I am currently using a service called Cubby (it is like Dropbox) to sync my iTunes library between several computers. I would expect then that syncing only occurs when I add to or delete from the library. But I notice that often the Cubby app will be actively syncing when I haven't made any changes, and it will give notifications that (for example) a song changed which I definitely did not recently add/remove.

Likewise I have lately been seeing weird changes in filename and track number tags. I wonder if this is iTunes trying to organize something automatically and failing?

So does anyone know if iTunes will routinely modify your library files and how/why? What is it doing?

1 Answer 1


Playing files would alter the iTunes library file, as that tracks play counts and last played dates.
It might also store certain info (like rating) in the meta-data of the files as well.

  • Well that is a bummer, I didn't even think of that. I thought that was all kept in iTunes XML files. I hope I'm not syncing the entire file each time I play it, hopefully Cubby can do partial updates.
    – Rich
    Oct 11, 2012 at 17:36

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