My Windows laptop (and HDD) have died, taking with it iTunes and my music. Things could have been a lot worse, but I fortunately have a back up of my mp3s. However, I have lost the iTunes library containing all my play counts, last played, ratings etc.

I am keen to recover this data and have bought software to access my iPod Touch as a hard drive which has enabled me to view the underlying files. However I don't seem to be able to find a version of the iTunes Library.itl (or iTunes Music Library.xml) file which would contain the meta data I need.

The only seemingly useful file I can find is the library.itdb file, which seems about the right file size to contain the data I'm looking for.

My question therefore is can anyone advise if there is a way of recreating the library .itl or .xml file from this .itdb (iTunes database) file?

NB. I have managed to extract the meta data I need, but the program I am using creates its own paths to the mp3 files, which would leave every track broken.

2 Answers 2


You never said whether your hard drive is dead. If it's not, pull it out and use it as an external drive (with the help of a SATA-Firewire adapter). Use Migration Assistant.app to copy over your music, or just copy your iTunes folder (e.g., "~/Music/iTunes Media/").

Then, the next time open up iTunes, hold down alt as you tell it to open. In the following dialog box, select the new location of your iTunes Media folder.

My apologies if your hard drive is legitimately dead. I don't yet have privileges to comment on a question, which would have been a more appropriate vector for asking you to clarify the state of your hard drive.

  • Thanks Merchako for a great answer, but unfortunately my hard-drive was knackered so I couldn't retrieve the data from it. I should have mentioned that in the original question.
    – ajcw
    Commented Feb 11, 2011 at 10:21

Is this what you're looking for?


  • Thanks Harv - it could be what I'm looking for but I'm on Windows and that script is Mac only :o(
    – ajcw
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 14:00

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