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The dreaded iTunes exclamation point of death


wgscott

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I'm at work listening to my backup music drive, and just noticed some of those dreaded iTunes ( ! ) as pictured below:

 

Screenshot 2014-01-17 09.01.28.png

 

This is from a CD I ripped. Sure enough, those tracks aren't there. Nor are they on my music system at home, or the secondary backup at home. They are gone.

 

Here is the thing: They were there once. Otherwise I wouldn't have these entries. WTF? Fortunately I still have the collection of CDs (which weren't cheap). But this concerns me.

 

Is there a way to do a quick iTunes search to find out what else is missing?

 

I'm at a loss to figure out how this happened. There are several more tracks missing from this compilation of CDs.

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The ins and outs of iTunes is a mystery unto itself. There are rumours of Apple policing it, apparently able to delete tracks it finds suspicious. Just as well you kept those CDs. Us Laurasians usually have to hold on to them for legal purposes, for as long as we still have the ripped files. Isn't it the same in Gondwana?

We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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just noticed some of those dreaded iTunes ( ! )... This is from a CD I ripped. Sure enough, those tracks aren't there. Nor are they on my music system at home, or the secondary backup at home. They are gone....

 

Is there a way to do a quick iTunes search to find out what else is missing?

 

I'm at a loss to figure out how this happened. There are several more tracks missing from this compilation of CDs.

 

Bill, Bummer ! I discovered quite a few extra iTunes db entries that duplicated good tracks, when the albums art didn't display (the extra entries didn't have art attached so iTunes decided here was no art for that album). Once I found and deleted them, the original album entries and art display was fine.

 

But then there was one entire album that was MIA. 'Heavy Horses', Like you, I know I ripped it, the entries were there, but no data file, not even the album folder ??? I have no clue what happened to the files. I've replaced them OK, but not comfy it won't happen again :(

 

Sorry the error propagated thru your backup system before you noticed it ! The problem of identifying these orphan db entries is clearly serious and needs a fix from somewhere, so we can monitor the health of our libraries before problems get out of control.

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The ins and outs of iTunes is a mystery unto itself. There are rumours of Apple policing it, apparently able to delete tracks it finds suspicious.

Honestly, those rumors seem a bit fat fetched to me. How is Apple supposed to check if a track is legit? Between this explanation and a simple user error I tend to rather believe the latter.

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I still believe the main reasons for missing tracks like in WGscotts example is usually simple user error.

 

Sorry, but I don't fully agree, not that all of us don't make an occasional mistake, sometimes not even realizing it, so it isn't corrected. But I am hard pressed to see how we could do something inadvertently that would delete files from the music file library. Maybe some one knows and could enlighten us ??

 

On my old G-4 tower, with only 1.5 GB memory, I have had increasing interface problems with iTunes as my library has grown over 500GB. iTunes operations will stall, slow down, and fall out of my comfortable response periods. I try and drag a selection of tracks for example, but iTunes doesn't do anything for seconds, and seconds. my control is thrown off, and I get pissed off, conditions where unintended actions can happen. It is bizarre to click, pause, click a field like 'Artist', to select the text for copying, and have that take 5 or 6 seconds !! Throws one right off your learned rhythm, slows productivity, and causes mental distress.

 

A few times things have gotten even worse, with some periods of unexpected and uncontrollable iTunes actions in response to my mouse. I think they may have been due to not rebooting for too long (months). I now find, sometimes quite a few, extraneous track entries in scattered playlists, where, I believe, iTunes/OS10.5 went nuts and decided to drop them there instead of where I was trying to move the mouse. There were other crazy problems during those incidents, that have no real explanation, and I blame of the environment and software, not the user !

 

After the last incident like that, I was so upset, I took a break, then decided to settle down and go with the flow, not trying to push the interface faster then it could go. It takes longer for me to do things like rips, metadata, embedding artwork, cross links, etc., but things don't go wrong very often and I am calmer, if not happy.

 

All these things are actions that affect values in the iTunes database (SQLite tables) - not the audio data files. I can delete playlist entries all day without deleting the datafiles. Gotta do that manually thru the Finder. Maybe you can, and I forgot how... So, back to the beginning :(

 

 

Soon I will have a 'new' Mini with 8GB, and lots of guts, setup, so things should improve markedly !!

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Sorry, but I don't fully agree, not that all of us don't make an occasional mistake, sometimes not even realizing it, so it isn't corrected. But I am hard pressed to see how we could do something inadvertently that would delete files from the library. Maybe some one knows and could enlighten us ??

 

On my old G-4 tower, with only 1.5 GB memory, I have had increasing interface problems with iTunes as my library has grown over 500GB. iTunes operations will stall, slow down, and fall out of my comfortable response periods. I try and drag a selection of tracks for example, but iTunes doesn't do anything for seconds, and seconds. my control is thrown off, and I get pissed off, conditions where unintended actions can happen. It is bizarre to click, pause, click a field like 'Artist', to select the text for copying, and have that take 5 or 6 seconds !! Throws one right off your learned rhythm, slows productivity, and causes mental distress.

 

A few times things have gotten even worse, with some periods of unexpected and uncontrollable iTunes actions in response to my mouse. I think they may have been due to not rebooting for too long (months). I now find, sometimes quite a few, extraneous track entries in scattered playlists, where, I believe, iTunes/OS10.5 went nuts and decided to drop them there instead of where I was trying to move the mouse. There were other crazy problems during those incidents, that have no real explanation, and I blame of the environment and software, not the user !

 

After the last incident like that, I was so upset, I took a break, then decided to settle down and go with the flow, not trying to push the interface faster then it could go. It takes longer for me to do things like rips, metadata, embedding artwork, cross links, etc., but things don't go wrong very often and I am calmer, if not happy.

 

Soon I will have a 'new' Mini with 8GB, and lots of guts, setup, so things should improve markedly !!

First, I'm pretty sure things with regards to ITunes speed will change with your new Mini and more RAM. On my four year old imac with 8GB and about 3TB of music ITunes speed is ok.

 

I'm not saying ITunes cannot screw up, I'm just hypothesizing they user error is way more frequent than software bugs. Whatever happened in wgscott's case we'll probably never know.

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That sounds slightly more likely, but I still believe the main reasons for missing tracks like in WGscotts example is usually simple user error. Sorry Mr. Scott :-)

 

I think it is almost certainly user error. What bothers me is that I propagated the deletion in my backups.

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First, I'm pretty sure things with regards to ITunes speed will change with your new Mini and more RAM... and about 3TB of music ...

 

Thanks, through I am having a hard time giving up my comfy old OS10.5/iTunes 9 environment. I've spent 3 years building my digital library with this basic system, gotten good at it too... :)

 

3TB !! How many lifetimes of listening is that ?

 

 

I'm not saying ITunes cannot screw up, I'm just hypothesizing they user error is way more frequent than software bugs. Whatever happened in wgscott's case we'll probably never know.

 

As an ex programmer, I consider poor user interface design, leading to more user error, to be a software problem. A bug manifest through the human...

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Are you buy any chance, letting iTunes organize your music files? That is, at least in my limited experience, a sure fire way to lose music when you least expect it.

 

It moves them and puts them under some other name, but leaves the darn database entries. End result, that pesky "!" mark...

 

If you are brave, I would try dropping and reloading the entire library from the data files. I do that occasionally to prove to my myself that the metatdata is correct.

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Are you buy any chance, letting iTunes organize your music files? That is, at least in my limited experience, a sure fire way to loose music when you least expect it.

It moves them and puts them under some other name, but leaves the darn database entries. End result, that pesky "!" mark...

 

If you are brave, I would try dropping and reloading the entire library from the data files. I do that occasionally to prove to my myself that the metatdata is correct.

 

-Paul

 

Paul, it's bloody time you learned how to spell the word "lose". "Loose" means 'free from restraint'. whereas "lose" means 'to be deprived of possession' of something. I let it pass previously as a 'typo', but repetition suggests that is not the case.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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I know that. But you have to admit, even accidentally, it makes a decent pun- the music has gotten on the loose, even if it got lost somehow... no? (grin)

 

 

-Paul

 

Paul, it's bloody time you learned how to spell the word "lose". "Loose" means 'free from restraint'. whereas "lose" means 'to be deprived of possession' of something.

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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My experience is that usually the problem occurs when iTunes can't find a drive and so put it somewhere else than you expect.

 

I'm the opposite if Paul and think iTunes works more reliably if you DO let it organise everything.

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Are you buy any chance, letting iTunes organize your music files? That is, at least in my limited experience, a sure fire way to loose music when you least expect it.

 

Whoa, Paul ! I think you are working with some outmoded info there. I have had that set in my system since I started. And yeah, iTunes changes the folders in your physical library. But it does it smoothly and seamlessly thru integration with the Finder. I can watch it happen as I change the Artist or Album name fields. I do so to minimize the artist folders under iTunes/Music/, by moving the pesky guest artist text somewhere else.

 

Opps, maybe it is not as nice on the Windows side, but I don't have any iTunes experience there - no reason for me bother...

 

And, I like the simple, consistent, structure. I assume that is the same on the dark side :)

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Like Eloise, I let iTunes do the organizing.

 

Fortunately, I have the missing files on a time-machine backup of the iMac I ripped these on.

 

OK, now for the mystery.

 

The ones that are missing have this filepath:

Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 2.12.43 PM.png

 

 

The ones that are present have this more normal filepath:

Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 2.12.56 PM.png

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Whoa, Paul ! I think you are working with some outmoded info there. I have had that set in my system since I started. And yeah, iTunes changes the folders in your physical library. But it does it smoothly and seamlessly thru integration with the Finder. I can watch it happen as I change the Artist or Album name fields. I do so to minimize the artist folders under iTunes/Music/, by moving the pesky guest artist text somewhere else.

 

Opps, maybe it is not as nice on the Windows side, but I don't have any iTunes experience there - no reason for me bother...

 

And, I like the simple, consistent, structure. I assume that is the same on the dark side :)

Agree, with ITunes like most other Apple software it is usually better to leave the file management up to the software. In the end, this is a database, and the database should know best how to sort the files.

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Sorry, but I don't fully agree, not that all of us don't make an occasional mistake, sometimes not even realizing it, so it isn't corrected. But I am hard pressed to see how we could do something inadvertently that would delete files from the music file library. Maybe some one knows and could enlighten us ??

 

On my old G-4 tower, with only 1.5 GB memory, I have had increasing interface problems with iTunes as my library has grown over 500GB. iTunes operations will stall, slow down, and fall out of my comfortable response periods. I try and drag a selection of tracks for example, but iTunes doesn't do anything for seconds, and seconds. my control is thrown off, and I get pissed off, conditions where unintended actions can happen. It is bizarre to click, pause, click a field like 'Artist', to select the text for copying, and have that take 5 or 6 seconds !! Throws one right off your learned rhythm, slows productivity, and causes mental distress.

 

A few times things have gotten even worse, with some periods of unexpected and uncontrollable iTunes actions in response to my mouse. I think they may have been due to not rebooting for too long (months). I now find, sometimes quite a few, extraneous track entries in scattered playlists, where, I believe, iTunes/OS10.5 went nuts and decided to drop them there instead of where I was trying to move the mouse. There were other crazy problems during those incidents, that have no real explanation, and I blame of the environment and software, not the user !

 

After the last incident like that, I was so upset, I took a break, then decided to settle down and go with the flow, not trying to push the interface faster then it could go. It takes longer for me to do things like rips, metadata, embedding artwork, cross links, etc., but things don't go wrong very often and I am calmer, if not happy.

 

All these things are actions that affect values in the iTunes database (SQLite tables) - not the audio data files. I can delete playlist entries all day without deleting the datafiles. Gotta do that manually thru the Finder. Maybe you can, and I forgot how... So, back to the beginning :(

 

 

Soon I will have a 'new' Mini with 8GB, and lots of guts, setup, so things should improve markedly !!

 

Do I understand this correctly? You are running OSX 10.5 with 1.5 GB RAM? What version of iTunes are you working with.

"If you fly a flag of hate you are no kin to me"

Ry Cooder

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On the very few occasions I have had a file go missing, in my case, it had been because I had failed to have the external HDD where my library resides and iTunes is pointed booted up. Once I was aware of that and became cautious in ensuring the drive was available prior to ripping my AWOL files ceased. What is that popular acronym on the internet, oh yes, YMMV.

"If you fly a flag of hate you are no kin to me"

Ry Cooder

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