Question Help lost all my iTunes library and playlists looking alternative

Beaker 2016

Active Member
Hi,

Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere after the last big Microsoft update I went today to rip my new Paul Weller cd today to iTunes and found that my music library and playlists have all vanished??

I have a Marantz CD player and Denon AVR and don't know how to progress can anyone suggest an alternative cd ripper and player for FLAC files as I'll have to re rip all my CDs to use on my PC

Or is there an alternative media player separates that I could use to play my files I know nothing about this route at all I always liked the to me simplicity of iTunes but it has now let me down

Any advice much appreciated TIA hope this makes sense!
 

jamieu

Active Member
Are you OK with keeping with the PC as the device you use to play back music? How do you send music to your Denon?

For CD ripping to FLAC DBPowerAmp CD Ripper (paid) or Exact Audio Copy / EAC (free).

Do a few test runs first to make sure you have the metadata and cover art scraping setup correctly.

For playback Audirvana (paid) or Logitech Media Server / LMS (free).

The first thing you want to do after installing Logitech Media Server is go into plugins and enable the Material Skin (it's just a checkbox under the settings/plugin menu) otherwise it looks a bit utilitarian :) You might also need to enable the UPnP/DLNA plugin too if you use UPnP/DLNA to send music to your Denon.

Audirvana is easy to setup and has a nice user interface. Logitech Media Server (LMS) has more flexibility in configuration and what you can do with it. LMS is free and Audirvana has a free trial so easy enough to try them both. You can point both at the same /Music folder on your PC where your FLAC files are stored.

If you want a dedicated network player/streamer that you can plug directly into the Denon then something like the Bluesound Node 2i is a popular option, but might be more than you want to spend. Alternatively, a Raspberry Pi + audio 'hat' + Volumio (or Moode or PiCorePlayer) is a popular DIY option that you can get up and running for <£100 with sound quality equal to commercial devices. This video might help clarify some of the RPi terminology/options. Technically it's no more complex than plugging a couple of boards together, mounting it in a case, burning a SD card with the OS of your choice and booting it up.
 
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Beaker 2016

Active Member
Thanks for your help,

Yes i would be happy to use my pc as the playback device - is FLAC better than .wav? i hace used DBpoweramp before on trial

I have the pc connected to the Denon via HDMI for iTunes didn't know if i could put files on a usb stick and play them on its media player

was considering an external media player if that would be a better long term solution had thought of one by some of the hi-fi separates but haven't looked at prices yet was just trying to find out my best options
 

jamieu

Active Member
Thanks for your help,

Yes i would be happy to use my pc as the playback device - is FLAC better than .wav? i hace used DBpoweramp before on trial

I have the pc connected to the Denon via HDMI for iTunes didn't know if i could put files on a usb stick and play them on its media player

was considering an external media player if that would be a better long term solution had thought of one by some of the hi-fi separates but haven't looked at prices yet was just trying to find out my best options
Yes, FLAC is now pretty much the de-facto lossless standard across everything apart from iTunes.

No point ripping CDs above 16bit/44.1khz as that is all they will have been mastered to. So 16bit/44.1khz Lossless FLAC. I think that's the default in DBpoweramp anyway.

FWIW if you have lots of CD's to rip DBpoweramp is pretty much foolproof, whereas EAC (last time I looked) involved more setup to get the metadata and cover art scraping to work. I guess once you have it setup it makes no difference, but if you want an easy life I'd just pay for the DBpoweramp licence :)

In terms of usb sticks, depends on the Denon model, most do allow it but the interface for navigating the files is normally pretty basic/grim. Fine if you only have a couple of albums, not so fun for browsing a large music collection. I guess try it and see if it works for you.

In terms of external media players, the (commercial) media player market (at least on the audio side) has now moved much more towards supporting online streaming services, so less (commercial) options than there once was. Many of them also expect (or recommend) that your music be stored on a networked device like a PC or NAS, rather than just an externally attached USB drive. Some also require you to run a DLNA server somewhere ie. they don't actually index/catalogue the FLAC files themselves. So do double check that you can attach a USB drive of FLAC files directly if that's what you want.

One option is to try out LMS (Logitech Media Server) on the PC first — if your PC is normally on when you're playing music you can leave LMS running in the background (which is how it runs away) and control it via an app or a web browser on your phone — and then migrate to running it on a Raspberry Pi later. That way any effort you put in now to sorting out playlists etc. will still be useful later on. There's various ways you can configure it and a fair few threads here and elsewhere outlining the steps. Let me know if you need any pointers.
 
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DT79

Well-known Member
after the last big Microsoft update I went today to rip my new Paul Weller cd today to iTunes and found that my music library and playlists have all vanished??
You seem to have accepted the vanishing of your music library with remarkable ease. Most of us would be raging or in the depths of despair!

An update may have affected an application and the presentation of your library, but surely it can’t have deleted the underlying files?
 

Beaker 2016

Active Member
Thanks again,

So if i buy DBpoweramp single user and perfect tunes for £47 + vat I can convert all my apple files to FLAC and use it for future cd ripping and then use Logitech Media Server as my player - and i can make out playlists and add album artwork etc

The Denon isn't seeing a usb stick with apple files i think it only sees iPods
Don't think the separates idea then is the way to go for me
 

Beaker 2016

Active Member
You seem to have accepted the vanishing of your music library with remarkable ease. Most of us would be raging or in the depths of despair!

An update may have affected an application and the presentation of your library, but surely it can’t have deleted the underlying files?
Well i wasn't like that at the time and I'm still very unhappy (watching my language lol) but now trying to sort out a better solution my friend always told me going the apple route would end in tears but i always found it easy to use I'm not really up on streaming at all so never wanted to change - PS i also lost my favorites on my google search engine so want to get away from apple now as quick as i can no the files are still on my hard drive and as above im planning on converting these and using a new player with the help and advice from jamieu
 

Beaker 2016

Active Member
I went to the link for the Logitech media server and it give me beta versions to download I tried one and my antivirus recommenced not to install so went to their website and downloaded ok from there - i will try the trial version of dbpoweramp and see how i get on - thanks again
 

jamieu

Active Member
So if i buy DBpoweramp single user and perfect tunes for £47 + vat I can convert all my apple files to FLAC and use it for future cd ripping and then use Logitech Media Server as my player - and i can make out playlists and add album artwork etc
Yes, Logitech Media Server runs in the background as a service on your PC and you control it via a web browser (or a desktop or phone app). It's really intended to be the server component in a multi-room setup ie. you'd normally use it to 'send' music to your Denon via DLNA/UPnP using the web interface. But if you want it to playback music locally or via HDMI you can just enable the 'local music' plugin under server settings.

Screenshot 2020-07-03 at 22.22.29.png

Screenshot 2020-07-03 at 22.23.50.png



But if that feels too complex and you'd rather just have a normal desktop app, then there's also Audirvana (which has a PC desktop and phone app) and also foobar2000 (although the interface isn't the prettiest!).

For ripping CDs you don't need PerfectTunes. DBPoweramp alone will fetch the metadata/artwork for you when it rips the CD. It _might be_ that you need 'Perfect Tunes' to handle metadata/artwork when converting from iTunes AAC to FLAC. I'm not sure, maybe someone else can clarify or you can try it first with the trial.
 
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jamieu

Active Member
I went to the link for the Logitech media server and it give me beta versions to download I tried one and my antivirus recommenced not to install so went to their website and downloaded ok from there - i will try the trial version of dbpoweramp and see how i get on - thanks again
Odd, that's a legit site, the 8.0 beta version is now pretty stable.

Not sure what version you got from the Logitech site but you want to run at least the 7.9 version.

This is the official repo

(long history, but in short LMS was basically the server component for Logitech Squeezebox devices. After Logitech stopped manufacturing the devices the community took over the code and extended it. The older 'official' Logitech versions are now very dated and unlikely much fun to use. They probably also don't support the newer Material Skin and various plugins you'll want).
 

Beaker 2016

Active Member
Odd, that a legit site, the 8.0 beta version is now pretty stable.

Not sure what version you got from the Logitech site but you want to run at least the 7.9 version.

This is the official repo

(long history, but in short LMS was basically the server component for Logitech Squeezebox devices. After Logitech stopped manufacturing the devices the community took over the code and extended it. The older 'official' Logitech versions are now very dated and unlikely much fun to use. They probably also don't support the newer Material Skin and various plugins you'll want).

V 7.7.6 from the site so id better get the 8.0 beta
 

Beaker 2016

Active Member

John7

Well-known Member
Before you go through all this rigmarole, I’d be trying to locate your original music files. I doubt a windows update would have erased them all? If they are still there, they will be using up space on your PC hard drive.

How many albums did (do) you have and what format were they originally ripped to?

I still have most of my music on iTunes on my pc, as I like the interface but for playback on my main AV system, I have a USB hard drive with all my albums ripped to FLAC which plays back directly by my AV receiver
 

DT79

Well-known Member
Well i wasn't like that at the time and I'm still very unhappy (watching my language lol) but now trying to sort out a better solution my friend always told me going the apple route would end in tears but i always found it easy to use I'm not really up on streaming at all so never wanted to change - PS i also lost my favorites on my google search engine so want to get away from apple now as quick as i can no the files are still on my hard drive and as above im planning on converting these and using a new player with the help and advice from jamieu
You seem to be attributing this to Apple, but you originally mention a Windows update?

If you were using iTunes on a windows machine and it was a windows update, it might be a little unfair to blame Apple. That being said, having used iTunes for years by default because I have a Mac, I’ve recently come to realise that the only real reason to use iTunes is if you use Apple Music (including if you want to integrate a local library of music). Anyway I wouldn’t make any assumptions about what is to blame. Unless you pin it down now for certain the same thing may happen again.

Whatever you go with I’d recommend keeping an offline back-up of all your music files on an external HDD (sorry for stating what’s probably rather obvious now, but it doesn’t look like you or anyone else had said it yet!)
 

Beaker 2016

Active Member
Hi thanks to and in reply to both above:-

I didn't mean to sound as if I was blaming apple as the problem only started after the Microsoft update I don't know what happened?

I may have not described things as well as I could as I was very annoyed at the time of writing - I lost my music library and playlists within iTunes I still have my iTunes files on my hard drive and also on 2 external backup hard drives so I can reload all the files again and create playlists I was hoping there might have been some way to find the missing info to avoid having to do this

I have 250+ plus CDs to be honest I'm not sure they were ripped to apple lossless to be used in iTunes - I downloaded music bee software and it reads the apple files but the same thing of loading the files in I'm not sure yet if this is individually or in a batch - I just feel I would be better using another program to hopefully prevent this from happening again
 

MaryWhitehouse

Active Member
So files aren’t lost at all just the library index? Firstly it’s possibly still there just not linked and secondly building a new library file takes a few minutes. iTunes does sometimes loose or corrupt its library file but I’ve found it still by far the most reliable player for music and movies.
 

Beaker 2016

Active Member
yes sorry wrong terminology on my part yes i can add the files back in the pain is doing the playlists - like the look of music bee will have a think about what route to take can use either or for my new discs for the time being or my good old Marantz
 

jamieu

Active Member
Logitech Media Server: Windows Executable Installer​
75.56 MB​
July 02 2020 13:55
Logitech Media Server: Windows Home Server Installer​
i tried the executable installer is that right - and got an error should I try the home server - like i said i know very little about all these thats why i stuck with itunes
If you can recover your files, and you're happy with with iTunes, I'd probably stick with it as it will be the simplest route to getting you back up and running :)

I'd explore some of the suggestions above about recovering your iTunes Index first.

---

The downside to iTunes is it doesn't support Lossless FLAC which is now the standard lossless format used everywhere else. So if you're embarking on re-ripping your entire CD collection afresh it might be a reason to switch to a player/platform that supports FLAC.

It's a tricky one as otherwise iTunes does everything you need for free. If you do need to re-rip your CD collection one option is to rip to both MP3 or Apple AAC (for iTunes) and FLAC (for the future) — using DBPoweramp's multi-format ripping feature — and keep each format in it's own top level folder structure ie. /Music/FLAC and /Music/MP3. That way you won't have to go though the slow and painful process of re-ripping CD's in future.

If you don't mind paying out £85 then Audirvana is probably the closest to iTunes in appearance and supports both FLAC and Apple AAC. Foobar2000 is another free option but you might find it's interface is lacking coming from iTunes.

Logitech Media Server is a slightly different architecture, in that in runs in the background and is controlled by a web browser (or a desktop/phone app) and can play your music either locally (on your PC) or stream to various audio devices over the network (ie. UPNP/DLNA on your Denon). It's extremely powerful and flexible, but with that power does come additional complexity and I'm little worried I may be sending you down a rabbit hole :)
 
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Beaker 2016

Active Member
If you can recover your files, and you're happy with with iTunes, I'd probably stick with it as it will be the simplest route to getting up back up and running :)

I'd explore some of the suggestions above about recovering your iTunes Index first.

---

The downside to iTunes is it doesn't support Lossless FLAC which is now the standard lossless format used everywhere else. So if you're embarking on re-ripping your entire CD collection afresh it might be a reason to switch to a player/platform that supports FLAC.

It's a tricky one as otherwise iTunes does everything you need for free. If you do need to re-rip your CD collection one option is to rip to both MP3 or Apple AAC (for iTunes) and FLAC (for the future) — using DBPoweramp's multi-format ripping feature — and keep each format in it's own top level folder structure ie. /Music/FLAC and /Music/MP3. That way you won't have to go though the slow and painful process of re-ripping CD's in future.

If you don't mind paying out £85 then Audirvana is probably the closest to iTunes in appearance and supports both FLAC and Apple AAC. Foobar2000 is another free option but you might find it's interface is lacking coming from iTunes.

Logitech Media Server is a slightly different architecture, in that in runs in the background and is controlled by a web browser (or a desktop/phone app) and can play much either locally (on your PC) or stream to various audio devices over the network (ie. UPNP/DLNA on your Denon). It's extremely powerful and flexible, but with that power does come additional complexity and I'm little worried I may be sending you down a rabbit hole :)
Yes I had thought of using DBPoweramp to do various file formats as I was scared at first I might have to rip all my cd's physically one by one until i found out about this function would save so much time - I don't know how to find the links to the library i know very little about streaming etc. and even iTunes I use just to rip and play cd's - I still like having a cd player and putting in the silver discs
 

jamieu

Active Member
Yes I had thought of using DBPoweramp to do various file formats as I was scared at first I might have to rip all my cd's physically one by one until i found out about this function would save so much time - I don't know how to find the links to the library i know very little about streaming etc. and even iTunes I use just to rip and play cd's - I still like having a cd player and putting in the silver discs
If you just drag all your files back into iTunes it should reindex them, although you may not get your playlists back.

If you still have the audio files — and feel like now is a reason to switch away from iTunes — then all the various options (Audirvana, LMS, MusicBee, Roon, JRiver etc.) should also be able to just scan the whole directory tree and reindex the files — you just need to tell them where the top level folder holding your music files live.

Maybe I missed a post, but it's not clear if your original iTunes library was ripped to Apple Lossless or Lossy AAC. If your files are Apple Lossless then you can just leave them as they are, as most 3rd party software will still handle Apple Lossless. It's just that if you're starting afresh (and re-ripping CD / moving away from iTunes) I'd go straight to Lossless FLAC as (iTunes aside) it's the most widely supported lossless format. You can also convert Apple Lossless to FLAC but little benefit to doing that now unless you need to (ie. you have a player that doesn't support Apple Lossless).
 
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Beaker 2016

Active Member
Thanks - this is going to sound really silly and show hoe little I know about streaming - I done an update on iTunes and then used add folder and selected the iTunes media folder and it has added all the albums back in but alas no playlists so looks like I'm nearly sorted I thought I would have to add each album folder individually - thanks to everyone who has given help and advice
 

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