Runtime: 1 Lazy Saturday
Moving to iCloud? You might not be aware that some of your files will error out for no apparent reason. Here’s how to fix them.
So, I decided to give iTunes iCloud service a try. Like anything Apple, I’m always a bit skeptical. They always promise the world, but when it comes to iTunes (in particular) I am always especially wary. My music is precious. iTunes always seems to have mind of it’s own.
So I signed the fate of my music collection over to the iCloud. Lo and behold, nearly half of my songs weren’t able to be uploaded to iClud [sic]. There’s an icon that looks like a cloud and an exclamation mark:
It’s not a very helpful error. It doesn’t give you an error code, or tell you why an error occurred. “OK,” indeed.
So naturally, I put this error into the Google machine, and found a few threads on the subject. The original solution was found in this thread, and I have chosen to document the process with more detail. Come along for the ride.
How to fix this error the least painful way, step-by-step.
(Using iTunes 10.6.1 – most current version as of this writing.)
Step 1: Sort all your music by iCloud Status.
If you don’t see iCloud status you can right-click the bar with the column names and check iCloud Status:
Step 2: Convert the Offending Songs to MP3 (even if they are already in MP3 format).
[Author's note: Read in this step in full before beginning.]
After sorting, select all your songs with an error status, right-click on the list and choose Create MP3 Version (even if they already are in MP3 format).
You will wind up with duplicate songs, and later you’re going to delete the originals (when iTunes has finished converting them all). Afterwards, with luck, iTunes will find a match for your songs and you’ll be able to download the highest quality version of the song from the iTunes catalog if you so choose. Still, it’s wise to double-check your MP3 conversion settings to make sure you have the best quality file just in case iTunes doesn’t find a match (after you’ve gotten rid of the error problem).
So before converting your songs, check your MP3 settings. Go to iTunes -> Preferences -> General Preferences and open the Import Settings Screen:
Depending on how many songs your converting, this could take a long while. This process takes about 8-10 seconds per song (on a Dual Core Macbook Pro with 16GB of RAM). It may take longer on your computer. In my case it took 1984 songs about 4.5 hours to duplicate.
Meanwhile, don’t touch iTunes.
Step 3: Wait patiently for iTunes to finish.
Leave the songs you’ve selected highlighted so you can hit the delete button when iTunes has finished with the conversion. I’m always afraid to touch my computer when it’s doing hard work like this. Go play with your kids or take your significant other out for a walk or call your mom.
Step 4: Delete the offending songs.
Now that you have duplicates of all the offending songs, while your selection of files is still active, hit the delete key…
Next iTunes will ask if you want to keep the files or move them to the trash. You don’t want all those duplicate files taking up space, so Move to Trash.
Step 5: Quit iTunes
Step 6: Open iTunes.
Now, all the songs that used to have error next to them have another icon with an ‘x’ inside the Cloud icon. This means the status is Removed.
Step 7: Select all songs with an ‘x’ cloud icon (Status: Removed).
Step 8) Right-click on the selection and choose Add to iCloud.
Step 9) Grab a Cocktail. You’re done.
This process will take some more time. iTunes will check your songs against the catalog and find matches and upload your songs that don’t have matches, etc, etc. You know. The way it’s supposed to work the first time.