ufoIt’s that time of the week again when classic rock king Self Made Man offers his unique slant on the world of music.

And today he recalls the living nightmare of losing his lovingly assembled iTunes library – and the continues absence of some classic Scorpions artwork.

Check out is exclusive column right here very week. 

The nightmare happened this week – and it’s all Fleetwood Mac’s fault.

There I was accessing the iTunes store  to download Mac’s Extended Access EP – a four-track release featuring three songs written by Lindsey Buckingham and a long-lost Stevie Nicks composition – when…………KAPUT.

My iTunes library, my pride and joy, my lovingly gathered and expensively assembled music collection disappeared into the ether.

I panicked, I cursed, I despaired. I hated myself for delaying the day I promised to back up all my music.

This was the moment I’d dreaded for years and as a technophobe, I didn’t have a clue how to retrieve it.

Eventually, I did find my iTunes library. Well, a truncated version of it featuring just 923 songs – those that I had downloaded from the accursed iTunes Store.

But that still left 12,355 missing. There was only one thing to do.

I rang Cavtec, my trusty computer experts, who treat my IT ignorance with compassion, understanding and 99 times out of 100, find a solution.

And so within hours of dismantling my hard drive and handing it over, the phone call I’d been waiting for duly arrived.

“We’ve found the libary,” said the voice, resisting the temptation of revealing exactly where they’d found it in the knowledge that such technical information would have gone in one ear and out of the other.

My joy and relief, however, was tempered by a caveat. “It’s all there,” the voice continued. “But it’s back in its raw format.”

This meant, I was to discover, it was as if I had just downloaded all 12,355 tracks that very day.

So what, you may very well ask. You’ve got your music back, what more do you want?

Well, of course, I’m grateful but fillet steak tastes so much better with black pepper sauce and mushrooms.

The fact is I missed my iTunes library in its previous form, which showed how many times I’d played every track and when each one was last played.

A trivial detail? Maybe. But it had proved a tracker of my life since starting the library in 2005.

Most played tracks – Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb, Shine One You Crazy Diamond and Brain Damage, Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir, Ten Years Gone and Lemon Song, Neil Young’s On The Beach album, UFO’s Strangers In the Night, Farewell to Kings by Rush, AC/DC’s Back in Black…and so on.

It also meant that as far as the computer was concerned, I’d played Deep Purple’s Made in Japan as few times as their latest release, the excellent Now, What?! – which I only bought last Monday.

Of far more significance, however, was the fact I could no longer see when the last time I’d played a track.

For example, I remember playing Eric Claption’s Slowhand a few weeks ago and discovering that I’d last given it an airing on holiday in Italy 18 months ago. It took me back to that sunbed, overlooking Lake Como with a chilled Peroni by my side.

Similarly, when I played Aerosmith’s Toys In The Attic, I could picture the traffic jam the family was stuck in for hours travelling through Switzerland that very same holiday. Sweet emotion, it definitely was not!

Yes, I know there’s a touch of OCD about it all – and I admit, this latest revelation sounds pathetic.

I regularly play my iTunes library on shuffle, which isn’t a problem because I like nearly everything on it (except for my wife’s Take That album!).

A fortnight ago, I had to pop out for half an hour and left my computer playing away to myself. On returning home, to my horror, I saw Away In A Manger and White Christmas had been played – in bloody April.

Categorised in the “holiday” genre section where every other track had been played in December, they stuck out like sore thumbs. I was seriously tempted to delete the tracks but now it doesn’t matter anymore.

I’m having to live with my library in its new format and surprise, surprise, I’m bearing up rather well.

But there is one other downside. All the album artwork disappeared when the library crashed and I have had to restore the covers manually.

Of my 1,144 albums, previously artwork could be found for about 95 per cent of them. Now only about 75 per cent can be retrieved.

And for some bizarre reason, around two thirds of The Scorpions back catalogue, including multi-million selling Love At First Sting, Blackout and Savage Amusement can’t be found.

The music’s still there and that’s the main thing. That’s what I’m telling myself, the music’s the main thing, the music’s the main thing. The rest doesn’t really matter, the rest………

Ian Murtgah