Apple Music Library Help

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by mic j, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. mic j macrumors 68030

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    #1
    I just recently let my iTunes Match expire because I am an Apple Music subscriber and with their new fingerprint method rolling out I thought Match was redundant. Earlier, I had added some tracks from the AM to my library. My library is located on my MBP but my media files are on an NAS. Using iTunes, when I search for the tracks I added from AM they are not found. When I go into "New" and search the music is pulled up and the info indicates that I have it (as an option, it asks me if I would like to remove it). So now, if I go into the iTunes library on my MBP, I find another media folder there and in it is a folder named "Apple Music". Open it up and the tracks are in there. I tried to move this folder to my NAS but it would not allow that.

    So, it's like I have 2 media folders, one on the NAS (containing all my personally owned tracks) and one on the MBP (containing all the tracks I have added to iTunes through AM). Any suggestions on how to get these combined without moving my iTunes library to the NAS (slower response) or moving the media files to the MBP (requires more space than available)? Is there some fundamental thing I am missing here that makes this more confusing that it should be?
     
  2. Brookzy macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    #2
    Was about to post a massive long reply of how to do this but I just want to be 100% that I've got your problem correct...

    To clarify: you want to store ALL your media on a NAS, but keep the .itl iTunes Library folder on a local disk, but at present your owned content is on the NAS but Apple Music keeps saving its content on your local disk?

    Also, do you have iTunes set to copy items to the iTunes folder (Preferences > Advanced > Copy files to iTunes Media Folder when adding to library) or not? (This will become relevant later!)
     
  3. mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #3
    You have summarized my problem correction (and much more succinctly that I was able to...thanks! To the second point: yes I have my iTunes media folder locations set to my NAS; keep iTunes media folder organized, checked, copy files to iTunes media folder when adding to library, checked.
     
  4. Brookzy macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    #4
    Apple Music files should be stored in the iTunes Media folder. Where precisely is it now? I'm intrigued because if the iTunes folder is on the NAS, then iTunes must have either make a second iTunes folder on the local disk or placed an "Apple Music" folder on its own somewhere locally.

    Either way here is what I would do:

    Delete all your locally-stored Apple Music files. Do this by making a Smart Playlist (File > New > Smart Playlist) with the condition that "iCloud Status" is "Apple Music". Open the playlist, select all, right click, and click Remove Download. Then, to be doubly sure, delete the local Apple Music folder. (Don't worry - the Apple Music folder contains only the protected .m4p media file, not playlist or library information. But back it up first if you're concerned.)

    Quit iTunes. Try downloading one Apple Music track - for ease, the first one listed in the Apple Music Smart Playlist you've just made would be a good choice - (right click, Download/Save offline (depending on your version of iTunes)). Investigate where the file went - has a new Apple Music folder been recreated locally, or is it correctly placed on the NAS?

    If it's correctly placed on the NAS, then your problem is solved. Download the rest of that Smart Playlist, then delete it.

    If a new folder has been made, iTunes is confused over its Library location. Remove the single downloaded Apple Music file. Delete the local Apple Music folder again. Quit iTunes. Temporarily move a copy of your .itl files to your iTunes folder on your NAS (i.e. where it would be located in a conventional setup). Open iTunes whilst pressing Option. Point it to the .itl on your NAS. Download the Apple Music playlist - it will be in the correct place now. Once finished, quit iTunes. Copy the NAS .itl back to a local location on your MBP (this will be the new .itl you permanently use). Open iTunes while holding option again, and point it to the new local .itl file. Hopefully all should work then. :D
     
  5. mic j, Aug 23, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2016

    mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #5
    Thanks for your detailed instructions. Before I work through them I want to fill in some blanks.

    On my MBP, I have Home>Music>iTunes>all the iTunes library files including a folder named iTunes Media>Apple Music>a bunch of tracks added from Apple Music.

    On my NAS, I have a folder names Music which contains all of my owned tracks. Also on my NAS is a folder named Apple Music which contained tracks add from Apple Music. An interesting thing here is that the tracks in this Apple Music folder is different that the tracks form my MBP Apple Music folder. So it looks like at some point, something got screwed up and AM started storing the added tracks to my MBP instead of the folder on the NAS. Finally, none of the tracks from either folder (MBP or NAS) show up in the My Music section and if I double click on the files in the folders, they do not open and play in iTunes.

    Edit: One more question. Since I have an Apple Music folder on the NAS but it is not located in the folder that I have chose as my iTunes Media folder, should I move the Apple Music folder into the iTunes media folder so it can be seen by iTunes?

    Edit #2: I also just found an Apple Music folder inside the iTunes Media folder on my NAS. So that makes 3 of them, all in different locations. The tracks that are inside the Apple Music folder which is located in the iTunes media folder on the NAS appear in the My Music library and play. So can I just move the files located in the other 2 Apple Music folder to the one in my iTunes media folder?

    Nope. That didn't work. So I guess they have to be deleted and then re-downloaded, correct?

    Edit#3: Made the smart playlist with iCloud status being Apple Music as the condition. Nothing found. Where do I find the tracks to download in iTunes? Is there a section in New or something? Or should I just make a list of what I have previously added and start all over?

    Edit #4: So I tried to add a track to My Library from New, just to see where the file would end up. Got a message saying the in order to add tracks to My Music I had to use iCloud Library and it asked me if I wanted to Merge them (My Music and the iCloud library, I would assume). So it appears as though my iTunes has not been using the iCloud library (I just assumed it was). So it is "Gathering information about my iTunes library. Looks to be a very very slow analysis.
     
  6. Brookzy macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    #6
    Cool, we're getting somewhere.

    Clearly, the third folder is the "proper" one.

    However, moving files into it isn't a good idea, we need to find out if Apple Music is going to at some point in the future use folder 1 or 2 again.

    Delete folders 1 and 2, and make the Smart Playlist as I suggested in my previous post, and download ALL the Apple Music files you have in your library. Then we can see where they go. Hopefully they all go to folder 3 - in which case, problem solved (AM is saving to the NAS, as you wanted). But it might be, for example, that some tracks go to folder 1, some to folder 2, and some to 3, for instance. Investigate and report back. :)
    --- Post Merged, Aug 23, 2016 ---
    Wow, that's a bombshell! Haha, and would explain all the issues: Apple Music was working on an ad hoc basis, without the iCloud Music Library, perhaps caching and downloading into separate folders.

    Your stuff will be getting fingerprinted; will be worth the wait. :)
     
  7. mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #7
    The problem with your smart playlist suggestion is that when I do it, it doesn't find anything. So I can't use it to re-download tracks after the folders have been deleted. I am going to wait for the iCloud library update thing to complete, see where I am at at that point, and report back then. Will probably take a long while.
     
  8. Brookzy macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    #8
    Yes, it won't find anything because your iCloud Status is "doesn't exist"! :p (There is no iCloud Status if you're not using iCloud Music Library). Good stuff, hopefully the fingerprinting doesn't take too long.
     
  9. mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #9
    Well, surprise, surprise, surprise!!! All of the tracks now show up in the playlist and most interesting is that it is pulling from all 3 Apple Music folders (MBP, NAS, and inside media folder). So it seems that not having the iCloud library turned on (and I thought it was on) has gone a long way to solving the problem. Now, I would just like to clean things up and get all of the downloads into the AM folder contained in the iTunes media folder.

    I also think part of my problem was that iTunes loses it's path to the NAS media library. Possible after I do a restart or maybe after an update. For some reason, and I have noticed this for a couple years, I will go in to look in Preferences and find out that iTunes has picked the MBP as the media library. It's not real obvious that this change has occurred.
     
  10. Brookzy macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    #10
    Have you tried selecting all tracks in the smart playlist, right clicking, removing download, and then re-downloading? :)
     
  11. mic j, Aug 23, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016

    mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #11
    Not yet, but I will try that tomorrow. Need a break. And now I am looking at my wife's iTunes and it is even worse shape that mine. Based on my experience, she is doing an iCloud music update and we'll see what happens. Thanks for your help. I'll be back here tomorrow to update.

    Update: Success!!! Followed your instructions and iTunes created an Apple Music folder on my NAS and inside the iTunes media music folder containing the test track. No Apple Music folders appeared anywhere else (MBP or NAS outside the media folder). So I am down to a single Apple Music folder. Just need to download the remaining iCloud tracks.

    Thank you so much for your help. I have to say, I have been using Apple products and software almost since inception. But iTunes structure and stability has always been a challenge for me, especially since integration with iCloud. Sometimes it just overwhelms me and I get stuck in the weeds. lol I think part of my problem is that my designated location for the iTunes media folder (Preferences>Advanced) occasionally changes back to the library location on my MBP, without my knowledge. So I do things, like add music and it goes to a location I am not aware of. Your instructions have given some good insight into iTunes structure. Thanks again.

    Now...off to see if I can fix my wife's iTunes.
     
  12. mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #12
    The bad news update: Lost about 2K of 5K tracks in my iTunes library. Just gone!!! I was actually looking at the Music folder in Finder, trying to figure out why my wife and I had a different amount of tracks in each of our iTunes libraries, when we discovered that the Finder on each of our Mac's showed a different number of music files on the NAS. My Finder showed roughly 5100 and hers was 3600. All of a sudden, and I am looking at the Finder when this happens, my Finder reduced the number of files to 3600. I was dumfounded! We also noted that a lot of music tracks that we would never have deleted (like Bruce Springsteen and Eric Clapton) were missing huge chunks tracks I had ripped from our cd's.

    I had not backed up the iTunes Media folder, so I just spent a week, using file recovery software to recover delete files from the NAS, some 8000 files many were duplicates and some were corrupted. After sifting through the mess, we are now back to around 5200 tracks in iTunes and mostly "whole", although a few tracks are still MIA. I have backed up the iTunes Media folder now. lesson learned.

    I have seen a lot of reports on forums of people all of sudden having there music deleted. I didn't believe it was possible and most of the replies on the forums indicated the same. It must be "user error". I now believe. If you use Apple Music (or Match), back up your libraries, folks.
     
  13. Brookzy macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    #13
    Two separate iTunes libraries running off the same source files? :eek:

    (Glad you got it sorted in the end, by the way!)
     
  14. mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #14
    Is there a reason my wife and I shouldn't tap into the same music files? I understand there is a potential for us modifying the Music folder contents, but we have agreed that all modifications (files added, deleted, etc) be done through me. Doesn't make sense to duplicate all of our 5000 files, one set for me and one set for her, does it? I am open to a better way of doing this, if you have any ideas.

    Note: we do use separate MBP's and also need to feed the aTV with her iTunes and my iTunes.
     
  15. Brookzy macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    #15
    It matters for Apple Music because the offline data* is DRMed and unique to your account.

    *Even if you don't manually save playlists offline, some offline data will exist.
     
  16. mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #16
    We could "share" my library but then my wife cannot use her personal playlists. It's all or nothing if she switches to sharing my library.
     
  17. Brookzy macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    #17
    Just duplicate the files and create two concurrent iTunes libraries, yours and hers?

    5000 high quality tracks is what, 50GB? Doubling that isn't going to swamp a NAS, surely.
     
  18. mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #18
    You make a good point. It is 49GB and I have 193GB available. So, if she or I add music that the other wants, we could just "Add to Library" and it would then copy that file into our respective iTunes Media folder (I have that option checked in the Advanced tab), correct? And doing it this way, separate iTunes Media folders, one almost acts as a backup for the other (and I have another iTunes Media folder duplicated, post rebuild, on a different HDD. That would eliminate the risk of a HDD failure of the drive both of our media folders are on. Your approach seems to solve a lot of potential issues. Thanks for suggesting that.
     
  19. Brookzy macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    #19
    Yes, that sounds like a solution.

    I'm a bit confused as to whether you're using two Apple Music subscriptions, or a Family subscription. But what you said just there sounds like it would work.

    As an aside, sharing source files between two iTunes libraries is most definitely not a good idea. To be honest, although your tracks did go missing when you signed up to Apple Music, it wasn't Apple Music's fault: sharing source files on two standard iTunes libraries is, I suppose, possible. But adding iCloud Music Library, Apple Music, and the features of iTunes Match, to the mix is what messed up the library because these features all alter local files - for example replacing them with higher bitrate versions (in the case of iTunes Match), adding DRM'd versions (in the case of Apple Music), and adding metadata (in the case of all of the above!).
     
  20. mic j, Sep 6, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016

    mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #20
    We have a family subscription.

    I understand how having dual files for a small library (approx. 5000) is possible. But if I had a large library, say 100K files, it would not be manageable to have duplicate libraries. Would my only good option be to just buy larger drives so I could duplicate even a large library?

    Just seems to me like this is a real iTunes weakness...to have to duplicate all music files for family members.
     
  21. Brookzy macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    #21
    Could you use Home Sharing?

    It would be nice for iTunes to support NASes better but really the vast majority of people store iTunes locally, and to require sharing source files is quite a niche thing. :)
     
  22. mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #22
    I have Home Sharing turned on, the aTV needs to have it on to be able to access the local iTunes files. My understanding is that Home Sharing allows for copying files between computers but not really sure how I would use it to solve this particular issue.

    I also turned on iTunes Library Sharing to see if that might be an option. I think that would work except for one thing. My wife's playlist only work on her library, not the shared library. If we could get around that impediment, I think her sharing my library would be a good solution.
     
  23. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

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    #23
    It certainly sounds like your configuration, i.e. two people sharing the same files on a NAS, is probably to blame. The last guy on here claiming that Apple Music deleted his files was also storing his library on a specialized NAS.
     
  24. mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #24
    Yes, I guess that is the consensus. And I'll accept that. Just seems stupid that each family member has to have their own fully duplicated library, either on an NAS or locally, and cannot share a main repository of files. But I guess that's just the way it is.
     
  25. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

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    #25
    But Apple Music is a streaming service. You upload (or match) your personal library once, and then you don't need to access it again. So I don't understand why you keep referring to a local library.

    Hell, getting iTunes out of my life for good was why I signed up.
     

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