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Merging iTunes Libraries

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I have a laptop and a work computer, and my wife has her own laptop, each of which has its own iTunes library. I am trying to figure out how to merge all three without duplicating too many of the tracks. I wish it was as easy as just using the "view duplicate tracks" function in iTunes, but we have far too many tracks to make that a practical option. And, just because a track has the same artist and song title doesn't mean it is a duplicate (live tracks, for example). Also, we have both been changing track info independently; for example, I went through a period where I was changing tracks from compilations to the reflect the original album. I have also decided to replace lower bit rate versions with lossless rips. The complication is that we are no longer in possession of all of the CDs we use to own: damaged disks thrown out, ones lost in moves (or taken by our ex's), disks from my college days stored in my parent's attic.


It seems like the easiest way to do this would be to rip all of the CD's I have available, then copy the files from each library, but only replace existing files if the title, artist, and album match and the bitrate is higher than the file that already exists. Does anyone have a script or automator work flow to do this?






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I don't have that. So, I'd probably try it differently since I tend to plod manually.


I'd give each set of music on each machine an identifier group code or set some field so that it will eventually be a sort field in case I panic. That will always let you view what came from where.


Rip your CDs


I think I'd delete what I ripped new from the other machines first - JMHO


Then consolidate the balance and no dups to face expect those form non ripped music.


Seems the challenge is since you have multiple copies of the same song with different user edits, I don't know how you could consolidate into one song. Next, you want to delete all the dups but keep the non-dups and that could get confusing. It's not that hard to deal with tho really. I'm sure there are exceptions based on order of magnitude. 5,000 songs not such a big deal. 50,000 likely a pain. Given a couple laptops and a work PC I'm gonna guess that you aren't dealing with 4TB of music, so it's probably not insurmountable. I could be wrong.


You could always go down the songs in iTunes after consolidation and reloading and just set everything to delete to a unique field. Resort and zap em. Even if you locate an app to automate, since you have done multiple edits to the tags for the same song, I think your going to get less than perfect results.


This advice is worth what you paid for it!




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Thanks for the reply. The more I think about it, the less possible an automated solution seems. All of the new rips will be a different file format, so I won't be able to use file names to check for duplicates. I think I will rip all of the CDs, delete the music I know I have CDs for from the libraries, dump everything into one iTunes library, and start looking for duplicates... unless anyone else has a good idea.




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