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Catalina Music App duplicates

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My music library is in a lot of chaos.  But, I am trying to sort it out.  In the old iTunes, I could go to File> Library >show duplicates and in that screen there was a "same album" button.  Not so in Catalina.  I did show duplicates and 8,000 items showed up.  Half of what I could see had a cloud next to them.  I searched and found a command for view>only downloaded files. Now there are 5200 files but they do not appear to be duplicates.  I selected by title and by album, but I do not see where there are duplicates.  I tried calling Apple support but the wait was killing me.  I would appreciate any assistance.  Thanks

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  • 2 weeks later...



KirkMc, I have had enough time during this quarantine to work on the duplicates issue.

I tried Dupin and was not fully satisfied.  I then tried Tune Sweeper 4 and did not get any better solution.  I then went to Duplicate File Fixer.  During this time, Apple support sent me to the above link. In reading it over several times, it seems that Catalina Music App creates duplicate files.  

"You can consolidate all the files in your library in the Music folder—for example, to make it easier to move your library to a new computer.

  1. In the Music app f35a3359ed041c52f973d652a65d41f8.png on your Mac, choose File > Library > Organize Library.

  2. Select “Consolidate files.

    Files remain in their original locations, and copies are placed in the default folder."

I ran Duplicate File Fixer on the two different folders and found several duplicates in each.  But, I am not happy with two Music folders.  Have you had any issues with this?  I downloaded your latest book and will read for any solutions.


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The Music app copies all the files to the location of the folder set in the preferences. You can then delete the other files that weren’t in that folder (though do keep a backup until you’re sure that nothing is missing). The point is to consolidate the files in one location. 

I write about Macs, music, and more at Kirkville.

Author of Take Control of macOS Media Apps

Co-host of The Next Track podcast.

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  • 1 year later...

Thanks for getting back. You're my only hope to avoid rebuilding from ground up.


@cambridgehank I now find myself in your same position with half my songs in folders with a "1" extension. Do you recall how you sorted it out all those months ago or how you'd recommend I do so efficiently now?

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I suspect the reason for this happening may be because the iTunes Media folder (i.e. the actual Artist/Album music library) lost its link to the other top-level files under the iTunes folder (iTunes Library.itl, iTunes Library .xml etc) when the switch of operating system was made. Many folk keep their iTunes Media folder in a separate location to the other folders in their top-level iTunes folder.


The solution to this is to keep all the folders under the iTunes folder in the same location. I've been doing this for many years (keeping the iTunes folder on a USB disc separate from the system disc) and have had no problems when upgrading the Mac OS (now on Catalina).


@Pamelane do you have all these iTunes folders still available in the their state before you upgraded? Is the old iTunes Media folder in a different location to the top-level iTunes folder? If the answer is yes to both these questions I suggest that you create a new top-level iTunes folder containing both the old iTunes Media folder as well as the old iTunes Library.itl, iTunes Library .xml etc, in a new location. Then whilst depressing the alt key run the Music app. This will request you to choose a library: make note of where your current library is and then select the new iTunes folder you have created (NOT the iTunes Media folder). This should pick up your library in the form it was before your current problems. Note if this does not work you can always go back to where you were by restarting the Music app whilst depressing the alt key and choosing your old library location.


Hope this helps.

ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ running MinimServer with Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP for control >

Hi-Fi 1: Airport Extreme bridge > Netgear switch > TP-Link optical isolation > dCS Network Bridge AND PS Audio PerfectWave Transport > PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge Mk.II > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus Anniversary Edition .

Hi-Fi 2: Sonore Rendu > Chord Hugo DAC/preamp > LFD integrated > Harbeth P3ESRs and > Sennheiser HD800

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