How do I find out where iTunes thinks missing files are?

SmartAlx

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I have several hundred "missing" files in my iTunes library but they are all actually on the computer. But I don't remember where the were previously. I add dozens of songs at a time to my library all the time and there is no Earthly way for me to constantly remember where they were before. I don't just want to reimport the files because I have several hundred playlists with these files and it would be completely stupid to edit them all one at a time when all I need to do is to move them back to where iTunes thinks they should be. So where is that? The Windows media player has a column that displays file location. Why doesn't iTunes?*

Is there a way to find out where iTunes thinks the missing files should be at?

*This is so stupid. It makes things -not just this- so much easier when you have the file location in the music list in your music player.
 

KrakaJap

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You can have iTunes rescan for your files or select them individually and point to the new location. That could take a while though if you have lots. :)


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SmartAlx

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Really? You can have it rescan and it will automatically find the songs? Hmmm... It miiight take awhile but a couple of hours of scanning (which I assume can be done overnight) is a WHOLE lot better than doing all of this manually.

How would I go about getting iTunes to do this 'cause I can't find this feature anywhere?
 

KrakaJap

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Honestly I rarely use iTunes for music but I could have sworn there was a way to rescan. I know you can drop a whole folder into iTunes and it will scan for music.


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SmartAlx

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So, is that a "nevermind, my previous advice wasn't right?"

Well, thanks for trying.

Anyone else? At least have a way to have iTunes scan my hard drive looking for the missing stuff? If I can do that then I can "Consolidate" the library afterwards.
 

SmartAlx

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By the way, I know that you can "re-add" a folder to iTunes and iTunes will rescan that folder and only add files that it's not aware of. Presumably I could rescan the entire iTunes music location.

This wouldn't solve my problem though because all that would be do is add the old files as new files. These new files wouldn't be in my current playlists. I need iTunes to scan for missing files or to tell me where it thought the files were.
 

KrakaJap

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If you right click on one of the broken tracks and choose Get Info (selecting cancel instead of locate) it should tell you where it used to be. That might give you an idea of where all your broken tracks should be relocated. That's the best I can think of.

I just moved one of my tracks to create a broken link and this worked. It might not work for all your tracks if they were in many different locations but if you can get a general idea and then browse your list to identify all the broken ones, you could just grab those and relocate them. Of course if you haven't tried to play a broken link to let iTunes register it as "broken" then that might put you back to going one at a time. :)

Another option might be to export all your playlists and create a script to search/replace old common locations in the xml to new locations and then reimport them all.

Exactly how many broken links do you have?
 

KrakaJap

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Just thought of something else... doesn't iTunes keep a Library.XML file? You could use the same search/replace as on the individual playlist XML files and that should also fix your entire playlist as well.

I should probably stop replying for the night. I can barely keep my eyes open right now. :) haha I'm probably not making much sense either
 

SmartAlx

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If you right click on one of the broken tracks and choose Get Info (selecting cancel instead of locate) it should tell you where it used to be. That might give you an idea of where all your broken tracks should be relocated.
It doesn't work. It says "Not Available"

Really I really really want a column in iTunes that lists the file locations. Then I could use my "missing media" playlist and sort by file location and look for some patterns. That would be exceptionally more helpful than meticulously searching through the XML file. Shoot, it would be easier to press the 'Locate' button and find the file myself than to go moving files one by one to the location listed in the XML file. I need to be able to batch process this.

I could do that in Windows Media Player. Not so in iTunes.

Apple sucks. So does Microsoft, but at least Bill Gates lets us be individuals instead of robotic automatons.

Another option might be to export all your playlists and create a script to search/replace old common locations in the xml to new locations and then reimport them all.
Well, I'm not on a mac so no scripty for me.

Exactly how many broken links do you have?
Hundreds. Oh, you said exact. 823. If it were only a few I wouldn't complain so much.

I just don't get it. Don't Mac people lose files too? I just don't get it.
 

SmartAlx

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Just thought of something else... doesn't iTunes keep a Library.XML file? You could use the same search/replace as on the individual playlist XML files and that should also fix your entire playlist as well.
I thiiink I get your drift. I could *cough* EDIT the XML file and replace the text there. So (as an arbitrary example) if I have 100 songs in c:/music/library but iTunes thinks the file is in c:/music/songs I could use a text editor to find and replace the location tag inside the XML file. (I presume it would be a good idea to back up this XML file? LOL) Interesting and helpful as long as I have entire folders moved. The problem is finding the locations. I'm sure there are only a dozen or so "missing" folders. But I don't want to spend hours upon hours looking through the XML for a pattern in these folders.

I guess that's my only option though. Or find a 3rd party program that will do it for me.
 

KrakaJap

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Is it safe to assume you're something of a DJ with 800+ playlists? wow!

I have about 400 continuous "days" of music which I thought was insane, but to create that many playlists is by far more dedicated and organized LOL

(Blade Runner is keeping me awake btw)

I agree that iTunes is horrible with broken links (as in it doesn't handle them at all) on self managed collections. And yes, backing up your XML would be a wise choice. :)

If you're organizing all your music/playlists on a single drive this should be fairly easy to fix in the XML. I'm not certain of any XML editors out there that could handle multiple XMLs at once but I'm sure there's got to be something to handle multiple text files for similar search/replace functions. If anything you could probably install Dreamweaver, set up a bogus site with copies of all your XML files, then do a search/replace on the entire site.


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