Deleted Apple Music playlists are showing up in Traktor. How can I get rid of them?

b_en Member Posts: 10 Member
edited December 2023 in Traktor Software & Hardware

When I started using Traktor, I made an effort to clean up all my Apple Music playlists – and deleted a lot of them during the process. Some of those deleted playlists are still showing up in Traktor though. Not all, but some, seems to be random.

I went into ~/music, deleted all old Apple Music library files, the old iTunes folder which was still there from when Apple Music was still iTunes, deleted everything I identified as legacy ... no success.

I can't even delete the old playlists in Traktor – which makes sense in a way, as the "Music" section should reflect what's in "Music".

What do I have to do to get rid of old, deleted Apple Music playlists in Traktor?


  • Sunborn
    Sunborn Member Posts: 2,174 Expert
    edited December 2023

    If the obvious....

    1. Right-click the Playlist in the Browser Tree to open the context menu.
    2. Select Delete Playlist.

    ...doesn't work anymore (for some lists, as you said), then consider to clear those playlists first, then try to delete them again.

    If you can still can't delete them, i suggest you go to Track Collection, right-click on it and choose Check Consistency. When done, do not ignore the results but follow it's suggestions (deleting non-existing tracks, re-analyze files that not analyzed, etc.).

    If this doesn't work, it might be needed to delete the collection.nml and rebuild its database, however before do that, maybe is a good idea to post a screenshot of those playlists here

  • b_en
    b_en Member Posts: 10 Member
    edited December 2023

    Hey Sunborn,

    thanks for the answer.

    As I'm on a Mac using Apple Music, the playlists I'm talking about are under the "Music" icon in the Traktor file browser. They are essentially Apple Music playlists mirrored in Traktor, so you can't delete them from Traktor. If I right click as you suggested, there is no Delete Playlist, but only Import to Collection and Import to Playlist. I also can't clear those playlists, as there is already nothing in them (as I've already cleared and then deleted them on the Apple Music side of things).

    Check Consistency also does not help here, as the results do not refer to those playlists.

    I don't dare to delete collection.nml, as this is not about the tracks in my collection – it is about empty playlists under the Apple Music entry in Traktor, which I have already deleted a long time ago in Apple Music directly. But they still show up ...

  • Sunborn
    Sunborn Member Posts: 2,174 Expert

    i understand,

    i don't use Apple music so i can't help further,

    however, there is no separate file for playlist, they are also included in collection.nml !

    at least the "normal" playlists, so most probably the Apple ones too

    You can check by yourself if you open the collection.nml with an advanced text editor such as the Notepad++ (or its equal, for Mac, because it is a Windows app)

    What you might can do, is to do not delete it of course, but maybe you can temporary move it to another folder, as an experiment, to see what is going on

  • b_en
    b_en Member Posts: 10 Member

    Hi Sunborn,

    thanks again. Took your hint and opened collection.nml in a text editor. While all playlists I have created in Traktor show up there, the Apple Music playlists do not. For example, I can see an Apple Music playlist called "Monolake" in the Traktor file browser – but there is no playlist "Monolake" in collection.nml.

    I think Traktor is just mirroring playlists from the Apple Music app, so it makes sense that there are no playlist entries in collection.nml for them – as they have never been set up in Traktor.

    Problem is, Traktor is mirroring playlists that are no longer existing in Apple Music.

  • Sunborn
    Sunborn Member Posts: 2,174 Expert
    edited December 2023

    So the problem is at Apple Music side.

    As i said i don't know Apple Music because i don't use it, but i know this:

    Even if you deleted the playlists, it is possible to still exist in a form of cache or auto-backup on some obscured folder and Traktor actually sees that folder. Does it makes sense?

    So, if this is the case, you can go to the "storage & cache" option and click the "clear cache" button. Then check Traktor again.

    One last idea is this: Apple Music is actually a web-based app. Is that correct? So, the root of the problem might be your browser (Safari?) or where ever the internet is cached on Macs. If this assumption is correct, a cleaning application it might be the solution.

    I am pretty sure that, somewhere there is some kind of cache, and Traktor sees it.

    Other than that, I'm out of suggestions

  • b_en
    b_en Member Posts: 10 Member
    edited December 2023

    Apple Music is no web-based app like Spotify, it's a desktop app – although there is a web player. I don't use it though.

    Thanks for the hint to delete the cache. Did it. Also searched my whole laptop for an occurrence of a name of a playlist, to no avail. Deleted all old/unused Apple Music files. Still: The playlists show up in Traktor.

    I do not think that this is due to a file on my machine. Maybe Traktor queries the Apple Music API?

    Thanks for the help though!

  • Sunborn
    Sunborn Member Posts: 2,174 Expert

    I found an answer, but not a solution...

    According to one of our admins here, on this thread,

    ...i think you have to live with it, for the moment...

  • b_en
    b_en Member Posts: 10 Member

    Thanks Sunborn!

    Yeah, seems like it is what it is for now ...

  • Je Re
    Je Re Member Posts: 10 Member


    I have exactly the same ****** problem since more than a year and couldnt fix it. Its so annoying that there is no solution for this problem...!!!!!!!

  • MrCee
    MrCee Member Posts: 60 Advisor

    I haven't chimed in for a while regarding this but first thing I would suggest is to ensure you are not using legacy iTunes/Music files so double check TRAKTOR PREFERENCES and untick 'Use legacy XML library'

    Was this preference checked? It should not be. We use API integration now.

    When you scroll down to the node, you should only be able to see playlists that correctly exist in

    Note: when you are in Traktor and EXPAND the node, this is view only... don't expect to edit here. Instead make sure your playlists are perfect in first and then you can work with that.

    Your Traktor playlists are not the same, don't expect them to sync or be the same. Delete some and re-create some from node

  • MrCee
    MrCee Member Posts: 60 Advisor

    As an example, I have expanded the node, found a clean playlist I would like to import and click done...

    I now see this in Traktor playlists....

    So now we are here, you can see my expanded node and I have brought the playlist across to Traktor playlist (where you can now edit)... I'd like to know how you are seeing old playlists and please send through some screen shots.. happy to help

  • MrCee
    MrCee Member Posts: 60 Advisor
    edited January 11

    Just to be clear for anyone having issues with this, what you have nicely organised in your will be displayed in the node in Traktor and it is read only. and further AppleScript is a great way to organise you files/tags in bulk. There is an order of execution involved so sort it out before you open Traktor, and then check consistency when importing. After import, close Traktor so it writes/saves it's own tags and custom xml and you should be right.

    Just dont bulk edit/update while Traktor is open as when you close Traktor, it may update tags overwriting some changes you have made in (or any other preferred tag editor), so one app at a time would be my suggestion. Closing Traktor will potentially re-write its current state to tags and custom xml depending on your settings.

  • b_en
    b_en Member Posts: 10 Member

    Was this preference checked? It should not be. We use API integration now.

    No, it's not checked – I do not use legacy XML.

    When you scroll down to the node, you should only be able to see playlists that correctly exist in

    Yes, I know – I should! In fact, I do not. I see playlists here in the node that DO NOT EXIST in my Apple Music (

    Just to be clear for anyone having issues with this, what you have nicely organised in your will be displayed in the node in Traktor and it is read only. 

    This is not true for me – "ghost" playlists show up as well.

  • Rosi
    Rosi Member Posts: 1 Newcomer

    I've been having this same issue for a couple of years now. It's so frustrating as I like my playlists to be organised. I have several random old ones that are not in the Apple music application. Whatever I try - they're still there.

    Is deleting folders in Traktor something that Native Instruments could work on?

  • MrCee
    MrCee Member Posts: 60 Advisor
    edited January 20

    Just to confirm with everyone.. and apologies by asking the obvious (but haven't seen anyone mentioning this action in the thread) Check the node refresh status -> RIGHT CLICK -> Refresh playlists? This is not refreshed by a consistency check, you will need to perform this action....

    Right Click the node and Refresh Playlists.

    Now that the obvious is out of the way (it may help someone in the future), does anyone have *.m3u files in their folders? If so, remove them as will re-create playlists when "Add to Library" is used in, and if you see these ghost playlists in appear, they will show in the Traktor Node. But that's just a general check for now, I know this issue runs deeper on MacOS.

    When was the last time anyone did a clean install? There has been many changes In the last handful of years, such as untick "Use legacy XML iTunes Library" in Traktor File Management settings to use the API solely.

    APFS was released for MacOS in 2017, there were a whole lot of my mp3's that needed to be cleaned up at this stage that had special characters in file names that didn't translate well to backups and that included playlists which couldn't be fixed. And yes metadata would hang around until I dealt with it by a clean install.

    One ultimate way of testing your MacOS for issues regarding GHOST PLAYLISTS is this:

    1) Create a new user account on MacOS as Administrator, Check you have created Administrator again, then login.

    2) Open and the first thing to do is go into settings an UNCHECK 'Keep Music Media folder organised' and UNCHECK 'Copy files to Music Media folder when adding to library'

    3) ADD a folder containing mp3's to (don't import, but 'Add to Library') but do not add the entire home /USERNAME/Music folder as database folders are created within such as /USERNAME/Music/Music - depending on your Library name. Keep your actual music files outside of this. Ensure the folder(s) does not have .m3u files.

    4) Open Traktor, it should be empty, NOTE the settings when on first run, don't let it add your entire default /USERNAME/Music folder, step through each question understanding the dialog. You can later go into file management and specify folders directly

    5) Check that you haven't just added /USERNAME/Music in file management. If so, remove this and add specific folders which can be USERNAME/Music/SOMEFOLDER. I guess my tip is, just don't add the entire Music folder, not all of the subfolders in this directory should be used in Traktor as this directory will contain databases and other files sometimes hidden.

    6) Check the Node in Traktor, see if Ghost playlists exist?

    7) Right-click Track-Collection Node in Traktor and Import Music Folders

    Do any ghost playlists appear?

    Let me know how you go.

Back To Top