Rebuilding an iTunes library | iLounge Article

Article

Rebuilding an iTunes library

Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...

Q: I need your kind assistance in helping me as where I have gone wrong. I had a laptop (Windows XP) with my music files stored to an external hard drive. The laptop crashed and we were not able to save any files on the machine. Luckily, the music was all on the external hard drive. I purchased a new laptop (Windows Vista) and have tried to set up iTunes using the hard drive to work identical as the previous laptop. On the new laptop I changed the location (via Edit/Preferences/Advanced) to show the external hard drive. I also authorized my new computer (via Store/Authorize Computer) however, the music does not appear in iTunes. What step am I missing so as to have the music saved on the hard drive appear in iTunes and also show the items I have purchased via iTunes appear in the iTunes Library screen? I have been approximately four weeks without iTunes and need you help getting back to one of my favorite hobbies! Any assistance you can provide is greatly
appreciated!

- Brad

A: The step you’re missing here is that you will likely need to actually reimport all of your tracks into a new, fresh iTunes library database by using the Add to Library function found on the iTunes File menu.

Unless you have taken specific steps to relocate it, the iTunes database is stored on your internal hard drive, which you have now lost. This database would have contained the listings for all of the tracks you had imported into iTunes, any playlists you had created and metadata such as rating, play count, last played date, and so forth. With this gone, you’re basically starting over with an entirely new iTunes library, so you will need to reimport all of your tracks again from scratch.

The good news is that most of your actual track information like track name, artist, album and genre should be contained within the media files themselves, so when you reimport your library into iTunes, your tracks should be organized more or less as you would expect. The only thing you will really have lost are your playlists and statistical data such as your ratings and play counts.

Note that since this is a new library, your first iPod sync will likely take a while as well, since all of these tracks will need to be re-copied to your iPod. In fact, you will likely be prompted to “Erase and Sync” your iPod the first time you connect it, indicating that you essentially need to wipe your iPod clean and then re-transfer all of the tracks back onto it.

You can find more information about how the iTunes library is organized in our articles on Transferring your iTunes Library and Backing up your iTunes Library. These article also provide information on moving and/or backing up your iTunes database to the external hard drive.

The most asked question at iLounge.com:

How do I copy content from my iPod/iPhone onto my computer?

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, Apple TV and iPhone Video Formats

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, iPhone and Apple TV Video Conversion (Mac)

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, iPhone and Apple TV Video Conversion (Win)

Best Speakers?

Best Headphones?

Best Case?

Best In-Car Solution?

Best Battery Extender?

Find more answers in the latest publications in our Library. Free downloads developed by the editors of iLounge!

Ask iLounge Archives:

1-24-14: Viewing only downloaded iTunes Match tracks

1-22-14: Splitting purchased content between two iPads

12-13-13: Non-Bluetooth Lightning dock speakers

12-11-13: Shared Apple ID and switching away from iPhone

12-6-13: Syncing multiple iCloud data with a family Mac

Read more recent Ask iLounge articles...

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...

« Weird + Small Apps 28: Tick Talk, Digit Defense, Zenscape + More

Customizing iTunes sorting »

Related Stories

Comments

If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods/iPhones/iPad or accessories, or if you sell or market iPod/iPhone/iPad products or services, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators.

Commenting is not available in this section entry.
Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

Email:

Recent News

Recent Reviews

Recent Articles

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

Email:

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2014 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy