Haven’t you ever noticed that iTunes library has gone overcrowded with duplicate rather multiple files? Yes, it is frustratingly annoying when you see this mess, but cannot muster up enough courage to cleanse the library. Now, face it! It does take time, and you have to gather courage to face the music; if you are unable to do so, then you may live in eternal mess. Okay, seems as if you are ready to purify the collection; following are few simple and undemanding steps to cleanup your iTunes Library without much hassle.
First step is the most important of all. BACK UP! Yes, firstly create a backup of your library, so that you don’t have to curse me in case something goes wrong during the process. Click “File”, then “Library” and “Consolidate Library.” It will copy all the files to your iTunes music folder. Now, copy the entire folder to any external flash drive or any folder in your system. The iTunes music folder is located by default at \Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music.
Now, when you have the backup of your music data, let us begin with deleting the unwanted crap. I know this seems quite an 18-hours task, but do not worry as I am not going to tell you to delete the ugly ducklings manually. Let us obliterate the redundant melody by ratings, provided that you had been rating your music files according to your taste. In the iTunes library section, choose “Music.” Hit “CTRL” + “Shift” + “3”, which will take you to Listview, click the Rating column twice. This will order your music files from least to most liked ones. Now select all one and two star files, and GO! Delete them.
Oh! So you have a lot of duplicates, too! Click “File” and “Show Duplicate.” Show duplicate has those tracks the artist and title of which matches to one or more other files. Hold down “Shift”, which will alter the command from usual duplicates to Exact Duplicates, with matching lengths too. Select the tracks you do not need anymore, and delete them.
I understand that your library might be big and bulky enough for you to purify manually; you might be in need of some software to help you out. Dupe Eliminator 7.0 is a helping tool for Windows ($34.95) and for Mac there is Dupin ($15). Key features of Dupe Eliminator include smart search, AutoClean mode, scheduled search, Audiobook support, Dead tracks eliminator, and Undelete.
Sometimes, broken files remain in the library after deletion of the unwanted files. Some fine tips have been given at this page, for removing dead tracks from your iTunes Library.
Now that neither a clone nor a ghost remains in your library, backup this new collection for future.
Picard Tagger; a freeware tool will help you correct flawed titles, album information etc. Tip: rectify one song at a time.
Now, it is time to rebuild the iTunes Library. Shut down the iTunes and delete the music files present in the iTunes music folder plus all the iTunes library files. Now, restart the iTunes, click “File” and “Add folder to library”, browse to your freshly made collection and that all! ITunes will rebuild your library.
Finally, it’s time to update the album artwork. If iTunes doesn’t update it automatically, select individual files and go to “Advanced>Get Album Artwork.” Clear the wrong artworks download, and get the right one by downloading again.
And we are finished with the apparently tiring and boring cleansing process. The soothing effect that your clean and free of clones and ghosts library will give you is unmatched. Few simple steps and your iTunes library is exactly what you wanted it to be!