Trusty Tools 4: Songbird

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.

  1. Download Songbird
  2. When you setup Songbird, do not allow it to Import / Export to iTunes. 
  3. Setup Songbird to watch the folder where all of the music is located. Click here for their help page.
  4. 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:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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
  3. 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.