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is there a song limit in iTunes?
May 13, 2009 7:10 AM   Subscribe

Why is my iTunes 8 "capping" my library at about 30,000 songs?

My iTunes 8 is acting very much like this description of an old bug in iTunes 4. Clearly Apple thinks this bug is gone, but not for me. I'm guessing the increased the bit-width of some key index value. Hardly a likely regression bug, right?
Before I go supplicate at the Genius bar, "has anyone here had this problem?" Oh, yes, the number of songs...yes, they're all mine. I just boxed up and moved manymany CDs to my basement, and I've belonged to eMusic since they opened. Help! My digital seams are bursting!
posted by dylanjames to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Is "about 30,000" actually 32,768?
posted by madcaptenor at 7:11 AM on May 13, 2009


Actually, no it's not. It ebbs and flows, but I have not seen it yet exceed 31,000. The failure modes are odd too -- sometimes songs disappear (time machine helped me rescue Yoav). Other times, it just fails to import new songs (silent failure!)
posted by dylanjames at 7:31 AM on May 13, 2009


I used to have 200K songs in iTunes 7, so I don't think this is the same issue.

What exactly happens when you add the 30,001th song? Do you get a message?
posted by neustile at 7:32 AM on May 13, 2009


It's odd: yesterday I rebuilt my library from scratch (launching iTunes with "option" held down) and afterwards added an album, and it silently only added 4 of the 12 songs. Overnight, the count fell from around 30,100 down to 30,004, and just now it let me add two albums worth. I don't have time this morning before work to add songs until it fails again, but I can try tonight.
posted by dylanjames at 7:47 AM on May 13, 2009


Okay, this may be a silly question but... what is going on with the available space on the drive you are using for your iTunes music storage? Are you consolidating your library or not? Are you telling iTunes to keep your music folder organized, or not?

The behavior you are describing sounds a lot like what I have witnessed my iTunes doing when the hard drive was approaching capacity. Do you have podcasts which are deleting themselves and freeing up space? What about other "scratch files"?

The statement about your library count dropping overnight by nearly 100 songs... what is happening to those files? Are they still present on your hard drive, or have they been deleted altogether? (An entry in your iTunes library != file being on your hard drive, and vice versa.)
posted by hippybear at 8:11 AM on May 13, 2009


Is this on a PC? My father had similar trouble with iTunes when he started running low on free space on his drive (down to about 20% free), where shit would silently fail to import. He'd also have it lose a lot of tracks, still showing them in the library but giving the exclamation point when he tried to play them. Unfortunately, he ended up having to massively rebuild his library.
posted by klangklangston at 8:57 AM on May 13, 2009


what is going on with the available space on the drive you are using for your iTunes music storage?

It's a 300GB volume with about 70GB free

Are you consolidating your library or not?

I forget what this means...but maybe my answer to:

Are you telling iTunes to keep your music folder organized, or not?

Yes, I'm doing the "copy to iTunes" and "organize my library" options.

This is on OS X 10.5.6, on a G5 Mac tower.
posted by dylanjames at 9:08 AM on May 13, 2009


Just to be safe, have you run through Disk Utility's "Verify Disk" function?
posted by agentmunroe at 9:58 AM on May 13, 2009


Just to be safe, have you run through Disk Utility's "Verify Disk" function?

Good idea, I'll do that tonight as well. Though I'd expect if it were disk errors I'd get some of those "?" can't find track messages. Instead, what I'm seeing is that the tracks vanish, both from the disk, and from the iTunes interface.
posted by dylanjames at 10:47 AM on May 13, 2009


dylanjames: in a couple of other AskMe threads (which I'm too lazy to dig up now), people have suggested turning off the "keep Music folder organized" function and keeping the "copy to Music folder" function. Those suggesting such say that they have found that tracks disappear during the process of tracks being moved around, renamed, etc.

I've never had that problem, but it's been put forward more than once in just the past month or so.
posted by hippybear at 11:32 AM on May 13, 2009


...turning off the "keep Music folder organized" function and keeping the "copy to Music folder"

This sounds like a great experiment, hippybear. I'll try this tonight, and drag a few hundred songs to my library, and see what happens.

If this turns out to fix the problem, I'll file a bug with Apple.
posted by dylanjames at 1:18 PM on May 13, 2009


It took a long time to push past 32,768, but I finally have done so, and can now confirm that "Keep iTunes Folder Organized" can be considered harmful, if you have a large library. Darn - that was a convenient option.

Thanks, hippybear!
posted by dylanjames at 7:03 PM on June 22, 2009


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