iTunes 4.7 available

by brian d foy

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There isn't much to report here. I started iTunes today and it told me to upgrade.

It looks like most of the new stuff is for the new iPod, but there is a curious new feature in the Edit menu. Select a playlist or library and the "Show Duplicate Songs" menu item becomes available.

To try this new feature, I actually had to do a little work. iTunes is smart enough to not add twice the same file to the music library. First, I added an MP3 and changed it's tag info inside iTunes. I then re-added the original file again.

iTunes doesn't think they are the same song, though. The "Display Duplicate Songs" doesn't find them.

I change their tag info back to what it should be, an iTunes now thinks they are duplicates.

I change one letter in the title of one. They are no longer duplicates.

Some people have been keeping low-rate encoded versions so they can cram more onto their iPod. I down-sample the duplicate, and change its tag info to match the original. iTunes still thinks they are duplicates, even though one is encoded at a lower bit rate.

I import a completely different MP3, making sure it's a different play length. I change its tag info to be exactly the same as the first MP3. iTunes thinks they are the same, even though they have different lengths.

Worse than that, not all of the tag fields matter. I can add a comment to one but not the other, and iTunes still thinks they are duplicates. If I change the Song Name and Artist have to be the same, but the Album and Genre can be different. I guess this almost makes sense: rip your favorite artist along with a couple of greatest hits CDs and you get the same song twice, but with different album names. On the other hand, I have three versions of "Ghost Rider in the Sky" by Johnny Cash, and they are not duplicates, but since they have the same Song Name and Artist, iTunes says that they are.

So, on first look, I think "Show Duplicate Songs" is a dubious feature. I want it to look inside the file and compare the bits of the MP3 frames while ignoring the tag. If the frames are the same, it's the same song even if the tags are different.


2004-10-31 10:57:30
I think it's for playlists
I think this feature is mainly for the playlists. If you create a mix, say Mega-80s, and then start dropping songs in until you get to 200 or so, then you might have accidentally added the same song twice. I do this all the time. I forget if I've added a song so I just copy it over again.
2004-10-31 12:11:29
I think it's for playlists
Ah, right.

But I never understood why iTunes let you have the same song twice in a single playlist anyway.