itunes lost full libary...how to restore?

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imullarney

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I left my computer for a few hours and returned to it to find out that the computer was in a strange state. The only item that was showing was my background..no icons, no tool bar nothing but the wallpaper image and a cursor. Cant ctrl-alt-delete or anything. Have to shut it down manually. Restart my machine to find out that it had been updated automatically and my itunes library was completely gone.

I then installed the newest version of itunes and started looking for files. I have all the music files as far as i can tell. Looked and the xml file and the iTunes Database File. The database file is only 29kb...does this seem too small???

Questions:

How do i reattach the database file with itunes and will this add all songs back to my library retaining all play counts, ratings, and playlists?

Any idea why this happened?

Anything that should be done to make sure this does not happen in the future?



Please offer any help you have. thanks
 

lotioneer

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Sorry to hear about your disaster... but that is why I have server/clients and I backup the server everynight, ... use Scheduled Tasks to start doing this everyday... then you go back and can retrieve it all from Windows Explorer.... bill
 

Cold Irons

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.xml file doesn't matter.

If your iTunes .itl file is in the default location (My Music\iTunes), then the newly installed iTunes should automatically see it and come up using it. Don't know if 29K is too small - depends on the size of your library.

If it turns out that the .itl file is trashed, I think you're out of luck unless you have a backup. You can start fresh (if your music files are all intact) by adding the music files back to iTunes, but you'll lose playcounts, ratings, playlists.

Don't mean to nag - but backup, backup, backup. I've 2 itunes backups on seperate USB drives - they're pretty cheap these days.
 

imullarney

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the .itl is in that location but for some reason it is not recognizing it. I can add all the songs back but that will take hours. i have a very large library na even backing up the files take forever. Is there an easy process to backup the files short of copying the whole my music\itunes file? it has been a few months since i backed up and i guess that this is just my luck...

what I need is to only backup items that have changed recently instead of backing up all items...

this really makes me mad...especially since i was in the process of going through all songs and creating playlists and rating each song cleaning and organizing the whole library...:shake: :shake:
 

imullarney

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anyone...any direction to point me to find out on my own??? searched but found nothing... did the locate library thing where you hold shift and open itunes then select library file.
 
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cjmnews

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Sounds like you should reimport your music. Then recreate your playlists.
 

K. Malloy

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Sorry for your loss. I recently had a catastrophic failure in iTunes (and then discovered that my back-up plan wasn't adequate, but that's another story). I had to re-import my library and re-create playlists, a real pain since I have about 60Gb of music. Luckily, I had an older mostly complete library (about 6 weeks old) on a backup drive. From that, I was able to export information about the library, write some AppleScript, and reset abot 75% of my ratings and play counts and recreate playlists. It's a real pain though.

How'd I do it? After deleting the preferences file and re-installing iTunes 7.3.2 (MacOS version, BTW), I set up iTunes so that it pointed to the existing (and complete iTunes Library). I dropped the library onto iTunes and it re-imported everything. (This took quite a while). Then, using some crude AppleScript programming and .txt versions of the exported library information and exported playlists, I was able to restore some of the information in my library. It'll take me weeks to rebuild stuff though, and I'll have to re-listen to the hundreds (thousands?) of tunes I'd rated in the last six to eight weeks.

A real pain.
 

imullarney

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Well just an update i have had to redo my entire library from the ground up....this has been a real pain in the arse! this has been a ling journey and it is still going on. Rebuilding my playlists has inspired me to clean it all up. this is a very time consuming process but i figure it will be worth it sooner or later when i set up my home server and all my content is neat and tidy. here is the process that i am taking on.

1. Added all songs back to itunes. *Complete
2. Rated all songs individually while adding to respective playlists at same time. *Complete
3. updating all song information including track number, date, record company etc... *Just Started
4. Adding album art and completing all albums to display correctly in cover flow. Started.
5. Backup Backup Backup!!!!

I'm working on 3 and 4 at the same time and this is a huge pain. i installed Media Monkey to assist me with automatically adding the album information and embedding the album art.

question that i have is once i complete the updating of the album information and album art will i need to reload all songs into itunes for the information to appear?

anyone else as anal as i am being with my music?? spending hours and hours on end seems pointless...i need a drink
 

Essin

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imullarney said:
2. Rated all songs individually while adding to respective playlists at same time. *Complete
3. updating all song information including track number, date, record company etc... *Just Started
4. Adding album art and completing all albums to display correctly in cover flow. Started.
That's odd. Track number, year (date?) and record company should stay tagged with the songs. They didn't lose their tags did they?
imullarney said:
5. Backup Backup Backup!!!!
This is worth repeating!!!
imullarney said:
question that i have is once i complete the updating of the album information and album art will i need to reload all songs into itunes for the information to appear?
Nope, if filename and loaction stays the same, iTunes will "pick up" the new tags.
imullarney said:
anyone else as anal as i am being with my music??
I'm with you there...
imullarney said:
i need a drink
Don't we all. :)
 

JazzyMac

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Hey there, check FAQs for only backing up newly added songs. Seems everyone saves their library differently so I can't tell you specifically what will work. My entire music library is on my Lacie external that sits under my Mac Mini. THEN, I do a periodic backup to a WD pocket hard drive.

There are also ways to pull music off your ipod--I know this may be a little late, and I've never done that. When I did end up losing my library file for some reason (shoddy computer), I looked in my ipod for my playlists and began setting it back up that way. Yeah, I lost original playcounts, but I think I got tired of listening to the same music anyway. ;)
 

bigmutt

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Hey guys:
I've been following your thread, hoping to solve my own problem of restoring my music to iTunes: I reinstalled my OS and therefore have to restore everything.

I thought I could just transfer all my info back from my iPod (since all that stuff on my iPod did originally come from iTunes) but this proved much more difficult than I thought.

Seriously, I am pretty well disgusted by the whole iTunes/iPod system: just too unwieldly and complicated compared to the other music-management systems that I'm used to.

But, since we've been forced to adopt and live with this conflagration (due to iPod's dominating commercial success) we all have to figure out how to overcome these challenges.

Have any of you tried 3rd party utilities like MusicRescue, Migo, iPodAccess or others, to ease the process of managing your iTunes material? (I tried MusicResuce and it TOTALLY messed up my iTunes.). but maybe there are other utilities out there that work fine ............ I don't know.

well, sorry that I don't have anything instructive to add to this thread; only to say I'm in the same boat and eagerly following this discussion to try to accomplish the same thing as you are, imullarney and k. malloy and the others.

SURELY there must be many tens of thousands of others like us who are in the same boat, and looking for solutions. so surely the solutions must be out there somewhere.
 

imullarney

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Here is a post that i added to another thread... some information/articles that i came across for the time being.

let me know if any of this helps you on your never ending journey



i am kind of going through the same process as you. adding the song information, getting album art and setting ratings. There is not much info about it out here. I have already gone through my whole library and rated each song and added it to a playlist if it fitted. I am now at the step of gathering the song information. I would also like a easy to use solution to do this. I started on a few albums using Media Monkey. the program has a feature to automatically search for album information and album art from amazon and then add the information to the files. Now you need to go at it by doing one album at a time. it seems to work well for most albums but every now and then there is a album that it does not find. One thing that i have learned is that getting your library to be nice and organized takes alot of time to complete.

Here are some articles that i found useful in regards to MediaMonkey. These articles actually convinced me to download MM and give it a try. i just started working with it last night so we will see how it goes.

Below are a few sites and information that might help. I have been looking for a few days on the best way to embed the artist info and art. hope these help

Whip your MP3 library into shape, Part II - Album art

Whip your MP3 library into shape, Part III: Metadata

Media Monkey Site

Here is another atr importer but i have not tried it:
www.yvg.com/itunesartimporter.shtml

some good sites to get artist and album info from manually:
allmusic.com

Josh's iTunes Album Art Grabber


Artwork Site:
coverhunt

I am interested in what others have to say about this because i would like to know if there is a lass time consuming way of doing things also. Seems like many people just want a nicely organized library with album art ever since the new apple items feature cover flow. someone needs to make a solution to save everyone multiple hours of their life
 

Essin

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bigmutt said:
Hey guys:
I've been following your thread, hoping to solve my own problem of restoring my music to iTunes: I reinstalled my OS and therefore have to restore everything.

I thought I could just transfer all my info back from my iPod (since all that stuff on my iPod did originally come from iTunes) but this proved much more difficult than I thought.

Seriously, I am pretty well disgusted by the whole iTunes/iPod system: just too unwieldly and complicated compared to the other music-management systems that I'm used to.

But, since we've been forced to adopt and live with this conflagration (due to iPod's dominating commercial success) we all have to figure out how to overcome these challenges.

Have any of you tried 3rd party utilities like MusicRescue, Migo, iPodAccess or others, to ease the process of managing your iTunes material? (I tried MusicResuce and it TOTALLY messed up my iTunes.). but maybe there are other utilities out there that work fine ............ I don't know.

well, sorry that I don't have anything instructive to add to this thread; only to say I'm in the same boat and eagerly following this discussion to try to accomplish the same thing as you are, imullarney and k. malloy and the others.

SURELY there must be many tens of thousands of others like us who are in the same boat, and looking for solutions. so surely the solutions must be out there somewhere.
You know, it's not like someone is holding a gun to your head. There _are_ other MP3 players out there.

And also, the iPod is not supposed to be the center of your musical universe, iTunes is!
If you had kept you computer backed up on a regular basis, there would have been non of this "how do I get my music from the iPod etc etc" stuff. Restore your computer from a backup, resync your iPod and you're set. All this talk about tools and utilities, I really don't know what to say...
 

bigmutt

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Essin said:
You know, it's not like someone is holding a gun to your head. There _are_ other MP3 players out there.

And also, the iPod is not supposed to be the center of your musical universe, iTunes is!
If you had kept you computer backed up on a regular basis, there would have been non of this "how do I get my music from the iPod etc etc" stuff. Restore your computer from a backup, resync your iPod and you're set. All this talk about tools and utilities, I really don't know what to say...
Hey, Essin: really helpful comments; thanks for your thoughtful insights. I'm so glad you don't get emotional about it and take these critiques of the iPod personally.

Actually I think it's exactly because there are other MP3 players (and better music managers) out there (and most of us have, or still do, use them) that we're trying to find the keys to making our iPod/iTunes systems work more intelligently, intuitively and smoothly for ourselves. Sure, for folks who've only used iPod/iTunes, they wouldn't know any better and think Apple's system is the greatest.


BTW, I always keep backups (weekly) on all four of my home computers as well as the 42 on the network I manage at the office (daily backups for those) , but these are not always useful when switching operating systems and doing a full clean install. So much for that assumption of yours & the resulting "advice".

I am active on an online forum where we post questions, problems, gripes, solutions, etc. (a Cadillac owners' forum) and if any of our tens of thousands of forum members would take your position (i.e. if you don't like it, buy something else) and post this kind of reply in answer to a member's sincere inquiry, we would likely just write them off as immature and ignore them. Maybe that's what I ought to be doing with your response, but I thought I'd take the high road and thank you for your opinions.

The last remark of your post says it best: if you don't know what to say, best say nothing at all.

Thank you for your opinions.


(note: Thanks, imullarney, for those links in your last post; now THAT'S an example of a truely helpful reply.)
 
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Essin

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bigmutt said:
Hey, Essin: really helpful comments; thanks for your thoughtful insights. I'm so glad you don't get emotional about it and take these critiques of the iPod personally.
Drop the irony rethoric, it doesn't become you.
bigmutt said:
BTW, I always keep backups (weekly) on all four of my home computers as well as the 42 on the network I manage at the office (daily backups for those) , but these are not always useful when switching operating systems and doing a full clean install. So much for that assumption of yours & the resulting "advice".
See, you _have_ a backup! You only need to restore two item, the "iTunes Music" folder and the "iTunes Library.itl" file and you're set. That should't be too hard. Wasn't that the original question? How to restore...?
 

pfusion

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I was going crazy and trying to clean up some free space and accidentally deleted about 2000 itunes songs I've imported from CD's I had from a previous marriage. Short of calling my ex-wife (which I want to avoid at all costs) what can I do? I did do a recent backup to an external hard drive and I had it search the drive to find my lost music.........all fine and dandy until I disconnect the external drive. Any suggestions?? That do not include calling my ex-wife! Thanks.
 

cjmnews

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So lets revive a 5 year old thread to ask a question that is semi-related. OK, cynicism is out of the way.

You should not search the drive for the lost music, you should either restore the entire backup (all changes since the backup would be lost, including the deletion) or copy the files from their external drive location to the internal drive (My Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Artist\Album).

Your choice. If you pick the second option, then you will also need to disconnect the external drive, play the songs you "searched" from the external drive and have it search the internal drive for the permanent copy of the songs.

If you want to find all the songs impacted, make sure the external is disconnected and try: http://forums.ilounge.com/itunes-mac-pc/242332-how-isolate-missing-tracks-exclamation-mark.html
 
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