How to remove music duplicates?
A collection of digital music inevitably contains duplicate files. Some of
them can be useful (like remixes, album vs. live version, etc.), others just
occupy disk space and clutter playlists. Sometimes you may simply want to go
lossless and replace your MP3 music with FLAC or APE. In such case you will need
to delete MP3 duplicates. Doing it manually may take quite some time, so it
would be nice to be able to apply some automatic solution. However, most
duplicate finder tools will not be able to detect that some MP3 file is a
duplicate of another FLAC file.
In general deleting duplicates will free up precious disk space without
losing any useful information. We will see how to remove duplicates of music
files with Music Duplicate Remover. The program supports all most popular
formats of audio files and can recognize duplicates in different formats, with
or without ID3 tags etc.
Step 1: Download and install the program.
Download Music Duplicate Remover to your computer and start the file. Follow
on-screen instructions to install the duplicate remover.
Step 2: Start the program. Adjust duplicate search settings.
Start Music Duplicate Remover. Its main window will be shown:
You can easily notice that the interface is similar to Windows Explorer: on
the left panel, there is a tree of folders on your computer. To scan a folder
for duplicates, just tick the corresponding checkbox.
The right panel is almost empty at this moment, but we can see the two tabs
here: "Search options" and "Grouping options". The first one is selected by
default. Here we have the "Compare" dropdown list. It contains three
preinstalled duplicate search profiles: "By ID3 tags", "By sound", and "By sound
and ID3 tags". These profiles are not final, they simply offer different
combinations of search parameters. You can edit or delete the profiles and add
your own ones.
Now let's click the "Show settings" link (shown on the screenshot above) to
take a look at the complete set of search parameters:
Here we can see what is preinstalled for the "By ID3 tags" profile. Only the
fields that have a checkmark in the corresponding box will be compared in your
files. The numbers next to the fields allow assigning different "weight" for
different fields, that is, we can make the title field more important than the
album field by assigning 100 to title and 50 to album.
The "Ignore fields with empty values" box controls how empty ID3 tags should
be handled. We played with it a bit and decided that it should be disabled by
default, which is for some reason not the case. So, if you decide to search for
duplicates using ID3 tags, try disabling this option. This should deliver more
On the right, there is a "Compare by sound" area. Luckily, there are very few
options to adjust, and finding duplicates by sound works great in the program,
so we would prefer this option.
The "Supported formats" area can be used to enable or disable scanning files
in various supported formats. For example, we can uncheck the "MP3" box, and the
program will not scan any MP3 files.
Now a few words about the "Grouping options" tab:
Here we can add folders where duplicates are to be kept and folders where
duplicates are to be deleted. This will allow the program automatically sorting
lists of duplicates as we want.
In just the same way, on the right, we can assign priority to file extensions
by putting most important file formats to the top of the list and choose how to
prioritize bitrate. In our example, FLAC will be preferred over APE, MP3 comes
on the third place. This means that if the program finds similar FLAC and APE
files, FLAC will be marked as the original file, and APE will be marked for
Of course, we will still review the list of duplicates manually, but these
options will make our life much simpler.
Step 3: Find music duplicates.
Have necessary folders selected? For our example, we will use the "By sound"
profile. Let's click the "Find duplicates" button on the toolbar. Music
Duplicate Remover starts scanning:
After scanning we will get this message:
Click "OK". Now the list on the right is populated:
We can expand the list to see the duplicates. On the screenshot above, we can
see files highlighted in green and red. These colors come from the "Grouping
options" tab: we added one folder to the list of folders where duplicates must
be kept, and the other folder is in the list of folders where duplicates must be
deleted. Here we can see that the program has sorted all files correctly,
marking unwanted duplicates for removal. However, we can also see that for the
first pair of duplicates, both files are highlighted with green. This means that
both of them are in the folder where duplicates must be kept. The program lists
the duplicate anyway, but if we want to remove one of them, we should mark it
for removal (check the corresponding box) manually. This option makes sure that
we will not delete important files by mistake.
Finally, click the "Delete duplicates" button on the toolbar to remove the
The trial version of Music Duplicate Remover will delete up to 20 duplicates.
If you like the program and its features, you can register it and remove all
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