iTunes files: Are the song files on my computers doubles?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by sun surfer, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. sun surfer macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2010
    This has been confusing me forever. When I download songs it creates files on my computer. Then I drag them into iTunes where it copies them. Do I need both files, the iTunes file of the song and the computer file?

    I can't find the files of iTunes songs on my computer on my finder, so I had been figuring that the files were one and the same. Then it hit me that duh, they were probably copies I now have (and never use) sitting on my computer so I can probably delete them, still have the songs on iTunes though and free up half the space all my songs have taken up.

    But before I go on a deleting frenzy I thought I better make sure...
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    It copies them because of your iTunes preferences selection (bottom checkbox):
    iTunes > Preferences > Advanced > organize & copy checkboxes.PNG
    No, you don't need both copies.
    Right-click on a song in iTunes and select "Show in Finder" to see the file.
  3. sun surfer thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2010
    Ah, thanks. Yes, doing the "show in finder" worked...for some reason I couldn't find those before! I swear I'd look in finder in iTunes and it wouldn't show any music...I must not've been looking right.

    OK, so if I uncheck that bottom box, does that mean it'll take the original file and use it? That'd be easier than erasing it every time I copy it to iTunes.

    I guess what I'm asking is - what's the best way to set this up for management when I'm downloading music and then moving it to iTunes? I want to not have double copies taking up space and also do the least moving/deleting possible but still have all the files organized preferably into the itunes area I guess.
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes. I prefer to manage my own files. I have them organized in folders by Genre, Artist and Album under one Music folder. I then use that folder as my iTunes Media folder. No copies are made. Actually, my library is split between my internal drive and an external drive, since it won't all fit on the internal.
  5. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    The best solution depends on your preferences. I prefer to let iTunes manage the files itself; I just want to listen to them and not worry about where they're stored. GGJ, on the other hand, prefers to manage them manually.

    My personal recommendation hinges around iTunes being the "primary repository" for your music. If that's the case, then it's easiest - in my opinion - to let iTunes manage the files itself.

    It might also be worth seeing whether your music download service can integrate with iTunes. Usually I either rip CDs or download from iTunes, but one of the third-party offerings available here can push its downloads straight into iTunes so you don't have the "second file" issue.

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