iTunes 7.3: The iTunes Library file cannot be saved. An unknown error occurred (-50) 17

iTunes 7.3.1 is suppose to fix this issue.

iTunes 7.3: The iTunes Library file cannot be saved. An unknown error occurred (-50)

I would not recommend downloading iTunes 7.3 unless you absolutely need to. I was greeted to this error: “The iTunes Library file cannot be saved. An unknown error occurred (-50)” after iTunes attempts to upgrade the library. It seems every version of iTunes has some problem or another after install, but this is the first time I’ve had some such error.

Apple’s message board indicates that many people on Mac OS X and Windows are having the problem. I see a few people who have a large library and have the library on a external hard drive as I do, but it’s not clear that this is the cause. What seems to be the cause is some sort of permissions issue. Possibly. Hopefully Apple gets this one fixed soon.

Update 07/01/07 10:54 AM: There’s suggestions to use this Apple tech note to recreate your library. The only problem with this tech note is it will delete any customizations in the library, like ratings and playcounts. I’m going to revert my install to iTunes 7.2 until Apple comes out a fix.

Update 07/02/07 12:29 PM: MaxFixIt is covering the iTunes error now. They have several suggestions including checking for iTunes add ons, Disabling APE for iTunes and restarting in safe mode. I tired all the suggestions and none of them worked. I’m going to play with Tiger Cache Cleaner and see if it will clean up anything.

Update 08/02/07 5:55 PM: Fixed! I removed most of my podcasts, most of them were video podcasts. Once of them must have been screwed up in the iTunes database.

Update 07/06/07 3:49 PM: I re subscribed to some of the podcasts, video and audio, since deleting them all. So far there’s been no problem with any of them. They are syncing with my AppleTV and my iPod. I didn’t add them all though. There maybe some that I didn’t add that maybe causing the problem.

If you don’t like the idea of deleting all of your podcasts, try deleting a few at a time. Starting with the video podcasts. Be sure you delete the whole podcast, not just the individual episodes.

About Greg Smith

Greg is a early adopter and likes products made by Apple Inc. He grew up in Chandler, Arizona and can be found on the internet at Flickr, Twitter, YouTube or Google+. When Greg is not writing on his blogs Greg In The Desert and Always Very Busy, he is working at his full time job at Intel Corporation in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Greg is not an official representative of Intel Corporation, writings by Greg are his own personal writings and do not represent the opinions of his employer.

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17 thoughts on “iTunes 7.3: The iTunes Library file cannot be saved. An unknown error occurred (-50)

  • Ryan

    Appear to have just fixed the same problem by deleting all my podcasts. BTW – just got back from Transformers and I gotta’ go back!

  • Bonni

    I had the same problem and fixed it also by deleting all my podcasts. It is sad to see them all gone now… but at least that darn error message has stopped popping up.

  • Geoff

    I just restarted my computer and received the same error message. My iTunes library is as well stored on an external hard drive. I only had 3 videopodcasts but i deleted them all and that seemed to do the trick.
    Thanks, geoff
    Ps. i saw transformers last night and it is a sick movie

  • Sean

    I moved my video podcasts to an external hard drive and then removed the hard drive. Opened iTunes and let it construct its library file. Restarted. Then I drug all my pod casts back to iTunes. Everything works fine now. Thank you for posting that the podcasts were the problem. My guess is that the iPhone has a different formating for the different screen size than the iPod Video, and that is causing issues in the update.

  • Kevin

    I’ve deleted my podcasts but every time iTunes restarts restarts they show up again in my podcasts but with an exclamation point beside them because it can’t find the file since I deleted them. Any ideas?

  • Greg Smith

    I wouldnt just delete the individual files, but the whole podcast. iTunes should ask if you want to delete them or keep them, select delete.
    Keep track of the names then go back to the iTunes store and add them back later.

  • Aaron

    For me the problem was customized sorting I’d done since the 7.2 came out.
    This worked for me, with no loss of any library information. YMMV.
    For me the problem was that I had customized some of the new “Sort” fields introduced in the last version.
    I could tell it was a problem because I had used the sort field to sort by last name (for example “Simon, Paul” instead of “Paul Simon”) and it was sorting by “Paul Simon” even though the sort field said “Simon, Paul”. But after opening the information panel and hitting OK (or Next), it did sort it by “Simon, Paul”. So then I had two Paul Simon entries, one for P (for the ones that hadn’t been fixed yet) and one for S (for the ones that had).
    I then fixed all my entries by viewing all the songs in the browser, viewing information for the first, and clicking Next all the way through. Boring but it worked! I also only had about 800 songs, so it wasn’t actually too bad.
    And after that it was able to write the library!
    This version also does nicer things with the Artist listing; for albums mainly by one artist but with one song done jointly, (example: I have a B.B. King album with a song by “B.B. King and U2″). I use “B.B. King” as the sort field for both and then only “B.B. King” shows up in the artist listing; the song by “B.B. King and U2″ is under the B.B King list. Nice!

  • Aaron

    I think after you get the library in a state that 7.3 “likes” it will save your changes. For some people that’s meant deleting video podcasts; for me it meant fixing the sorting information. From the comments it seems that for some people neither works.

  • David S

    Dont do all of the above. Simply delete all Podcasts and it will work fine. Then resubscribe to the podcasts you want. That worked for me