Sunday, October 23, 2005

MacOnMacs: Quick Clean-up in iTunes

Another post at the end of a long day on the road :-) . Had a great live call in/interview session with Frank Linhares and friends on his techPhile podcast earlier this evening, which was a lot of fun. In any case, as I've been cleaning up/reinstalling everything on my sister Amber's Macs this week, I've come across a lot of little time-savers and procedures that I'm not sure everyone might always think of. One big problem I was having was with just clearing up some space on her hard drive to begin with.

For many people, the largest amount of data they have stored on their computer is their music library. However, in the process of adding songs and managing the library, you might have ended up with a considerable amount of doubles or different copies of the same song - this is just wasted space (unless you really need to keep duplicates songs from different albums aligned in groups, I guess). There are scripts you can download to do this sort of thing, but one way to approach this just using what comes with iTunes is as follows:

  • Open iTunes and highlight Library as the source

  • Select from the menu Edit -> Show Duplicate Songs (note: this is not the right place for them to put this as far as I'm concerned :-) )

  • Ordering the resulting list of songs by Name, you can see these are all pairs of the same song (although sometimes just a very similarly-named recording!). If you have duplicated songs through performing multiple imports, try ordering by Date Added and remove duplicates as a group (as long as the list is updating, there are only duplicate songs in this list, so you should be safe in deleting these, as there will be another similarly-named song elsewhere on the list ;-) ).

  • Select a song to delete by clicking on it, or select a group of songs by clicking on one then shift-clicking on one further up/down the list (and command-clicking to add or delete individual entries).

  • Now you need to understand that, if your iTunes library is set to how it likely should be (Preferences->Advanced->General-> Keep iTunes Music Folder Organized AND Copy Files to iTunes Music Folder When Adding to Library) then just hitting "delete" will only delete the entry from your iTunes library - it will NOT delete the file from your computer. Not only is this not much of a space-saver, it also leaves files hidden away where you'll probably not think to look for them again. To delete the Library entry AND the file (an option mysteriously unavailable in any of the menus) just hit "control-delete" together - this will delete the song entry from your Library AND the song file from your computer.

Lots of other ways to do this and similar tasks, but I'm beat now, so hopefully that'll do ya ;-) .
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10/23/2005 11:30:00 p.m.  


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