iTunes File Loss


macrumors 6502a
Original poster

iTunes is randomly deleting files from my library! These are normal, bog standard mp3 files (I am not Hymn'ing iTMS songs, not trying to convert WMA or anything fancy like that - just plain old CD ripped mp3's like Grandma used to make).

This has happened on a number of occasions, notably I had tried storing my library on my external HD, about 4 months ago, but iTunes couldn't seem to cope very well with this and after moving back to my internal HD I found a number of tracks missing. I put this down to a bug (a pretty bloody important one though in file management software!) in iTunes.

BUT, yesterday, I had some mp3 files (ripped on my PC) that I was importing into iTunes (on PB) ... I had filled in song titles in lower case and was then changing the tags to use proper capitalisation and BANG - little grey warning triangle, iTunes cannot find the file. WTF ?!?

And there's more. I have spent a not inconsiderable amount of time chasing album art for my files. Only now (no movement of the library or anything like that) half of it has disappeared. Completely gone. What gives?

I am pretty hacked off at what I see as a fundamental flaw. I couldn't care less about integration / iTMS / interface if iTunes can't be relied on to look after and protect my files. Having now seen it in action, I find it really hard to trust iTunes with my music. Which in turn makes it hard to use my iPod, use Airtunes or my PB for any sort of music playback :mad: :mad: :mad:

OK, I could scrape by with Ephpod on my PC or accept a certain "leakage" of files but obviously this is well below par, IMHO ... by which I mean totally unacceptable, as I am sure most people understand.

Over the last 6 months, I would guess I have lost about 20 songs and I guess around 50-60% of the album art.

Anyway, rant over. Deep Breathing

What I would like to know, is if anyone else has suffered from these problems and most importantly, how do I stop it happening again?

Are there any decent alternatives to iTunes on OS X that let me use my AirTunes and iPod?

The details : iTunes 4.8; Keep iTunes Music folder organised ticked; Copy files to folder ticked; Library 13.1 Gb; OS X 10.3.9


macrumors 68040
Apr 11, 2003
Stupid question- did you run a file find to see if any of those files are just in the wrong place? (Not that I know HOW they would get in the wrong place)

Alternately (a long shot) is there a permissions problem with your iTunes music folder? Or has the iTunes music folder been moved around?


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Of 12 files in the album, I was playing the first at the time, correcting the title of the second when it disappeared, all the others remained there. As it was seconds after copying it from the PC I could just reimport it, but I was pretty livid at the time. Feels like catching a trusted friend reading your personal diary or something.

Permissions all seem fine (after all I can read / write / delete) it's just that occasionally iTunes takes it upon itself to use that power.

I know this will be very difficult to troubleshoot because the problem is so intermittent. Anyway, I have just ordered Tiger, and I am going to backup, wipe the hard disk and install that. Home directory has got pretty messy over the last few years, some of the features will be very useful and if it fixes this - excellent. I just remember reading somewhere about people losing files through iTunes and wondered if it rang a bell with anyone. That and getting the experience of feeling violated off my chest ;)


macrumors 68000
Feb 1, 2005
This has also happened to mw twice in a year, using different versions oof itunes 4! I thought it was just me, but now I find another person who has the same problem...