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Overcoming the iTunes XML Error

written by: normaking•edited by: Christian Cawley•updated: 2/27/2011

It might seem like a maze of problems but if you follow the steps that I have outlined in the article below, I am sure you will be able to get rid of the iTunes .xml error.

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    When Fixing a Lost Link to an Itunes Music Library .xml is Your Only Option

    itunes-xml-file fix Whenever I'm messing about with my iTunes library I always get the feeling like I am playing a convoluted version of Age of Empires XXI - You Need To Keep Maintaining It. I've been traveling a lot and lets say along with the exchange of culture, my entire iTunes library has been passed around from one cousin's computer to another. However, I ran into issues with iTunes failing to recognize my music library on a new MacBook Air that I recently picked up.

    It isn't like my tracks weren't there anymore, I mean they were still present on the corresponding folder where they were on my old MacBook Pro but what was causing problems here was that iTunes was failing to recognize any of the files. I did a quick Google search and found that there were a couple of other cases in which the link to an iTunes music library's XML file might get lost.

    1. Your system crashes.
    2. Your iTunes has a glitch.
    3. You update your version of iTunes.
    4. You update your version of the Mac OS.
    5. You move your music to a new computer.
    6. You transfer music from a Windows computer to a Mac or the other way round.

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    Why So Many Problems?

    So, what is up with these files getting lost or corrupted and how does one go about recovering them? A quick way out for those of you who use your iTunes as a simple audio player and don't have any ratings or meta tags or artwork loaded into it: you will do fine by just adding all of your music back in. The rest of you audiophiles should follow me to the next paragraph.

    1. Quit iTunes.

    2. Go to your Home folder and then from there to your Music folder after which you should go to your iTunes folder which will have the possibly missing and probably corrupt XML file.

    3. Move it to your Desktop.

    4. Start iTunes again and you will see a bare playlist staring back at you.

    5. Go to File> Library > Import Playlist and select the file that you just moved to the desktop.

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    That Trick Didn't Work Skipper!

    If that doesn't bring back all the contents of your music library then you should have a look at the official Apple Knowledge Base article which explains the steps for both Mac as well as Windows computers. Other than that you will also need to sync your devices with your new iTunes library all over again.

    With that done all you will need to do now is sit back and watch iTunes work its magic as all of your data miraculously comes back. And that dear reader, is how you fix a lost link to an iTunes music library XML. Pretty simple wasn't it? If you keep getting other errors then you might want to check out the What to Do if iTunes Could Not Connect to the iTunes Store as well as the How to Copy a Music Folder to iTunes without Duplicates article.

    Image credit: MacLife