I like free things. I really like free things. I occasionally move my music between drives. This invariably creates alot of duplicates. Songbird to the rescue! Here is how I cleaned up my iTunes library.
- Download Songbird
- When you setup Songbird, do not allow it to Import / Export to iTunes.
- Setup Songbird to watch the folder where all of the music is located. Click here for their help page.
- Download and run The Exorcist. You will need to scroll down for the the supported version. This will also probably cause Songbird to freeze… for a while. I had alot of duplicates so I just let my computer sit and churn on the folder for a while.
The logic goes like this:
- Use Songbird to sort out the files you have. Don’t use the iTunes Library file since that is the one that has all of the bad links / duplicates.
- Delete your iTunes library file (yes, this will reset a bunch of play counts and potentially ratings… but I didn’t have this setup). On the Mac, this is under USERNAME > Music > iTunes Library.xml
- Recreate your iTunes library. Use File > Import on the menu bar. Make sure in iTunes preferences you do NOT have the copy settings turned on. Click here for the screenshot.
This should leave you with a duplicate and ghost free music listening experience. These steps might not work for everyone… I had ALOT of duplicates and sometimes three or four of one song so I was interested in a very automated and very fast fix (instead of iTunes built-in fixer).
Songbird has a bunch of really nice features that iTunes doesn’t have for streaming and discovery which make it an ideal iTunes replacement competitor.