Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Fixing Purchased iTunes Songs when they get Corrupted or only Play for a Few Seconds

If you use iTunes, you have likely ripped cd's you already own into your library in addition to purchasing and downloaded songs directly from within iTunes.  If you prefer to own music rather than just listening to random mixes from Pandora or creating specific Spotify playlists, there may be a time when purchased songs stop playing correctly.  If a song gets corrupted and no longer plays correctly, and you have the physical media, you can reload the songs whenever it is convenient.  However, if you purchased the music from iTunes, there is a process you can follow to recover your corrupted songs.

NOTE:  This process is only necessary when the corrupted songs exist on the device where iTunes is installed.  Once the songs are corrupted on that device, the songs will become corrupt on any smart phone or iPod once it is synced to the iTunes device.  If the issue exists only on a smart phone or iPod, and not the device with iTunes, try syncing the smart phone or iPod with iTunes to see if this fixes the issue before attempting the process listed below.

  1. Export all of your playlists.
    1. Open iTunes.
    2. Click on a playlist.
    3. Click File, Library, and select "Export Playlist".

    4. In the Save As box, save the file somewhere easy to access like your Desktop.
    5. In the Save as type drop down menu, select .xml as the file type.

    6. Click "Save".
    7. Repeat this process for each playlist.
    8. Close iTunes.
  2. Remove the corrupted songs.
    1. Open your Music folder.
    2. Open your iTunes folder.
    3. Navigated to the artist folder, then the album folder, for each corrupted song.
    4. Click on a corrupted song and press the "Delete" button.
    5. Click "Yes" to delete the file.
    6. Follow this process for each corrupted song.
  3. Remove your iTunes .itl file.
    1. Navigate to the iTunes folder.
    2. Move the "iTunes Library.itl" file onto your desktop.  Note, this will only be possible if iTunes is closed.
  4. Restore all of your purchases.
    1. Open iTunes.
    2. On the landing page, click the button to "Go to the iTunes Store".

    3. When the iTunes Store opens, click the "Purchased" button on the right.  This will bring up a list of all the music purchased from iTunes with the current account.  NOTE:  You need to be logged into the iTunes account originally used to purchase music.

    4. Scroll to the bottom and click the "Download All" button listed on the bottom right after all listed purchased music.
    5. Once all of your purchases have downloaded, close iTunes.
  5. Reconnect all ripped music.
    1. Open iTunes.
    2. On the landing page, click the button to "Scan Media".

  6. Download Album Art
    1. Click File, Library, and select "Album Artwork".
    2. This will import the album artwork for all of the music albums it can locate so you can easily identify all of your music.
  7. Import your Playlists.
    1. Click File, Library, and select "Import Playlist".
    2. Navigate to the location you saved your playlists in Step 1. 
    3. Select a playlist and click "Open".
    4. The playlist will automatically appear in the playlist listing.
    5. Repeat for each playlist you exported.
  8. Check the corrupted songs.
    1. Play the songs that were corrupted, and deleted, to be sure they now play correctly.
    2. If the songs play correctly, sync any device that was also affected with the corrupted songs.
    3. Delete any .xml playlists saved to your local computer.
    4. Delete the "iTunes iTunes Libary.itl" file.
  9. All of your ripped and purchased music should be listed in your library, play without issue, and your playlists should be restored. 
If you have any issues with downloading your purchased music or scanning for local media, you can restore your iTunes library file without losing anything you already had.  Open your iTunes folder inside your Music folder.  Delete the newly created "iTunes Library.itl" file which was created once you opened iTunes after moving this file to your desktop.  Move the original "iTunes Library.itl" file back into the iTunes folder.  Open iTunes and your music will be back to the way it was to begin with.

Restoring purchased songs is a bit of a process, but the steps above should replace any music that was purchased and later became corrupted.  The time the process takes is based on how many playlists you have to export and import back in, as well as the amount of purchased music to download and local music to scan back into your library.  Whether you choose to go through this process will depend upon how many purchased songs you have corrupted, and how important they are to you.  If paying for the same song twice is not something you are willing to do, then this process is for you!

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