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Ask Max: Disappearing aiff Files in iTunes

Asked on 05/26/2006:

My iTunes aiff files have been mysteriously disappearing from my G4 PowerBook - I will click on a tune and it will say that the audio file is no longer there - yet I did not delete it - so where did it go and how do I recover it? The file still exist on my iPod and I have some back up files - but how do I get it matched up with the current aiff library and why do they disappear in the first place?


It is truly a mystery why your AIFF files would be disappearing. My guess is that you have some of your files stored outside of the iTunes library. This can happen if you use your iPod or other external drive to transport your music files from computer to computer. It may be that some of those files are still stored on the hard drive section of your iPod. The hard drive section is independent from the music player files that are synced from iTunes. The fix may be as simple as plugging in all of your removable storage devices. If the songs are playable again you just need to make sure you have copies in your iTunes library. To do this, Apple added the ability to localize all of your music files. From the iTunes Advanced menu select on ™Consolidate Library…™ You will be told that your music will be copied to the iTunes library. Just click on the ™Consolidate™ button and then you are ready to go. Consolidating should prevent you from losing any more songs. Also, any missing song listings should be removed so you can re-add those songs to iTunes without duplicate listings.

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