Home > Uncategorized > Removing Dead Links from iTunes

Removing Dead Links from iTunes

Having duplicates or deadlinks in my iTunes is akin to having a little thorn in the flesh. It definitely won’t kill you and you probably can live with it but it sure is helluva annoying!

I’ve tried a couple of times to sort through my massive collection of tunes which I’ve painstakingly amassed over the last 20 years but I always gave up in the end. #Epic Fail. Bottom line: Without the proper methods, one would need an impressive amount of patience which as you probably know, I clearly do not have.

A couple of days ago, however, during one of my moments of idle surfing, I happen to chance upon a post which talked about using smart playlist in itunes to help remove deadlinks. Smart playlist?? Really??? I was a little sceptical at first but since the instructions looked rather straightforward (and I didn’t have much to do that night), I decided to give it a shot. And what can I say: Bloody hell!!! It WORKED!

So I’m going to put the general instructions in this blog post but also post a link to the original post to show just how appreciative I am of the great suggestions.

Note: I used Option 1 for no other reason then I got a little confused by the numerous updates that the author appended towards the end of the post. Go ahead and use Option 2 though….It should work fine.

Here we go:

Option 1 (Using 2 Smart Play List and 1 Static Playlist):

1. Make a smart playlist called “All Files” with this rule: “Artist” is not “123456789″ (or any nonsense name that won’t be in your library).

2. Make a static playlist called “All Live Files”.

3. Make a smart playlist called “Missing Files” with these rules: Match all of the following rules, Playlist is “All Files”, Playlist is not “All Live Files”

4. Select all the files from “All Files” and drag them into “All Live Files”. The dead files marked (!) will not copy over.

5. “Missing Files” will contain all of your dead files. Select all and delete. Voila, a nice clean iTunes library.

I have these three playlists in their own folder. Whenever I gather more than a couple dead tracks for whatever reason, I delete all the tracks in “All Live Files” and repeat steps 4 and 5.

Option 2  (Using 1 Smart Play List and 1 Static Playlist)

1) Make a static playlist called “All Live Files” and copy your entire library into it.
2) Make a smart playlist called “Missing Files” with the rules set as ” ‘Playlist’ ‘is’ ‘Music’ ” and another rule set as ” ‘Playlist’ ‘is not’ ‘All Live Files’ ”
3) As stated in your blog, the broken songs will not transfer and “Missing Files” will contain all those broken songs.

How to Delete a file from a playlist:

Windows: SHIFT + DEL

Note: At the time of this writing, I haven’t found an easy way to get rid of duplicates. The rather time consuming way is still to use the “Show Duplicates” options provided by iTunes and then manually selecting and deleting those duplicates. Will update if I get anything.


Link to original post:  Paul Mayne

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
  1. November 8, 2012 at 3:38 am

    Great tutorial! After moving MP3s around my HDD, always wondered how to delete all the resulting dead links at once.

    • Jamie Tan
      November 8, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      Glad that it helped you!

  2. Tony
    December 18, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Strange, the missing/dead files (!) copied over when I followed both options for copying all files to ALL LIVE FILES. I wonder if I need to disable iTunes Match.

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