How to rebuild your iTunes library

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A customer came to us looking to clean up his iTunes duplicates and rebuild his iTunes library. As we searched the web for answers, we found that no one seemed to have a good solution so we ended up figuring it out for ourselves.

What follows works on a PC, but we are confident the same technique can be used on a Mac.

Step by step instructions:

  1. Move your iTunes library out of your Music folder (Desktop seems like a reasonable place to move it to.)
  2. Check that the Music folder is empty then open iTunes. It will create a new empty iTunes library.
  3. Exit iTunes.
  4. Delete all the files in the old iTunes base folder (iTunes Library Extras.itdb, iTunes Library Genius.itdb, iTunes Library.itl, iTunes Music Library.xml, and “sentinel.”)
  5. Modify the old iTunes music as needed (remove duplicates etc.).
  6. Move the old iTunes library back to your system Music folder.
  7. Open iTunes.
  8. Click on “File”, then on “Add Folder to Library,” then drill down to your Music folder and select it.

iTunes will now rescan your music folder and rebuild the iTunes library with your modified content.

That’s it. You’re done! Enjoy your music.

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