Written by Audio, Internet

iTunes Woes – When Consolidate Breaks

This is a bit of a plea. Any solutions welcome…
I have a big iTunes library. It’s something like 250GB because I keep certain old podcasts, have lots of music (ripped at high bit-rates), quite a few audiobooks (also in high quality) and now have a few films (mainly from “triple play” DVD/BluRay/digital sets). Anyway – it’s big.
I wanted to move it off the external hard drive it resides on, and over to a RAID NAS. All a bit safer.
The process is to repoint your libary to the new location and then “Consolidate” it. Because I let iTunes organise it’s library and keep everything in one place, this should be easy. But on at least three occassions the process fell over. No problem. I just restarted. Eventually after many hours, the library had been moved.
Everything worked fine. But I was a little suspicious… My library was now in excess of 500GB!
Looking in more detail I saw that in some folders there were duplicate files – either one or two extra copies:
e.g.
Track1.mp3
Track1_1.mp3
Track1_2.mp3
or
Track1.mp3
Track_1.mp3
The library was now pointing to the last made copy in each instance (Track1_2.mp3 or Track1_1.mp3 in the above examples).
At first I thought that I’d clean by hand. But that’s a loonnnggggg process. I quickly gave up. I sought various de-duplication programs and found some that could identify the duplicates. But none had the “intelligence” to identify the correct file to keep and delete the other two. Doublekiller was the best program. I even splurged for the Pro version. Yet even using wildcards, I can’t get the correct version identified.
Note that the duplicated files have the same dates and file sizes associated. And there are thousands of files to be de-duplicated – hence my desire for an automated process.
And some folders have no duplicates at all!
The other option was to consolidate the library again to a different location (e.g. another folder on the same drive) and hope it did it without breaking down mid-copying. Sadly, I got an error some time during the middle of the night, again after many hours of copying. If I run “Consolidate” again, I think I’ll just get some more duplicates and will be back to square one.
Why the Consolidate option is breaking down, I don’t know.
So has anyone got any ideas? I’m at my wit’s end. At this point, a smart de-duplication program would be great.
Have I mentioned how much I dislike iTunes?
Note: I pretty much followed these instructions for moving my iTunes media library. It breaks down during the consolidation process.
And I could move to something different like MediaMonkey or Miro 4, but I currently use things like AirPlay which I’m not sure these other programs support. That and the fact it’s Apple’s wont to use upgrades to make syncing stop working with third party software (although that might be another reason to ditch Apple altogether).