Itunes mess - help!

Somehow in a new Windows 7 install/upgrade (from XP) a couple of years ago, I ended up with an iTunes install with two different folder sets. One is iTunes Music, the other iTunes Media (with a Music subfolder.) And for some reason there is a lot of duplication between the folders (wasting HD space) and also iTunes has songs listed that, when I go to play them, it can’t find (they are usually in the “other” folder if I search - but the “other” folder can be either one. Argh!)

What is the best/easiest/most effective way to “fix” iTunes? I do not want it to manage all music/media on my computer, just those in the My Music folder (where iTunes media is located.) Ultimately I want one iTunes Media, Music, and Podcast folder set, with everything located in it, and all duplicates removed. (Also, somehow in all of this I have had quite a few purchased albums disappear, and going to the iTunes store no longer shows that they are purchased (i.e. I can’t just re-download.)


Select everything in the music library view in iTunes, and tell it to delete them. A failsafe dialog box will pop up to cancel, move files to recycle bin, or keep the files. Choose to keep the files; this will keep everything on the hard drive, but remove them from the library.

After that, do whatever manual cleanup you need to do to get stuff out of the folder structures you don’t want stuff in. After all that, file->add folder to library, and add the My Music stuff back in.

Makes sense, as long as I don’t screw up and accidentally delete everything off the computer. I guess now I need to get a good folder compare utility for the cleanup (it would take forever manually, it’s a real mess.)

If you need a good folder compare tool, I’d suggest WinMerge. I have to diff folders all the time for my job and I find this program quite good for it.

That worked - thanks.