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Radio Adam foobared

09/16/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Macintosh

Yesterday I updated Radio Adam to use the newest iTunes since it had been working appropriately on my other systems. Part of the install requires a reboot of the system which I didn't think much of at the time.

When everything came back up, I restarted iTunes, let it do its validation process and ran the usual playlist. What I had forgotten was that it reads in the music from a remote SMB file system. OSX does not automount network drives by default when a device is requested (see MacOSHints for some suggestions on how to do this at boot time) so when iTunes went to read the first file, it didn't find it and therefore marked it unavailable with that lovely little exclamation mark in a circle. It then went to the second, had the same problem, and proceeded onto the third. Within moments it had invalidated about 13,000 tracks.

It's here that I found a major problem with iTunes. If you double click or bring up information on an invalid file which is actually there, iTunes will mark it valid again. Unfortunately it will only do this for the initial file so if you use the "next" or "previous" buttons from the information browser, it'll leave any other viewed items as unavailable. If you're playing to revalidate, once the first track finishes, iTunes won't try any others as they're all flagged unavailable. As far as I can therefore see, there is no way to force a bulk revalidation of music once its marked as being dead.

I then took the other brute force route and dropped the entire file system for the music back on iTunes and went to bed. When I checked in later, it had duplicated all the unavailable files rather than merging back the links back in. I now have a vast collection of duplicate entries that need to be cleared out plus I've lost all of the iTunes library-specific data as that's indexed to the "unavailable" version of the files.

I'm not best pleased.


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