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How to Delete Duplicate Music Files on Mac – A Step-by-Step Guide

Published By Satyam Jha
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On December 21st, 2023
Reading Time 6 Minutes Reading

Summary: Have you ever thought about why your MacBook is slowing? Or Why your computer is lagging? One of the main reasons is duplicate files present in your system. The duplicate files have a broad range of collections. But in this write-up, we will only focus on music files. If you have identical .mp3 files on your Mac, selecting the music you desire could be difficult. Therefore, we will cover the befitting answer to “How to delete duplicate music files on Mac?”

Duplicates are simply copies of the original data file. Considering the above scenario, we have prepared this manual for you containing straightforward and professional solutions to search and remove annoying similar audio files. Let’s take a quick look at these methods.

Table of Contents Hide

Reasons to Delete Duplicate Audio Songs on macOS

  • Save Space: Delete duplicate audio for more storage on macOS.
  • Organize Efficiently: Improve music library clarity by removing duplicates.
  • Smoother Playback: Prevent repeated songs for a seamless listening experience.
  • Avoid Confusion: Eliminate unintentional song repetition in playlists.
  • Optimize Performance: Maintain macOS efficiency with a clutter-free music collection.
  • Quick Access: Find and play songs faster without duplicates.
  • Backup Streamlining: Save space in backups by excluding redundant audio files.

How to Delete Duplicate Music Files on Mac in iTunes?

iTunes can easily capture and eliminate identical songs released by the same artist. But, make sure to have a backup of the audio library before performing the delete operation and also to avoid accidental data loss. Further, this tool is compatible with all the previous versions of macOS such as Mojave, Sierra, or High Sierra. Follow the different approaches given below to remove the copies of songs from iTunes.

Remove Identical Music Files From the Music Option

  • Open iTunes and go to Music.
  • Choose Songs to see all files in your Library.
  • Click View and select All Music.
  • Go to File, then choose Library.
  • Click Show Duplicate Items.
  • Sort or group files by title, artist, genre, or date added for deletion.

Scan and Clean Similar Audio Files with the Tool Bar

  • Select the Song tab in the Tool Bar.
  • Locate duplicate files and click Delete From Library.
  • Tap Move to Trash to permanently delete the music files.

Eliminate Duplicate Copies of MP3 Files through Smart Playlists

  • Go to “File” → “New” → “Smart Playlist.”
  • Set criteria such as “Same Artist” and “Same Album.”
  • Review the playlist for duplicates.
  • Manually delete duplicate original songs.

Find and Remove Exact Similar Copies of Audio Songs

  • Find exact duplicates by pressing the Option button on Mac and navigating to FileLibrary Show Exact Duplicates.

How to Detect and Delete Duplicate Music Files on Mac in Music App?

In the recent Mac updates—Big Sur, Monterey, Ventura, and others—the Music App exclusively manages your song library. In contrast, older macOS versions like Catalina featured iTunes, now succeeded by the Apple Music App. Despite the shift, the procedure to remove duplicate audio files closely mirrors that of iTunes.

Initiate the Music App and opt for Songs on the left sidebar. Then, navigate to File Library Show Duplicate Items. Now, identify and erase duplicate MP3s in Apple Music.

For pinpointing exact duplicates, a hidden feature akin to iTunes is available in Apple Music. Hold down the Option key to unveil exact duplicate files. Subsequently, go to File Library Show Exact Duplicate Items.

How to Eliminate Duplicate Songs on macOS via Terminal?

To effortlessly spot and remove identical audio files, Terminal Commands prove invaluable. However, ensure a backup of your music files as a precaution. Follow these steps:

  • Begin by invoking Spotlight with Command + Space.
  • Type “Terminal,” then hit Enter to launch it.

Navigate to your music directory using the cd command:

cd ~/Music/

Identify duplicate files through the fdupes tool:

fdupes -r .

Review the list of duplicate files presented by fdupes, conveniently grouped together.

Take a moment to manually eliminate duplicate files while retaining a single copy:

rm duplicate_file.mp3

Replace “duplicate_file.mp3” with the specific file name. Exercise caution with the rm command to prevent accidental permanent deletion.

Also Read: How to Delete Duplicate Files on macOS

Limitations in Manually Identifying and Removing Duplicate Music Files

  • Time and labor-intensive.
  • Risk of human error due to overlooked duplicates.
  • Challenging to visually trace similar files.
  • Inconsistent metadata complicates identification.
  • Varied file formats with similar appearances.
  • Incompatibility with large music libraries.
  • Lack of automation for efficient duplicate scanning.

How to Delete Duplicate Music Files on Mac All Versions? – Expert Solution

Nonetheless, the manual approach, while free and easily accessible, has notable drawbacks. Consequently, Duplicates File Finder emerges as a dependable solution for precisely identifying and deleting duplicate music files.

Moreover, the application ensures robust and 100% accurate operations. Its scanning algorithm, primarily based on the MD5 Message-Digest Algorithm, swiftly locates and erases duplicate audio, video, photo, and document files. Noteworthy features include:

  • Thorough scanning of folders and sub-folders
  • Compatibility with Mac and Win OS
  • Recursive scanning capability
  • Options for moving and deleting files
  • Detection of 70+ file formats, including music files (MID/MIDI, OGG, AAC, RealAudio, VQF, etc.)
  • Utilization of multiple scanning methods (MD5 hash, metadata, content hash, etc.)
  • Provision of previews for duplicate files
  • Identification of duplicates across various storage devices (USBs, SD cards, internal and external hard drives)

Salient Steps to Find and Erase Identical Audio Files on macOS

  • Download, install, and launch the macOS Duplicate MP3 Remover tool.

tool preview

  • Add a folder with songs by clicking “Add Folder.”

click on Add Folder

  • In the Scan Configuration dialog, choose the music file type in File Extensions and click Continue.tap on continue to delete duplicate music files on macOS
  • Navigate to the Delete tab.

hit on the Delete tab

  • Confirm the deletion by reviewing the results in the Action section.

Review the Action performed

How to Prevent the Generation of Similar Music Files on Mac?

Things you should know while dealing with audio files in macOS Ventura and other versions. Let’s begin:

  • Opt for a single music file syncing method.
  • Use an external storage device for simultaneous data transfer.
  • Turn off automatic downloads from third-party apps.
  • When iCloud Music Library is active, refrain from using AirDrop to prevent music file duplication.

For iTunes versions older than 12:

  • Open iTunes and navigate to Preferences.
  • Choose Advanced.
  • Enable “Keep iTunes Media Folder Organized.”
  • Enable “Copy Files to iTunes Media Folder When Adding to Library.”
  • Select “Reset All Dialog Warnings” and click OK.

Final Takeaway

In this blog, we have given a suitable answer to the question “How to delete duplicate music files on macOS?” Moreover, we have covered the manual and automated solutions in detail to effortlessly erase identical files. Thus, we conclude that the manual method is free and easily accessible but has some limitations. Therefore, the best approach is to use the duplicate finder and remover application.

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