Saturday, 4 July 2015

How To Downgrade from iTunes 12.2 to 12.1.2

Firstly I will explain a little why I wanted to downgrade to the previous version of iTunes but if you just want to get down to business then skip the next four paragraphs of woe and  head down to where it says DISCLAIMER! and the bullet points that follow.

I use iTunes primarily for organising my digital music collection. Over the years I've become increasingly concerned as iTunes gradually got slower and slower as Apple added more non music elements to the platform. The day my selected playlists stopped synching properly to my phone wasn't a happy day either.

With all the hype surrounding Apple Music I sort of forgot how disappointed I had been with some previous iTunes upgrades and, as I am increasingly using music streaming services to demo new music and wanted to check Apple Music, I just went full upgrade on day one - bad move!  Here are just a few post upgrade user experiences from my favourite iTunes blogger.

Anyway after a couple of hours using Apple Music I realised that it offered nothing that I didn't already have and that I didn't like the user interface compared to the far more intuitive and functional Deezer and Spotify. I then went to use iTunes as normal and it was a MESS! Some playlists were showing in the previous iTunes 12.1.2 format, some were showing in the new more visually appealing 12.2 format but without the bit rate, star ratings and comments that I had so meticulously added for each track. When I went to check the view options to restore the missing items the view options option was greyed out!

I then went to organise this weeks radio show and started selecting some tracks. Every time I double clicked a track to listen I got the spinning wheel for 2 or 3 seconds which I also got when skipping into the track for the first time, although further skipping into that track was instantaneous as normal. Now for someone who has to demo lots of music this was the final deal breaker, the prospect of spending the next few years staring at that multi-coloured spinning wheel several hundred times a day was too much hence the search began to role back to the previous version of iTunes. Just in case you are wondering I run a 2.9GHz Intel Core i5, late 2013 iMac so processing power is definitely not the issue!

First off DISCLAIMER! I am not a techie but fairly computer literate. I researched the forums extensively and thought carefully before attempting the following steps as my music collection and it's organisation are integral to my life. This method has worked great for me and after 48 hours (now 5 days) of using iTunes I have not noticed any problems, all my playlists seem to be in order along with all metadata (well apart from the songs that Apple has messed up over the years which I am still finding!). Obviously I can't be responsible if things go tits up, all I can say is that this method, after five days use and observation seems to have worked perfectly for me. If you are a technical whizz or a blackbelt in iTunes and would like to share any warnings or advice in the comments section that would be appreciated by all, please try and put it in layman terms if you do.

Here's how I did it.

  • Firstly I would recommend logging in to Apple Music if you subscribed and selecting the option which turns off the automatic subscribe option when your free trial ends as without the 12.2 version of iTunes you can't use Apple Music. Here's how to unsubscribe.
  •  Secondly you need to delete the present 12.2 version of iTunes. I partly followed these instructions which recommend using AppZapper but I did it with Appcleaner which was already installed on my machine. The use of Pacifist and the way they reinstalled the previous version of iTunes seemed a bit unnecessary, perhaps as I was using Time Machine & they didn't?
  • I then researched when the previous version of iTunes was released (April 9, 2015). I then went back in my Time Machine backups and found the previous version 12.1.2 of iTunes which I had installed on April 10. I then selected it and restored it onto my computer. If you don't use Time Machine then you will have to find a link to download iTunes 12.1.2 which, as I didn't use that method, I can't supply.
  • Next up you will have to rename a couple of easy to find files and move one of them to a new folder which sounds daunting but in fact is very simple as this very informative video demonstrates perfectly. As I had updated iTunes to 12.2 on July 1st, I copied, pasted then renamed to "iTunes Library.itl" the most recent previous library version which in my case was called "iTunes Library 2015-07-01.itl" (you should have one dated the day you upgraded to iTunes 12.2) as instructed in the video and hey presto I opened iTunes and everything was working again just the way it had done before I upgraded to iTunes 12.2.

Now I just hope I can continue using iTunes 12.1.2 for the foreseeable future, although I am sure Apple will try and force me into an upgrade at some time which is why I am currently looking for new dedicated music software options to organise my digital collection. If anyone has got any recommendations I would be happy to know about them.

In the meantime check out this weeks radio show, it's a thing of musical wonder  :)

Audio Texture is an independent music consultancy specialising in putting extraordinary music in the ordinary world. We love music even more than chocolate & we constantly research, listen to & painstakingly collate what we consider to be the best music in the world. So we thought it would be a nice idea to put out a weekly radio show to spread the word about some of our musical discoveries & support the world of quality, underground music.

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