Need help sorting files in iTunes in ways the program doesn't offer
May 1, 2007 10:31 AM   Subscribe

Is there a way to more efficiently clean up files in iTunes than the program has to offer? There are many ways in which I want to sort files and simply cannot figure it out. I would like to not have to do the following manually...

I want to insulate the following files:

1) duplicate song files. (When I've accidentally import twice, iTunes doesn't stop me)

2) Files which are NOT in a play list.

(This is because there are many which I deleted out of a playlist, but did not from the general music folder. It simply removes them from the playlist and not my hard drive. This means I have many files floating around which are never listened to and have no way of knowing).
posted by Jenna Roadman to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
1. View -> Show Duplicates. It's not perfect if you have different versions of the same song (or if they have slightly different names), but for double-importing, that should do the trick.

2. Make a new Smart Playlist? Make your criteria "Play count = 0" or "Playlist is/is not xxx".
posted by puddleglum at 10:47 AM on May 1, 2007

(1) iTunes has a "show duplicates" feature. Poke around the drop-down menus.

(2) First, make a dumb playlist of all the songs in your existing playlists. Just drag the contents of each playlist into it. Second, make a smart playlist whose condition is any song which does not appear in the first playlist.

If you are running OS X, google for "Doug's Applescripts" which has nearly anything you could think of for managing track and metadata information. (Things like parsing song names that go "Beatles- 01- Revolver- Taxman" into the correct metadata fields and so forth.)
posted by yesno at 10:47 AM on May 1, 2007

Be warned that "Show Duplicates" is pretty stupid. It will identify as duplicates anything with similar names even if they have different lengths or other obvious flags that they aren't duplicates. It really should be labeled "Show Possible Duplicates."

I'm pretty sure there is a setting to make iTunes warn you before importing duplicates from CDs. I don't know if it also applies to file imports.
posted by chairface at 12:03 PM on May 1, 2007

There are a few Applescripts to help with this. Doug's Applescripts is always a great place to look to extend itunes functionality (on preview: ditto yesno).

For dupes, try Corral iTunes Dupes or the corral all dupes script below it. Both work a lot better than the iTunes commands.

For the latter, there's an easier way, which is also to use a script: Not in Any Playlist
posted by emptyage at 12:21 PM on May 1, 2007

When I feel like deleting a song in a playlist, but am too lazy to go to the library to delete it, somehow, I am never too lazy to change the song name to include the word DELETE.

That makes it easy to locate and remove them en masse the next time I am in the library.
posted by Sallyfur at 3:33 AM on May 2, 2007

You can delete songs directly from your library from inside a playlist by using option-delete. No need to wait to be back in your library.

(Not sure what they key combo is in Windows, but I know there is one.)
posted by yesno at 6:21 AM on May 2, 2007

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