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kirkmc

Some Thoughts on The App Formerly Known as iTunes and macOS Catalina

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Kirk, I really thought I fundamentally understood iTunes and therefore the new Music app.  Was I wrong.

I have three Macs in the house and a fourth in the vacation home.  The MacBook pro laptop has been the central iTunes location.  I purchased music from iTunes store on it and made playlist on it. I could export a playlist from the laptop to the mac mini and to iMac.  If I purchased new songs, they were automatically downloaded from the iTunes store to mini and iMac.  I backed up the laptop music library to a Western Digital external hard drive.  Occasionally to make sure all the libraries were the same, I would copy the backup to the mini and the iMac.

 

Big mistake, I upgraded the laptop to Catalina and the Music app. The app imported some of the library but not all.  Playlist were partial copies of what I had created.  I deleted that library and cleaned up the music folder.  Knowing that I had two copies and the backup, I imported the backup to the laptop.  I option clicked the Music app to open it.  It could/would not open the library.  I called support and they were equally confused as me.  She tried screen sharing and could not figure out what was not happening.  While she had me on hold to speak with a senior advisor, I tried clicking the xml file, nothing.  I clicked on a file itl.  This opened the library and slowly, painfully load Music app with current songs, albums, artist and full playlist.  No album art work for about an hour.  There is now three folders on the laptop named Music.  One has the copy from the backup, one has a file named Music Library.musiclibrary, and the third has a file Music Library.  I tried talking with Apple Support about this, but they are not fully up on the Music app. One even asked why I didn't just use Apple Music?

 

Second issue, prior to Catalina, in the iTunes Store I could purchase a song or album and it would appear in mac mini and the iMac iTunes screen as recently added. Catalina is not recognizing my apple id in the store and nothing is downloading to the other computers.  Again, Apple support was not helpful.

 

I needed to vent about this experience and hopefully find some results in your new take control book.

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I have a much smaller library - about 8,000 tracks. It took about 5 minutes for Music to re-populate my album artwork, and about 2 or 3% of the album artwork did not re-populate at all and I had to manually re-add album cover images.

 

I am far from certain, but didn't some (much) older versions of iTunes use to store the album artwork separately from the music files instead of embedded in them? Or at least, didn't older versions of iTunes have both an embedded and non-embedded option for album artwork, depending (if memory serves) on how you added it?

 

If so, I would guess that's the issue that's causing some album artwork to be lost in the iTunes-Music app transition. In my case, the 1-2 dozen albums whose artwork apparently got lost all were albums that I'd added to my iTunes library years ago, like 2011.

 

I could be wrong, but it's the only possible pattern I've been able to discern.

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1 hour ago, tmtomh said:

I am far from certain, but didn't some (much) older versions of iTunes use to store the album artwork separately from the music files instead of embedded in them? Or at least, didn't older versions of iTunes have both an embedded and non-embedded option for album artwork, depending (if memory serves) on how you added it?

 

 

Yes, that was the case for a very long time, at least though iTunes 9 and likely thereafter as well.

 

1 hour ago, tmtomh said:

If so, I would guess that's the issue that's causing some album artwork to be lost in the iTunes-Music app transition. In my case, the 1-2 dozen albums whose artwork apparently got lost all were albums that I'd added to my iTunes library years ago, like 2011.

 

I could be wrong, but it's the only possible pattern I've been able to discern.

 

I bet you are right about that one.


no-mqa-sm.jpg

 

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Artwork was not embedded if you downloaded from iTunes, or later from Apple Music. Artwork was embedded when you added it manually. I have missing artwork in rips, and in downloads. There is no correlation regarding when they were added and whether the artwork displays. 

 

 

 

 


I write about Macs, iTunes, music, and more at Kirkville.

Author of Take Control of iTunes 12

Co-host of The Next Track podcast.

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4 minutes ago, kirkmc said:

Artwork was not embedded if you downloaded from iTunes, or later from Apple Music. Artwork was embedded when you added it manually. I have missing artwork in rips, and in downloads. There is no correlation regarding when they were added and whether the artwork displays. 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Kirk! I think I'm seeing a partial correlation between add-date and embedded/not-embedded simply because I started adding all artwork manually several years ago.

 

But I still am guessing that the missing album artwork in the Music app might be correlated to albums in folks' libraries that do not have embedded artwork.

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Album view also sucks, in the new app.  I find an album with no artwork and/or missing information.  When I select it to edit the data, I only see that album.  Back in the iTunes app, I saw all the albums in order by artist.  With the new app, I have to start over from the first album.

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