Does PC software exist that can compare the contents of 2 computer folders that each consist of tens of thousands of individual mp3 files, in order to find discrepancies between the two folders?
August 8, 2009 7:41 PM   Subscribe

I have two drives, and each folder has some overlapping music, some music that isn't in the other folder, and some corrupted files (due to fire damage), which is why I cannot just merge the two together and let the duplicates of one overwrite the other - I don't want to overwrite a 'good' song with a corrupted, unplayable version.

I am looking for software that could map the contents of both folders and show me which files they have in common, which would then identify which they do not, and allow me to create a new, clean, folder of music that has no duplicates and no corrupted files.

Does this software exist? Or, is there a better way to do this? Because the thought of doing this manually is making me a little sick.
posted by kristin to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Here's what I would do in Windows:

1. Re-rip everything I have on CD, probably to lossless (FLAC) with Exact Audio Copy. If you don't care about lossless, rip to your preferred format. Start fresh with those albums.
2. Enqueue every song you have in foobar2000 and check all with the File Integrity Verifier. Basically what it does is decode n songs concurrently as fast as possible where n is the number of processor cores you have. When finished, it will generate a list of corrupted files. Delete all of those.
3. Run a more typical duplicate finder: iTunes, musicbrainz, etc. Anything that allows you to sort by artist/album/track and then compare length, file size, etc. Delete remaining dupes.
4. Replace missing albums/tracks in whatever way you usually do.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:58 PM on August 8, 2009

The slow method: play through all the songs in one folder (at your leisure), deleting any corrupted ones. Then move all that are left to the other folder - overwrite all, because even if the duplicates in the destination folder are okay, so are those in the source folder. Then as you listen to the songs in the new combined folder (again at your leisure), delete any corrupted ones as you come across them. Time-consuming, but needs no special software.
posted by attercoppe at 8:31 PM on August 8, 2009

Best answer: Re-ripping everything sounds kind of burdensome.

Use Teracopy in Test mode to identify files that both directories have in common

Alternatively, a way to do this in Vista (sorry, it's what I use...I would expect Win 7 to behave similarly but have no experience with Win 7. XP does not behave this way) would be to MOVE the files from directory A to directory B and when the system asks if you would like to overwrite the existing file:

a. check the "Do this for the next n conflicts" box in the Move files window
b. choose either "Don't Move" or "Move, but keep both files" (The first option leaves a set of files in directory A with the same filename as a file in directory B, the second renames the duplicates from directory A as filename (2).mp3 in directory B.) Either way, you've isolated/identified the duplicates (which is a start).
posted by Cats' Concert at 8:47 PM on August 8, 2009

Best answer: Windiff
posted by rhizome at 9:28 PM on August 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Why can't you use Inspector Gadgets method, skipping step 1?

2. Use foobar to identify corrupt songs
3.merge your two collections of good songs
posted by jacalata at 11:58 PM on August 8, 2009

Best answer: I use Tree Compare (scroll halfway down the page) to identify discrepancies between two directories. It can compare files by name/size/time etc.

Won't help you much with identifying which files are corrupted though.
posted by hayeled at 1:06 AM on August 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: This is really helpful - thank you! I can't just re-rip, unfortunately - we had a house fire and lost most of the CDs and records that these digital files originally came from, and one drive is also corrupted due to smoke and fire damage. The thought of going through it manually was about enough to make me consider giving up, so the comparison software suggestions are big sanity savers. Thank you to all who commented.
posted by kristin at 8:42 AM on August 9, 2009

Beyond Compare is absolutely amazing for this kind of thing
posted by pyro979 at 7:20 AM on August 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

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