Lost Music Playlist on Mac

All of a sudden the Playlist have disappeared from my Music app on my Mac running Mac OS Catalina.
I have tried to restore the iTunes Libraries (.itl + .xml) from Time Machine. And even restore the entire iTunes and Music folder. Nothing works.

Googling only brings up old insructions or how to restore on an iPhone.

I am stumped by stupid iTunes… :frowning:

When I worked in customer support, I always asked the absolute simplest questions first. That’s what I’ll try here, so my apologies if you’ve already tried this: Are the playlists hidden in the sidebar? You can tell by hovering your pointer over the word “Playlists.”

Thanks for your reply, yes always start with the simple things.
Is it plugged in? Turned on? etc etc :joy:

I made a test playlist witch showed immediately but non of the old playlist reappeared.

When I had something similar the only way I could fix it was to sign out on the music app and create a new library by holding down the option key when starting.

Did that get your playlists back?

What baffles me is that even while restoring the entire music / iTunes folder the playlists are still gone

yeah, everything was ok after that - I was having trouble with playlists synching.
I think signing out and trashing everything that was there was kinda the nuclear option but it’s the only one that worked.

After many times replacing the various .plist, .tl files and .xml files from the time machine backup I keep ending up with the last available. Playlist library containing a “test” playlist.
I found the .plist that was holding the “test” playlist in the ~/Library. Unfortunately
there is no similar .plist available in the Time Machine history.
My conclusion is that something must have changed that is beyond our control and I cannot recover from a backup.

iMazing saved the day.
I was able to restore the playlist from the iPhone back to Music.
The process was a little bit messy but nothing I could not fix by deleting duplicate playlist. Easy enough, much better then hand crafting 15 playlist with each up to 100 tracks…