My iTunes was set to make copies of all the music that it imported and keep it's own library within the iTunes folder. I wanted to delete my original files but deleted my iTunes copies instead. Now I have an exclamation mark beside all my music and since iTunes renames the files in it's own copy according to the ID3 tags, I can't simply replace my iTunes folder with my original files as the filenames and folders don't match.
The brute force alternative is to manually point each missing file to the new file location but this does not seem like a very clever solution given I have over 5000 tracks.
I don't want to reconstruct my library from scratch because I will lose precious listening and rating history from the past six years! Is there anyway I can fix this without losing my play counts and ratings?
I can a poor idea of rebuilding the file/folder structure on a new iTunes instance on another machine/account and copying the files back to the folder but this doesn't sound fool-proof. Any suggestions!