How to fix corrupted iTunes libraries after enabling Apple Music

iTunes12iconXApple’s new Apple Music service offers new and exciting ways to get streaming music on your Mac and iOS devices; however, after enabling it a number of people are finding their music libraries becoming corrupted. While songs will still play, their titles, artist names and other metadata information have become switched around and are no longer associated with the proper song files. In some cases, the problem has affected thousands of songs, undoing extensive work users have put into organizing their libraries.

There is no apparent reason for why this is occurring, but if it has happened to you, then there are a few things you can do to restore your library.

  1. Close iTunes and go to the iTunes Music folder (likely in username > Music > iTunes).
  2. Drag the iTunes Library.itl file from this folder to your Desktop.
  3. Open the “Previous iTunes Libraries” folder.
  4. Find the most recent “iTunes Library DATE.itl” file in this folder and drag it to its parent folder.
  5. Rename the file to remove the date, so its name is just “iTunes Library.itl”

Now try opening iTunes, and provided you have not added any new music files to your library, this older version should load and properly associate your files with your various metadata.

Another approach for this is to use Time Machine to restore a backup of your iTunes Library file. You can do this by quitting iTunes and then opening the iTunes folder so you can see the “iTunes Library.itl” file, and then performing the following steps:

  1. Enter Time Machine (do a spotlight search for it, or choose this option from the Time Machine menu).
  2. Ensure you are in the iTunes folder in the Time Machine interface.
  3. Scroll back a day or two to a time before you enabled Apple Music.
  4. Select the iTunes Library.itl file in this backup instance.
  5. Click the Restore button.

After confirming you wish to replace the existing iTunes Library file, exit Time Machine and open iTunes again to check your library. At this point you can try re-enabling Apple Music, or consider waiting until Apple has addressed the problems that may be causing this issue. Such fixes will likely come as a software update for iTunes.

4 thoughts on “How to fix corrupted iTunes libraries after enabling Apple Music

  1. MaX

    Resume playback finally implemented in iTunes?
    What I meant is that you are listening a very long playlist of thousands of songs, quit iTunes, reboot the Mac or shut down the Mac. The next time that you open iTunes it starts from song number one again, but you want it to resume from the last song played (say, song number 1456 or whatever).
    For me that is the most essential feature missing in iTunes, and it was available in SoundJam MP back in 2001, from where iTunes was developed.

  2. Tom Magnum

    I create two playlists. One labeled “jazz” and one labeled “Jazz not played recently”. The second playlist is a smart playlist containing the same music that hasn’t been played in 90 days. That allows me to churn my music a bit.

  3. B. Jefferson Le Blanc

    Sadly, quality control is no longer extant at Apple. RIP Of course iTunes has been a bollox for years now so our expectations should be modest in any case. And, maybe, if you don’t have your iTunes folder backed up (along with everything else) you deserve what you get. Even so, your grief doesn’t make Apple look any better.

    The moral of this tragic tale is: Never install an Apple software update until you have good reason to know it’s stable. Which means you’ll have to check blogs like this one regularly. Good for the blogs that track these things; bad for Apple and worse for people who use Apple software.

  4. brucethat

    iTunes and iCloud are the software of Apple to manage the data between iOS devices and computer. And they sometimes would be not friendly enough to use. Like you would lose your iTunes library after update, so you have to find the way to restore it. Luckily, there are some software which can solve these problem, but you have to pay a little. Like Wondershare or FonePaw iOS Transfer, you can use them to transfer your data and restore iTunes library and so on. Useful tool.

Comments are closed.