How to fix your corrupted iTunes Library after enabling iCloud Music Library

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paulisme

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 15, 2008
404
9
Charleston, SC
Edit 7/5/2015

It turns out this doesn't fix the problem. Attempting to play many of the songs that were previously corrupted ends up in them being corrupted again. It's easy to reproduce; just click the drop-down in the top right and select Songs to view your library in grid mode, then add the Date Modified column if it's not already there, sort by it, and try playing one of the songs with a date modified that corresponds to when you enabled iCloud Music Library. The song will revert to the incorrect album/artist. I'm guessing because the metadata in the file itself was jacked up by Apple, and when it's played the music library file that was restored earlier is updated to reflect the metadata in the file. Oh well. Here I am without a backup and a jacked up music library. Hopefully Apple will issue a fix soon.

If you're like me and many others in that your iTunes Library was completely destroyed after enabling iCloud Music Library (albums renamed, albums duplicated, mixed up album artwork), you can fix it WITHOUT a Time Machine backup. I posted this in another thread but thought it would be worthy of its own thread so it could be sticky'd.

Here's what my library looked like after enabling iCloud Music Library:


https://forums.macrumors.com/attachments/screen-shot-2015-07-02-at-8-56-06-am-png.565747/

Here are the steps to fix:

- Close iTunes.

- Navigate to your iTunes folder on your computer. You can find out which folder you're looking for from this Apple Support page.

- Rename the "iTunes Library.itl" file to "iTunes Library_destroyed.itl" or "iTunes Library_AppleViolatedMe.itl" or whatever other name you'd like to use to get out your aggression.

- Open the "Previous Libraries" subfolder. you'll see a bunch of "iTunes Library" files suffixed with dates. Pick the one that was created just before you turned on iCloud Music Library and copy and paste it into your iTunes folder library.

- Rename the file you just pasted to "iTunes Library.itl".

- Open iTunes. When it asks you to enable iCloud Music Library, DON'T DO IT!

Your library should be back to normal. I guess Apple's screwed the pooch enough times after iTunes updates that they have a pretty decent backup system in place.
 
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lars666

macrumors 65816
Jul 13, 2008
1,072
1,008
One could almost laugh seeing this cover art screenshot if the whole mess wouldn't make so angry ... Seriously, does anybody see any "system" how exactly iCloud Music Library ****s up our libraries like a vicious virus?! Judging by your wrong Beatles covers, it all seems so random...
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,951
2,669
St. Louis, MO
One could almost laugh seeing this cover art screenshot if the whole mess wouldn't make so angry ... Seriously, does anybody see any "system" how exactly iCloud Music Library ****s up our libraries like a vicious virus?! Judging by your wrong Beatles covers, it all seems so random...
As far as I can tell, it is completely random.

In my case, it wasn't just the cover art itself that was screwed up. It was all metadata for a track. So using his example above, The Beatles Anthology would actually be Stone Temple Pilots songs, tagged with the correct STP artwork, but with Beatles artist, album and titles. Not sure what it did for the OP's music library. I'd be curious to see if he hears STP or The Beatles when he plays the Anthology album. Either way, you win. Ditto for Rage Against the Yellow Submarine ;)
 
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flur

macrumors 68020
Nov 12, 2012
2,205
926
I use Sugarsync to backup my music (in addition to time machine), and can confirm that iCloud Music Library makes changes to your actual files, as I watched Sugarsync back up changes to music files I hadn't touched in years. Replacing your library isn't enough. If you want to get back to where you were before iCloud Music Library was turned on, you really do need to restore all your music files too.
 

whsbuss

macrumors 68040
May 4, 2010
3,678
666
SE Penna.
For me the only way to ensure no impact to your library is to use AM with a blank library then popular with their music from your library list. Painstaking for large libraries, yes. But an undamaged library can always be used if/when you quit AM. When Apple fixes this issue then maybe it will be safe to enter the water...
 

bigpoppamac31

macrumors 68020
Aug 16, 2007
2,288
333
Canada
I just updated my original post with some more info. Turns out my fix isn't really a fix.
If Apple corrupted your library how would they be able to issue a fix to return everything to normal?? Would this fix remember where everything used to be?
 

caustal

macrumors newbie
Jul 5, 2015
1
0
For me the only way to ensure no impact to your library is to use AM with a blank library then popular with their music from your library list. Painstaking for large libraries, yes. But an undamaged library can always be used if/when you quit AM. When Apple fixes this issue then maybe it will be safe to enter the water...
I tried going this route as I have 75,000 songs and I couldn't add any tracks from Apple Music on my laptop (iPhone & iPad worked fine but none of my additions wold show up on the laptop). I assumed that the 25,000 song match limit wouldn't affect this as I was just adding things from Apple Music. Sadly after a couple of days of adding albums, crosschecking them with my library, and fixing errors and such I hit 25,000 songs and it abruptly refused to let me add any more songs to my library. I'm stuck now and not really sure what to do.
 

paulisme

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 15, 2008
404
9
Charleston, SC
If Apple corrupted your library how would they be able to issue a fix to return everything to normal?? Would this fix remember where everything used to be?
They could issue an update that grabs a previous iTunes library file (like I did manually) and then applying the metadata from that file to the individual audio files that were corrupted. If I had time I'd write it myself. Maybe I could make some money off it :)
 
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