Managing duplicates in your playlist like a pro

Published the 8th Feb, 19 in the Tips and tricks category

Managing duplicate iTunes tracks in your Music library is a frustrating task that requires time and a lot of effort. Here is how to make it a breeze.

iTunes’ “Show duplicates” feature is helpful but you still have to examine every single track and somehow decide whether you want to keep or delete the duplicates it might find.

Dupin IS the solution. I used it for years now, with my personal way, and it’s work perfectly.
But if you have a huge library, and especially if you work with a lot of playlist, after years, you probably have duplicates placed in different play lists.


Let’s say 5 years ago you downloaded an album, tagging and rating it.

You placed these tracks in play lists according to your library organization.

Today, because you forgot you had downloaded it, or because you want a better sound quality, you download the same album again and place it in your library organization.

Resulting in play lists duplicates.


If you open iTunes, choose View -> Show Duplicates, you may have duplicates that are not exact duplicates.

It marked the tracks as duplicates even though one was a live version of a track and another was the studio take. 

It is an uneasy task to delete every tracks one by one and making any mistakes.


Managing duplicates with Dupin

Instead, I now turn to Dupin.

This is a Macintosh Universal application that searches through your iTunes library (or categories or play lists within that library) looking for duplicate files. 

Unlike iTunes’ Show Duplicates command, Dupin allows you to configure how duplicates are identified. You can include Name, Artist, Album, Time, Size, Sample Rate, Bit Rate, and Kind. So, for example, because the live and studio versions of a song are likely to have different times and sizes enabling one of these criteria eliminates them as duplicate suspects.


Once Dupin has found the duplicate files, you can then choose which to remove from the library via a Filter window. 

You can choose, for example, to remove the duplicates added least recently, or played less often, or with the highest or lowest bit rate. 

And you can tell Dupin to always keep files encoded in a certain format — AIFF or Apple Lossless, for example, if you want to hang on to the versions with the best audio quality. 

When you configure these options and then click the Filter button, Dupin will, by default, place a check mark next to the files it will keep. Choose File -> Purge, and it will remove those tracks that lack the check mark. (You’re offered the option to remove the tracks from the library but keep them on your hard drive or move them to the trash.)


Dupin works perfectly... (Source Doug’s Apps for iTunes)

With Dupin you can:

  • Quickly find all sets of duplicate iTunes tracks based on your choice of criteria
  • Select the “Keeper” tracks from among several duplicates automatically using a variety of versatile filtering options
  • Consolidate the play, skip, and ratings information from all tracks in a Dupe Group to the single “Keeper” track
  • Re-populate iTunes play lists replacing “non-Keeper” tracks with “Keeper” tracks
  • Remove duplicate tracks from iTunes and send files to the Trash
  • Audition tracks with Quick Look
  • Manage intentionally duplicated tracks
  • Delete duplicate “dead” tracks
  • View duplicates in non-loaded libraries created with iTunes’ multiple library feature
  • Sort tracks and view track info
  • Export a list of duplicates to a text file
  • Locate tracks in the Finder and in iTunes


Personally, I won’t choose the entire library duplicates finder way.

I will find the duplicates in play lists because I placed different tracks files in different play lists.

To be clear, for example, I placed a “Van Halen Jump” file track in the playlist “Heavy Metal” few years ago, and another file version of the same track in the playlist “Rock” today.

If I try to find the duplicates in the entire library, one of the two versions of this track will be deleted and disappear from one of the play lists.

I work with Dupin only in play lists and I don’t delete the duplicates as trash files, but only delete from the play lists.

But I also work on the tracks recently downloaded or unrated yet with Dupin to avoid future problems.

I create a smart playlist named “Unrated”, which mean that no tracks are in playlist yet. If you read previous posts on rating stars, you know than the ratings are the tracks already cleaned, tagged and placed in play lists.

With this “Unrated“ playlist, I use Dupin and find duplicates.

As usual, I delete the duplicates, but now I can delete as trash files because it's not in my playlist yet.


Download Dupin here:

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