Clean up duplicate files on iPad

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Amigajoe

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I have a 64GB 'pad and I've noticed several dupe tracks on it, but when I connect to iTunes the "show duplicate items" choice is greyed out; I guess it only works for the iTunes library itself and not for devices. As an experiment I tried intentionally adding dupe tracks and it let me add any # of copies I wanted to the 'pad. That's crazy! Is there some option to disallow or alert you to multiple copies (like when you try to copy a dupe file to a folder) or at least show them? I have more than 64GB of music so I manually manage the content. To be absolutely clear: I have NO duplicate tracks in my iTunes Library, I have an unknown # of duplicate tracks spread through various playlists on my iPad. Each playlist shouldn't need it's own copy of the file, right?
 

cjmnews

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The iPad is smart enough to use 1 copy of a song for multiple playlists. So it is unlikely that you have duplicates.

How are you seeing these duplicates?
 

rockmyplimsoul

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As an experiment I tried intentionally adding dupe tracks and it let me add any # of copies I wanted to the 'pad. That's crazy!
Each song has an internal ID that iTunes should recognize and disallow you to manually drag a duplicate to your device. However, if you do certain types of tag editing in iTunes, that seems to alter the ID and then duplicates can find their way in.

If that does not explain why this is happening, perhaps this has changed or is broken in the iTunes version you're using? Or, perhaps there is a warning that you chose to ignore once upon a time? (right-click on the iPad name while connected to iTunes and choose "Reset Warnings").


I have more than 64GB of music so I manually manage the content.
Just because your library exceeds the capacity of your device doesn't mean you have to manually manage it. There are two ways to get around this:

1- Create a playlist that represents what you want to put onto your iPad. Instead of manually managing your iPad, manually manage this playlist and then auto-sync your iPad to this playlist. It is exactly the same concept, just different in what you're managing.

2- As a variation of #1, set up multiple playlists that define what you want on your iPad and auto-sync to all of them. With this you can get very creative, where you might have some playlists that automatically select songs based on criteria you define (limited to a certain size) and other playlists that you manually manage.

For more details, see this paper by Code Monkey, a member here at iLounge:

http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/1154607/smartlist-management-pdf?da=y&dnad=y
 

Amigajoe

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The iPad is smart enough to use 1 copy of a song for multiple playlists. So it is unlikely that you have duplicates.

How are you seeing these duplicates?
-Unlikely? EXCUSE ME? I'm inventing problems just for the hell of it?
 

cjmnews

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Well, it appears that manual management allows for duplicates to be created if you alter tags such as Album, Artist, Art, etc. Anything but ratings and play counts.

rockmyplimsoul had stated this above, and I was not aware of it since I rarely use manual management. I found an old post by them covering the issue quite nicely: http://forums.ilounge.com/ipod-classic-legacy-ipods/166425-manual-sync-duplicated-songs.html

In another of their posts, another possible method to see duplicates is mentioned: http://forums.ilounge.com/ipod-touch/273353-why-there-no-duplicate-songs-my-library-but-theres-duplicates-my-ipod.html#post1417765
If you delete a song from your iTunes library, then re-add it, then your iPod will see it as a new song even though the relevant fields are identical. This is because each track has a unique ID, and that is what the iPod and iTunes use to know what needs to sync or not.
Clean up is handled either manually finding and deleting the duplicates or through 3rd party tools, or by erasing the iPad of all music and putting what you want back on again.
 

rockmyplimsoul

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Thanks cjmnews, I forgot about the issue where if you buy music direct from an iOS device, the songs remain on the device as "Manually added songs" even though you may transfer them to your iTunes library on the next connection (even if you auto-sync). The implication is, if you manually manage your device and later add those same songs back to the iOS device (maybe in a playlist) then they may duplicate. They will duplicate if you change the tags in the library while the original purchases remain on the device.

These are some of the reasons I stay away from manual management and use a variation of what Code Monkey described. The other downside of manual management is that if you have to restore the device you have to re-construct what you had on the device, whereas auto-sync restores your setup exactly (assuming you have a good backup).
 

Amigajoe

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Well I guess I have my answer; I have to just scroll though the list and delete the dupes manually. I posted the question because I didn't understand why the 'Show duplicate tracks' options didn't work. Of course I still don't. BTW, I manually dragged and dropped some of those dupes in the image within a few seconds of each other so they are identical. Guess the 'pad isn't quite as smart as you assumed.
 

Cold Irons

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Well I guess I have my answer; I have to just scroll though the list and delete the dupes manually. I posted the question because I didn't understand why the 'Show duplicate tracks' options didn't work. Of course I still don't. BTW, I manually dragged and dropped some of those dupes in the image within a few seconds of each other so they are identical. Guess the 'pad isn't quite as smart as you assumed.
Yes, strangely enough, if you manually manage you iDevice, you must manually remove songs you don't want. No one (except maybe Apple) can tell you why "Show Duplicates" is not enabled for the iDevice vs. itunes,

You may want to read over the post about auto-syncing to playlists vs. manually managing; it's a much more effective way of dealing with large libraries.
 
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