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Removing duplicate songs

11704 Views 22 Replies Latest reply: Dec 26, 2012 2:24 AM by turingtest2 RSS
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jim94117 Calculating status...
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Jan 5, 2010 9:04 PM
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)
  • Jim VanLeeuwen Level 6 Level 6 (18,820 points)
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    Jan 5, 2010 11:06 PM (in response to jim94117)
    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.
    24" iMac 2.8GHz Intel Core Duo, Mac OS X (10.6.2), iPhone 3GS - 6 iPods
  • Colin Robinson Level 6 Level 6 (8,290 points)
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    Jan 6, 2010 10:04 AM (in response to jim94117)
    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.
    MacBook Pro 15.4" 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 GB , Mac OS X (10.6.2), iPod 30GB v2.3  iMac DVSE  iPod nano v1.3  iPhone 24" iMac
  • Jim VanLeeuwen Level 6 Level 6 (18,820 points)
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    Jan 6, 2010 9:23 PM (in response to jim94117)
    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
    24" iMac 2.8GHz Intel Core Duo, Mac OS X (10.6.2), iPhone 3GS - 6 iPods
  • rogerh@mac.com Calculating status...
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    Jan 6, 2010 9:23 PM (in response to jim94117)
    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.
    17" Macbook Pro 2.9GHz Dual Core, Mac OS X (10.6.2), 17" Macbook Pro dual 2.1GHz
  • randili Calculating status...
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    Mar 5, 2011 5:20 AM (in response to jim94117)
    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
    Macbook, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Will Bueche Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
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    Mar 5, 2011 6:57 PM (in response to jim94117)
    "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.
    Gateway NX250X, Windows XP Pro
  • larryberrybobarry Calculating status...
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    Apr 2, 2012 4:34 PM (in response to jim94117)

    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

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,870 points)
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    Apr 7, 2012 11:05 AM (in response to randili)

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

     

    tt2

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,870 points)
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    Apr 7, 2012 11:16 AM (in response to larryberrybobarry)

    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

  • Anic264b Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 20, 2012 7:21 AM (in response to turingtest2)

    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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