Duplicate files - a growing problem

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by bdw56, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. bdw56 macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2010
    I'm new to the Mac and the owner of a 13" Power Book which I love.
    However, I'm finding that whenever I do anything much on the Mac involving photos, video or music, the HD space gets eaten up rapidly. I've worked out that this is partly because the Mac has its own way of storing files. So, for example, if I have a folder called 'My Music', where all my music files are stored, once I import these into iTunes, it it all duplicated into the iTunes library, thereby taking up twice the space.
    I guess that the same thing happens with iphoto and imovie as well.

    I'd appreciate any advice for a Mac virgin on where to store various files to avoid this disc-devouring problem.

    I have searched a fair bit for advice, but only get pointed in the direction of software finding duplicates. I want to avoid the problem recurring and so am asking this question.
  2. filemeaway macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2008
    Once you import your music into iTunes and your photos into iPhoto, just delete the original ones! iPhoto and iTunes are used to interact with this content and the files don't need to be stored in the filesystem anymore. However it's a good idea to back up your original files.

    On the other hand, if you plan on using iTunes and iPhoto the foreseeable future, you might just want to back up the directories (i.e. "Music/iTunes" and 'Photos/iPhoto Library") and forget about the original folders (delete them). The reason for this is that your music and photos are still accessible in filesystem if you need them, but they also accompany "Library files" that contain things like ratings and playlists (iTunes); and albums, slideshows and links to previous version of photos once you make edits (iPhoto).

    Make sense?
  3. Caleb531 macrumors 6502


    Oct 17, 2009
    I would also recommend making sure these items are checked:

    • Copy Items to iPhoto Library in iPhoto
    • Copy files to iTunes Media Folder in iTunes

    Attached Files:

  4. bdw56 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2010
    So is it just imovie and iPhoto and iTunes that automatically save content independently? Are there any other apps that do the same?
  5. Relentlos macrumors member


    Aug 1, 2010
    Those are the main 3 programs, other programs may have similar settings though, anything dealing with libraries such as music, movies, and photos. Always check the preferences.

    Those 3 programs should have settings to disable that function though. If you uncheck "copy items to iTunes media folder" and "keep files organized", and drag your folder full of music into iTunes -- it will not copy them into the iTunes media folder. Instead, it will add them to the library, but keep the files where they are.

    Same with iPhoto, and I'm sure iMovie has a similar setting. It's up to you really.

    As for music, well I prefer iTunes. When I was in the Windows world, I used to store ALL my music in 1 single folder in the "list" view. I would name them "Artist - Title.mp3", and had a terrible time figuring out what metadata is and how to edit it. I remember I'd play a song, and the title displayed would be "track 03" or something.

    I moved to OS X, and now I allow iTunes to copy and handle ALL my music. It stores them in separate folders, but if I ever need the files, they're easy enough to find in an "Artist/Album/# - Track.mp3" organization system. Not only that, but it's even easier when I can just right click and "show in finder". iTunes also displays the metadata so I can easily edit it as if re-naming a file, and changes are automatically reflected on the file names because I also have iTunes set to keep my files organized.

    Photos, not so much, I never liked iPhoto. I also never liked iMovie, it doesn't seem to work with many regular file types, I guess it's mainly for .DV files from HD camcorders.

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