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Finding Duplicate Tracks in iTunes

TMO Quick Tip - Finding Duplicate Tracks in iTunes

by , 7:30 AM EDT, June 20th, 2007

iTunes is great for managing you music library, but it still occasionally ends up with duplicate tracks. It can find duplicate songs for you, but not always with great accuracy. When iTunes gets confused, you can always turn to developers for alternatives that pick up the slack.

Here's how to find duplicate tracks in iTunes:

  • While in iTunes, select your music library or a playlist.
  • Choose View > Show Duplicates.


iTunes can display duplicate tracks for you.

iTunes displays all of the tracks that it thinks are duplicates. Unfortunately, it sometimes incorrectly lists some songs as duplicates even when they aren't. In my case, iTunes seems to think that my two copies of Blockheads by Ian Dury & The Blockheads are the same song, even though one is from Do It Yourself, and the other is from New Boots and Panties.


Same song, different albums: iTunes doesn't always guess right on duplicates.

That's not a huge deal since iTunes doesn't automatically delete what it sees as duplicates. Instead, it presents a list that you manually sift through. In my case, that's 404 tracks. Ugh.

That's where third-party applications like iDupe come in. I used iDupe to scan everything that iTunes considered to be duplicates, which narrowed my list of possible duplicate tracks down to a manageable handful.


iDupe is a great help when hunting for duplicate tracks.

iDupe can also help you sort out the duplicates it finds, and can remove tracks for you as well - potentially saving you lots of time compared to sorting through your iTunes duplicates list yourself.

iDupe is US$8, so if you find it useful, be sure to pay the shareware fee.


Jeff Gamet is TMO's Morning Editor and Reviews Editor. He lectures, teaches and speaks on Mac OS X and design-related topics, and is the author of The Designer's Guide to Mac OS X from Peachpit Press.

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