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macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 26, 2007
I have 2 file structures of music on network drives. One is a mix of .flac and .mp3 files. The other is a mirrored image of the first with all mp3s. The all mp3 library is missing some songs. I need an app that will compare both file structures and tell me what's missing. The key here is i need a file NAME comparison w/o just finding duplicate files. (since the first library has different files thant he 2nd but the file names are similar).

Any suggestions?


macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2012
I need an app that will compare both file structures and tell me what's missing.
This is where shell scripting comes in very handy.

diff -qr dir1 dir2 | sort
That will give you a list of all the differences between the folders.

The real problem here is that you want to exclude files with the same name but different file extensions. You may be able to isolate those files just by sorting the list, or it may take a bit more work.

Either way, that's why the shell is so powerful and worth learning, rather than relying on finding apps for every conceivable task. :)


macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2012
RE: rsync...

Hi UNCMo96 and benwiggy,

Benwiggy, sorry but I don't mean to be following you around the MacForums, it just worked out that way. In any case, I just wanted to make another suggestion if I may, as it kind of solves two problems with one stone, so to speak.

UNCMo96, benwiggy's suggestion of using "diff" is a great one in order to see the differences between two different directories.

I would also like to recommend the use of the "rsync" command, as it has a particular nice output and shows the differences between two directory structures, including differences in ownerships and links. Not only that, but "rsync" can be executed in its "dry-run" mode, meaning that it just reports on the differences, or in its actual "sync" mode where it will sync one directory to the other, thereby not only reporting on the missing files but actually copying over the missing files. The manpages documentation is particularly extensive in this case ("man rsync") and includes a number of example uses. I use rsync to backup very large iPhoto Libraries as well as iTunes Libraries -- it does a differential, compressed, checksummed, backup of the iPhoto and iTunes directory trees, making copies on different volumes identical to one another.

...just another thought...


P.S. Apps like CCC (Carbon Copy Cloner) use rsync to accomplish its cloning tasks, for instance.
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