Manual Sync and Duplicated Songs

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rockmyplimsoul

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Got Duplicates? Over the last few months there has been an ongoing thread about duplicate songs on someone's iPod. If you manually sync your iPod, I've always understood that if you dragged over a song that was already on your iPod that it would not transfer over since it was already there. In fact, the Lounge's "iPod 201" article on synchronization methods specifically states:

"In manual updating, songs and playlists from your iTunes library are dragged (manually) onto your iPod in the Source column on the left side of iTunes. If the songs contained in the drag selection are not already on the iPod, they will be transferred appropriately. If they are already on the iPod, then no duplicate copy will be created, as iTunes keeps track—drag as you please without worrying about duplicates."

For my video iPod I almost always use "semi-automatic" sync to specific playlists, but my 6GB mini is set for manual sync (but hasn't gotten much use since its big brother arrived). What I learned surprised me and at least one of the mods here -- you can have a song duplicated on your iPod if you manually sync. This might be applicable to only Windows iTunes/iPods, but here is what can happen:

Suppose you create a new playlist in iTunes and you (manually) sync it to your iPod by dragging it over to the iPod in the source column. No worries, right? Well, if some of the songs in that playlist have been updated* since they were originally added to your iPod, then you'll get a 2nd version of those songs on your iPod. Same song, same artist, same album. To add to the curiosity, there is only one version of the song in your iTunes library!

*What constitutes an update for this to occur? Basically any change other than rating or playcount increase. If you change anything in a song's tag information (artwork, genre, comment, composer, grouping, etc.) then the song will be seen as a newer version of what's on your iPod, and iTunes will not remove the original version.

I verified this on my 60GB video and 6GB mini, both with the latest firmware. Also, I'm using the latest Windows iTunes (6.0.4.2). I don't know what other generation iPods are affected by this, or if this existed in prior iTunes releases, but it is a real issue that may be the root cause of people getting duplicate songs on their iPods. If it has always been this way, then so be it. But if this is a new phenomenon with the last firmware and/or iTunes releases, I'd say it's a significant bug!

{edit - 7 July '06}:
- Updated 60GB video to new 1.1.2 firmware
- Changed iTunes for Windows to new release 6.0.5.20
- Problem still exists

{edit - 20 Sept '06}:
- Updated 60GB video to new 1.2 firmware
- Changed iTunes for Windows to new release 7.0.0.20
- Problem still exists

{edit - 16 Oct '06}:
- Updated iTunes for Windows to release 7.0.1.8
- Problem still exists

{edit - 5 Mar '07}:
- Updated iTunes for Windows to release 7.1.0.59
- 60GB video at v1.2.1 and 6GB Mini at v1.4.1
- Problem still exists

{edit - 19 Mar '07}:
- Updated iTunes for Windows to release 7.1.1.5
- 60GB video at v1.2.1 and 6GB Mini at v1.4.1
- Problem still exists
 
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fuzzyhair

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Hmm weird stuff.
My suggestion- sell your mini.
There isn't much you can do, but just be careful.
 

rockmyplimsoul

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The problem isn't just with my mini (and how dare you suggest I part with it! ;)) as it affects my video iPod as well. The work-around is to be careful as you say, or wipe the contents off your iPod if you've updated a number of songs in your library and you're (manually) re-loading your iPod with new playlists which contain songs that are already on your iPod. Of course, the other work-around is to auto-sync or sync-to-playlists.
 

tenja

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I had this exact same problem over the last month. To solve I completely wiped the ipod clean and reloaded all 37 GB of songs back on my ipod over the last 2 nights. This is a pain.
 

slg321

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I have the same "problem", but it seems to be just the way it works. When I add a playlist, the songs also show up under Music on the iPod. If I manually delete the song from the iPod Music list, it disappears from the playlist also. If Idelete it from the iPod playlist, a copy remains in Music. At least that's how it works on mine. After trying mutiple combinatons of add/delete, etc. (as oyu've done), I have accepted it as one of those "so it goes" things ...but please do add to your post if you find a solution!
 

rockmyplimsoul

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Well yes, that is the way it works ... a song can appear in multiple playlists but there is only one copy of the song in your iPod's library. If you delete a song from a playlist the song remains on the iPod -- if you delete the song from the iPod's library then it will disappear from all playlists it was in. That's all fine and well ... and is the way the iPod/iTunes system works.

But the issue in this thread is having multiple copies of the same exact song in your iPod's library -- that's not the same as having the same song appear in multiple playlists. The problem is that there are multiple song files stored on your iPod for the same song. This happens anytime you make a change to a song's tag in your iTunes library and drag the updated version over to your iPod -- instead of getting an updated version, you get a duplicate file of the same song.
 

Scolds

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rockmyplimsoul said:
Well yes, that is the way it works ... a song can appear in multiple playlists but there is only one copy of the song in your iPod's library. If you delete a song from a playlist the song remains on the iPod -- if you delete the song from the iPod's library then it will disappear from all playlists it was in. That's all fine and well ... and is the way the iPod/iTunes system works.

But the issue in this thread is having multiple copies of the same exact song in your iPod's library -- that's not the same as having the same song appear in multiple playlists. The problem is that there are multiple song files stored on your iPod for the same song. This happens anytime you make a change to a song's tag in your iTunes library and drag the updated version over to your iPod -- instead of getting an updated version, you get a duplicate file of the same song.

So I take it that if you up date info in itunes then you need to remove all Music from your ipod and then sync the music to over come this problem? That you would have to do this everytime. Or as I imagine do a proper job on the music in itunes first then sync. Any new music added and adjusted won't make duplicates.
 

rockmyplimsoul

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If you make changes to songs in your iTunes library, you really only need to delete the changed songs from your iPod and re-drag updated copies from you library. But that can be a real hassle to keep track of what songs you updated, so in effect the safest method is to wipe the iPod clean and re-drag everything over to ensure you don't get duplicates. And you're right, new music would not be duplicated.

Also, when you manually manage your iPod (the subject of this thread) there really is no "sync" per se. You can't make changes to your library and then have iTunes update your iPod - you have to do it since it is in manual mode.

In theory, if you read the iLounge article on syncing (and perhaps Apple's documentation) you should be able to re-drag songs over to your iPod and not get duplicates. But that is not the case (though I have not yet tried this yet with iTunes 7.1) ...
 

VipFREAK

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I'm not quite sure if this happens for me or not with music as I don't transfer music but it does happen with videos.
 

Howard Brazee

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I've never quite figured out how synchronize is supposed to work. When I plug my iPod into my main computer, I turn off manual update, say yes, move my cursor away from it, say yes, and then when it is synchronized I set it back to manual.

If I try synchronizing elsewhere, it deletes my songs. If I have it auto synchronize, I can't play off my iPod with my work's iTunes. I can even put in lyrics at work, as long as I remember to cut and paste it to my home song before synchronizing.

I also set my current photos to synchronize with full resolution - which was a waste, as the photos have all been renamed. So I copy them by hand to an iPod directory to copy them to family members - with the same name and structure.

(iPods won't show pictures using subdirectories as I have with Windows - nor does it have iPhoto to not need structure).
 

ejsjrnc

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Howard Brazee said:
I've never quite figured out how synchronize is supposed to work. When I plug my iPod into my main computer, I turn off manual update, say yes, move my cursor away from it, say yes, and then when it is synchronized I set it back to manual.

If I try synchronizing elsewhere, it deletes my songs. If I have it auto synchronize, I can't play off my iPod with my work's iTunes. I can even put in lyrics at work, as long as I remember to cut and paste it to my home song before synchronizing..
Yep....that's how the synchronize works. Manually syncing is beneficial if you are connecting your ipod to multiple computers or if your library is bigger than the capacity of your iPod.

What you are describing is the way that sync works. When you autosync, itunes is always the decision maker (ie if the song is in the itunes library, it will go to your ipod, if the library is empty or only has 1 song in it, your ipod will delete whatever music is on it until it matches the library.)

I've been manually syncing my music for as long as I've had an ipod simply because my itunes collection is bordering on 650GB between music, movies, tv shows, videos, and audiobooks. Since apple doesn't make one quite that large :D I'm pretty much forced to manually manage it or use the "only sync checked items" option, but that is too much of a pain to go through and uncheck stuff.

I'm leaning more towards the autosync side of the fence as my library is getting to be almost unmanageable at its current size. It takes approx 5 minutes to close itunes so that it can save the library files.
 

ejsjrnc

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Howard Brazee said:
In manually synchronizing, do you have problems creating duplicates?
I do have some dupes, but I usually will rate those that I find with 1 star and I just delete any 1 starred songs every few weeks.

It also helps to search the contents of your ipod before adding new stuff to see if you are adding duplicates.
 

Howard Brazee

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When I fill my iPod, which will be soon, I will need to only use selected playlists depending on what I want. I infer that when I go to a Christmas party, I will need to first select all my songs on my iPod, delete them, then copy over the Christmas playlist.

This seems so very un-Apple-like.
 
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