Sometimes iTunes crashes. Sometimes something else crashes and forces you to restart your Mac with iTunes running. Usually it’s no big deal. It happens.
But sometimes when that happens and you restart iTunes after your Mac boots you get this window:
The scariest window ever.
Because here’s what it means. Something REALLY FUCKING BAD just happened to your iTunes library file. This file keeps track of the location of all your music, how many times it’s been played, what you’ve rated it, and a bunch of other information.
And if that file gets corrupted you have to start over again. You can try to rebuild, but it doesn’t always work. Or it doesn’t work well at all.
This has happened to me once. I was lucky to have a copy of the library backed up by Time Machine, but I had to re-add everything I added in the past day. However, if you don’t have a backup – or a recent backup – you are at risk of losing either a small amount of iTunes activity or everything.
If there’s one thing that needs to get fixed in iTunes 10 (or iTunes X, as I think it could be called), this is it. Yeah – iTunes needs to be a little faster and leaner. But more importantly it needs to be reliable and keep this information safe.