounts, etc. :)
This didn't work for me. Even if it did, the three resulting options aren't viable. For example, all the 'missing' tracks are in 'My Music' and the only way I've found to get them back into Itunes is to right click each one individually then open it in Itunes, then to delete the 'missing track. A mammoth task.
 
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While the method above may not specifically work any more with recent iTunes versions, you should be able to "re-link" the missing tracks simply by double-clicking on them. iTunes will not that the track is missing and give you the opportunity to locate it yourself by browsing/searching for it. One you select the correct file, it should update the information for the existing entry in iTunes, saving you the trouble of having to reimport the file and then delete the broken entry.
 

rockmyplimsoul

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This didn't work for me. Even if it did, the three resulting options aren't viable. For example, all the 'missing' tracks are in 'My Music' and the only way I've found to get them back into Itunes is to right click each one individually then open it in Itunes, then to delete the 'missing track. A mammoth task.
This procedure still works with iTunes 10 (Windows XP and 7). Make sure you're dragging your media into a regular playlist -- do not right-click on the media and select "Add to Playlist" because that allows orphaned tracks to be added to the playlist. If you drag your media to the playlist, then orphaned songs are filtered out of the playlist, then a smart playlist can identify what was filtered out.

Of course, this procedure doesn't fix the orphaned tracks, it was never intended to do so. That you'll have to do manually, but you can still use this procedure for finding the orphaned tracks.
 

jagooch

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Works great

I used it when my hard drive was failing and not all of the tracks copying over from it to my new computer. It was a real pain to having to see all of those exclamation marks! No I don't have to.

Thank you for sharing this solution.
 

Stingrayj

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I too suffered an HD failure and am now experiencing multiple ! next to files. Very annoying. It's happening with songs ripped today even though on new HD.

I use the BPM function on my files to DJ, is there an alternative?
 
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