Track Info greyed out in iTunes

Q: I recently re-installed Windows 7 on my computer and I have also installed the latest iTunes. If I right-click a song, choose “Get Info” and go to the “Info” tab, everything is greyed out. I searched your forums, but none of the solutions there worked for me. My computer is authorized. Any ideas why this is happening?

– Josh

A: There are two main reasons why you may not be able to edit the info in a track from within iTunes: Either the underlying file itself is not writable or there is a problem with the internal tags.

The first problem is much more common, and occurs when working with files that iTunes does not have the ability to write to. When iTunes updates track information, it writes this both into its own database as well as into the tags of the files themselves. If it can’t write these tags, it presents the information as being uneditable, rather than allowing you to edit it and then presenting you with an error only after you try and save your changes.

This can occur due to the files being flagged read-only, or Windows permissions being set in such a way that your user account doesn’t have write access to them. You can check this by selecting an affected track in the Windows file system and checking its Properties to ensure that the read-only flag is not set and that you have the necessary write permissions on the Security tab.

You can also do a brute-force test by simply trying to move or delete a track (make a copy somewhere else first). If the track is read-only or you don’t have the necessary permissions, Windows should respond with an error message.

If everything looks okay in terms of the read-only status and file permissions, then it is possible that the tags themselves have become corrupted. This is a much more uncommon situation, and rarely affects an entire library, but if these are MP3 files, try converting the ID3 tags to a newer version by right-clicking on the track and selecting the “Convert ID3 Tags” option from the pop-up menu.

Converting the tags to iD3 v2.3 or v2.4 should alleviate any problems with iTunes accessing the metadata. Note that this issue only occurs with MP3 files, so if your music is in an AAC format or you’re having this problem with video files, then the problem is more likely an issue with write permissions.


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