Let’s face it, who has the time to sort through all those MP3s you downloaded on Limewire back in the day? Or the confusing iTunes files that you no longer touch because you’re using a Samsung phone? Duplicate music files are a nightmare. Because even if you have different file names, you can still have the same song files five times on your computer. But the good news is there are some easy ways you can sort this issue out once and for all.
So let’s take a look at five hacks for removing duplicate music files to see which one is right for you.
1. Use an Online Streaming Service
Some streaming services, such as Youtube Music, allow you to upload all your files to the cloud as a backup. In doing so, they detect duplicates and matches. That means you’ll never have more than one of the same song again.
And, where possible, it’ll take the better quality version of the music and output that instead. So suppose you have an old MP3 from 20 years ago, but the artist is on the streaming service. It will output its own higher-quality version during playback.
Also, some online storage sites like Google Drive or Dropbox offer this feature. You need to make sure you’re uploading everything in the right format. The downside with this method is they only take duplicates based on the file name, not the audio file itself.
2. Use Dedicated Software
Suppose you want something more advanced. In that case, you’re best off using dedicated software such as AudioHijack Pro or Audacity. These programs scan through every single file on your computer, looking for duplicates.
They then match up the audio files using their metadata information. If two files share similar metadata, they compare the actual content of each file. And finally, they delete any duplicates found.
Further, these tools also let you choose how you’d prefer to handle the situation. Some people might want to keep both copies, yet others may want to overwrite the original file. Whatever works best for you.
What’s more, the great thing about many of these tools is that they’re free of charge! So no matter whether you use Windows or Mac OS X, Linux or Android, you should find plenty of options available. Search “audio duplicate remover” on your favorite app store.
3. Use Your Operating System
Some operating systems have software built in that will accommodate this. For example, macOS has a feature called “Smart Folders” which you can use allowing for more targeted song storage. Open it up and select “Find Duplicates.”
Then click OK. Once done, you should see a list of all the duplicates. Clicking on the ones you don’t want will remove them.
For those using Windows, it’s a little trickier without dedicated software. Yet, you could use a third-party tool like WinSweeper or CCleaner.
Both these tools come with a search option that allows you to find duplicates. Remember to run both at once.
If you’re using a Chromebook, then it’s also an easy process. There you’ll find a button labeled ‘Backup Now.’
Select that option and follow the instructions. Then allow Google Drive to scan for the duplicates.
4. Use Data Recovery Tools
Data recovery tools help you to repair damaged hard drives and uncover missing data. Some work in different ways depending on the damage on the disk. But they also work great for removing duplicates.
Some recover deleted files; others repair corrupted partitions. Yet, most of these tools also come equipped with a duplicate finder. Run the tool and let it do its thing.
When finished, check the results. Any duplicates detected will appear here. Delete those you don’t want.
The great thing about doing it this way is that it’ll also pick up non-music file duplicates as well. Suppose you’ve done several backups in the past, and for whatever reason, they’ve all merged onto one disk.
From there, you can do a fresh backup of all your files so you’ll never lose them again! Then it will make it, so you only have one of each file.
5. Start Again
Starting again may seem like a shock to the system, but there is logic to it. Suppose your system is so disorganized that you don’t know where to begin.
With today’s streaming services, the vast majority of music is now available in the palm of your hand. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t start over.
Make sure if you start again that you’ve backed up all your original music if you change your mind! There might be some music that’s no longer available or delete something otherwise. So it’s always good to have a backup.
And, once you get started, remember you don’t have to do it all at once. A bit like a clearout in a house, it might be a good way to work out what you want to keep and don’t want to keep anymore!
If you’re unsure whether to go down the DIY route, then here are some tricks that may help make your decision a little easier.
Removing Duplicate Music Files Is a Breeze
Most of us don’t have the time to dedicate to recategorizing our music in today’s society. With duplicate removal software and music streaming services, removing duplicate music files has never been easier. Let the tech do the hard work for you and recategorize your music collection once and for all.
Keep reading our articles for more top tips to keep your life in order!