I have hundreds of ripped music CD files on an external drive and iTunes currently points to that library and file location. I've had this library since Yosemite and now run High Sierra. The issue is iTunes version 12.8.x doesn't seem to access these files directly and all of the playlists are missing (I have iTunes Library.itl library files dating back years I can swap out but none seem to work). All the ripped songs appear in the iTunes Music Library browser as before, but they all have a cloud download icon next to them in iTunes. How do I get iTunes just to show and play the ripped files from the hard drive without having to download them from icloud or stream them. I'm currently off-grid so don't have to broadband with lots of bandwidth.
After endless futile searches I found that the iTunes library for 12.8.x uses an xml file to reference the original music files. For some reason this file referenced the ~ user library and not the external drive where the music files are located. I did a search and replace in BBEdit and it relinked to the local files on relaunch.