Many of us are convinced our computers have minds of their own. In this bizarre case of iTunes moving music files around, there may well be a ghost in the machine:
Ok. I got one for you that has stumped EVERYONE that I have proposed this problem to, including Mac Geniuses and numerous techie friends.
iTunes keeps all music organized inside the Music folder in the Home folder. For the last several months, periodically when I add a new song, or change something regarding songs already in the library (add artwork, adjust genre, etc) SOME songs will relocate themselves to Macintosh HD >Music >iTunes >iTunes Music [outside the Home folder].
I tend to see the same few artists move, but then it moves not only the song that may or may not have been adjusted, but it’ll move all/part of that subsequent album. For example, if I add artwork to the Beatles 1 album, the entire artist folder for Beatles will relocate itself. Or perhaps a second Beatles folder will relocate itself into the Macintosh HD level, but only bring along 5 of the 6 possible albums that I have.
iTunes updates the location information in its database file, so there is no difference seen when playing music through iTunes. The Apple Store’s opinion was that it’s “not a big deal since the music plays anyway, why do you care?” It just tends to drive me nuts and I’d like an explanation rather than just a blow off.
Let’s hope I don’t stump you too.
Yes that is an odd problem. I’m not surprised that the Genius Bar was uninterested in in-depth sleuthing, but clearly something is going on. Is there any consistency to which files get moved? Are they always items you purchased from the iTunes Store?
A couple things to check:
-do you have your iTunes Media folder location set to /Users/homefolder/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music?
-in iTunes Preferences –> Advanced tab, do you have “Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library” checked?
If yes to both, try this: go to File –> Library –> Organize Library, and choose Consolidate files. This will put everything into the library inside the Music Folder. Then quit iTunes, rename the top level Music folder (outside your home folder) to something other than “Music”, then relaunch iTunes. See if things then behave normally or the problem recurs.
Adam, thanks for trying to help
I do not purchase many files from the iTunes store, so I cannot verify if those are the files that move frequently. However, it does seem as if the same artists consistently move, and I do not know if this is because I listen to them the most, or what.
Yes, to both of your questions about where my iTunes library is located. And I often consolidate files when I consolidate files, they either do not actually copy (the scroll bar does come up) or they readjust permissions back to the Macintosh HD level quickly. Now, if I quit iTunes, and rename the folder to something different, when I open iTunes the next time, it adjusts the name to now meet the new name.
It is interesting to note that this does not ALWAYS happen, but it happens frequently enough that I know to check for it. Sometimes it moves one artist, tonight when I was checking what you suggested, it moved almost 2GB of music. I tend to just go and correct it the fix myself since it will update as I move files, but it is getting annoying.
In the last week, I have also tried reinstalling iTunes to no avail.
I would try reinstalling Mac OS X next, and keep the existing user account. Worth a shot.
Readers, have any other ideas for Julie?