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alliedmedia

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 19, 2023
5
0
Santa Monica, CA
Music has horribly broken my iTunes library several iterations ago. I'm on Ventura now and I've tried many possible ways to get the library fixed but no luck. All the artwork is wrong, I have multiple albums with various songs broken up, and a ton of things are now in an "unknown" folder.

I tried to go in and manually retype them in the "database" to fix but that didn't work much. I have thousands of songs so I can't find an appropriate solution. It was suggested that I install Retroactive and go into an old iTunes and see if I can get it all back to the way it was. I do have copies of the old music library, of course I've changed and added things since it went from iTunes to Apple Music.

The main issue for me is devices. My daughter only uses her iPhone for music and I still have an old iPod (60 gig!) that I use in the car. Its always a mess trying to get things sync'd up, Apple Music is really not a useful program. Of course there are other better players out there but AFAIK the only way to get music to the devices is through (now) Apple Music.

So the question - if I go ahead with Retroactive and go to a version of iTunes, and get my library back in order on the desktop will the devices recognize that? Or will it not because it is expecting Apple Music and won't know what iTunes is. As the resident "IT Professional" here it all falls on me and frankly I'm over all of it and don't have an answer. Anyone tried this?

Thanks
Woody
 

mmkerc

macrumors 6502
Jun 21, 2014
286
150
These may be dumb questions or things you have already tried, so bear with me.

Are all the music you have purchase through Music/iTunes or did you convert music from vinyl, CDs, or other outside (of Apple's ecosystem) sources. If you did convert are these the music that is given problem or is it mix (converted and purchased)? Is the issues just what you mention (artwork, and broken songs) or did you lose your playlists? I understand if you have a playlist and some of the song are broken it will skip the broken songs, but do your playlist show all the songs its should play, or are the playlist corrupted as well? Do you have a backup of just your songs separate from Music/iTunes?

If you have a separate backup have you tried to create a new Music library by importing your converted songs, and redownloading your purchase songs? If you can do this, you can then copy your playlist file to the new Library. the new library should download "clean" album artwork. All your devices would need to be "repointed" to the new library but this method has worked for me in the past.

This is clearly a brute force method but it has worked for me in the past with a library of just under 10,000 songs. The biggest issue I have always had is losing playlist, not the issues you mention, though I do not pay that much attention to the album artwork.
 

alliedmedia

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 19, 2023
5
0
Santa Monica, CA
Thanks for the reply. In answer to your question - its a mix of things - I typically don't purchase music through the cloud but rather buy physical CDs and rip them in. But that is only a small portion of the library. There is also a lot that I created - whether it was from an LP recorded in, or my own music that I added, from projects. Like you I probably have 10,000+ tracks.

What you are saying sounds like something I was looking for - a "clean install" of the library to Music. Is that what you are proposing? I wanted to dump the app and then reinstall and start fresh but that is not possible. It sounds like your idea is a workaround to that.

Would you mind sharing how exactly I would do that? Do I trash the library file in the finder? And have it rebuild that way? How would I do that? I don't want to break anything so that I can't get back.

Yes I do have the library on a separate drive, but I have added to it since then. I think I could easily port the new stuff over on a finer/copy level. Regarding playlists - yes those got trashed long ago when I made the jump in OS from iTunes to Apple, I forget what iteration that was. Regarding the artwork - I don't really care about it. However, there is a random track that I downloaded and then at some point 85% of my music has attached this artwork to each album. SO its very haywire.

Thanks for the time and the help.
 

mmkerc

macrumors 6502
Jun 21, 2014
286
150
Hold down the option key then double click the Music icon to open the app. You should get a dialog box similar to screenshot below to open an existing library or create a new one.
Screenshot 2023-08-20 at 2.46.10 PM.png


Leave your existing library alone at least until you get your new one up and running. I would not use the export library feature from your existing library due to the issues you are having. I would import from the native file. By that I mean from a non-tunes/Music folder. As indicated I have all of my music in the Music Library, but I also have on a backup drive a folder with all my music just as files (i.e. not store in an apps library).
 

alliedmedia

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 19, 2023
5
0
Santa Monica, CA
Fantastic this is very helpful. So it will do 2 or more libraries, I had no idea.

I have a full library of the media elsewhere as a backup. So I just point to that folder and it will database that into Music as a whole new deal? I'll give it a go!

Many thanks
 

mmkerc

macrumors 6502
Jun 21, 2014
286
150
Fantastic this is very helpful. So it will do 2 or more libraries, I had no idea.

I have a full library of the media elsewhere as a backup. So I just point to that folder and it will database that into Music as a whole new deal? I'll give it a go!

Many thanks
Couple of things. First the app will default to the last library opened, use this function to switch between them. 2nd while you mention you have a backup library (which may work🤞). What ultimately worked for me was creating a new empty library and importing the individual files and not a library.
 

alliedmedia

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 19, 2023
5
0
Santa Monica, CA
OK gave it a go. Its much cleaner now. It has assembled a lot of things in the right places but it still won't recognize others. So I have a folder with a few albums in it, but it wouldn't import. I tried many times to point to the folder but it just takes me back to the app without the media being in there.

The playlists are all long gone from the original porting from iTunes to Music. Never bothered to make new ones since this has always been a mess since. When you say importing the individual files you mean using apple O and pointing to the correct folders right? I'm not trying to import anything else. I meant to say that I have a backup of the media, not a backup of the library if that distinction makes sense.

This has been been very useful. If I am able to get things at least closer to the way they should be do you recommend trashing the old library files? I see there are a few in there.

Appreciate the help! Getting closer. All the best,
 

mmkerc

macrumors 6502
Jun 21, 2014
286
150
Once you have your library setup as you want, no issue to delete the old libraries as long as you have backup of the original music (purchased music you should be able to download again).

In terms of the importing files, instead of selecting the folder to import try selecting the individual file, then multiple files at once.

In the real world I would be called a hoarder as I have a backup folder of all my songs (purchased or converted), and a backup of the library that iTunes/Music uses (essentially two backups). I restore from the folder not the library.

Happy it is working out for you.
 

alliedmedia

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 19, 2023
5
0
Santa Monica, CA
LOL then I'm a hoarder too! I wish there was an easier way to keep track other than the finder level.

I see if I look in the "song" tab and then go by date added those files are in there, I just have to add the album and artist. Since a lot of it has been properly routed with the new indexing it seems better. Maybe not so many to do by hand that way....

One question on the finder level, I've created a number of music library files in my music folder in the docs folder using your method. When I created a new one it asked for a name which I gave it. Then in the finder I just see a number of music libraries but nothing named like I had just done. Just named music library. Is there a way to toggle through those? Right now I'm just going by date. Its a bit confusing.

Thanks
 

mmkerc

macrumors 6502
Jun 21, 2014
286
150
Never run across this issue so do not know.

That said I offer these WAGs.

The Music app looks for a library named Music, it will not find a Music library named Classical. But a work around is to store the music library in a folder named Classical and point the Music app to that.

Try using spotlight to find the music library with the names you chose. Thinking those names maybe in metadata and can be found that way
 

JamesMay82

macrumors 65816
Oct 12, 2009
1,283
1,044
I had the same issues with my library as you and I ended up creating a new library and importing to all. It took ages but it now looks great and I did have to manually add lots of artwork but it good now and I did weirdly enjoy doing it I think.

Another thing I’ve started doing was I set up a new library for Apple Music streaming and then imported my lossless rips of albums that iTunes doesn’t have which it then uploads to the cloud and syncs with my iPhone and iPad etc. it seems the best of both worlds so far.

I tend to only stick with Apple Music for so long before I become stingy and revert back to my old owned collection.
 

dmt43

macrumors member
Jul 28, 2023
67
17
Hold down the option key then double click the Music icon to open the app. You should get a dialog box similar to screenshot below to open an existing library or create a new one.
View attachment 2248453
Hi I just bought a Macbook Air after having been on Windows my entire computer life. I found out Itunes was sunset and my library should be available on the Music app, but I only see songs I had purchased through the store directly on my IOS devices. I hadn’t accessed it in a while, but it was on my PC. And now that I think of it, I don’t know if I migrated my Itunes library ; ( I guess I have to check that. If I did/do migrate it, will it be available in Music? Where is would/should my Itunes library be on the Mac, when I search it brings up the Music & TV apps. thanks. Donna
 

sracer

macrumors G4
Apr 9, 2010
10,342
13,141
where hip is spoken
iTunes historically has been pretty poor (relatively speaking) with regard to handling metadata. The only tool more finicky than iTunes was the desktop Zune software. Metadata needed to be immaculate for things to appear correctly in that. (I still have and use my brown Zune 30 so I still need to keep the metadata correct.)

For years I've used MP3Tag (on Windows and Mac) to set the metadata correctly and then when I import the tracks into iTunes (or any other music management software) the results are always perfect.

This is why I don't rely on iTunes to manage that stuff. I can move my tracks anywhere and everywhere, and they'll import correctly. I did some rearranging on my Plex server and it pulled in the over 20,000 tracks without issue.
 
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mmkerc

macrumors 6502
Jun 21, 2014
286
150
Your question is a bit complex so I will break it down in pieces. Realize also as I only use Windows for my work I am guessing a bit with that setup.

First, from your comments you have both Apple purchase music, and other purchased or created music on your Window machine. Unless you copy the non purchase music over to you Mac it make sense that you iOs devices only see the Apple purchased music. I would copy your non Apple Music to your new Mac into a folder and then import that folder via the Music app's import function. This should allow your iOS devices to see that music as well. Downside is playlist may need to be recreated. I believe there is a way to copy the playlist structure into Music but not sure what the file name.ext is on a Windows machine.

Second, the iTunes folder in its entirety is normally located in your Music folder (Mac HD/users/donna(username)/Music). There will be about 7-8 subfolders in the Music folder something like the structure in the pict below.
Screenshot 2023-08-25 at 3.08.54 PM.png


As indicated in other comments you may lose some metadata but you should have all of your songs. I will see if I can find some info on importing Windows iTunes to a new Mac with Music to see if there is a cleaner method that you would not have to recreate your playlists.

Also if you live by an Apple Store you could pop in and ask one of the geniuses how to migrate iTunes over.
 

dmccloud

macrumors 68040
Sep 7, 2009
3,007
1,758
Anchorage, AK
iTunes historically has been pretty poor (relatively speaking) with regard to handling metadata. The only tool more finicky that iTunes was the desktop Zune software. Metadata needed to be immaculate for things to appear correctly in that. (I still have and use my brown Zune 30 so I still need to keep the metadata correct.)

For years I've used MP3Tag (on Windows and Mac) to set the metadata correctly and then when I import the tracks into iTunes (or any other music management software) the results are always perfect.

This is why I don't rely on iTunes to manage that stuff. I can move my tracks anywhere and everywhere, and they'll import correctly. I did some rearranging on my Plex server and it pulled in the over 20,000 tracks without issue.

I will second the MP3Tag recommendation. The app works like a charm and allows for bulk operations, meaning you can fix an entire album in one pass rather than going track by track. You can also bulk rename individual songs using the corrected tags. This is great for those who want more consistency between all of their music.
 

allan.nyholm

macrumors 68020
Nov 22, 2007
2,288
2,520
Aalborg, Denmark
I will second the MP3Tag recommendation. The app works like a charm and allows for bulk operations, meaning you can fix an entire album in one pass rather than going track by track. You can also bulk rename individual songs using the corrected tags. This is great for those who want more consistency between all of their music.
I would suggest kid3 here. Just to give a free alternative. I haven't had many issues if any at all using kid3.
 

dmt43

macrumors member
Jul 28, 2023
67
17
thanks all for your suggestions. I will not able to work on it for a few days, but will post back when i do. I forgot to mention that I chose not to use the Apple migration tool, so I’m sure files are missing and that I will need more help ; ) Ultimately, my iTunes library is not a must-have— (I had copied my CDs into there, CDs remember those?) — just would be a nice-to-have…….
 
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