How to isolate missing tracks (exclamation mark)

Discussion in 'iPod' started by Galley, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. macrumors 65816


    Mar 24, 2008
    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. :)
  2. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
  3. macrumors 68020


    Mar 22, 2005
  4. macrumors 68040


    Mar 7, 2008
    Atlanta, USA
    Yes, there's been a few times I've been 'weeding' my library and could have used that. Will remember for future. Thanks!
  5. macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2008
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I use a script called "Super-Remove Dead Tracks" from It goes through and deletes all exclamation-marked tracks, then helpfully puts their details in a text file on my desktop so I can see what was deleted. This works particularly well for me because, as a rule, my missing tracks actually ARE missing--they're not on a different drive, they're gone because I've connected to my iMac from my iBook to delete 'em but haven't bothered about their entries in iTunes. Of course, this only works for Mac users while the clever playlist trick above will work for all. :)
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 12, 2005
    far away
  7. RTW
    macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2008
    Actually, for anyone who uses playlists, I wouldn't recommend removing missing (exclamation point) tracks... they work very well as placeholders. I assume a script like Doug's doesn't (and can't) record the playlists and playlist positions a track holds before it gets removed.

    This is the biggest problem, I think, of moving tracks around in iTunes... delete one track and every playlist it's on is altered, with no record kept of what has changed.

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