Jump to content

iTunes "lost" approx. 7,000 songs in iCloud

Don B

Recommended Posts

iCloud has "lost" approx. 7,000 of my 15,800 iTunes items. Apple Support is telling me I should have kept a backup copy somewhere else; only resolution is to manually re-enter the items myself.  That's beyond disheartening in many ways.  Has this happened to others? Does anyone know of possible solution?  iTunes 12.7.2 on MacOS High Sierra (10.13.2)

Link to comment
Share on other sites



When you say iCloud lost your items do you mean iCloud Music Library?  


Is this music stored on your computer or is this music in the Apple iCloud Music library? If the tracks are on your computer we have to make sure that they are safe!.  I want to make sure that the base data is there.  Look in your Music -> iTunes folder for the iTunes Media folder all the albums should be in there.


What backups do you have?  Time Machine?  Anything else?  If the music is stored on your computer I would really like an image backup of your computer.  Get an exact copy of your internal hard drive.  Until you do that you risk other data loss issues.  Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper! work well for this.  This ensures we have an EXACT copy of the data at the time of the backup.  SAFETY first.


Now that we are "safe" there may be some things you can do.


Do you have manually entered meta data in your library? 

Have you run any of of the iTunes helper programs that work with the iTunes database?

Have you used iTunes Match before?

Are there more than one Macs syncing to your iCloud account?


I have to go look for the library rebuild tool I used to use and I cannot think of the name of it right now...


Here is an OK article to review about rebuilding the library. https://www.kirkville.com/how-to-rebuild-your-itunes-library/


I would do nothing until the data is all backed up.  We do not want an more data loss.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bob, thanks for your comprehensive response.  All my music resides in iCloud. Responding to my report of a problem with iTunes crashing my system, Apple Support discovered a disk storage problem with my iCloud Music Library; they moved the Library to another physical location in iCloud.  Unfortunately, the relocated iCloud Music Library shows that ~7,000 songs (out of 15,800) are grayed out and cannot be played.  Nearly all of these lost tracks are from my own CDs that were loaded into the original iTunes software many years ago.


I should have known better, but I did not retain a separate copy of my music library on local disk. And Time Machine is the only backup I use. With Apple Support guidance, I searched my Time Machine for iTunes Media.  There is no music in any very back to May 2017.  Strangely, there is an iTunes 1 folder created on January 11, 2018 at 3:43pm.  That's the date I first reported my problem to Apple.  The original iTunes folder was created Feb 9, 2015, modified January 11, 2018 at 3:42pm.


I have never manually entered meta data.

I have never run any iTunes helper programs.

I have never used iTunes Match.

I have 2 mac systems, but one is an old Mac Pro that is only used for photos.  Until tonight I had never turned on iTunes on that second system; it is not signed on to iCloud.

I have noticed that my iPhone has actual Music saved on it. And since my last discussion with Apple Support on Jan 19, 2018, my iPhone seems to be in constant state of syncing -- but I don't know what it is syncing with.


Thank you for the article.  I will read and study it.  I need to get more familiar with the whole iTunes architecture before I actually start manipulating the data!


I look forward to your comments and thank you again for your guidance.



Link to comment
Share on other sites



Without the original files I am not sure what we can do.  iCloud Music Library must see the files to match them in the cloud.  It does not actually copy them up there if it already has them.  If Apple lost the tracks in their system I do not see how we can help get them back with out having a local copy.  Here is some info on how this all works:  https://www.imore.com/icloud-music-library-ultimate-guide


Apple  and iTunes did not always store the files in the same folder.  Can you do a search on the Mac for a few of the track names, etc.?  I was really hoping that you had the originals someplace.


You could also search in Time Machine just in case they were deleted at some point it might still have them.  https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201250


I am now pretty sure that this is not a library management issue it appears to be a true data loss issue.  That is worrying to me. Do you have the original CD's?


Where are the other 8,000 tracks sourced from?  




PS:  https://www.takecontrolbooks.com/backing-up. (How to back up your Mac)


PPS:  I think this is a very unusual problem and is not going to be fun to recover from.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...