ITunes notes

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This hasn't been updated for a while, so could be outdated (particularly if it's about something that evolves constantly, such as software or research).
This article/section is a stub — probably a pile of half-sorted notes, is not well-checked so may have incorrect bits. (Feel free to ignore, fix, or tell me)


Library

(roughly accurate for iTunes versions 5 through 7)

Consists of

  • iTunes Library.itl on windows, iTunes Library on Mac: binary database file
  • iTunes Music Library.xml which seems to be an XML serialization of most of the media metadata also stored in the database(verify), and also contains playlists, ratings, play dates, and such. Exporting a library seems to create a current copy(/backup) of this file(verify), 'Import Playlist' seems to import just the playlists from these files(verify).


Related directories that may be present here:

  • iTunes Music: If you let iTunes do so, it will move all your music here.
  • Album Artwork: Downloaded over time
  • Previous iTunes Libraries: Created when iTunes is upgraded, to store backup copies of the then-current libraries.


Default locations:

  • MacOSX: /Users/[your username]/Music
  • WinXP, Win2000: \Documents and Settings\[username]\My Documents\My Music\
  • Win Vista: \Users\[your username]\Music\

You can change this location. When you start up iTunes holding the Shift key, it will ask you to browse to an iTunes library, which it will use from then on.

Note that this also means you can move your entire library to a different / external drive.


Consolidation refers to moving all music files known to the library to the according iTunes Music directory, which saves having to move it manually and re-index it.


Damaged library

This article/section is a stub — probably a pile of half-sorted notes, is not well-checked so may have incorrect bits. (Feel free to ignore, fix, or tell me)

The cause of iTunes claiming your library is damaged is not particularly clear, but seems to be an (Windows-specific?) iTunes bug, but seems to refer to some corruption of the iTunes Library(.itl) file.


In the Windows version: Some report it is related to windows' memory management (perhaps a race condition in the iTunes database code that this brings out?), suggest that its strategies for best performance of the system cache is the cause, and that setting this to solves the problem, and is fairly likely the cause if corruption recurs.

System Properties, Advanced tab, Performance section Settings button, Advanced tab, Memory Usage section, set to 'Programs' instead of 'System cache'


When iTunes decides the database is corrupted, it will make a copy of the library in your music folder with (Damaged) in the name. It may try to recover the library, but it seems that it will not re-index, meaning part of the music on your drive will now not show up in itunes - or in some cases, iTunes will start with a new, empty library(verify).


Some report that removing the (Damaged) from the name (to hand that file back to iTunes as if nothing were wrong) will work, but some report that it will still barf over access to some presumably small part of the database.

It seems the safest thing to do is create a new libary and re-import all your media. This will however mean your ratings and playlists will be gone.

You can re-import your playlists from the XML file (which is likely okay); following the following procedure (before re-adding your media) should work:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1451


Refreshing your library

This article/section is a stub — probably a pile of half-sorted notes, is not well-checked so may have incorrect bits. (Feel free to ignore, fix, or tell me)


Sharing

Based on DAAP.

See also: