Every time I move my files from one computer to another, I ask Jon to transfer everything, and then I reload my files into iTunes manually. As a result, my current computer has about 30 GB of duplicate mp3 files.
Recently, I’ve been working with larger image files, which has made me aware of how much space I have left on my MacBook Pro. Understandably, I’d rather not have 30 GB of duplicate files.
I started weeding through these manually, and then realized there’s a script for everything and I was wasting hours of my life. After a quick Google search, I found Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes.
I checked with Jon to make sure I wasn’t going to fry my computer with this download (always a good step in your download process) and downloaded the file. There are directions on the site re: the correct way to download & open the file, just in case you do not also have an IT guy held hostage by marriage.
Getting All Your Mp3 Files Into Your iTunes Library
You can skip this section if you don’t have mp3 files outside of your iTunes Library.
If you have mp3 files outside of the iTunes Library (Music > iTunes > iTunes Music), you may want to move all the mp3s on your computer to iTunes first. To do this, open iTunes, go to File > Add to Library and select your main home folder, or whichever folder where you store your non-iTunes mp3s.
Read this whole paragraph before taking any action: After copying these files, you can delete all mp3 files outside of your iTunes Library. When I did this, I searched for “mp3” and deleted any folder outside of the Library. Before you do this, you may want to back up your files first. (I used Time Machine.) You may also want to check a few files manually to make sure they are still working before you click Empty Trash.
Organizing Your Files
For organizational purposes, you may want to run File > Library > Consolidate Library. This will organize all your iTunes within your Library.
Using Dupin to Remove Your Duplicate Mp3 Files
Now that you’re all organized, open Dupin, select your Criteria on the sidebar on the left and click Get Dupes on the top left. This will give you a list of 40 files, or 20 Dupe Groups. Initially, all of the files will be checked, meaning that Dupin will save these files. The criteria I use is: Name, Artist, Album, Time, Size and Track Number, but you may need to adjust it depending on your files.
Filter your playlist using the Filter Controls. I recommend Single Arbitrary, but just think about what makes the most sense for you. For example, since I had a lot of copied files, most of my file names looked like this: “Float On.mp3” and “Float On 1.mp3” so I filtered by Shorter Filename and removed all the files with the “1.mp3” added on.
Check Your Work
Once half your files are checked and half are unchecked, take a quick look at the files to make sure the unchecked ones are the ones you want to delete. After a couple runs, you’ll be confident in your Criteria and Filter method, and will be able to skip this step.
When you’re ready to delete the duplicates, go to Tools > Purge. Click Remove when prompted. You will be asked if you want to keep the files or move them to trash. Since I wanted more space, I selected Move to Trash. If space isn’t an issue for you, you might choose to keep the files.
And you’re done! If you’re paranoid like me, you’ll test files periodically to make sure that they’re still working correctly in iTunes.
If you have files that vary widely in terms of quality, you may need to be more stringent with your Criteria and Filter methods. You may even want to go through these files manually, to avoid deleting the better quality files.
This is a good application. It works exactly as advertised, is pretty simple to use, and it’s free (the demo version). This is a feature Apple might want to consider incorporating in iTunes to make it available to more users.