iTunes imports and duplicates, grrrrrrr!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by rich295, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. rich295 macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2011
    I recently transferred all my music from my old PC to my new Macbook pro (via an external hard drive). Importing my 95 GB music folder into iTunes yields a couple of problems:

    1. Running out of disk space: I notice when importing all files are copied to Music > iTunes > iTunes Media > Music. Is there a way to prevent this on import in order to save disk space??? (iTunes on Windows simply accesses the files from its original location rather than copying them.)

    2. Duplicates: Over 5000 duplicates are created. When I search for a particular song in Spotlight I find that it only exists in one location on disk but still appears in iTunes twice (sometimes 3 times) Why does this happen and what can be done to prevent it???

  2. 840quadra Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    It is under Settings and advanced. You simply tell iTunes where the media files are to be kept, and you can also uncheck the setting that copies the files into your library if you wish to.

    Click for larger​

    In my case I usually do the following.

    1. Leave iTunes pointed to the default media location
    2. uncheck the option that copies the files to my library
    3. Drag and drop the entire folder containing the music into iTunes from my external drive.
    4. Wait for the iTunes database to update, but, in this case it is simply importing pointers to my external drive, as opposed to moving the files to my internal drive, and taking up more space.

    In my case the bulk of my media is on a firewire drive, while new downloads or purchases are located on my laptop hard drive. I later manually copy the files over, and then update the database (simply Delete them from within iTunes, then re-import them from the Firewire drive).

    Obviously I need to have my Firewire drive connected for me to access those files, but I do have enough newer content on my system to have truly mobile content.
  3. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    There is an option under Preferences that states something to the effect of "Keep files in their original location".

    I actually prefer having them organized all in one place, but some do not of course.

    EDIT: ^beat me to it...and a much better post. :)
  4. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    If you do it properly there won't be duplicates.

    If you don't know how Apple Store can transfer it for you.
  5. rich295 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2011
    Thanks for the help guys! seems to be working fine
  6. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Yep yep; I find it easiest to create a folder that's called "Add to iTunes" and drop everything that I'm going to add in there. That way, I have it set to copy all files into the iTunes library; I can just add the entire folder in one click then delete everything in the folder. This ensures only one file is on the HDD and it is organized by iTunes itself.

    There is also a button that shows duplicates; just click File (in iTunes) and scroll down to "show duplicates". That way if you have them, you can delete them in house.

    Hope this helped :) And of course, if you want me to elaborate feel free to ask.
  7. Samuriajackon macrumors 6502


    Feb 9, 2009
    So I can't seem to figure out how to keep the music copying stuff on and the movies copying things off.

    I want to watch movies without them being copied to iTunes lib...but i like having that done to music.

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