Cool Tools: Dupin

Getting rid of duplicate music tracks.
Dupin filter selection  <br>Click to see a larger image
Dupin filter selection
Click to see a larger image
I started my iTunes Library when iTunes first came out in 2001 by ripping my CD collection (a process that I really messed up. Over the years, I've not been very good at housekeeping and my iTunes Library became a huge mess. A few years ago I gave up even trying to clean it up.

When I recently joined iTunes Match, iTunes Match was sort of confused by my mess of a Library and didn't give the best results. The problem was that I had duplicates and even triplicates of many of my music tracks and many tracks where the song was still in the iTunes folder on my hard drive, but the iTunes Library had lost track of it. I broken down and spent the time cleaning up my iTunes Library.

The tool I used to clean up my song duplicates is called Dupin Lite.

Dupin Lite is an app written by Doug Adams who is without a doubt the world's most knowledgeable person about iTunes outside of Apple. He can write an Applescript to solve about any iTunes problem. While his Applescripts are free, Dupin Lite is his commercial product.

iTunes will show duplicate tracks in your iTunes Library (File / Display Duplicates in the Menu Bar.) but offers no help in removing them other than to do it manually.

Dupin steps up to the plate with a three step processes:

  1. You set the criteria of what is a duplicate track. Song title often isn't enough. Artists can have multiple versions of their songs on different albums. (Studio, Live, Acoustic, Remix, etc). I also collect covers of songs so I might have 5 or more versions of the same song by different artists. Dupin Lite lets you set duplicate criteria to be Name, Artist, Album, Time, Size, Kind and more. Once you set the criteria, Dupin Lite reads through your iTiunes Library and makes a list of all the duplicates.
  2. Next, you have to choose one of the duplicates to be the "keeper". Duplin Lite lets you choose the keeper based on criteria like Newest Added, Oldest Added, Highest Bit Rate, Lowest Bit Rate, Kind and more. Once you select your criteria, Dupin Lite goes through the list of duplicates and find the one keeper for each set of duplicates. You can review this list and do a bit of manual cleanup if you need to.
  3. The last step is Purge. Dupin Lite removes the tracks in each set of duplicates that isn't the keeper. Purged tracks go into the Trash so you can get them back if you realize that you've removed a the wrong file.
Dupin Lite is available in the Mac App Store (from the Apple Menu) and costs $8. Dupin Lite has a big brother Dupin with more management features, but for a one-time cleanup of duplicate music tracks, Dupin Lite does the job just fine.

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