Looking for a way to remove all the music that isn't in a playlist from iTunes
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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor A$H's Avatar
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    Default Looking for a way to remove all the music that isn't in a playlist from iTunes

    It's 2019 and I've a hard drive filled with tracks that I haven't played from 3-9 years. All the tracks that I play and want to keep are organised in playlists in iTunes and I've backed everything up incase whatever I do goes wrong, I'm now just looking for an easy and safe way to delete the rest.

    Any ideas or solutions would be greatly appreciated, cheers.

  2. #2
    Tech Guru SirReal's Avatar
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    The easiest way I can think of would be to remove all tracks from the Traktor database BUT keep their Traktor tags and then reimport all the iTunes playlists. Unfortunately, there's no way to sort by "tracks in playlists".

    Sorry, I just noticed you didn't specify your software, i just assumed Traktor. My bad.
    Last edited by SirReal; 01-27-2019 at 03:20 PM.
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  3. #3
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    I can think of a way using Smart Playlists, then using duplicate finder software... It’s a bit long-winded, though:

    1) Create a Smart Playlist called “Everything”. This should have a condition that will ensure ALL files in your iTunes library will meet it. I use “Artist IS NOT (blank)”.

    2) Create another Smart Playlist called “Everything I Don’t Play”. Conditions for this should be “Playlist IS Everything” + “Playlist IS NOT (name of your existing playlist(1))” + “Playlist IS NOT (name of your existing playlist(2))” +..... You’ll need a “Playlist IS NOT...” condition for each of all your existing playlists. This will give you a list of all songs in the library that are NOT in you current, in use playlists.

    3) Now - to delete the files from your hard-drive, you need to get a bit clever. (You could just remove them from your iTunes Library by highlighting the list and deleting - but that would leave the files on your HDD). Highlight all the files in the playlist in 2), and then click-drag them to a folder on your desktop. This will create duplicates of those files in the new folder on the desktop.

    4) Now, using a (free?) Duplicate Finder software, run a check against the new folder on your desktop, and the original location/locations of those files. It might take a while. Once the results are returned, elect to KEEP all the files in your new desktop folder, and DELETE them if they exist anywhere else. Exit Duplicate Finder, and zip up your new folder on the desktop for archiving.

    5) Go back to iTunes and delete everything in your “Everything I Don’t Play” Playlist.

    It’s late - this might be 100% on point, but it’s ceryainly one way of doing it. It’s how I’d do it...
    Last edited by Patch; 01-27-2019 at 05:14 PM.
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  4. #4
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    I do something similar to Patch's method, but I don't bother with smart playlists

    1. - Find a field in your iTunes tags that you don't normally use. ...I use "grouping"
    2. - Highlight all your tracks in playlists, & edit the text in the "Grouping" field. .....maybe change it to something like "keepers".
    3. - Go to the "Songs" view in iTunes (the one that shows all your tracks), make sure "Grouping" is set up as a column header & sort by that column.
    4. - Select all the tracks that don't have "keepers" in the grouping field (they'll all be together as you're sorted by that column). At this point you could also drag these tracks out to another location in Finder/Windows explorer if you need to archive them, but as long as you've got them safely archived, just hit "delete"
    5. -As long as you've set your iTunes preferences so that your music is in the media folder location, you'll be offered an option to either just remove from iTunes, or move to the trash. ......move to the trash.
    Last edited by thisisian; 01-28-2019 at 07:28 AM.
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  5. #5
    Tech Mentor A$H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisisian View Post
    I do something similar to Patch's method, but I don't bother with smart playlists

    1. - Find a field in your iTunes tags that you don't normally use. ...I use "grouping"
    2. - Highlight all your tracks in playlists, & edit the text in the "Grouping" field. .....maybe change it to something like "keepers".
    3. - Go to the "Songs" view in iTunes (the one that shows all your tracks), make sure "Grouping" is set up as a column header & sort by that column.
    4. - Select all the tracks that don't have "keepers" in the grouping field (they'll all be together as you're sorted by that column). At this point you could also drag these tracks out to another location in Finder/Windows explorer if you need to archive them, but as long as you've got them safely archived, just hit "delete"
    5. -As long as you've set your iTunes preferences so that your music is in the media folder location, you'll be offered an option to either just remove from iTunes, or move to the trash. ......move to the trash.
    I got up early yesterday, backed up all my iTunes file and did this, worked like a charm! Thanks for everyones advice, my hard drive is now 45gig lighter.

  6. #6
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    Glad to be able to help.
    Cheers

    IAN WILLIAMS

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