1 2 Previous Next 22 Replies Latest reply: Dec 26, 2012 2:24 AM by turingtest2
jim94117 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Why can't Apple add the ability to remove duplicate songs from iTunes? Why does something so fundamental need to be purchased from third party programmers??

macbook pro, Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • 1. Re: Removing duplicate songs
    Jim VanLeeuwen Level 6 Level 6 (18,820 points)
    In iTunes, hold down the control key while selecting File -> Show Exact Duplicates.

    Select the one you want to delete and tap the "Delete" key.
  • 2. Re: Removing duplicate songs
    jim94117 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'd have to do this 40,000 times. I have 20,000 songs and 2 duplicates for each song for a total of 60,000 songs. I copied my external music library onto my mac. Then when I fired up iTunes it started importing. I cancelled iTunes. I restarted it an hour later. It started another indexing process. And now my 20,000 songs have all been scattered into a whole bunch of album directories and iTunes indicates that I have 60,000 songs. Arrrgghh. I REALLY don't want to delete 40,000 entries ONE BY ONE. I REALLY don't want to buy a third party program to remove duplicates songs created by iTunes's library. Why can't Apple do a better job supporting this product?? Latest news: I deleted all the songs from my iTunes Library. The songs, however, still exists if you look in the iTunes directory using the Terminal app. How do I now get iTunes to do a fresh index? Alternatively, I've reimported my external music library. Maybe I should just delete all my music files in the iTunes Media/Music folder and restart iTunes.
  • 3. Re: Removing duplicate songs
    Colin Robinson Level 6 Level 6 (8,305 points)
    Hold down the Option key when launching iTunes and create a new empty library.

    Load this from your external music library.

    When you're satisfied this has worked correctly delete the previous library.

    Regards,
    Colin R.
  • 4. Re: Removing duplicate songs
    jim94117 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you Colin.

    I didn't know the Option key would create a new library. That's a really handy feature! What happens to the old library when you create a new library? I guess my confusion arises from my uncertainty regarding the nature of the "songs" or links in the iTunes window. Are they the actual songs? Are they simply aliases?

    Jim.
  • 5. Re: Removing duplicate songs
    Jim VanLeeuwen Level 6 Level 6 (18,820 points)
    The actual songs are stored in the iTunes Media folder. The library is a database of your songs and the playlists you've created. Some song-specific data is saved in this file. If you delete the file, iTunes creates a new, empty copy when you open the application, but any playlists, song ratings, comments, or other information you created is lost. The iTunes Library file is only used by iTunes.

    Read more here: What are iTunes library files: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1660

    This will explain the Alternate iTunes library: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1589
  • 6. Re: Removing duplicate songs
    rogerh@mac.com Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    There is another way. You could make use of an applescript to remove duplicate songs. A listing of available applescripts are in http://dougscripts.com/itunes/. Dupin v2.0.5 may be of help to you. Once you download and install these iTunes applescripts, they are accessible within iTunes.

    Just download what you need and follow the instructions included with each download and your set.
  • 7. Re: Removing duplicate songs
    jim94117 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the links. Why is that when I delete a song in iTunes (move to trash) it is gone permanently from my computer but when I restart iTunes with the Option key to clear out my library my songs aren't deleted? I'm confused. One implies there is a hard link between the song listings in iTunes and the other implies that the links are pointers.
  • 8. Re: Removing duplicate songs
    jim94117 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks Roger for the tip. I just don't want to shell out the money. Besides, of my "60,000" songs, 40,000 of them aren't really songs -- they're just pointers to the original 20,000. Knowing which of the three links (one is the real song and the other two are pointers) is what bothers me.
  • 9. Re: Removing duplicate songs
    randili Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I don't know if it's still useful, but I had the same problem and so I started to learn appleScript. I wrote a few scripts that work well for me. You can have a look here:

    http://randystraeume.blogspot.com/

    Please tell me if works out for you.

    Cheers
    Randili
  • 10. Re: Removing duplicate songs
    Will Bueche Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
    "Duplicate songs" rarely are exact duplicates. A song from an album and the same song on a greatest hits collection may have the same title and maybe even the same length, but chances are near-certain that the mastering will be different (most noticeable as a slight difference in loudness, usually).

    I'm not sure how programs identify duplicates, but if they are only using the title, don't trust that. Look to see if the length of the song is different, and maybe even give each version a quick listen to see how alike or unalike they really are.
  • 11. Re: Removing duplicate songs
    larryberrybobarry Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Great Stuff here thanks.

     

    On a similar note, I have many duplicates. Some I had accidentally added to my library several times (I know, I'm impatient and stupid sometimes). Others are the same in titles from different albums, say the original album and a greatest hit.

     

    Now when I have tried to delete these duplicates, I used the date added key to get a handle on when I got the track versus when I added it to the computer (amazon automatically adds music to itunes) but then the worst thing happened and say tracks one, three, seven, and nine stayed in one folder and two, five, six, eight, and ten stayed in another folder. I call it the zipper. Is there a way to clean up the files on my hard drive and then re importing the cleaned library.

     

    Finally, why does itunes allow duplicate files anyways. So frustrating!

     

    Thanks

    Larry

    OS 10.7.3 2.66 GHz Intel Core I7 laptop

  • 12. Re: Removing duplicate songs
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,545 points)

    Hi Randili. You might find my thoughts in this thread can help you refine your deduping AppleScript...

     

    tt2

  • 13. Re: Removing duplicate songs
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,545 points)

    larryberrybobarry wrote:

     

    ...but then the worst thing happened and say tracks one, three, seven, and nine stayed in one folder and two, five, six, eight, and ten stayed in another folder. I call it the zipper. Is there a way to clean up the files on my hard drive and then re importing the cleaned library.

    This can happen if there were slight discrepancies between the tags in the two "versions" of the album. The method you use to list the dupes probably can't show you which of the two they come from so you end up with some files from one album, and some form the other. See my article on Grouping tracks into albums for tips on fixing things up.

    Finally, why does itunes allow duplicate files anyways. So frustrating!

    iTunes just does what it is told. You tell it to rip and album or import a folder that it has imported before and it will just do it again. If you a import folder that is outside the media folder and iTunes is set up to make local copies then it will, as often as you tell it to. Another common error is to fire up iTunes with an external drive disconnected, connect it and then mistakenly reimport the media folder. iTunes won't recognize that it already knows all these files, it currently thinks they are MIA, so it imports them again. Restart iTunes and you'll find you have multiple entries to the same files. Delete either one and send the file to the trash and you break the remaining entry.

     

    tt2

  • 14. Re: Removing duplicate songs
    Anic264b Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    turingtest2 wrote:

    Finally, why does itunes allow duplicate files anyways. So frustrating!

    iTunes just does what it is told. You tell it to rip and album or import a folder that it has imported before and it will just do it again. If you a import folder that is outside the media folder and iTunes is set up to make local copies then it will, as often as you tell it to. Another common error is to fire up iTunes with an external drive disconnected, connect it and then mistakenly reimport the media folder. iTunes won't recognize that it already knows all these files, it currently thinks they are MIA, so it imports them again. Restart iTunes and you'll find you have multiple entries to the same files. Delete either one and send the file to the trash and you break the remaining entry.

    Indeed, it does what ones tells it, but that doesn't mean it's a smart approach. An application can think beyond just “I do it because the user told me so”; iTunes could very well prevent duplicates to be imported (e.g. using the traditional Mac's alias manager (the one which identifies a file even if it is moved somewhere else)) or, at least, ask (it does, but only in user playlists).

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