General Question

TaoSan's avatar

Slowly but surely my entire iTunes library turns unusable. HD-failure, malware, or quirky DRM?

Asked by TaoSan (7103points) November 17th, 2008

And it’s driving me nuts. My library resides on an external WD MyBook 500GB FireWire 400 drive. Daisy-chained to this drive is a WD MyBook 750GB for TimeMachine.

On, top, there is a TimeCapsule in my network that I use for my MacBook Pro. So, I was quite often copying my library back and forth before I found the right setup, and additionally, back it up to off-site back-up.

Now, since about a week or so, it seems that rather randomly some files simply become unusable. Trying to play it from iTunes simply results in…nothing.

It doesn’t start playing, but it also doesn’t give any kind of error message. It just sits there. This goes for iPhone and AppleTV as well.

The only thing that noticeably changes, is that the file icon in finder changes from the CD cover to a random *.mp4 icon (file with a blue note), but with a little padlock in the top left corner.

The files are there, get info gives all the info, they simply won’t play.

I’m really worried as I have a huge “purchased only” library. I don’t really want to experiment as the content is worth several thousand bucks and I’m worried I break it even more.

Any ideas???

Thx in advance

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7 Answers

TheBox193's avatar

I would just use Winamp
or if you must use iTunes, then re-install?
Do you think you have drive corruption?

TaoSan's avatar

Winamp is not an option, my entire home entertainment is based on Apple (AppleTV and AirTunes throughout the house, iPod docking in the car). So yipp, it has to be iTunes.

Drive corruption is what I thought first, but Drive Genius, Apple Disk Utility and Disk Warrior 4 give a clean bill of health.

bodyhead's avatar

Do you have the newest itunes? A recent (as in last week or so) update to itunes made my library corrupt. An upgrade to the newest version now made it fine again.

robmandu's avatar

Xkcd has a suggestion on how to handle your “purchased only” library.

Question: have you tried copying one of the unplayable files to another computer? Are they unplayable there, too?

cwilbur's avatar

I have had two MyBooks fail on me. Neither was more than a year old. Get another model of hard drive as soon as possible and transfer as much as you can to the new drive before it fails further.

Also, synch your iPod as soon as you can and as often as you can—you can recover purchased tracks from an iPod with iTunes.

serenityNOW's avatar

I’m with cwilbur. Get a new drive (different brand – I like Maxtor), pronto and use something like Super Duper and copy/backup everything to there. Then, try playing the files off of that. Let me know how it turns out and good luck!

I’m a backup freak about my itunes… Once a week I do a clone of my itunes library onto a spare external and I bought one of the 160gb classics and dump everything on there every so often so I can retrieve my music in case it’s destroyed. That one I keep in the car just in case anything disastrous happens in my apt. Also, per cwilbur, you can retrieve purchased tracks from your iPod, but there are means where you can retrieve even more, depending on which iPod you have.

TaoSan's avatar

@ Wilbur & Jon

Thx guys, I guess that’s what I’ll do. Maxtor it is now. I have transferred the files from iMac to MacBook to AppleTV, and once they’re screwed, they don’t play on anything. Not even iPhone.

:( :( :(

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