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Question: Extra Files In Media Folder

Hi there,


Running iTunes 12.7.4.80 for Windows


Backing up my library recently I noticed the library seems to be getting larger and larger, so I looked in the media folder and I noticed that many of the songs now have two or more files associated with them.


Example: a song called 'Chills & Fever' sits in the folder for the album on which it appears, which is a subfolder of the folder for the artist who sings it.


However, I find there are two files in that folder:


1-01 Chills & Fever.m4a

1-01 Chills & Fever@ab4caa66030a40c593054f05279c4e5b.m4a


The song only shows up once in iTunes, with the file info being the top one above. If I delete the second file, it seems to cause no problems with the song on iTunes.


I did a search for .m4a files within my media folder and subfolders, and hundreds/thousands appear with a long string of characters like the second one above.


Does anyone know why these are being created? And if there is a way to stop it? Finally, is there a quick and easy way to delete all such extraneous files?


Thanks for any advice.

null-OTHER, Windows 10, iTunes for Windows

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I've prepared a script for you called Kill@Files. It will recursively process from an initial folder, removing all files of the form <normal filename>@<32 hex digits>.<ext>. Strictly it finds any filename with @ followed by exactly 36 characters including the extension, but that really shouldn't allow for any false positives in this context. As I said previously it would be best to backup first just in case. The script will delete matching files immediately rather than sending to the recycle bin, although I could try to add that as a modification if you wish, or I could archive the unwanted files elsewhere if you are worried there might be an unforseen impact. Test on say a single artist folder first to see how it behaves before running on your entire media folder. There is no visual feedback while it is running so you'll have to be patient. At the end you will be told how many folders where examined and how many files removed.


tt2

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May 28, 2018 4:04 AM in response to duncshine In response to duncshine

Are the sizes of the files similar? Do you sync to a device using the convert higher bitrate option? Is the pattern always <normal filename>@<32 hex digits>.<ext> and is there always a file without that extra string? Files with @ in the path seem tricky to search for in Windows Explorer so it might need a script to remove them. Ideally you would start with a complete backup of your iTunes for Windows library before you delete the extra files, then sync any device to make sure that works without error, before updating the backup set with the leaner version of the library.


Anything else that might be relevant? Do you use Apple Music, iTunes Match, some kind of folder syncing software, etc.?


tt2

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Question marked as Helpful

May 28, 2018 4:04 AM in response to duncshine In response to duncshine

Are the sizes of the files similar? Do you sync to a device using the convert higher bitrate option? Is the pattern always <normal filename>@<32 hex digits>.<ext> and is there always a file without that extra string? Files with @ in the path seem tricky to search for in Windows Explorer so it might need a script to remove them. Ideally you would start with a complete backup of your iTunes for Windows library before you delete the extra files, then sync any device to make sure that works without error, before updating the backup set with the leaner version of the library.


Anything else that might be relevant? Do you use Apple Music, iTunes Match, some kind of folder syncing software, etc.?


tt2

May 28, 2018 4:04 AM

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May 28, 2018 4:03 AM in response to turingtest2 In response to turingtest2

Thanks Turingtest2,


OK, to answer your questions.


1) Are the sizes of the files similar? They are identical. And if I double click on the file with the hex name it acts as a perfectly normal .m4a file


2) Do you sunc to a device using the 'convert to higher bit rate' option? No


3) Is the pattern always <normal filename>@<32 hex digits>.<ext>? Yes


4) Is there always a file without that extra string? Yes

5) Do you use Apple Music, iTunes Match, some kind of folder syncing software, etc.? I do use Apple Music, I don't use iTunes Match, and I back up my library using WD Smartware

I'm afraid I don't know how to create a script to delete the 'hex' files, so any pointers on that would be brilliant.


Cheers

May 28, 2018 4:03 AM

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May 28, 2018 10:27 AM in response to duncshine In response to duncshine

I've prepared a script for you called Kill@Files. It will recursively process from an initial folder, removing all files of the form <normal filename>@<32 hex digits>.<ext>. Strictly it finds any filename with @ followed by exactly 36 characters including the extension, but that really shouldn't allow for any false positives in this context. As I said previously it would be best to backup first just in case. The script will delete matching files immediately rather than sending to the recycle bin, although I could try to add that as a modification if you wish, or I could archive the unwanted files elsewhere if you are worried there might be an unforseen impact. Test on say a single artist folder first to see how it behaves before running on your entire media folder. There is no visual feedback while it is running so you'll have to be patient. At the end you will be told how many folders where examined and how many files removed.


tt2

May 28, 2018 10:27 AM

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May 28, 2018 10:27 AM in response to turingtest2 In response to turingtest2

That's perfect, thank you so much! I backed the library up first, then ran the script for one artist, and it removed the one 'hex' file.


So I ran it for the entire Itunes Media folder and it took about two minutes and deleted over 6,000 files (the library is only 25,000 songs).


Absolutely brilliant! You're a lifesaver.

May 28, 2018 10:27 AM

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Question: Extra Files In Media Folder