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iTunes playlist and music restore

Posted on 2012-12-29
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Last Modified: 2012-12-31
I have a first generation iPod that is in great shape and has been working fine.  Lately Windows 7 started warning me about scanning it. I then initialized it and synced it. Everything worked great until I synced with 5 new songs, then when playing in the car it froze.  I couldnt remove it so I waited a few days and it seemed to be back to normal.  
Upon further investigation, I come to find out that it only has those 5 songs, not the other 1000 or so.  So I thought if I sync it, life would be great. Nope. Now my library only has those 5 songs.
I have backups of my music and my C: Drive.
The music directory, used by iTunes still has the 1000+ songs. So I thought I could go into d:\Music and highlight the subdirectories and import.  Only imported 100 songs.

Is there a way I can start from scratch with iTunes and my D:\Music?
After that, is it possible to use my C:drive backup to restore the playlists ? Right now the play lists are hosed as well.

Frustrating!!!!
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Question by:GNOVAK
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akahan earned 500 total points
ID: 38730036
Open ITunes.
Empty the library by selecting everything in the library and hitting delete, so you're starting from scratch.

If it asks, do NOT tell it to delete the files (or send them to the recycle bin) when emptying the library.

Still in iTunes, select File, then Add Folder to Library.
Select your d:\music folder, the one that has all your music.
This should put all the music in your iTunes library.
Do you have all your music now in your library, or just 100 songs?
And, are you able to get at least this far, or does a problem occur before getting to that point?
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by:GNOVAK
ID: 38730337
I had to select all the subdirectories by usng CTL-A. I had itunes put songs in a group-album directory structure.
It then asks if I want to convert the WMAs and I say yes (there are a few files in the root)
After saying Yes and converting, it tells me that some are in Protected format (2) and I say ok
It doesnt go into subdirectories - I would have to do that one by one.
It only gives me the songs from root.
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Expert Comment

by:akahan
ID: 38730341
No, you're not doing what I've suggested.

You don't select subdirectories.  You don't import.

Again:

Open iTunes.

FROM ITUNES, Choose FILE.
Choose ADD FOLDER TO LIBRARY.
Choose the Music Folder.
If you do this, there is NO WAY to select subdirectories, and you don't want or need to. It will automatically include all the subdirectories.
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Author Comment

by:GNOVAK
ID: 38731224
Yep - I was doing it wrong. I used the upper pulldown instead of the FILE menu.  The upper pulldown only allows adding a File, not a directory.
Looks like its working like a charm!

I know I can just backup my music, but is there an easy way to backup the playlists?
I have the latest, greatest iTunes.

Thanks...
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by:akahan
ID: 38731258
You can back up the playlists...the problem is that the playlists are pointers to the music files, so if you wipe and restore your library, the playlists will not necessarily still point to the right places.    That said, here are the "official" instructions from Apple for backing up and restoring playlists:

http://support.apple.com/kb/TA47831
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Author Comment

by:GNOVAK
ID: 38731267
Without Exporting, would it be possible to back up the playlist wherever Apple keeps them, then just "put them back" if they are ever wrong?

Would need to know where they are kept. Any idea?
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Expert Comment

by:akahan
ID: 38731291
Sure, the library and playlist information is all kept in  the file iTunes Library.itl.

If you restore that file from a backup, and your music is still located where it was when you made the backup, that should cover it.

In fact, you should be able to find prior versions of your iTunes Library.itl file in "Previous Itunes Libraries," a subdirectory of your iTunes directory.  So if you hopelessly mangle your playlists, the easiest thing to do might be to just go back to a previously backed-up version of the iTunes Library.itl file.
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by:akahan
ID: 38731299
OH, and as an alternative:

Suppose your playlists are screwed up on your PC, but they're still fine on your iPod, because you haven't sync'd the two since you messed the playlists up on the PC.  You can copy the version of the playlist on the iPod onto the PC using the free software at www.getsharepod.com  

Of course, make sure that, when you connect the iPod to the PC, iTunes doesn't courteously start up and sync for you, thereby copying the ruined playlist from the PC to the iPod!

This software will also copy music from the iPod to the PC, and do a myriad of other similar things. Definitely good to have around.
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Author Comment

by:GNOVAK
ID: 38732896
Thanks.
I'll give that a try.
I noticed that although it imported all the songs, the playlists are corrupt, and, worse of all, the ratings are all gone as well.
I thought the ratings were part of the music files
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Expert Comment

by:akahan
ID: 38732904
The ratings are stored in the library file, not in the music files themselves.
You could try restoring a recent version of iTunes library.itl to see if that gets you back your playlists and ratings.
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