Forum Question: iTunes – library has disappeared although all files still there ion itunes music folder on external drive?

Hi Gary, Hope you can help. I have my itunes library on an external drive connected to my imac. All was going great until when trying to add another movie to my library my external drive said it had run out of space. My idea was to move my movies back to my imac( itunes), whilst keeping music etc. on eternal drive. Not sure exactly what I did but I had an error and itunes would not open. Somehow now, when I open itunes it is blank in all fields. I have tried opening from the finder from external drive and imac drive and same thing. All my files are still there on my external drive but when i click on libraries they are all blank. How to I get my libraries back and seeing those files again that are on my external drive? Help please. Thank you.

Comments: 14 Responses to “iTunes – library has disappeared although all files still there ion itunes music folder on external drive?”

    1/25/11 @ 7:45 am

    Have you tried starting up iTunes with the Option key held down? Then selecting one of the libraries? That’s the normal way to choose a library.
    Does it appear in iTunes as if the library is chosen, but just that no songs are listed? Perhaps you have something in the search field in iTunes that isn’t showing any results?

    1/25/11 @ 8:01 am

    Hi Gary, I tried opening itunes with the option key held down and tried to select the itunes library on my external drive. Says “an unknown error has occured and it cant open the application( 13014). The same thing when I tried my internal library. I’m sure this is the initial error I got when i first encountered the full drive and tried to move the movies folder to the internal drive. ..after a while of the beachball…(I have also since then, downloaded the itunes app from Time Machine a month ago but I cant even find where to open it in this folder which seems to contain everything except the actual app to open..?) I have kept the original and thats the one I have been using for this excercise. The size of the library file on my external drive seems to be the size it should be (2.9MB), so seems as though the files still there? The actual music folder files are definately still there.

      1/25/11 @ 8:06 am

      Ah, so you have your iTunes library backed up in Time Machine? Then restore it from there. Just use the Time Machine interface (never go into the TM drive with the Finder) and restore it to a Time just before the error.

    1/25/11 @ 8:22 am

    Unfortunaty, to save space on my Time Machine drive I excluded my external itunes drive! I guess thinking that I already had it on an external drive…silly I now realise. Is there anything else I might try? I do have most of my music library on a laptop ( excluding movies etc.) If worse came to worse i guess I could re-install itunes on my imac and transfer it across from my laptop…would be great to be able to fix it to save this hassle and rescue my movies..? Is the error code 13014 something i could possibly rectify do you think? Thanks again.

      1/25/11 @ 8:32 am

      No need to “reinstall iTunes” — it is not the application that is having trouble, it is your library.
      You can always create a new iTunes library, an empty one. Then drag and drop your entire iTunes Media Folder into it. This will add every single one of your songs back into the new library and organize them there. But you will lose playlists and stars and play counts, etc. But it is a start.
      Your other option is to get your Mac and external drive to a Mac expert who can try to fix it first-hand.

    1/25/11 @ 8:39 am

    Thanks heaps for your help Gary.
    Macmost is a fantastic resource for us Mac users.
    I hope Mr Jobs looks after you…

      1/25/11 @ 9:27 am

      I’m sure Mr Jobs doesn’t know I exist. :)

    1/25/11 @ 9:11 am

    Hi Gary, One more thing.. I have created a new folder on my external drive and called it Itunes2 and dragged my music folder into it. Its great and I now have it all back…as well as movies.
    My question is should i move my mobile apps and Album Artwork folder from the old itunes folder into the itunes2 folder…and then I can delete the old itunes folder( containing old libraries etc)?

      1/25/11 @ 9:26 am

      Not sure what will happen when you move the apps and artwork — but try it. It may pick them up and save you from re-downloading them.
      Yes, delete the old after you are sure (very sure) that you have everything working in the new library. And start backing up that external drive in TM along with your internal one.

    1/26/11 @ 4:33 am

    Thanks again, and I definately will back up my external itunes drive from now on.
    I cant beleive Mr Jobs doesn’t know of Macmost…? He should.
    If not free Apple product I beleive a substantial discount is, at the very least, deserved.

    michael murphy
    5/25/11 @ 10:55 pm

    I have the same problem that MANY people have reported: I followed the easy steps: Created new library. LOST ORIGINAL!!! BOTH libraries are now empty…all metadata gone. How can I make new library without losing the old one?

      5/26/11 @ 6:43 am

      When you create a new library, you don’t lose the old one. It is still there and you can switch back to it. Many people operate with several libraries.
      So if you did switch back to the old one, and it is empty, then the problem was probably independent of creating the second library.

    Estella Weston
    11/20/12 @ 9:29 am

    I tried to move the itune media folder including library from one external drive to another external drive but the whole folder disappeared. All my songs are still on my external drive but I just can’t access it and I do not have a back up. What can I do?

      11/20/12 @ 2:20 pm

      Why can’t you access it? Is there an error? Have an expert take a first-hand look if you can’t figure it out.

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