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Each time I upgrade iTunes a small selection of songs go missing. i.e. they are not found by iTunes and the file itself is no longer in the folder on the hard-disk.

There does not seem to be any rhyme or reason to this, the files are mp3s and m4vs, both purchased from iTunes and imported from CDs, they are randomly scattered about the library, some albums are hit worse than others (3 or 4 songs go missing), some are not affected at all.

I'm at a loss to explain this, any ideas?


Some software details:

  • iTunes: (happened on pre v.9 iTunes too)
  • Platform: Windows XP Professional SP2

Some hardware spec:

  • Viglen Genie
  • Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4GHz
  • 3.23GB RAM (unsure of type)
  • 232GB hard drive (unsure of type)
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Make a backup before you upgrade iTunes? You haven't mentioned anything about your OS or hardware, so not much to go on, I'm afraid. – user3463 Sep 23 '09 at 15:58
There is an extensive discussion thread on the topic of iTunes "loosing" tracks on the Apple Support communities here: – Lee Thibodeaux Dec 30 '11 at 15:48

Apple released a "fix" release I believe, 9.0.1. Are you using this last version?

As Radolph Potter said, you didn't provide us with enough details of your pc configuration to be really able to help.

But seriously, apart from not giving more details, iTunes losing files is a critical bug. Losing iTunes database isn't so critical because you can always rebuild, but personal files is another matter.

Since this bug is really critical, I suggest contacting Apple support: if this is happening to your configuration, can be happening to other users, and Apple being informed about this they could implement a fast correction that would benefit not only you but millions of users.

If you think is really an Apple's problem, do try to contact them to resolve this issue.

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One of the things which is definitively wrong in iTunes 9.0.2 is indeed missing songs (i.e. it puts an exclamation mark in front of the songs). In my case it has to do with language settings. I use the Dutch version of iTunes, and in the past have imported songs which either are part of a Compilation (Dutch: Verzamelingen), or had an Unknown Album (Dutch: Onbekend Album). In this version of iTunes, the folders with the Dutch name have been emptied and the songs have been copied to the folders with the English names. However the iTunes DB has not been updated accordingly, hence a number of songs with Unknown Album and practically all of the ones part of the Compilation went missing.

I changed the unknown albums to TBD; hope that this avoids having the same problem in future. I'm afraid I will have to delete all songs part of the Compilation (copying them to a safe spot first of course) within iTunes, and then copy them back in.

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It could have something to do with languages, I noticed that quite a lot of the mp3s had accented characters in the name - but then others did not. Maybe it has something to do with the encoding of the meta data in the mp3s? – Brendan Dec 29 '09 at 13:14

All my missing songs seemed to go to a folder called "Unknown Artist". I simply imported that folder into Itunes and removed the unfound duplicates which had the exclamation mark in front of them.

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