Friday, December 18, 2009

I treasure my iTunes library a bit more than is, um, sane (disappointed update)

Note: this message was started Friday, December 18.

Lately I've been having an annoying problem with iTunes. I've been getting an error message that I can't figure out:

"The iTunes library file cannot be saved. You do not have enough access privileges for this operation."

Could anything be more ominous? iTunes gives you no suggestions or options for solving this problem: they merely state that a problem exists. Searching their help files is no help. How does one remedy a lack of access privileges?  "Cannot be saved" is apocalyptic and makes me apoplectic when there's seemingly (a) nothing I can do about it and (b) no explanation of what this even means.

Patrick and I both tried to figure it out but none of the suggested solutions we found at Apple's site and various chat boards or whatever have worked (I'm not going to tell you what we did because for one thing, none of it worked and I don't want to perpetuate a bunch of useless fixes. For another thing, people can be very judgmental or unhelpfully helpful about this sort of thing, and I'm not looking for more suggestions at this point, unless you're willing to come over here and do it yourself. I'll buy you lunch!). It started, I guess, when we got a new computer and operating system (yay for Windows 7!). Patrick reinstalled iTunes and everything was good for awhile, until we started getting this error message a blurry amount of time sometime later. I never had this problem when I just had my iPod, so I also don't know if it's the combination of having an iPod and and iPhone? It seems unlikely but what the hell do I know? Earlier this month (or maybe it was last month) I talked to an Apple "Genius" and he told me to do something I had actually done (uninstall and reinstall iTunes, which apparently you have to do in a verrrry specific order or else the planet will blow or the aliens from "Independence Day" will return to Earth intent on destruction). I mean, does the fact that I did what he said before I was told by a Genius to do it make me a Genius? I think not, because one morning soon after, I woke up and came in here to my messy office to download some music and sync my iPod, and my entire fucking library had been wiped out. iTunes was still there, but none of my songs were. We tried all kinds of stuff, but none of it worked.

So I, of course, cried.

My library isn't super-huge (I have about 6,000 songs) but I have cared for and nurtured it for a couple of years now, and it is always growing and being perfected. Yes, I know that sounds creepy. Anyway, I felt like a tool for crying, but Patrick got pissed off (or pretended to be pissed off: all I know is he was incredibly sweet about it) and said, "That's it! Apple sucks! You shouldn't be crying!" I had to leave so I couldn't stick around and see what he did, but while I was at the theater, he fixed it. I didn't even bother to check when I got home because I had resigned myself to having to rebuild my library, but when I did look, there it was, exactly like it had been before the Great Erasure, and everything was fine. (He used the "previous version" thing that's a feature of Windows or something and there apparently were more technical things involved, but I wasn't here to see what he did, and realizing my long-lost library had been saved, I really didn't have time to listen to the details. He was a hero, got a big kiss, and I got reacquainted with my library.)

A few weeks later I started getting the message again. So now, afraid that there's a limited amount of times you can see that message before the whole library is erased (again!), I've once again called Apple.

Right now I am on the phone with Mike (Suzanne started helping me, but Mike is a Senior Advisor. A Genius's Genius, if you will), and he's puzzling it out for me. I have him on speaker phone so while he's crunching this problem, I'm typing. I wonder what he thinks I'm doing? He has a slight Southern-ly accent. When he's thinking, he clucks his tongue. Somehow it's charming. Other times, I think he puts the phone on mute, because all the background noises go away.

Right now we have discovered that my music is in two folders: the iTunes Media folder, and inside the Music Folder that is inside the iTunes media folder! What the hell this all means and if it's the cause of the problem is for Mike to figure out.

Update: Saturday, December 19

So, Mike and I were on the phone together for two hours. He assessed the situation, put me on hold for awhile, I played a few moves in FB Scrabble, kept a kitty from vomiting on the bed, and when he came back, he had some things for us to try. I think basically what I did was created a new iTunes ("iTunes 1"), which he had me do by holding down the shift key, clicking on the start menu, and opening iTunes. Several steps later, a new iTunes had been created. We repopulated (his word, not mine) the new iTunes with my library, which took forever (Mike was impressed with the number of songs I have). Oh, there's something else we did, too, which involved the duplicate library that we did before we created the new iTunes but beats me what it was. I just followed instructions.

Anyway, I was able to stay on the line with him until my library finished but at that point I absolutely had to go: I had to be in Culver City to pick my mom up to take her to chemotherapy at noon, and it was about 11 already when it was finished, and I still had to take a shower! So Mike gave me some parting words of wisdom, counseled me to email him on Monday if anything new happened, and sent me on my way. I didn't have time yesterday after getting home from Culver City (it took me two hours in traffic, and that's not an exaggeration) to play with iTunes: I was too tired and worn out. Instead I watched a couple of cheesy movies on TMC ("Amazing Grace and Chuck," I've already forgotten the name of the other one), and went to bed.

I've been using iTunes all morning (unfortunately my iPod is in the car and I'm still in my pajamas so I haven't synced it yet, but my iPhone synced and backed up just fine) with no problems. And I am getting to know and appreciate my library yet again.

Last 25 songs I listened to during this post (I'm way slow today) - with links:
  1. Back to the Wall, by Divinyls (Make You Happy)
  2. Seen and Not Seen, by Talking Heads (Remain in Light)
  3. You've Never Been Right, by Melvins (A Senile Animal)
  4. Naked Eye, by the Who (Who's Next)
  5. Videotape, by Radiohead (In Rainbows)
  6. My Life Would Suck Without You, by Kelly Clarkson (All I Ever Wanted) shut up
  7. These Foolish Things, by Bryan Ferry (More Than This - The Best of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music)
  8. Walk, by Blind Melon (Soup)
  9. Caligulove, by Them Crooked Vultures (Them Crooked Vultures)
  10. Vamos, by the Pixies (Surfer Rosa)
  11. Doublewide, by Corrosion of Conformity (America's Volume Dealer)
  12. Sofrimento, by Waldemar Bastos (Luaka Bop 10th Anniversary: Zero Accidents on the Job)
  13. Timeless Melody, by the La's (The La's)
  14. Celebrated Summer, by Husker Du (New Day Rising)
  15. Glider, by Captain Beefheart (The Spotlight Kid)
  16. I Heard Her Call My Name, by the Velvet Underground (White Light/White Heat)
  17. Statue of Liberty, by Descendents (Milo Goes to College)
  18. Can't Get Used to Losing You, by the English Beat (I Just Can't Stop It)
  19. Water Buffalo, by Aldo Romano, Louis Sclavis, Henri Texier, Guy Le Querrec (Suite Africaine)
  20. The Love You Save, by the Jackson 5 (Anthology: Jackson 5)
  21. The Smiling Cobra, by Melvins (Nude With Boots)
  22. Everyone Says Hi, by David Bowie (Heathen)
  23. Mongoloid, by Devo (Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!)
  24. Iluvya, by Thom Yorke (Analyse)
  25. Understanding, by fIREHOSE (Fromohio)
Update: Saturday, December 19 (about an hour later)

So I was syncing my iPhone (I'd changed some settings) when I got the goddamn error message again.

Something is seriously wacky here.


    1. Same problem here with the itunes access privileges, there is something wrong with itunes. I removed itunes, deleted the library files and restarted and still having the exact same problems. Apple is having problems with itunes but they will never admit it. I guess I'll have to wait unit a newer version of itunes comes out. Never had this problem in Vista. I'm running Windows 7 32bit.

    2. R.T.S., you're right: I don't think Mike, my "Senior Advisor" had even heard of that error message. And I don't mean to put him down; he was totally trying to help. I received a shiny new laptop for Christmas, so I was able to transfer everything safely and start over; however when I uninstalled iTunes from the old system (following the order of operations very carefully!) there is still one little bit that won't let go! Anyway, good luck to you! I hope you figure it out... and I hope I don't see that message again!