MAJOR problem: iTunes 7.0 destroyed 90% my MP3 Collection!

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fubarduck

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That's right, see topic. After upgrading to iTunes 7.0 which scanned all my MP3s for Gapless Playback, 90% of my collection has been virtually rendered useless.

The tracks all do the same thing; the first 1 to 2 seconds of the track repeat themselves 2 or 3 times before playing the actual song. Words cannot describe how annoying this is; when I've just got it on shuffle and trying to skip tracks to find a song I like, it makes my ears hurt like a broken record. I have looked around forums and Google but haven't seen anbody else with this problem and the extreme degree to which it has permenantly damaged my 30 gig collection of music that I've been collecting and archiving for over 10 years.

I have tried playing the damaged MP3s in every other piece of MP3-playing software on my PC--they all do the same thing. The ACTUAL MP3 files on my hard drive and iPod are damaged, not just iTunes.

Is there any possible way to salvage my MP3 collection without spending weeks to re-rip and re-download all of my MP3s?

I am seriously never going past 6.0 iTunes again. Upgrading to 7.0 was the worst computer-related decision of my life.
 

huyi

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fubarduck said:
That's right, see topic. After upgrading to iTunes 7.0 which scanned all my MP3s for Gapless Playback, 90% of my collection has been virtually rendered useless.

The tracks all do the same thing; the first 1 to 2 seconds of the track repeat themselves 2 or 3 times before playing the actual song. Words cannot describe how annoying this is; when I've just got it on shuffle and trying to skip tracks to find a song I like, it makes my ears hurt like a broken record. I have looked around forums and Google but haven't seen anbody else with this problem and the extreme degree to which it has permenantly damaged my 30 gig collection of music that I've been collecting and archiving for over 10 years.

I have tried playing the damaged MP3s in every other piece of MP3-playing software on my PC--they all do the same thing. The ACTUAL MP3 files on my hard drive and iPod are damaged, not just iTunes.

Is there any possible way to salvage my MP3 collection without spending weeks to re-rip and re-download all of my MP3s?

I am seriously never going past 6.0 iTunes again. Upgrading to 7.0 was the worst computer-related decision of my life.
i feel so sorry for you right now, i really do :( you don't have hard backup copy of your songs? if that happened to me *touch wood* i would sling my external HDD out the window in rage LOL. unfortunately i have no idea how you could get them back.
 

studogvetmed

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Can you use system restore to go back before your iTunes upgrade?

I don't understand how iTunes modified the files. It in general doesn't write much to the files, of course the gapless playback thing is still pretty new, so I don't know how iTunes actually keeps track of such information, might be something in the file, and since gapless playback is native, it's not as if you can shut it off... Unless... Is your crossfader on? Turn it on and play a song and see if songs play normally...

Can you slip some files onto a disk and take them to another computer and see if this spans across PCs?
 

fubarduck

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studogvetmed said:
Can you slip some files onto a disk and take them to another computer and see if this spans across PCs?
I repeat: the actual MP3 files were modified. The files played the same way on every PC.

I'm back on iTunes 6 with a fresh start, I deleted my entire 30 gig collection. One of the saddest moments of my life.
 

crash613

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fubarduck said:
Upgrading to 7.0 was the worst computer-related decision of my life.

Actually, not to make light of your situtation, or to talk down.. .but i would say the worst computer related decision of your life would have more to do with you not backing up all that info.

You can pick up any computer related magazine or computer related webpage and the advice is always the same. BACK UP YOUR FILES.
 

fubarduck

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crash613 said:
Actually, not to make light of your situtation, or to talk down.. .but i would say the worst computer related decision of your life would have more to do with you not backing up all that info.

You can pick up any computer related magazine or computer related webpage and the advice is always the same. BACK UP YOUR FILES.
I have several backups of all of my important files. My MP3 files were backed up on my iPod. I had two copies of my entire music collection, hard disk and iPod (both were linked to iTunes). If I lost one, I would've still had the other, and could have made a second copy. How was I supposed to know that iTunes was going to destroy my collection?

I don't lack common sense. This could have happened to anyone, as I'm sure many users feel as I do that one backup is enough.
 

huyi

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poor you mate, well good luck getting all those mp3's back. i'm just wondering how any other users would feel if they had a large library collection just wiped like that, it's like your whole CD collection being caught in a fire or something, it can happen to anyone...
 

phronk

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I just want to confirm that you're not alone - the same thing has happened to me.

I heard the beginnings of songs repeating a few times on my iPod and wrote it off as a temporary glitch on a few songs. But recently I noted which songs were doing it, then went back to my PC and tried playing them with different software. To my horror, it is indeed the files themselves that have been corrupted, and not the software playing them.

So far this has only happend on CDs I ripped with iTunes...I was hoping it was an error in the ripping process. However, if iTunes messes up my irreplacable downloaded music, that would be even worse. So yeah, I feel your pain.

This is definitely a serious problem. It's the equivalent of buying a CD player that mangles any CD you put into it. Perhaps we should be in contact with Apple directly about this. I'm not one to complain, but permanently damaging my (digital) property is sorta unacceptable.
 

Sartre

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Before you toss them all, open one of the mp3s in Foobar 0.83, right click on the file and choose "Fix MP3 header", then play it. Sometimes header problems can cause faulty playback.
 

fubarduck

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Sartre said:
Before you toss them all, open one of the mp3s in Foobar 0.83, right click on the file and choose "Fix MP3 header", then play it. Sometimes header problems can cause faulty playback.
Too late, I already tossed them. Phronk: maybe you could try this and see if it fixes the messed up songs? You'd be doing a great favor to the other people that this has definitely happened to. Plus, if this worked, I could update again to iTunes 7 without having to worry about anything.
 

phronk

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OK, I tried this with a few of the songs that were having the problem. Unfortunately, it did not have any effect.

I used the latest version of Foobar though, not 0.83...I'm not sure if you recommended 0.83 for a particular reason, Sartre. Thanks for the suggestion, though.

I've noticed that this seems to happen by album. For example, I've most recently had the problem with almost every track on Our Lady Peace's "Spiritual Machines". This indicates to me that it probably has something to do with a fault in the gapless playback mechanism, since an entire album should be gapless, and both this problem and gapless started with iTunes 7.

Hmmm, but I just check, and "part of a gapless album" was not checked on the problem songs. The thing is, it SHOULD be gapless. Maybe this occured when iTunes went "checking for gapless playback info" when I added my entire library to iTunes 7.

I'll keep poking around, and probably get around to contacting Apple about it eventually.
 

Sartre

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In my experience, the repair feature worked better in Foobar 0.83. You could also open the mp3 in an audio editor like Goldwave or MP3DirectCut and see if the waveform is corrupted.

I don't consider most albums to be gapless unless the songs run together, like Dark Side of the Moon.
 
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Caorach

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This is all getting pretty frightening and Apple seem to be avoiding any bad press or liability. The fact is that they've pumped out perhaps the most bug ridden software ever and not only is it not fit for purpose but it is also destroying the investment in either time or cash of the users. Does anyone know what Apple are doing to address the problems, apart from their usual tactic of saying nothing and sueing anyone who speaks out?

I have a backup of my audio files which I have taken offline to ensure that iTunes can't get at it in any way but even with a backup there is always the risk that when you back up new material you copy the problems over along with it and very few home users have the facility for a backup programme to guard against this, specially not when they have many gigs of music.

I have a Mac, a 4G iPod and a new Shuffle on order but I must say that every experience I have with Apple leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth and the feeling that I've been ripped off and that Apple don't care, or even more likely that it was their intention in the first place. Apple are the only software or hardware vendor who leave me feeling like this and clearly I'm not the only one.
 

studogvetmed

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So far these are the only two reports of music collections being modified in this way by iTunes. I don't think that either person affected has yet contacted iTunes customer service about it yet, so apple may not even know about this latest strange and devestating affect of iTunes 7. The original poster has already completely erased their collection so one set of files that could be tested to see how things were modified and how one might, if possible, recover the files to their original situation is gone. This report is still too new and too strange to discover the underlying situation. Two removes it from isolation, but it's not an epidemic yet.

You are free to feel about apple however you wish, and I will be one of the first to agree that iTunes 7 has seemed to cause more heart ache than normal. I've been very lucky since I started using iTunes 3, every upgrade I have ever done, from major to .number upgrades has never lead to any issues. Of course the issues always seem to be a little less on the mac platform.

Caorach said:
I have a Mac, a 4G iPod and a new Shuffle on order but I must say that every experience I have with Apple leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth and the feeling that I've been ripped off and that Apple don't care, or even more likely that it was their intention in the first place. Apple are the only software or hardware vendor who leave me feeling like this and clearly I'm not the only one.
Your comment that "Apple don't care, or even more likely that it was their intention in the first place" is assinine. I can understand the emotion behind this statement, but it would be like me saying it's microsoft's "intention" to leave a million and one security holes in windows so viruses can attack their customer's personal important files beyond repair.

I'm not saying you are one of these types of people but I know so many who tell me about multiple situations they have had with Dell, Microsoft, or other windows based computers and yet they keep going back for more. These same people have one bad experience with apple and they write them off immediately. How can some people take so much abuse from one side and not tolerate it at all on the other?

I don't want to cheapen people who have had major issues with iTunes 7, but the fact that a major population of mac and even windows users are running it with no issues tells me it's more than the program being full of bugs, but that a lot of it has to do with individual computing environments on both mac and windows. Apple should do their best, but they can't prepare for every single environment out their with the millions of computers out there.

I don't want to see this thread get to far off topic. Let's try to keep our dissatisfaction with the companies behind this and try to discuss solutions for either preventing this from happening to other users or finding a way to fix the corrupted files.

Isn't this a perfect opportunity to try to use system restore to go to a point before the upgrade?
 

Caorach

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Firstly I think it reasonable to point out that at no point did I take it upon myself to mention Microsoft. While I appreciate that they own a considerable percentage of Apple and so may be implicated in some manner it was not Microsoft who turned out music playing software that doesn't play music, iPod synching software that doesn't synch or takes an age to do so, CD ripping software that locks out CD drives and even media management software that corrupts the media.

Your emotional outpouring in defence of Apple is all very well and good but the fact is that they have messed up really badly with iTunes version 7. Previous versions were far from bug free but I quite liked the interface and so stuck with iTunes in the hope that the product would undergo further development. Apple set the release date, not me or Microsoft, and they've pushed out software that is far from ready for release. In the case of the specific example that we are discussing the question centres on what they are doing to compensate or assist those who have lost out due to this behaviour?

You may view my comments as asinine but are probably unaware that the term means "having the qualities of an ###" and in this case, though you didn't know it, you are correct; I stubbornly refuse to accept that a company such as Apple should be supplying software that is as bug ridden as iTunes 7 and, at my most ### like, I would like to know what will be done to compensate those who have made the mistake of installing software that may damage their music collections. If a lot more people were a lot more asinine then perhaps Apple would no longer get away with turning out software of the standard of iTunes 7.
 

studogvetmed

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Being a moderator, I'm going to attempt to bow out gracefully from the conversation as I don't want to detract further from the key to this thread: Two people have experienced likely library corruption after the upgrade to iTunes 7. Has anyone else experienced this, or does anyone have solutions to the corruption.

The only thing I was trying to get across in my previous post was I can't believe how some people (not suggesting just Caorach) can be so forgiving of other companies transgressions (not just microsoft) and be so quick to burn apple at the stake. iTunes 7 isn't perfect and has caused a lot of heart ache. I admitted it in my last post, even if I defended it at the same time.

As to my use of the adjective asinine. I always understood it to mean "Stupid or extremely foolish", though I can see how it could also mean what you said. I did not mean to imply that you were acting like an ###, but I can assure you I did think the comment you made of apple's intention was stupid, this adjective was for the comment and not meant to be attached to your character. Even nice and intelligent people can make stupid comments. Plenty of post history of mine to prove that. Though I thought the comment was stupid, I'm sure you'll find people who didn't.

Reading your post again perhaps my understanding that you were accusing apple of releasing software with the intention of destroying people's music libraries was a misinterpretation and you simply meant that apple intentially released some buggy software. If that's the case. Agreed, though it has not demonstrated a single bug on my computer. This is what I was defending the most. I don't think apple released iTunes intentially to mess up people's music libraries. If so, more than two people would have corrupt libraries.

Okay, that wasn't such a graceful bow... If anyone has any further comments against mine, I'll take them in PM as to not detract further from this thread. To the OP and other poster who experienced library corruption, I'm sorry I've helped bring it off track.
 

phronk

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Sartre said:
In my experience, the repair feature worked better in Foobar 0.83. You could also open the mp3 in an audio editor like Goldwave or MP3DirectCut and see if the waveform is corrupted.
OK, I will try to track down Foobar 0.83 and see what happens.

I would not be aware of what to look for in a corrupted waveform. My guess is that the only corruption would be that the waveform for the first 4 or 5 seconds will repeat twice at the beginning of the song.

I am not sure how to do a system restore. I do have everything backed up, though mostly just on the CDs I ripped from, if you consider that backup (see below). There are some irreplaceable individual songs that I've spent years downloading (um, totally legally, of course), and also have backed up, but none of those have been affected yet. If I do find one, I will compare the original file and make sure it was indeed iTunes which caused the problem.

My latest experiment was to re-rip the affected album to see if the problem replicates every time it's imported into iTunes. It did not. That is, the files are fine this time. So it must not be the nature of specific songs or albums that causes this. It might have been random errors while iTunes was modifying the files in some way. It has crashed a few times, so that may have interrupted some process. Who knows.

I don't consider most albums to be gapless unless the songs run together, like Dark Side of the Moon.
Same here, and I do have quite a few albums that run together. As I mentioned in my previous post, though, none seem to have "part of a gapless album" checked. Even the prototypical Dark Side of the Moon has the normal settings. Is this unusual, or should that box have automatically been checked?

There is no skipping on that album, though, so I'm still not sure if there is a real relationship between gapless playback and this problem.

As for this bitterness over Apple...even though I've been personally affected, I have to side with StuDog on this. Obviously Apple didn't intend iTunes 7 to be buggy, though they could've done a better job with it. Overall, though, I am satisfied with the new features. Although I'm having trouble with the Windows version, I do use the Mac one too, and it's been running wonderfully. There are bound to be problems with any software (or anything related to computers, for that matter), no matter which company makes it. In this particular instance, it seems to only affect a small number of people (though I wonder how many just haven't noticed it), which is well within normal range. Looking back objectively, I've had a far greater error rate with PC software. Perhaps it just stands out when an Apple product fails because they tend to run more smoothly in general, and market themselves as more flawless than they end up being.

Anyway, our energy would be better spent figuring out what caused this, how to avoid it, and if it's possible to fix it, rather than making sweeping generalizations about the company based on a few bad experiences. Soon I'll contact Apple and see what they say (and let them know about it if they don't already, so hopefully it won't happen in future versions), and I'll report back here to help anyone else who is affected by this.
 
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