Why does iTunes always lose my songs?

I'm on a Macbook Pro running Lion with iTunes 11. For the past year, iTunes randomly loses about 20 songs at a time and says it lost the location of the songs. I go into the Music>iTunes>iTunes Media>Music folder and search for the songs but they're completely gone. I didn't change the name of any of the folders or files.

In the beginning I would actually go and re-download each song individually but once I put all of those songs back, ANOTHER set of 20 songs would be lost. The songs it loses are completely random, and sometimes the songs are songs I downloaded several years ago.

Does anyone know a way to prevent this from happening?

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Same problem

I have the same problem, except it deletes all of my songs at the same time. I have had this happen 3 out of the 5 times I have opened iTunes this week. Talk about being frustrated.... Sad

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Same Issue But Much Larger Scale

I have the same problem but Itunes has lost 1,350 songs currently. I keep my music on an external and fill up a 160 gb ipod. I have re-loaded the songs in the past but inevitably it will happen again. I have wondered if it was the format of the songs but that does not appear to be case. I am not sure if it was because sometimes I don't have the drive plugged in when itunes is opened but if it happens to you when the music is on your computer that must not be the case. Is there a way to sort the lirbary to ID all of the songs not found? Maybe I could identify some sort of pattern. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Just a sanity check.

If you have a collection like that, wouldn't we have backups?

Also, since each song is a file, couldn't we check that the folder and get a count of the songs in that folder to keep track?

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