Reorganizing recovered tracks in iTunes
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.
Q: By using your tutorials and a free application I was able to transfer songs that were saved on my iPod back to my computer after I had lost everything. The music folders are now located under Documents & Settings/Owner/My Documents/My Music and each time I try to play a song on my computer for the first time I have to “locate” the song in that file folder. Is there an easy way to put my music files back into an iTunes library that iTunes recognizes instead of having to locate each song I’m trying to play? I have an external hard drive where any CD’s I download are saved. Can I drag and drop the folders from My Music to the external hard drive I specifically have my iTunes save new CDs to? Will that put everything
back into an iTunes library? Thanks.
A: The problem here is that iTunes stores the full path to each of your media files in the iTunes library, and when it can’t find the file in that location, it falls back to asking you to locate the file yourself. Before it does this, however, it will make one other attempt to locate the track in the standard location where iTunes would store your music by default, specifically in your iTunes Music folder, organized into sub-folders by Artist and Album.
Your iTunes Music folder location is specified under your iTunes Advanced preferences tab, and by default would be a folder named “iTunes Music” under the main iTunes folder on your C: drive. However, if you’ve previously specified another location, such as a folder on your external hard drive, this means that iTunes will fall back to looking for the music in that location instead of looking for it in the location where you’ve stored the recovered files.
Basically, to solve this problem easily, you need to put the files back where iTunes would expect to find them. If you’ve recovered them to a standard ARTIST\ALBUM\SONGNAME file system structure, then you’re probably already most of the way there, and might be able to get away with just copying then en masse to your external hard drive, or resetting your “iTunes Music folder” path in your iTunes Advanced preferences back to your C: drive location.
A useful tip for getting your tracks organized in the way that iTunes wants to see them is to let iTunes re-organize the tracks for you by re-importing them into a new, separate iTunes library. The idea here is that the iTunes application will always organize your tracks in the same way, regardless of which iTunes library database you’re using. On the basis of this, you can create a new iTunes library database to work with, import all of the tracks into that new, dummy library and let iTunes organize them for you, and then switch back to your original iTunes library database.
You can create a new iTunes library without affecting your existing library files simply by holding down the SHIFT key (Windows) or OPT key (Mac) when starting iTunes. iTunes will prompt you to either choose or create a new library.
Simply choose to create a new iTunes library and specify a path for the new library database. Note that even in a new library, all of your iTunes preferences remain the same, so your preferred iTunes Music folder path will apply to both libraries. As part of this process, make sure that the “Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library” option is enabled under your iTunes Advanced preferences:
Once you’ve created a new iTunes library, simply re-import all of your music as you normally would, by selecting File, Add to Library or dragging and dropping the music into iTunes. As iTunes imports your tracks, it will copy them into your iTunes Music folder location, as specified in your iTunes preferences. organizing them into the proper folder structure in the process.
Once this process has been completed, close iTunes and restart it again while holding down the SHIFT/OPT key to bring up the library selection dialog box, and select “Choose Library” and switch back to your original iTunes library database. With all of the files having been copied and re-organized by iTunes, your primary library should now have no problem locating your music.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple to provide more unified TV experience with new ‘TV’ app for Apple TV
- Elgato announces HomeKit-enabled Eve Light Switch
- Apple delays AirPods release
- Report: iPhone 8 likely to come in three glass-backed sizes
- Report: New Apple TV app to provide show recommendations
- Apple’s German website adds Apple Pay support page, but still no launch
- Notes from Apple’s Q4 2016 earnings call
- Apple Q4 2016: $46.9B revenue, 45.5M iPhones + 9.2M iPads sold
- Apple reportedly hiring engineers from BlackBerry, developing car operating system in Canada
- Apple releases PowerBeats3 Wireless earphones
- Creative iRoar Go Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- Bowers & Wilkins P3 Series 2 Headphones
- Incase Icon, Pop, and Textured Snap for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Philips Hue Motion Sensor
- Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature Headphones
- Tech Armor FlexProtect and Shock Flex for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- SwitchEasy Flash and Fleur for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Blue Microphones Raspberry Mobile Microphone
- Incipio Haven for iPhone 7 and Reprieve Sport for iPhone 7 Plus
- Mophie Hold Force Magnetic Case System for iPhone 7
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps