Music found in two folders with duplicates

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mosley

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My apologies if this question has been asked before...
Recently one of my playlists "disappeared." I searched a few forums and tried a few suggestions, but I felt the best resolution was to retrieve the iTunes library files from my backup. This worked fine, but I noticed one of the songs I recently imported was no longer in iTunes, but still could be found within the iTunes folder in Finder. I didn't think this was a big deal and something must have happened to the library database that caused it to crash. But this prompted me to start looking at the folders and files in my iTunes library. First I noticed that I had the same music in two locations:

myHomeFolder>Music>iTunes>iTunes Media>Music and myHomeFolder>Music>iTunes>Music

But I found they were not exactly the same after checking the info of both music folders. I found the music in the iTunes Media>Music folder was about 4 times the size of the other. After viewing the files in the folders of the iTunes Media>Music folder I found there are duplicates of every song in every album in this folder. In some cases there are three copies of the same song.

Note that the same song is found within the same album folder. For instance: within the Adele 19 album/folder I have the following files:



And the one iTunes is using is:



My first question is why do I have two different locations for my music? It appears that iTunes is only using the files in the iTunes Media>Music folder. Can I delete the iTunes>Music folder?

Why do I have two and three duplicates of the same song? How did this happened? What do I do about it? Should I leave everything as is? Should I start deleting files? How do I prevent this from happening again?

I am using a MacBook Pro with OSX 10.8.4 and iTunes 11.0.5. I allow iTunes to consolidate my files and reorganize the files.
Thanks.
 

cjmnews

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The old location for iTunes to store content (pre-iTunes v9) was a folder called "iTunes Music"
The new location for iTunes to store content is now called "iTunes Media"

If you ever install a newer version of iTunes and import the "iTunes Music" folder to rebuild the library, the content is copied to the "iTunes Media" folder. This makes 2 copies of your content. You should be able to delete the "iTunes Music" folder with no problems. I would first check my library for missing tracks (http://forums.ilounge.com/itunes-related-mac-pc-applications/242332-how-isolate-missing-tracks-exclamation-mark.html), then send "iTunes Music" to the trash, but leave it there to be restored if needed, and check my library for missing tracks again to see if there was an increase.

Your use of the old library, showed the recent song was missing.

Then you imported the song again, and since you have iTunes managing your library, it copied the file and made a new version of it.

You can delete the other copies if you'd like. You can prevent this by not rolling back to old libraries unless you have to.
 

mosley

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@cjmnews, thanks for the reply, but i am still missing something...

Your use of the old library, showed the recent song was missing.

Then you imported the song again, and since you have iTunes managing your library, it copied the file and made a new version of it.

You can delete the other copies if you'd like. You can prevent this by not rolling back to old libraries unless you have to.
I believe this is how it happened: My iTunes has been at v11.0.5 for the longest time. I recently imported a song. Within a day or two after that I opened iTunes and one of my playlists was gone. I moved the iTunes library files (iTunes Music Library.xml and iTunes Library.itl) to my trash and the imported playlists from those same files I had backed up recently (I may have done this procedure more than once). After all this the recently imported song could be found in both the iTunes Music folder and the iTunes Media folder, but not in iTunes itself.

But I guess none of this is really critical, right? I think my major issue is the fact that I have 2 and 3 copies of the same song in every album folder in my iTuned Media folder. Any idea what is going on here?
 

cjmnews

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The missing playlist is either through accidental deletion, or a failure to save the iTunes Library.itl file after creating it (power outage, disc failing).

It is hard to say exactly the root cause of the duplicates, most likely it is caused by reimporting the folder structure of iTunes Media with an older version of iTunes that did not handle detection of existing tracks well. It could be something else, but I can't really be sure.

Assuming you already tried the Exclamation Mark link above, and found that you are not missing any tracks, it is possible to eliminate the duplicates.

Consolidate your library to a new location "clean iTunes Media", that will copy only the songs that are in your library (eliminating the duplicates), then if you want it in the original location, you can delete the "iTunes Media" folder, then Consolidate back to the "iTunes Media" folder.
 

mosley

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I did the Exclamation Mark link but I wasnt missing any songs. I consolidated to a new location then back to the iTunes Media folder. I think everything is good now. I cannot thank you enough!
 
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