Some years ago, I purchased some exclusive U2 concert music that appeared on iTunes. The album was simply called “Exclusive” and featured a handful of previously unreleased cuts of songs. I purchased the acoustic version of Stuck in a Moment and Beautiful Day, recorded live from one of their concerts in Boston.
The songs were only 128kbps so I deleted them from my iTunes library fully expecting to see the 256k versions since I’m an iTunes Match subscriber. No such luck. I kept getting 128k versions and even worse, I could no longer play Beautiful Day (Live from Boston) on my computers. I could redownload the file, but when I tried to play it, then iTunes would keep asking me for my iTunes username and password in an endless loop.
I contacted iTunes support and we finally uncovered the problem: the licensing for that music had expired. As a result, I couldn’t re-download it properly to my computer and bottom line: I was stuck with being able to listen to Beautiful Day live only on my iPhone and iPad. Nothing worked—nothing!
Then, I finally figured out a solution that I wanted to share.
Years ago, I had to transfer songs from one iPod to another and had come across some software that would mount my iPod as a hard disk. I was then able to manually import my music into my iTunes Library.
Figuring I could do the same with my iPhone, I scoured the Internet looking for solutions and I finally came upon this knowledge base article from Apple on how to recover your iTunes Library from your iOS device.
I had tried all the initial items so I figured I’d try some of the media recovery software options listed at the bottom of the article.
|When you look at the files inside the folder, you’ll see a gibberish of files with odd numbers as their names. Fear not, these are your music files.|
I had to open the files inside iTunes. The protected files would not play inside QuickTime. After playing a series of songs, I finally found the song I was looking for. Because iTunes would not re-load the song to iCloud and to alleviate any future problems, I copied that one song to a playlist, burned it to a CD and then re-imported it back. Doing so removed the copy protection layer that had been causing the problem.
That did it. I was finally able to load that one song to my server and finally play it without issue on other devices—and not just my phone!