27 November, 2011

Cleaning iTunes Library - Finding Mismatched Tracks





I recently changed my computer and I am now a full time laptop user. I hardly waited up until now and resisted to keep my desktop but I cannot avoid the fact that a laptop of 500$ is almost more powerful than my 2 year old expensive gaming PC. Why not switch to a laptop now? I've made the move BUT I took these decisions so fast that I completely forgot certain small things, like properly backing up my iTunes library, Google Picasa albums, Microsoft Office program settings... I did not loose any data though. Do not get me wrong here. I have backups of backups because of all the bad experiences I've had in the past with loosing important data. But today, all these programs are working with some type of internal databases. Those databases keeps the metadata attached to your pictures, tracks, movies... When you use your programs internal "backup" functions, like Picasa's "Backup Pictures" option under the "Tools" menu.

So, here what I've been through and I hope my article will save you the time that I lost on finding how to do this kind of messed up situations.

I've installed iTunes from scratch and set my library location from the "Edit", "Preferences", "Advanced" menu to the folder that has all my music. Let's say, M:\Music for example purposes. Than, I had almost triples of every track in my library and also missing a lot of tracks... Based on my hours of research, I found this way to easily get rid of all the mismatched items in your iTunes library. No need to install any third party software.

  1. Make a smart playlist called “All Files” with this rule: “Artist” is not “123456789? (or any nonsense name that won’t be in your library).
  2. Make a static playlist called “All Live Files”.
  3. Make a smart playlist called “Missing Files” with these rules: Match all of the following rules, Playlist is “All Files”, Playlist is not “All Live Files”
  4. Select all the files from “All Files” and drag them into “All Live Files”. The dead files marked (!) will not copy over.
  5. “Missing Files” will contain all of your dead files. Select all and delete. 

This method can be found on the internet. I did not discover this method personally. I'm just sharing it so anyone who is looking for the answer can find it easily. But i personally, saved hours of work with this method and I was able to recover  most of my songs information and artwork.


But I want to mention a third party software that might help you if you still have problems. Especially for thos who have huge itunes library wih thousbands songs, this third party tool is just perfect for you. If you want a clean iTunes library, this tool will work with an online music database to artwork and metadata your entire iTunes library. I do not work for these folks but I am just a happy customer who have a very clean iTunes library now. When I say clean, I mean not a single song with a missing artwork cover! It's "TuneUp for iTunes". You can find more info @ www.tuneupmedia.com


Enjoy


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