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How to Fix Apple Music Error: Item Not Available, This item can't be played

Posted to Apple Music News & Tips by Laurence Bradley on January 23, 2018


Sometimes, you can see that some songs are greyed out in your Apple Music app, and if you tap on the song to play it, an error message pops up telling you "Item Not Available, This item can't be played", this may ruin your mood when you are eager to listen to a certain song. This problem may be caused by various reasons and there are some tips you can use to fix the problem. Besides, we also recommend Apple Music Converter which can help you to convert Apple Music songs to MP3 or M4A you can use without limitation.

Why You Get Apple Music Item Not Available Error Message

When tapping a greyed out song in Apple Music app, you will get "Item Not Available, This item can't be played" error message. It's annoying. Actually, it could be caused by different reasons on different computers. It could be a sync problem when syncing from iTunes to iOS device, icloud music library problem caused by a lag network connection or an Apple Music server problem. However, according to our investigation, under most cases it would be a sync problem.

For example, the file is missing on your computer and it was still listed in your iTunes library, and you synced it. Or the file has been modified in some way, or it's an interrupt downloaded song. All such problems may make it unplayable in iTunes or Music App.

Apple Music Item Not Available problem

How to Fix "Item Not Available, This item can't be played" Problem?

There isn't a fixed solution, but you can try the following tips and there should be one working for you.

1. Authorize the Computer Again

In some cases, iTunes may “forget” that your music is authorized. So you can simply try to authorize the computer again. Click Account > Authorizations > Authorize This Computer. Or choose Deauthorize This Computer first then authorize it again.

2. Make Sure iCloud Music Library Is Turned On

If you use iTunes Match or iCloud Music Library, make sure you have turned on iCloud Music Library on your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and computer. If you accidentally turned off iCloud Music Library or it was turned off automatically, songs won't be downloaded from iCloud. That's why the song list is greyed out and you can't play any songs in the list.

It's easy to turn on iCloud Music Library. On iOS devices, go to Settings > Music, on Mac, Go to Menu > iTunes > Preference > General, and on Windows, Go to Menu > Edit > Preference > General. Simply check "iCloud Music Library".

Turn on iCloud Music Library

3. Remove the Song, Download Again and Re-sync

In iTunes, you can simply right-click on the song and choose "Delete from Library" and click "Remove Song" to confirm. Then add the song to iTunes library and download it again, then connect your device to PC/Mac and re-sync again. Please note that it would be better you add the song to original playlist and sync the same songs if you don't want to make any other change on your device.

However, if the problem is caused by Apple Music server problem, you may need to wait some time for the fix or you can check Apple Music server status, or contact Apple support using Apple Community or Twitter.

4. Purchase the Song in iTunes Store instead

If the song or album means a lot to you, you can go to iTunes store to purchase and download DRM-free M4A files instead of using Apple Music streaming.

5. Use Other Streaming Music Services

If you encounter "Item Not Available, This item can't be played" problem a lot, you can consider switching to another streaming music service like Spotify, Google Play Music, etc.

Convert Apple Music to MP3 or M4A to Avoid "Item Not Available, This item can't be played" Problem

By converting Apple Music tracks to MP3 or M4A, you can avoid most internet connection problem. You can copy the songs to external drive or removal USB driver, upload to Google Drive, One Drive or Dropbox, or use iTunes alternative programs to transfer music from iTunes to iOS device or vice versa to avoid sync problems caused by overstaffed iTunes. Besides, you can enjoy the converted Apple Music songs on iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle, PSP, Walkman and any MP3 players. To convert Apple Music to MP3, all you need is TuneMobie Apple Music Converter.

TuneMobie Apple Music Converter can remove DRM protection from Apple Music songs, convert Apple Music to all-purpose MP3 or M4A with ID3 tags and metadata retained at 16X faster conversion speed. It fully supports Windows 10 and macOS Mojave. It's the best solution to fix "Item Not Available, This item can't be played" problem. You can follow the steps below to convert Apple Music to MP3 or M4A in only a few clicks.

Step 1: Launch Apple Music Converter and iTunes will be loaded automatically. iTunes library will be listed as playlists in the left panel.

Apple Music Converter

Step 2: Choose Apple Music in Music playlist or separated Apple Music playlists. You can also use built-in search box to locate quickly.

Step 3: Choose MP3, M4A or other audio formats in the output format list, choose audio quality in profile list.

Step 4: If necessary, click Options button to change conversion speed and set a rule to rename and sort output files in bulk.

Step 5: Click Convert button to start conversion, after conversion, click "Open Output File" button to locate output MP3/M4A files.

Converting Apple Music

By the conversion, you can get Apple Music in MP3/M4A format and get rid of "Apple Music item not available" problem and enjoy your Apple Music subscription freely. Now download free trial of Apple Music Converter and have a try.

Apple Music Converter How-to Guides