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Recover a corrupted iPod iTunes database via copying iPod
I don't think this is a common occurance, but if it happens to you, it can be really annoying. Something indeterminate happened to my iPod, with the result that when it was connected to iTunes, iTunes popped up a message saying that it could not read the contents of the iPod, and that I would need to restore it.

okay, all well and good, except that disk mode still worked, all the files were there, as well as all the music in /Volumes » iPod_name » iPod_Control » Music, in its requisite F00-F49 (there might be more or fewer folders on different iPod models; I'm not sure) folders. Needless to say, with a total of 11GB free on my laptop, and 22GB+ of music on my iPod, I was not looking forward to copying back and forth more files than I had room to move, nor did I want to buy another hard drive just for this purpose.

A web search turned up nothing appreciable, except that people seem to post about this often with PC formatted iPods, and that nobody had a solution other than copy all files, restore firmware, copy back. I found, however, that when I removed the iTunesDB file from /Volumes » iPod_name » iPod_Control » iTunes, the error did not crop up in iTunes. However, there weren't any entries under the 'music' tab, as I'd removed the iTunes database file. That pointed to the culprit, but what was the solution? Here's what I came up with.

Quit iTunes if open, and then navigate to /Volumes » iPod_name » iPod_Control » iTunes (you'll need to have the Finder set to show invisibles). Then trash the corrupt iTunesDB file and reopen iTunes -- your iPod should show up normally, with an empty music library. Open all the F00-F49 (or whatever) folders in /Volumes » iPod_name » iPod_Control » Music, and drag the audio files (not the folders) onto the iPod icon in the iTunes sidebar.

I should note that moving large numbers of files like this, with the delicate components of the iPod, can be very slow and make your iPod very hot. While I guess it's possible to select all the files (again, without the enclosing folders) and dump them back into the iPod all at once, it might take forever holding the mouse over the icon waiting for it to acknowledge that something's trying to be dropped on it, and an equal eternity waiting for the files to process. I went at it a few folders' worth of files at a time to break it up and let the iPod cool down somewhat. Needless to say, this took a bit of time, but it was far better than a reformat, and I was just happy the thing wasn't bricked!

Doing this simply reconstructs the iTunesDB file, it does not actually copy all your files over again. I'm sure there must be a way to automate all this, but that's beyond my current ability. Now the final step: Make a copy of the iTunesDB file (I called mine iTunesDB_bak`date`), so that when this happens again, it won't take nearly as long to recover. Of course, you'll need to back up the iTunesDB file every time you add or remove music from the iPod; another process that could probably be automated. I'm running a 4G 40GB iPod (B&W), firmware 3.1.1/iPodlinux (installer version 0.4b r4a) with a PowerBookG4 1.5GHz 12", running 10.4.10.
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Recover a corrupted iPod iTunes database via copying
Authored by: os4 on Jul 26, '07 08:38:34AM

everytime this has happened to me, all I have had to do is remount the ipod (ie, unmount, unplug, replug ipod). Each time, the ipod is successfully recognized.



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Recover a corrupted iPod iTunes database via copying
Authored by: p0pper on Jul 29, '07 10:22:12PM

ya, i tried that several times in this instance, with no luck, which prompted this whole deal. glad it worked for you, though!



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Decay heat is not ordered information.
-Patrick Lui (SLAC)
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Recover a corrupted iPod iTunes database via copying
Authored by: morespace54 on Jul 26, '07 10:39:48AM

Well, I wish I knew that before... It happened to me a few times with my 4G... Most of the time, I did reformat the device and copy my music all over again (and again, and again).

I also found out that sometimes, all I had to do was plug the iPod in my laptop (instead of my iMac, or a different computer with iTunes). Although, most of the time it didn't work...

Obviously, my iPod was set not to auto-sync...

Thanks!



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Recover a corrupted iPod iTunes database via copying
Authored by: p0pper on Nov 18, '07 08:18:54PM

oops. i went back and tried to use my ipod after unmounting it again, and this didn't seem to work. it shows up in the song list ok, but nothing plays and no third-party ipod software (most notably iPodRip) can read the 'reconstructed' database.

too bad, as i was very excited to have something to contribute to this site. oh well, next time!

-peterwong

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::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Decay heat is not ordered information.
-Patrick Lui (SLAC)
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