A friend asked me to help him clean up his iTunes library on his iMac the other night so I asked him to bring it by. When he did I realized what had happened which is he had moved the location of his iTunes folder from his computer to an external drive. After moving the folder he imported all of his music again which caused iTunes to think his 8,000 MP3’s had become 16,000 MP3’s. Half of the tracks had red exclamation points by them because iTunes had information about them but could no longer locate the file since he had moved all of the music to a new folder in a different location. I found an easy solution to resolve this problem on a Mac which I describe in detail below.
Clean Dead Tracks From iTunes Library Using A Script:
- Download Super Remove Dead Tracks: Click this link to visit the Super Remove Dead Tracks download page. Click the “download” button to download the removedeadsuper.zip file.
- Open SRDT Zip File: Your browser may automatically open the zip file but if it does not double click on the zip file that was downloaded in step one to reveal the “Super Remove Dead Tracks v2.1.dmg” file.
- Create Scripts Directory: Now open the OSX Finder window and expand the “[username]/Library/iTunes” folder and create a new folder called “Scripts”. It is possible that the Scripts directory exists but more than likely it does not.
- Move DMG File: After the Scripts directory is created move the “Super Remove Dead Tracks v2.1.dmg” file into “[username]/Library/iTunes/Scripts/” directory.
- Eject Super Remove Dead Tracks: Now click the Eject icon next to Super Remove Dead Tracks in the OSX Finder window as shown in the below image.
- Launch iTunes: Now launch iTunes. If iTunes is already running close it down and launch it again so the new Super Remove Dead Tracks script will show up as shown in the below image.
As you can see in the above example image the Scripts navigation menu is a little icon but once clicked on it will display any third party scripts that are installed for iTunes. In this example we only have the Super Remove Dead Tracks script.
- Run Super Remove Dead Tracks: Once iTunes is running and the Super Remove Dead Tracks is displayed highlight it in the Scripts navigation menu and then click Super Remove Dead Tracks from the drop down to run the application. A message will display asking you to confirm with the Super Remove Dead Tracks script as shown in the below example image.
Depending on the amount of tracks you have it could take a long time to run. Every 500 iTunes tracks that Super Remove Dead Tracks goes through it will display a status message as shown below.
The iMac computer that I was using this script with had an iTunes installation with roughly 16,000 tracks of which half of them were dead tracks. In this scenario the Super Remove Dead Tracks script went through the first 8,000 iTunes tracks without removing any and then I thought it didn’t work. What actually happened was it went through all the non-dead tracks first and then was taking longer when it got to the tracks it was removing so be patient while you are running the script. The only status message you will get is the above window which will display for seconds every 500 tracks. You can also watch the bottom of iTunes to see the total number of tracks slowly going down as it removes the dead tracks from the iTunes library.
It took hours for the 8,000 or so dead tracks to be removed from my friends iTunes library installed on his iMac which took awhile but it sure beats having to do it manually. Remember to be patient while the script is working as it may appear as though iTunes is locked up when in fact the Super Remove Dead Tracks script is still working.