I've messed up my wife's iTunes library. Any help?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by reubs, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. reubs macrumors 68000

    Jun 22, 2006
    In a fit of stupidity I tried to move the library of my wife's iTunes to another location, and something not good happened. I'm not sure what it was, but all of the music is gone. I think the original file got overwritten by a folder with the same name (one of those few times I miss windows), and now her whole library is gone.

    It was a small library (less than 2 gigs) because she just listens to a Shuffle. Well, as most of you probably know, it's pretty difficult (if not impossible) to get music off of a Shuffle using Senuti.

    I come to you all today asking for any help you can offer. I don't want to drop $100 bucks on file recovery software b/c we could rebuild it for cheaper than that. However, if I can recover the library that would be great.

    Thanks for any help!
  2. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    You need to give us more info on how this transpired. Step by step what you did so that we can figure out what you did.
  3. joefinan macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2007
    Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK
    The system would ask you if you want to overwrite the folder so, if it didn't ask, then it didn't do it.

    Have you tried doing a Spotlight search for one of the tracks? That might show you where they all are.

    In iTunes, there is a file (iTunes Library.xml) that tells the computer where to find the music. If you've moved all the music then iTunes will assume it's all gone (although the track names will still show up in iTunes, they just won't play).

    I'm also guessing you don't have Time Machine?
  4. reubs thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jun 22, 2006
    Here's what happened, the best that I can remember.

    I had her library backed up on the external HDD after I moved it from our XP machine. I was trying to move it to another HDD while preparing to reformat the external to install a new HDD on the Macbook. When I realized that it would take less time to move a few files individually rather than a lot of files at once, I stopped some of the transfers. I thought that the iTunes transfer had completed, so I deleted the original file thinking that the transferred file was intact in it's new location.

    With all of the open windows I somehow copied the incomplete library over the complete library. I didn't bother to "Get Info" to see which folder was larger, and when the "overwrite" message came up, I agreed.

    So, I know I screwed it up. I just need to know if there is a way to fix it. And I haven't reformatted that HDD yet, so there may still be hope. I just don't know.

    Thanks much.
  5. joefinan macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2007
    Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK
    Oh crap! Sounds unlikely to me.

    I would think only a professional would be able to find and lift-off the data.
  6. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    The best recovery program I have used and I have used a few is in fact freeware. Try out TestDisk

    edit: Also I have found iPodDisk to be so much better than Senuti.
  7. reubs thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jun 22, 2006
    It looks like iPod Disk is going to get most everything off of the shuffle, which is good since the dog got a hold of the shuffle this morning (my wife is in bed sick, and with a dog and a baby on my watch I'm about to lose my mind) and I was just lucky to get it plugged in to a USB port.

    Anyway, thanks for the info, and I'll try out Test Disk later.

    Thanks everyone for the info!
  8. reubs thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jun 22, 2006
    Alright, I'm working with TestDisk now, but it appears I'm in a little bit over my head. Any info on how to get that work would be great! iPodDisk worked until a certain point when I got an error of some sort. It looks like most of the info got copied, though, which is good!
  9. zainjetha macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2007
    Just dont tell the Lady that this happened. Otherwise you will have your head bitten off.

    If everything was from iTunes store, call the kind people at Apple and beg them to reset the download queue of your account. There are several other iPod to Windows.. Another way of doing it is plugging ipod into windows in disk mode and enabling viewing of hidden files. Somewhere you will find a folder which contains F001 F002 etc etc subfolders each containing a few or one or so tracks. Copy those back to computer and consolidate library.
  10. c-Row macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006
    Maybe you should think about an emergency plan as well.


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