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  1. #1
    83Gator's Avatar
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    Music Library Help Needed

    I've got a fairly large personal collection of music across many genres amounting to about 350 gigs - about 80K songs. Acquired from numerous venues, my library is a mess and I need to do something. Basically, I'm looking for a file organizer/player; I'd rather freeware but would not mind paying a small, one time download $50 or less. But I'd prob. try any freeware first. The most important tool I'm looking for is software that will find my duplicate tracks and tell me which is of the best quality. I'm guessing I've prob. got as much as 20% duplicate files.

    As far as organizing and playing, I've enjoyed the free version of Media Monkey. But the free version did not have the specific tools I'm wanting. I've done a search and have found some options, but I'd like to know what the mighty Hulk has to say in this matter...

    What else is out there, is free or nearly so, and is easy to use?

    Thanks guys -

    Gator


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    You are not alone, I see this often. You have a collection that is very valuable to you, yet you want to spend nearly nothing to manage and improve it. Since you intend to delete duplicates, if the software messes up you could actually lose files you wanted to keep.

    350 GB is a LOT of music. You really need to be confident that the software can handle that much without screwing up.

    Paying for good software is the traditional way of getting actual technical support from the software supplier. Sometimes this is still the better way to think about software.

    If your music collection was damaged, how much would you pay to have it not damaged?

    Backups don't help with time lost and are marginally useful when you are trying to figure out what or if some stuff has gone missing.

  3. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    About two years ago we used Song Genie to sift through about 40GB of music. Our primary purpose at that time was to correct the MP3 tags and make file names more consistent. Overall I was quite happy with the software and it seems to work well enough for what I needed.

    Hmmm, looks like Song Genie is only available for Apple Mac computers.

  4. #4
    83Gator's Avatar
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    K, I kind of figured you'd chime in... My only answers to your statements are that, yes, I agree - good service comes at a premium. But I'm insured to a degree and would like to do this inexpensively.

    My collection actually resides in two places: On an older PC w/500 gig HD and an external HD w/500 gig capacity. These are not "backups" - not a fan of the backup, but are copies. It took me a week to move it all, and an entire weekend to spot check for validity. I'm confident enough that the media is fine in each place.

    Since the collection is in good shape in both places, I can afford the risk of freeware not living up to its claims.

    And thanks for the feedback.

  5. #5
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    There are plenty of file duplication removal programs around. The key is to find ones that analyzes the actual music content and identifies files that sound the same, even if they are encoded differently and have different or entirely missing ID tags.

    In no particular order, here are some that Mr. Google turned up. I have not used or tested any of these.

    Audio Dedupe

    http://audiocomparer.com

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 83Gator View Post
    ... These are not "backups" - not a fan of the backup, but are copies.

    It took me a week to move it all, and an entire weekend to spot check for validity. I'm confident enough that the media is fine in each place.

    ...
    Copies of the library are what I was meaning when I said 'backup'.

    Your own time is the aspect most likely to be consumed if the software goes astray. Yes, you have copies of all those files. But sorting through and correcting mistakes is the 'expensive' part, in terms of personal time spent. Especially if the software gets it mostly correct, and you don't want to give up the improvements and revert entirely to the 'backup'.

    If you find some software that works well for you, post up what you learned and what worked well.

    For just verifying that your two hard drives are indeed exact duplicates, there are some excellent file compare utilities around. The good ones can cope with massive numbers of files and actually compare and verify file contents. It can take a long time to chew through a big file set, but I have used such tools in the past and they can provide real comfort knowing that ALL the files and folders are intact.

  7. #7
    Moderator beerdart's Avatar
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    I have used MusicMatch several years ago with great results not sure if the current version is as good. Maybe get the older version.

    http://musicmatch-jukebox.soft32.com/

  8. #8
    83Gator's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback guys. Of all that is being considered, I read this from K's link to Audio Dedupe and this is the most important factor I'm looking for:

    The most notable thing about this product is the fact that it will actually “Listen” to the songs in a music collection in order to find similar or duplicate items. The tool performs a real audio analysis and can find similar songs even if they are stored in different audio formats.

    And from Audio Comparer:

    Audio Comparer listens to your entire music collection, in all formats, and remembers it all. The set of audio files is named "audio group" in the program. You can make your entire collection into one audio group or divide it into several groups. The "listening" process is very fast, Audio Comparer spends approximately just 1 second per MP3 file to listen and remember it; It is much faster than you can do it manually!

    Just what I need, software to do the work for me. At 3 minutes avg. per song/ I have 167 days worth of music 24/7. It would take me years to do this manually - I'll have to flip the coin on what software I'm going to get - I'll check some reviews - then basically trust the software to do it's thing... fingers crossed.

  9. #9
    Moderator beerdart's Avatar
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    Maybe break out a few hour test folder of a mix and see how the software handles it.

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