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iTunes 7.0.1: There goes the library

iTunes 7.0.1 just nuked my entire library. And to think I was so happy that they might have fixed some of the bugs I mentioned in my iTunes 7.0 review. Way to go Apple!

Update: When iTunes nuked my library, it move my "iTunes Library.itl" file to "iTunes Library (Damaged).itl". I copied the "iTunes Library (Damaged).itl" back over to "iTunes Library.itl" and my library was back again. Hell if I know what made iTunes 7 go crazy.

Comments (88)


The music files themselves or the library file? What were the circumstances? I gotta watch out for my own vast collection.


It just nuked the XML file with all the ratings, etc... The music was fine and I was able to re-import my music folder, though it took awhile for it to do the iTunes 7 reprocessing where it tries to download album art, etc... This happened when I first started up iTunes. It told me that it was having a fit and that it was moving my old library file to "iTunes Library (Damaged).itl". When I next started iTunes, the library was blank.

If I spent enough time on this, I could probably rebuild, but as this happened on my non-primary iTunes machine, it's not as important. I'm going to be much, much more cautious with my other computers, though.


see "update" in entry -- I was able to restore the library back to normal with a backup copy iTunes makes when it goes whacky.


Glad it wasn't too bad a problem. I made a backup copy of my library file anyway. Reintroducing itunes to my 27,000-some mp3s isn't high on my list of fun things to do.


kwc, when you say you coppied the damaged file back over, what exactly do you mean? I got the same message when I started iTunes 7.0.1 for the first time and I'm nottoo happy. I still have the 'damaged' version and would love to know how to get it back in there.


kwc Author Profile Page:

Hey dg,

First, I would recommend rebooting to be safe and making a copy of the library files. Then, replace iTunes Library.itl with iTunes Library (Damaged).itl and cross your fingers. I've since had it happen again, so heck if I know what peeves it, but I'm not too happy with iTunes right now either.

Niels Blondeel:

i have the same problem
what do you mean by replacing the library file ?
when i drag it over nothing happens

all my playlists are gone, i'm freaking out

please help me



@Neils: you need to rename "iTunes Library (Damaged).itl" to be "iTunes Library.itl". You will probably have to delete the existing "iTunes Library.itl" to do this.

Niels Blondeel:

THX, I tried what you said, so i deleted the original library file and changed the name of the damaged library file.
I started itunes and it looked like it would work because it took a long time for loading all the song, just somewhere in that progress he suddenly warns that its not a correct itunes file and that he changed the name AGAIN to "itunes library (damaged)
I'm not giving up, it took me 3 years to collect my playlist and organize my music ?
Is there any other way ??
Please help (again)


kwc Author Profile Page:

Sorry Neils, that's the only trick I have in my bag. I understand your frustration.


Well I'm glad I'm not the only one (although, obviously, I'm not glad that ANY of us are having this problem!)

Actualy it happended to me a day or two ago with the previous incranation of iTunes - interestingly after I'd just installed the upgraded McAfee Security Centre. Got me wondering if maybe some of the "script" trackers/monitors aren't playing silly sods with the XML files, but not really tech-minded enough to know.

Anyhow installed iTunes 7 today and hit the same problem - fortunately I'd backed up 'My Documents just a day or two ago so have recovered an almost up-to-date cpy of the iTunes library files - even so, every third or fourth time I start iTunes I get errors about incorrect files, and get a new 'iTunes library (damaged)' file for my efforts (but keep my songs listed, and ratings etc)

Will keep searching for answers, and checking back here to see if anyone discovers the root cause.


...oh, and interestingly enough, I don't have an "undamaged" version in my folder, just [iTunes Library (Damaged).itl] and [iTunes Music Library.xml]

David Brent:


I recently upgraded iTunes to version 7.0. On this computer, it works fine, however, on my other main computer something odd happens...
When I restart the computer the library becomes damaged. It has never done this with previous versions, however I reverted to 6.- to see if that would work but the same problem occurs.

I uninstalled iTunes 7 and Quicktime, and removed the existing library
When iTunes loads it attempts to load the library - a green progress bar doesn't move, but stays stationary. It then (after a few minutes) comes up with the error saying that the library has been damaged.
iTunes works fine between restarts within itself, but only goes wrong when the computer restarts...

It's very odd and a little bit annoying as I have to rebuild my library every time I turn on my computer! HAHA! My amazing dancing has to wait an extra 20 minutes before it's unleashed!
I have tried making a backup directory of the library before restarting. I then replaced the damaged library with the supposedly undamaged backup files, however they do nothing!!
Any tips would be most welcome!
David Brent.


Hey Guys I think I might have a fix, not sure, currently running in the background. I too have a massive archive built up over years.

Anywho,(do this while your iTunes is not running) check to see if you have a 'Previous iTunes Library' folder. If you do there should be some old copies of your library, (hopefully you havent added to many songs since last update), then COPY this file, stick in the right directory (usually 'iTunes' folder where the .xml file is located too), then open up iTunes, it will analyse all the songs, but hopefully that should work.

I'm currently analysing song 1300 of 5600.


okay so all of the sudden my library has nothing in it when i open itunes, no songs and none of my playlists. I have the 'itunes library (damaged).itl and the ituneslibrary.itl. Both are blank and i never made a back-up file of my original library. how do i get the songs back?? somehow my songs got into the real player library, so maybe i could transfer them?


Hi - I'm having similar problems to everyone else.

I have tried renaming the library files, and have tried reloading my music, but still end up with a damaged file each time I restart iTunes.

I'm currently using iTunes and have an 80GB library. I'm considering rolling back to 7.0.1. I need version 7 or later because I've just bought a new Nano.

Are some versions of iTunes more stable than others?

Are Apple working on abug fix?

My machine is a Celeron 2.4 with 736MB of memory. Any help greatly appreciated.


I seem to have had 90% of my files knocked into a damaged library folder also. Has anyone had any luck uploading back from their ipod? What software works for this?

karissa make angry face:

this is so frustrating! i lost my whole library and all my id3 tags which took me f*cking forever. has anybody had any luck uploading their songs to their computer?


i download the ipod cd software 4GB nano after that i restart my computer and tried to open itunes but it is giving an error.The file "itunes library.itl" cannot be read because it was created by a new version of iTunes. i don't know what i should do


hey, guys! i'm sooooo thankful that i'm not the only one who's suffered through this... and your suggestion to delete the "iTunes Library.itl" file and then editing the "iTunes Library (Damaged).itl" file by deleting the word "(Damaged)" worked like a charm!!!

but the difference with my case is that i NEVER updated my iTunes v.6 but all of a sudden, the error message came up and my library went blank. panic struck over the loss of time and effort invested in building up the library.

but you guys saved me. thanks again!!! oh, and i'll probably wait til iTunes v.8 comes out before i upddate to v.7


I read every single post and i follow every step even though itunes keeps fighting back...

im not really an MP3 collector like most of you guys, but having this kind of problems made me think... Should i install Winamp on my macbook?

Im still thinking... what would you do?


the only thing guys.... i've learned over the years is the system to baking up all your audio files:

-external hd (like 200gb, or however much you need)
-igadget (program, go buy it, it will save your ass)
-1 cheap ipod (able to hold all your files, if you have a small library (under 80gb)

okay.... so every week, or everytime i make a major adjustment/addition, i plug my ipod in and by shutting down itunes (or by leaving the "sync or no sync" box up for itunes) i will show all hidden files and folders. Navigate to your ipod_control found on your ipod

copy that file to a secure hd you can count for a life's work on it.

with igadget, your ipod, or any hd with the ipod_control (make sure it's hidden and in clear view not in a folder) is basically an extensive backup file (which includes EVERYTHING) for your music collection.

"export" my library to a secure place or hd i can count on also...(by going to file, export library) as this can be used for minor glitches with itunes (import library before you go the "reload" route aka the ipod control with igadget)

so basically:
- do some searching for igadget (like 15bux)
-backup your library file and entire library weekly (or after any major changes)
-make sure these backup files are NOT on your C: drive (or any other drive that is constantly on while your pc is in use) I recommend you get an ext-hd for your data integrity.

btw, i'm writing this because my lib. just failed and i had not been following my i'm kinda save this tutorial somewhere safe, and make sure that your audio is backed-up, cause today....i had a meltdown, talk about holes in drywall ;-)


I had the very same problem at least three times this happened to me before I was able to find and insert all of the podcasts and stuff that had disappeared. What i did was take the itunes music folder and drag and drop it into itunes and everything but playlists were back (so far, but the dam thing is still processing so maybe they will appear) This might help so of you, also I am using a mac.



Fixed it! Guys, if I didn't find this webpage, I would be crying myself to sleep right now. You guys rock. Renaming the file totally worked.


hi guy s

this is crazy for some reason i also couldnt open my intunes no more.
i saw my itunes libary life was named (damaged) when i rename it i still get an error. That thast not a valid files and itunes will name it as damaged and creates a new one. i got lots of temp files can i use an old one of them or what can i do before i smack my mac butch!!!! grrrrrr


Greg Reilly:

Same problem here!!! I tried the rename process but with no joy. My plan is to take import the most recent xml exports that I do every now and then. The problem with that is that it doesn't have a bunch of data that I use on occasion such as date added, play count, etc. The other problem is that it's not 100% current so I have to figure out what I added since then. I think I will actually create a new library with all the tracks in my iTunes folder, export another xml file and then delete that library. I'll then use MS Access to find the differences between the two librarys and rebuild. PAIN IN THE ASS!!

I hope Apple is monitoring this forum because this is a serious issue. 13,800+ tracks all well catalogued are now a memory because of...who knows??


David Weaver:

the changing the name of damaged file by removing the word damaged n delteing the other itunes library file worked fine for me.....

Sam Hughes:

Ermm, changing the name didn't work for me, my itunes worked fine 20 minutes ago, restarted it and BANG, 4000+ songs gone.
thanks itunes.

I tried changing the name, copying the file, restarting, all the old tricks, to no avail. any other ideas please?


"F" Apple.

Pat Simeone:

Yes I SAY F Apple!


Thank you soo much. I had this problem and my first reaction was oh noooo. Luckily Google came through and led me here. I really appreciate the hints, deleting the regular library and changing the damaged file name back, brought my itunes library right back. I just hope this doesn't happen again!


i download the ipod cd software 2GB nano after that i restart my computer and tried to open itunes but it is giving an error.The file "itunes library.itl" cannot be read because it was created by a new version of iTunes. i don't know what i should do? I install a new version but it didnt work some things canot be instaled


I was PISSED because my iTunes library nuked itself. I'd tried using every backup file I had and it kept telling me none of them were valid. Renaming the "(Damaged)" file didn't work either. What I did was copy the latest file I had in the "Previous iTunes Libraries" folder (In my case "iTunes Library 2007-09-09"), paste it into the iTunes folder, delete the old library file, and rename the copy "iTunes Library." When I opened up iTunes all my metadata was back where it belonged--my playlists, play counts, and so forth were all just fine. All I lost was the info for the one CD I'd put in since the last backup, but that's WAY better than losing everything. Thanks a million for the help; without this site I'd still be flipping out!!


I had the exact same problem and did what you did with the whole copy/paste and rename the previous library and it worked perfectly.


I had the same problem when I downloaded an episode of Always Sunny from itunes. You likely didn't lose your music though...just your library data file is corrupt (this means you probably will lose you playlists). Just go to users/username/music/itunes/itunesmusic (or where ever your music files are saved to) and you should have all your music files intact. Just select all and drag to itunes. It gave me this error msg. everytime I started itunes until I deleted the episode that was corrupt. Now it is fine. So maybe if you delete the last thing you downloaded you won't have anymore problems...good luck!


This the second time in just a few weeks for me.


yup renaming the damaged file didnt work for me at all.
but i had a previous library file about a month old that worked when i renamed it.
i guess i'd rather be missing a month's worth of information than my entire library.
I'm gonna back-up periodically from now onwards.

Meg George:

Hey thank you so much to everyone who didnt have any success with just renaming the new iTunes Library file. using the most recent playlist worked for me, i am going to have serious issues with iTunes if it pulls this shit on me. Good luck to everyone.



OK, my issue is a little different. When I tried to bring up iTunes, it said it needed a library. Since I didn't see any *.itl files listed in the iTunes folder (there is one - but I don't know if I just didn't see it or what), I went to iTunes/Previous iTunes Libary and selected an *.itl file. So then it brought up an older (much older) version because the last played dates were from August 2006.

What I did to temporarily fix this was to copy the iTunes Library.itl into the Previous iTunes Library folder, rename it to the file it was currently using (having renamed that one first to XiTunes Library 2006-08-17.ITL). That fixed the immediate problem - all my current playlists and music are now being displayed. But obviously, I don't want iTunes to be pointing to the folder Previous iTunes Library to get the correct *.itl file. So does anyone have any idea how to get it to point to the correct place and to the correct file? I'm not going to be doing any updating to iTunes until I figure this out.


I fixed the problem. I exited iTunes, renamed the folder "Previous iTunes Library" to "XPrevious iTunes Library" and brought up iTunes again. As expected, it prompted me for a library so this time I was sure to select the most recent library. Problem solved.


Okay, well i have an ipod with all my songs on it, but when i turned my computer on this morning it was missing about 900 songs. I have about 2700 songs and now i only have about 1800.

i don't get why, when i did what they said up there and rechanged the name it started processing some songs, but none of the ones that were missing. it accually came up with a message saying that the damaged library file does not appear to be a valid itunes library file and it has attempted to recover my file and named the main file damaged.

so pretty annoying...

im wondering if i hook my ipod up to it, will it take the info from the ipod and put it self backtogether? or... screw my ipod and get rid of the songs on there. omg they are good songs, idw to loose them...


Every time I try to replace the library file with the "damaged" one and re-open iTunes, it creates a new, empty one with the same name. Can't figure out how to override this. I've tried importing the "damaged" file and removing/reinstalling iTunes altogether, with no luck on either count. Any other suggestions?


Well, I really hate Apple at the moment. I thought iTunes was a good program, apart from the whole nonsense of not being able to copy from the ipod to iTunes. But now it has gone and trashed 2 years worth of music gathering and organising. All my ratings and playlists lost because it has decided my library is damaged.

In future I'm going to switch to an ordinary old MP3 player, but right now I just want to find the m*****f***** who designed iTunes and destroy their life. I hate you so much!!!!!!


Ok this happened to me too a few days ago... I went from having around 4300 songs too about 2300 but I had backup files and I've pretty much rebuilt my library the issue I still have is that for some reason it wont show me the options for recently added, played or the top 25 most played etc.... I've reinstalled the program 'm not really sure what else to do... how do I get these options back??


I just downloaded the most recent version of itunes, thanks to a prompt, and all of the music that i had imported into itunes from my external hard drive is no longer in the new library. The library contains all of the music prior to all of the updates i have made over the past few days.

Any help on getting me back to the way my library looked prior to my accepting this update?

Rick motherfucking James Bitch:

your suggestion to delete the "iTunes Library.itl" file and then editing the "iTunes Library (Damaged).itl" file by deleting the word "(Damaged)" worked

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

htown texan:

omg thanks soo much!!!
i've been having this problem for quite a while now, but renaming the file and deleting the other one worked like a charm!


I found this fix on anothe blog. I've been having the same problem for several days... works now!

close iTunes
rightclick my computer
select properties
select advanced tab
select performance settings button
select advanced tab
second box down is Memory Usage
uncheck system cache
check programs.


okayy today i clicked itunes librrary, and the whole thing was blank, not 1 song. I have all thee songs on my ipod. but i dont know how to get all my songs back onto my itunes.. pleasee helpppp


I copied the most recent "Previous iTunes Library" into the iTunes higher folder and restarted iTunes... all my music came back, including the ratings, playcounts and playlists! Thanks!

Mary Lake:

thank you so much! deleting the word "(Damaged)" worked for me. good luck!


Same problem for me. (Working with a mac osx version 10.3.9 and Itunes 7.5) Though I still have all my songs, the rating and (smart) playlist wont reappear. Renaming etc. of the damaged libraries doesn't work. According to Apple ( I should throw away the file "Itunes Library" and reimport the .xml file. Within my Itunes folder I find another folder named "Itunes Music". Is this normal? Can this be the reason for the thing not working?


All I needed to do to help it was go to the Previous iTunes library folder, find the most recent with all of my songs, and then right click, and on the drop down list, selected 'open' and it worked like a dream. :] I've been having this issue for months and never actually found the root to the evil, but hopefully, Apple will come out with a version without the dang bugs.


deleting (damaged) didn't work for me I ended up having a blank itunes instead instead of just fewer songs. Any other suggestions?


My songs aren't gone, but my podcasts have been put into a podcast playlist instead of being in the podcast section - what should i do?


Don't delete the "damaged" file. That's the one you need. Close iTunes, rename the new one to something else, then rename the old one back to "iTunes Library", then open it, go to File > Import, and select "iTunes Library".


trying some of the other methods and having no success, I finally figured out an extensive fix. this works best for people with smaller libraries.

1 Back up your library (should already be done!)
2 Uninstall iTunes. Yes, I know it's your baby, but give it up.
3 Use a registry cleaner (like Ccleaner) to wipe iTunes off the face of the Earth (your computer)
4 Reinstall
5 tell iTunes to store your music somewhere other than the default location (Edit>Prefs>Advanced)
6 Import the backup library, and consolidate (Advanced>consolidate library)

Took 15 mins for my 10GB library (mostly b/of the consolitation)


ok please help :( i clicked update itunes by accident and ever since it hasn't worked :( my library is still there but it says determining gapless playback information and basically freezes my whole laptop every time i try to use itunes, i have to hold the power button to shut down as nothing works. have tried changing the damaged library file name, did not help. i have nowhere to back my library up to tried to copy the folder to hard drive but it failed it said information was missing :S i want to delete this version and go back to a previous but can't find a link that actually works on mac and really don't want to lose all my songs, any suggestions?


Renaming the damaged file didn't work, and no previous iTunes libraries existed. So this is what worked, really well for me, I hope it works for others who haven't been able to solve this too.

1.A Quit iTunes. Open the iTunes folder.
1.B Move everything that is not a folder [this should be the damaged .itl file(s) and maybe the .xml file as well ] to another temporary folder in your desktop or wherever you like . [If the damaged library file, or a regular library file or the .xml file aren't directly there, they're probably within the iTunes Library Folder, search for them, and move them to the temp folder. If you have those files in both places, move them both to this temp folder].
NOTE: Just in case things don't work, you can restore everything back to where you were before from this temp folder.

2. Now with all the messy files safe, Re-create your library:
2.A [Steps at], but some things from there won't be needed since you moved some files already. Follow this instead:
2.B Open iTunes, choose File>Import
2.C Select the .xml file you moved a little ago (if you have more than one, the most recent one should be best).

That should restore you library and no longer prompt errors. Check that you have a new .itl and .xml file in the iTunes folders, then you can safely delete that temp folder. I hope this works for you!


i just deleted all of my songs from itunes, but kept the files in the folder, then re-imported the folder... its gonna take some unknown amount of time(15,000+ songs), but it seems to be working. i lost 8000 songs on the restart, anyone know when the new itunes comes out?


After a year+ of having a damaged library, I finally found a solution (previously posted here). I post it again in case some of you didn't see it:

close iTunes
rightclick my computer
select properties
select advanced tab
select performance settings button
select advanced tab
second box down is Memory Usage
uncheck system cache
check programs.


First of all I have solved this. It happened to me and I looked up a few forums and it works. Rename the (previous Itunes libraries) folder with an X it should look like this (XPrevious Itunes Libraries) Start it up and it should be fixed..


Hello everybody!
Same recurring issue for me:(
Tried to rename the damaged file but it did not work me either ...
Nevertheless, I followed proposal from Stacy (Posted on June 14, 2008 15:18) with the 2 steps (1A 1B 2A 2B 2C), then waited a few minutes to reopen iTunes (nice tool but a little bit too emotional and instable ;) and ... it worked ! My library and podcasts were back :):)

Thank you all and especially Stacy for all your advices

Sébastien (Paris, France)


Well, joy! a new version of iTunes, with the same old problems.

You're welcome Sébastien, I am really glad it worked for you (since I assume you're thanking me for posting the steps, not Stacy, whom I wholeheartedly hope solved this as well).

Now, though, after evading the newest versions for months, the new software somehow found its way of forcing me to install it, and not even I can solve things now.

To be brief, I'll just say it did a mess of things, and, no matter what I rename or what I move or try to import, I can't get back my library.

No xml file exists for the library I had, only the new xml file with the EMPTY library info.
I do however have a .itl file with the old-dated library, is there a way f creating the xml from this? Any Help?

Linda (Monterrey, Mexico)


Using itunes on Win XP...same problem. Every so often I start itunes and boom.. the library is damaged. It's the iTunes Library.itl file and there's no obvious cause and effect.


Here are ways to make your songs appear in the library again:
■ Drag your iTunes folder (by default, located inside your My Music folder in your My Documents folder) to the iTunes window. You will see the songs in your library again, but you won't see any of your original playlists.

■ If that doesn't work, your songs may be elsewhere on your hard disk. From the Start Menu, choose Search and search for a song by title or artist. Drag folders containing songs to iTunes to add the songs to iTunes again.

If you don't find songs by searching, check the Recycle Bin.


I hate this problem. So far nothing has worked.

Renaming the damaged file back to normal works but only for the current boot, once I restart it corrupts again. I'm now trying the system cache to programs thing and I may try an uninstall and then a sweep with RegCure, hopefully one of them will work...


Hi All ... Solution for me ...

Just updated to iTunes 8-0-1-11 and the library was nuked. A combination of above suggestions worked for me.
(1) Close the itunes application.
(2) Delete the "C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music Library.xml" file. This was just created as the default / blank / useless XML once itunes just nuked the existing XML.
(3) Delete the "C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Library.itl" file. This was just created as the default / blank / useless ITL once itunes just nuked the existing ITL.
(4) Renamed the "Previous iTunes Libraries" folder to "___Previous iTunes Libraries". It should be located in the "C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\" folder.
(5) Copy my "iTunes Library (Damaged).itl" file to be "iTunes Library.itl" in the same folder = "C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\My Documents\My Music\iTunes".
(6) Start iTunes. Now all my playlists and prior library contents are showing and available for use.
(7) Close iTunes.
(8) A new folder called "Previous iTunes Libraries" has been created. I copied the contents of the old folder "___Previous iTunes Libraries" over into the new "Previous iTunes Libraries" folder and then deleted the "___Previous iTunes Libraries" folder.

You will also notice that the XML has been re-created from stratch. Nice.


Thank you so much, kwc, for the solution (replacing iTunes Library with "damaged"), I thought I was done for!


To all of you, thank you SO much! I had the same exact problem and by replacing the file, you guys have saved my life. Thank you so, so much!


I'm getting the (Damaged) error about every two days now, for a total of 14 times.

I've tried copying the damaged file over the new ITL, and I've also tried backing up a working ITL after a sync and copying that back over the main file. It never works.

Every time this happens I have to reimport my apps, ringtones, podcasts, audio-books. More often than not after I do that, and attempt a new sync, iTunes ( says that my device is synchronized to another device (it's not and has never been). The only way I can add new material, such as the missing ringtones etc onto the iPhone is to allow it to erase everything and recopy it back.

Quite frequently I end up with multiple copies of one ringtone and none of the others. I found an old Apple KB article about this, but evidently the promised fix doesn't work.

It's getting very tiring doing this 2-3 times/week now.


Thanks for the tip kwc, I was able to save a friend's Library. She will flip! :)


thank u, thank u so iTunes library seemed to have been gone. I was going nuts. i tried so many things that i found around different blogs-including restoration. your technique is the only one that worked. at least i know what to do if it happens again.


Thanks sooo much,got all my library back


here in a nutshell is my experience: iTunes (but the problem is probably mostly version independent); a CD import session is interrupted by a blue screen - something to do with paging problems. After restart, iTunes tells me about "iTunes Library (Damaged).itl" and shows only ca 6000 of my 11000 or so tunes. So I keep my iPod away from there - I don't want to lose my music to synchronization - that was about a thousand CDs loaded. While trying to do all the backups one can reasonably be expected to do I find that the "iTunes Library (Damaged).itl" file cannot be read completely. I suspect the file was damaged by the system crash, but CHKDSK doesn't find anything worth mentioning. So I make an image backup of the drive and pull out the file from there.

First recovery strategy: Rename the file to "iTunes Library.itl" - this fails; iTunes renames it straight back and recovers only half of my music - again.

Second recovery strategy: Since all the actual music files are still there, I hope to be able to slip them in under iTunes' wings somehow. As it turns out, this is easier than I thought:

I erase the iTunes folder under "My Music" and start iTunes. As expected, there is no contents. But the initial set of files is created. Now I use the menu option of "Add Folder to Database" (forgive me if this is not the official wording; I translated this from the German "Ordner zur Mediathek hinzufügen" - I am running my iTunes in German, just for the fun of it ;-) - I point this function at where I backed up all the music files, and a few hours later I have my 11370 tunes back.

Mind you, if I had done anything useful with playlists or ratings I would probably still weep over all the work lost, but luckily I had given up after a few misguided attempts in the beginning and promised myself I would try for an intelligent approach later. So now I know - that stuff needs frequent backups. Fortunately, the track information I entered for CDs that CDDB hadn't heard of was all saved in tags in the music files and thus not lost.

Remains for me to say that if anyone at Apple reads this thread they should take notice and come up with some smart way of either building some decent redundancy into their file structures or provide a guided or automated recovery mechanism. The fact that we all have to experiment - some with success and some without - is a sad reflection on the robustness of this software.


The solution is given by trent Posted on July 10, 2008 21:48
It works !


Trent got it right. He posted the solution on July 10, 2008 21:48. It certainly worked. I have tried everything and this was the solution. Way to go trent!


Did anyone try Trent's fix on Vista? It Worked for me on Windows XP but does anyone know the steps to take to do this on Vista and if it works on Vista?


thank you!!!!!!!!!!


Just did the same thing AGAIN on the 8.1 update. Those bastards.


I struggled with this for days and tried every "fix" i found posted. Nothing worked. I finally remembered hearing something about offline folders and issues with damaged itl files. Sure enough, I have a a drive mapped on my work laptop to files on my home computer and have them set to be available offline. So I synced the laptop with my home network and the problem stopped, even when the laptop is offline with respect to the home network. I hope this helps others.


Can someone please help me? A few months back, my computer was upgraded from XP to Vista. Somehow during the upgrade, I lost all songs/playlists from the previous six months that were purchased/created. I found a solution onnline somehow but of course I cannot remember how to get there again. I was able to get my purchased songs back, but not my playlists.

Last week, I had a computer upgrade and now have a new computer. Thing is, my iTunes play lists looks like it did before I was upgraded to Vista... so now all the music I purchased/playlists I did between the Vista upgrade to the new computer upgrade have gone away.

Does anyone have any suggestions how I can get these back? I would literally need step-by-step as I am very basic with iTunes only.

Thanks very very much :):)


i hav the same issue with the damaged folder and everything and im about to try the replacing it suggestion. except not all of my music wasw erased and even tho it wasnt there when itunes opened, the music was stil in the itunes music folder and i was able to save it.


it worked!!!!!!! i think i hav itunes 7 by the way. im so happy!!!
now i just hav to make new playlists which i was goign to do anyways. im so lucky!
i would recommend saving all ur files becuz once before everything including videos got erased.


never mind. i still hav my playlists but i still need to redo them......


Has anyone considered that this "damaged" lib file problem could be a virus attack?


This totally worked for me - thank you!


Thank you, Thank you, Thank you...can't say it enough!

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This page contains a single entry from kwc blog posted on September 29, 2006 2:20 PM.

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