Itunes keeps deleting my mp3's!!!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by RedRider0151, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. RedRider0151 macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2011
    OK, so I have a macbook pro, running itunes 10. I manage all music manually. I have a HUGE music collection that I have collected over the last 15 years or so....I buy and rip cd's myself, well over 2000 cd's or so...(I was in the Marines and cd collections were a big thing while I was deployed in Japan LOL) Anyhow, on a number of occasions now, Itunes has randomly gone in and DELETED 1000's of mp3's off my drive. It just deletes the mp3's, it leaves the artwork and anything else I have in the directories, but the mp3's are GONE. Yeah, I am pretty adamant about backing up my files and just spend the day copying them back in there, but its a HUGE PITA!!! Last night was the last straw, as I am ready to chuck the thing out the window....I am helping a friend out by doing the music for his wedding and him and his fiance' come over to pick out music and yup...BAM, all my freekin mp's are gone...over a 100 gig worth so here I am am uploading them all again and redoing all my itunes crap...but now I am worried it will do it again before their wedding next week!! Its freekin KILLIN me that this dang program can just arbitrarily delete all my stuff. I have found numerous people on the web having the same problem dating all the way back to Itunes 7, but NONE have found a solution....seems like everyones solution is to backup your stuff....well thats unacceptable to me!! WTF????

    I cant believe that this hasnt become a larger issue....

    btw, this has happened on multiple occasions, its ALWAYS just the mp3's that disappear, nothing else that I have noticed...I have all the same mp's on a regular pc without itunes and its fine, has NEVER had an issue, and I also have the entire music collection backed up on 2 separate hard drives (lost it all once and had to spend a week ripping it again, so now I am pretty anal about backups...
  2. RedRider0151 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2011
    Am I really the only guy this is happening too???
  3. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2010
    I have to say I have never had this happen to me (fingers crossed). I have ~400GB of music (terabytes of videos) and I've never had them mysteriously disappear.

    As any MR forum dweller would ask: what hardware do you have? How is the music being stored (locally on internal HDD, or is it a network or external drive)? Are you up to date with all your software? What format is your music ripped to?

    If you could outline any more of details of how you use your computer it might help get some understanding of what's happening for you.

    Hopefully the community will be able to offer more insight once we have more details from you.

  4. RedRider0151 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2011
    I have a macbook pro 2.33 duocore, 4gig ram, replaced hd with 500 gig seagate drive, OS is 10.6.8. Itunes is ver 10.4.1. All mp3's were ripped on a PC via a program called CD-EX (not sure what version as I have ripped music for years) and is ripped to mp3 format at 192 or 224kbps . All mp3's are on the internal drive, but also backed up via a Seagate Firewire external drive that is constantly connected unless I have dragged the laptop out of my office. The only mp3's that disappear are the ones I have added to the itunes library...the ones on the external drive that sit in a non sync'd directory never had any issues....thus when I get "whacked" I just delete the itunes library, copy the mp3's into the itunes music folder again and rebuild the library. This last time I deleted everything out of the itunes folder (all movies, books, apps, everything...)

    Also, its literally only the mp3' will see all the directories still there via artist,album, and if you drill into the album directory you will see teh album art files and any other files that were there still there and working fine but the mp3's are all gone... This has happened to me probably 7-8 times now....first time it REALLY hurt as I wasnt dedicated to properly backing them up I have them stored all over the place

    Just like this guy...
  5. paulsalter macrumors 68000


    Aug 10, 2008
    Not heard of this one before, but anyway

    I am not infront of my iTunes, so cant get the exact naming

    In iTunes preferences, where does it say you Library is being stored, does this point to the correct location

    what options are ticked for auto organising iTunes
  6. RedRider0151 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2011
    It is being stored in /music/itunes/itunes media

    I have "Keep Itunes Media folder organised" checked, but NOT copy files when adding to library

    Also, when it deletes MP's, its not deleting the entire library...just about 75% of it...some albums still exist, but most are gone...and its entire albums when it happens...not just an mp3 here and there, its the entire lot in each sub directory.;...
  7. wpotere Guest

    Oct 7, 2010
    Are you are that you aren't deleting them yourself? If you remove an item from your music folder, it will ask you if you want to keep or delete the file. Some people think that this means that you are deleting the link but it is the actual file that is deleted.
  8. RedRider0151 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2011

    Positive...we are talking about 15,000 mp3's or so that disappear. I hadnt fired up my mac in months and suddenly half the music was gone this weekend when I was about to build a playlist for my buddies wedding....and its not the first time its happened. This is the straw that broke the camels back, when suddenly my friend is now saying maybe he doesnt want to buy a mac...LOL...figured I better at least try and find out what is happening. I have found others this is happening to around the web, but no one seems to know why it happens...
  9. wpotere Guest

    Oct 7, 2010

    Strange... That being said, my repository is on a Windows machine and not my Mac.

    Hope you get it sorted.
  10. RedRider0151 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2011
    Mine too!! LOL got a windows desktop with 6 tb of drives in it I am on constantly....needed to fire up the laptop to help a friend at a wedding...rarely use Itunes...but seems like everytime I do this whole issue rears its head....hence I dont use my mac much... just to record guitar (I have an Apogee Duet and jbl studio monitor setup) and for making home movies ....all my "entertainment" is on the win7 box...
  11. wpotere Guest

    Oct 7, 2010
    That is odd... Is it possible that your drive is failing?
  12. RedRider0151 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2011
    Definitely not...I record guitar to it constantly....only thing disappearing is what Itunes is accessing...I am shocked this isnt a bigger issue and I am one of the relative few affected by it...
  13. noisycats macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2010
    The 'ham. Alabama.
    Which makes me think something about your workflow could be causing or at least contributing to it.

    You say that you leave the "copy files" box un-checked. Since that is the case, iTunes relies on you to keep the original files in a safe and easily accessable place.

    I don't quite understand your set-up below. You normally keep all your mp3s in a folder (or folders) on your internal drive and just let iTunes catalog and index (but not move or copy) the files? Then, for no reason, iTunes loses the files? Do the files still reside in your folder set up (again, you are responsible for this since you have the box un-checked)?

    Sorry for being so thick, but I don't quite grasp whether the files are truly gone from your folders, or whether iTunes just loses track of them.
  14. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    It's not iTunes.

    You changed default settings and don't have a grasp on how it works.

    Use default settings. If you don't know what the settings are, create new user account and see.
  15. RedRider0151, Oct 3, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011

    RedRider0151 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2011
    The files are gone. THey will still be part of the Itunes library, but if you try and play them, Itunes says it cannot find the files.... I go into finder and go to the directory the files should be and all mp3 files are now gone and all thats left is album art. THe actual mp3 files have been deleted.

    Initially I DID use default settings, however as my music collection grew I did NOT want Itunes copying mp3's all over the place, hence I unchecked "Copy Files to Itunes media folder when adding to library" and I manually added an MP3 directory under itunes. THe only other function Itunes has is to allow it to place files into album and artist folders and use its own naming convention....I understand EXACTLY what both of these do....neither of which would cause 80% of my mp3's to be deleted by itunes...LOL

    Here, this is what I have done....

    1. initially I let Itunes do EVERYTHING by default...this caused over 300 meg of my internal HD to be used just for music....way too I took my external drive (which I use for backups) and keep a directory on it just for music.

    2. I then created a directory on my Mac, under music/itunes/itunes media and named it mp3. I copied all my mp3's into it.

    3. I then added that directory to my library.

    bam...thats it, done. Itunes adds everything to the library and if I download or rip a cd...I just copy it to the mp3 directory on my Mac and then again to add it to my backup hard drive. (and toss a copy on my windows pc for good measure also)

    Mind you, I have NEVER deleted mp3's from any of these drives...I have no reason too...however on at least 7-8 occasions I have lost 75-80% of the mp3's that are in my itunes library...NEVER off my external drive which itunes knows nothing about. My Itunes library still shows the songs but they are greyed out and when you try to play them they say unable to locate. You go into finder and the directories are all still there but anything with an .mp3 extension is gone from 75 - 80% of the directories....

    THe only way to recover is to copy them all to the mp3 directory again...usually I delete my .itl file and let it ALL be cataloged all over again...thinking a fresh from scratch library would fix the problem...but it never has...and I have also tried MANY different setting in itunes...from letting it manage everything to what I have now....all ends up being the same. If you search with google "Itunes deletes my mp3's" you will find NUMEROUS people this happens too....just no solution....

    Also it behaved the same on 2 separate internal hard first one and the 500 meg one I upgraded to...its not a hardware issue and its not me going in and deleting the mp3's.... that I can guarantee...

    There is NO setting in Itunes that allows it to delete files from my library....that should NEVER happen...
  16. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    Something isn't right here.

    1. You say you need space on your internal drive so you copy everything to your external drive... good, no problems there.

    2. You create a mp3 folder under music/itunes/itunes media; which is ON YOURE INTERNAL DRIVE and copy your music there.

    Now you have 300GB on your internal drive and on your external drive; but that isn't want you wanted in step #1.

    Since no one else has seen this problem; sounds like a user problem. Be careful what you are doing and how you're trying to do it. Make sure you are not accidentally breaking the links yourself. I found that if you have your media on an external disk and that drive is OFF/Unplugged when iTunes goes to play the music, it grays out everything (but doesn't delete anything). But then it's hard to get it to re-associate again. Often the easiest thing was to delete everything from the library and re-add them. But if you've turned the drive on in-between, you end up deleting your music because the files are now found.
  17. RedRider0151 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2011
    I have 1 copy of all my mp3's on my internal drive in music/itunes/itunes media....and that is the ONLY location I have marked as a library in itunes....Itunes is NEVER detached from it...even if it was...the files definitely should not be deleted.

    I then also have an EXTERNAL drive with all the mp3's backed up...that I never play the music from, that Itunes should never see...and the files have NEVER had an issue...which is why I say its an Itunes issue...

    THere is no way I went into probably 300 directories and deleted all the mp3's and left the album artwork and the directories intact 7 - 8 times...which is why I KNOW I didnt do it....

    I also keep another library of the music on an entirely different computer (I have the music in 3 places at all times since i lost it once and had to re-rip over 2000 cd' takes a LONG freekin time)

    For step 1....When I initially got my mac, I tossed all my music on the internal drive in its own directory, then left all the default setting on itunes and added my Itunes then not only added the music to its library, but it also made a COPY of it in its media folder (thats the default setting) essentially I had 2 copies of every mp3 on 1 hard drive (I have 150 - 170 gig worth of music) so it completely bogged down I decided I would just manage it all manually like I always have on my PC....keep a master drive with all my music, that I manage completely on my guys are reading into it way more than you need to...

    Also, if you search google you will find I am far from alone as this is happening all over the place...I am just surprised its not more I am not a "power user" on my mac... I needed a laptop and the mac was far better than a pc, but desktop (my main device) I have always had pc's and continue to do so...maybe I just need to stay away from Macs....LOLOLOL
  18. noisycats macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2010
    The 'ham. Alabama.
    Two thoughts...

    1. If you desire to continue to manage your mp3 folder yourself, store it outside of the iTunes folder (like maybe just one layer back in the Music folder so it rests beside but not inside iTunes).

    2. Reconsider letting iTunes manage everything. The doubling of the music is caused by 1) your initial collection and then 2) iTunes making its own copy. Once iTunes makes its copy, you should delete your own, original files. There is no longer a need for it. Again, there should be no doubling unless you are keeping your own files in addition to iTunes making a copy.

    I think either of these solutions will fix your problem.
  19. RedRider0151 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2011

    Yup....thats what I am in process of trying now...1 day in and its still all there...LOL. I have done this so many times I cant remember what I have tried and what I havent is all...
  20. rsj macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2011
    Me Too!

    Just you my foot. I think there is a lot of this out there.
    Exclamation point in circle next to track. MP3 file is gone from library, gone. Happened a while back, don't monitor my entire library that closely, just noticed that now hundreds of tracks are gone. In the past it was really the tracks that I bought from Itunes that disappeared, and I could re-download them. Now at least one of those is gone, plus random other albums, some procured but many ripped from CD through itunes.
    The randomness of it makes it an insurmountable task, I refuse to dedicate the required time to fix itunes, may just need to bite the bullet and take the plunge, but apple makes sure to make it close to impossible to leave itunes.
  21. Giyaheartfie macrumors newbie


    Jul 2, 2017
    I am experiencing mp3 that disappear after iTunes plays them
  22. SkippyThorson macrumors 65816


    Jul 22, 2007
    Utica, NY
    I must add to this!

    Using iTunes Match, iTunes managed (twice) to clear a large selection (10%) of all my manually entered info (more correct than the Store) and substitute its own.

    Even worse, I have an alias folder in my Movies folder pointing to the actual location of all my Movies in the iTunes Media folder - they're all in iTunes, again with my own entered info. Occasionally, iTunes will just delete movies. At random. No warning. Just gone one day. One or two, once more than a dozen.

    I turned off Match and unsubscribed. Unstable, unpredictable, unwanted.

    Now if iTunes could or iCloud could stop deleting my voice memos at random too, that would be fantastic.
  23. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    There were reports of this happening that apple supposed to have fixed 12.3.3 had a DataBase bug:

    And there were other issues, probably not related, to deleting music from Apple music.... I think Apple may have fixed those problems as well.. But then maybe not..

    Sounds like its only when uploading content itself... not Apple music content, as i've never had this happen either, but then i don't upload any of my personal music..

    Maybe try updating iTunes?

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