Brief Summary of Problem

Transfer of an iTunes music library from an old NAS drive to a new one resulted in message of the type “unable to connect to old NAS drive address” when trying to play music from MacBook. Attempting to add music, clears library listing completely.


iTunes library originally installed on LaCie NAS drive for wireless access via Sonos iPhone app to play on Sonos speakers. Music all ripped from CDs on MacBook where iTunes pointed to the LaCie drive.

Replaced LaCie drive with WD drive, copying whole iTunes folder across. Removed LaCie drive. Music plays on the Sonos speakers from iPhone app OK.

All music still listed in iTunes library viewed from MacBook, but attempt to play results in a message that it can’t find the LaCie drive.

Although not important for playing on Sonos speakers, attempt to add new music from MacBook resultrf in error message saying the iTunes Library.itl file was damaged, and was being replaced it with a new one. After this the listing of the iTunes library is blank.

I assume that the MacBook was initially using an old iTunes Library.itl file with an absolute path to the old LaCie drive. Would that have been copied over to the WD drive or is it on the MacBook, and is there any way to restore or regenerate a library of the music that is on the new NAS drive? (The music is only on the external drive, not on the MacBook.)

  • Did you change the library location in Prefs>Advanced? – Tetsujin Jun 27 at 13:25
  • @Tetsujin — Thanks for the suggestion. I'll check with the friend I am doing this for. (Nobody believes you if you post saying that a friend has a problem, and in any case it's irrelevant, but it's the situation. I'm trying to sort things for him because I know more about Macs etc.) – David Jun 27 at 15:01
  • @Tetsujin — Just checked with the friend. His library location in the prefs is the iTunes folder on his NAS drive. – David Jul 5 at 14:04
  • I have a feeling that unless it was done using the Consolidate option, then all the addresses will point to the wrong place. See apple.stackexchange.com/a/293768/85275 & the 2 other questions linked, but I'm not sure you can still do it the old 'broken itl' way any more. The xml is no longer 'in charge' of the file structure, the itl is king… but if you break it it doesn't reform properly. Make some safety copies of the iTunes [data] files first & see how you go. – Tetsujin Jul 5 at 16:06
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    @Tetsujin — I was talking to the friend over the phone the other night and he decided just to start from scratch with an external hard drive backup of the music files, after which he would change where Sonos looked for them. Haven't heard back from him yet — he's one of the "lucky" ones working at the moment — so I don't know if it all went ok. It's not as if he has to rip his CDs again. Anyway, thanks for your suggestions. – David Jul 7 at 16:31

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