Resolved GUIDE: How to replace music in iTunes with HQ files manually

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ilikecorn500, Apr 9, 2015.


Did this method work for you?

  1. Yes.

    1 vote(s)
  2. No.

    0 vote(s)
  3. Somewhat.

    0 vote(s)
  1. ilikecorn500 macrumors member


    May 16, 2011
    Hello iTunes users! :apple:

    TL;DR: Here is a method of replacing LowQ songs in your iTunes library with HighQ versions manually, while keeping things like play counts and playlist information intact.

    For quite a while, I have been trying to find a way to manually replace music in iTunes with higher quality versions of the songs. These higher quality audio files could be from a CD rip, or from an online download; it doesn't matter. iTunes currently only gives you the option to replace tracks when you re-import a CD through iTunes, and the metadata has to be the same. With this method you can take files from anywhere, and use them as replacements for low quality files in your library. The reason this method is preferred is because it retains information like Play Counts, and what playlists the songs are in. This is important for library management, as you don't have to re-add songs to playlists. Here is the step-by-step method I use to replace iTunes music.

    1. Right click on a song in your library, then click "Show in Finder" to open up the Album's folder in Finder (or Windows Explorer. This folder should be located at: /Users/"User"/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music/"Artist"/"Album", with a similar path on Windows).
    2. Select all of the files that you want to replace (I usually replace whole albums), and copy and paste them into a folder on your Desktop (For easy access. This step is so you have a backup of the original files if anything goes wrong.)
    3. Make sure the files were copied to the desktop, and move the files that you are replacing from the iTunes folder to the trash. EMPTY the trash (Or permanently delete the files. This step is so that when you double click on a song in iTunes, it will ask where the file is, instead of playing the file from the trash.)
    4. Copy and paste the higher quality replacement files into the iTunes album folder that is now empty.
    5. Double-click one of the songs in iTunes that you are replacing, and it will ask where the file is. Click "Locate", and double-click the new file in the iTunes folder. It should play, and you have replaced that file. Right-click and click "Get Info", then click "File" to find out whether it's the higher quality version.
    6. Repeat Step 5 for every song that is being replaced. (Sometimes iTunes crashes when this process is repeated too many times. If this happens, reopen iTunes and try again.)

    I am not liable for the possible loss of your files. This method retains things like play count and playlist info, but doesn't keep editable info like artist name, album name, song name, year, track number, lyrics, artwork, etc. (Unless the replacement files already have that information, which they usually do.) You can add this information back if you need to after the replacement process.

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask, and share this information with others if it works for you! If you have suggestions, let me know, as I am always open to new methods and tips. Also, let me know if this works for you by answering the poll.

    Hope this helps!
  2. ilikecorn500 thread starter macrumors member


    May 16, 2011

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