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Old Jan 12, 2009, 10:09 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2008
How to isolate missing tracks (exclamation mark)

If for any reason you find yourself with random missing tracks, (or are trying to recover from a dying hard drive like me), there is an easy way to isolate those missing tracks.

1. Create a standard playlist called "Not Missing".
2. Drag your entire library into that playlist. Missing tracks cannot be copied to a playlist.
3. Create a smart playlist called "Missing" where Playlist - is not - Not Missing.

Voila! All your missing tracks with the dreaded exclamation mark are now in a playlist. You have three options:
1. Delete them
2. Reconnect them by manually finding the proper files.
3. Reimport your CDs, which will retain the ratings and playcounts, etc.
24" Aluminum iMac, 64GB iPad 3G, 32 GB white iPhone 3GS
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Old Jan 12, 2009, 10:14 PM   #2
macrumors Westmere
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Very cool! Thanks!
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Old Jan 13, 2009, 02:39 AM   #3
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Location: NZ
Thanks for that.
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Old Jan 13, 2009, 10:47 AM   #4
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Yes, there's been a few times I've been 'weeding' my library and could have used that. Will remember for future. Thanks!
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Old Jan 13, 2009, 01:39 PM   #5
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I use a script called "Super-Remove Dead Tracks" from It goes through and deletes all exclamation-marked tracks, then helpfully puts their details in a text file on my desktop so I can see what was deleted. This works particularly well for me because, as a rule, my missing tracks actually ARE missing--they're not on a different drive, they're gone because I've connected to my iMac from my iBook to delete 'em but haven't bothered about their entries in iTunes. Of course, this only works for Mac users while the clever playlist trick above will work for all.
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Old Jan 13, 2009, 02:12 PM   #6
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Great trick. Thx.
iMac 24", MBP 15", Phone 4, Pod 40 GB, Touch 16 GB, Shuffle 1 GB, aTV 2
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Old Jan 13, 2009, 07:59 PM   #7
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Actually, for anyone who uses playlists, I wouldn't recommend removing missing (exclamation point) tracks... they work very well as placeholders. I assume a script like Doug's doesn't (and can't) record the playlists and playlist positions a track holds before it gets removed.

This is the biggest problem, I think, of moving tracks around in iTunes... delete one track and every playlist it's on is altered, with no record kept of what has changed.
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