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Discussion in 'General iTunes Usage' started by mdaay108, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. mdaay108

    mdaay108 New Member

    I currently have 2 folders with music on my iMac.

    One is found here and contains 2115 folders:
    Music folder - iTunes folder - iTunes media folder - Music
    This is the one that iTunes sees when I’m in the iTunes App.

    The other folder is found here and contains 2553 items:
    iTunes folder - iTunes Music

    Both folders are basically a duplicate of each other
    the one iTunes sees shows 438 less items.

    How can I combine the contents of these two folders without ending
    up with duplicates and without destroying my iTunes database?
  2. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    You can't. You can, however, combine them in iTunes, then using Dupin to find and remove the duplicates.


    iTunes has its own duplicate finder, but it's not very good.
  3. mdaay108

    mdaay108 New Member

  4. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    Drag the second folder onto the top section of the sidebar of the iTunes window; iTunes will add all the media files in that folder and its sub-folders.
  5. theo

    theo Member

    After adding the second folder's contents:
    1. Make sure you run a clone and/or Time Machine backup.
    2 Sort by song Name and correct the names ("and" vs "&", "Mr" vs "Mr.", longer versions of names, missing commas, etc.) so you will catch all dupes.
    3. View Date Added as a column.
    4. Choose File > Library > "Show Duplicates"
    5. Sort by Name, Artist, Time, etc to make sure all the dupes are really dupes. Also check time, and play tracks to make sure different recordings are not called dupes. Some artists have hundreds of versions of the same song. Renaming the songs ("Live," Skrillex Remix," "demo," "rerecording" etc.) prevents false identification as duplicates.
    6. Sort again by Name.
    7. Make sure the bitrates are the same for each pair. If you want to keep higher-bitrate ones, delete the lower ones from the Library one-by-one. But first, check to make sure you replace lower-rate versions in any playlists with higher-rate ones. Then click Done, then repeat Show Duplicates. Fewer pairs will be chosen now.
    8a. Manually delete the just-added/lower-bitrate/DRM-blighted/scratchier/muffled/cut-off/silent-tailed or intro'ed of each set of dupes, keeping the best.
    8b. In Display Duplicates mode, sort by Date Added and select and delete the newer half of the set (i.e., the ones just added). Delete from Library.

    With only 4600 tracks, I would prefer to do it manually, unless you got all the tracks from the same place in the same way (in which case deleting the "newest" half is the simplest way).
  6. mdaay108

    mdaay108 New Member

    whoa...thank you...darn...really overwhelming...I have 89,000 songs.
  7. theo

    theo Member

    I misunderstood. I thought you meant tracks, not folders. I also have a lot of tracks.

    The "Music > iTunes Library > iTunes Media > Music" one is the current format. The other one was probably created in iTunes 9 or earlier (I can't remember when it changed). You might want to use the newest file array as the keeper.

    [I keep my music on an external drive, so my top Music folder's iTunes folder only has an "iTunes Media" alias in it, which points to the external drive, where the real "iTunes Library" folder resides. This means I can't use iTunes or sync iOS devices unless the drive is plugged in. But this is preferable, as iTunes updates—and even Silverlight browser updates—can sometimes corrupt or delete the library file. It's always better to have lots of clones of the .xml and .itl library files.]

    Assuming the 2 folders are smaller sets you're adding to a much bigger collection:
    You can make a new playlist of both folders' contents (using Date Added to distinguish the two sets from the rest of your collection), then select Show Duplicates in it, and delete the newer or older half of those duplicates shown from the playlist (not from the Library). Now temporarily tag/mark the remaining "Duplicate" tracks in the playlist, in an unused column like Grouping. Go to the main library, sort by Grouping, and delete all files (from the Library) that are tagged that way. [I just revised this for simplicity.]

    I'm sure there are other ways.

    I have heard good things about Dupin. I own it but hesitated to use it for fear of losing things. I don't remember precisely what my concern was.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017

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