Friday, August 26, 2005

In Case You're Wondering...

...Blogging has been light because both of my computers were beset by viruses, worms, spyware, and other Internet beasties. The home laptop has now been debugged -- rebuilt, actually -- though the office computer is still out of commission.

The most difficult files to shepherd through the transition were my iPod music files. Presumably because of piracy concerns, Apple has made it very difficult to upload songs from your iPod to your PC, even though that's the most natural way to restore the files after a computer crash (since you've got many Gigs-worth of stuff already loaded into an external drive). But it is possible, if you try hard enough. I used the method described here. Unfortunately, I used that method after trying to have the files transferred by other means, an attempt that was only partially successful. The result was that 400-some music files were duplicated after the upload from the iPod. And it turns out that deleting duplicates is also something Apple doesn't make it easy -- though this time I can't imagine why not. I had to delete all the dupes one by one. Now I find that, for some reason, the iPod has 1327 songs while iTunes has only 1325. I haven't decided whether it's worthwhile to isolate the two odd-songs-out. It's not as easy as you'd think. If anyone has suggestions for how to do this quickly, let me know.


Aaron Davies said...

Duplicate songs tend to have something added to their filenames to make them unique--typically a trailing " 1". Is it easy in Windows to search for files ending in " 1.mp3"? Alternatively, you could probably whip something up with Unix tools quite easily if you have CygWin installed. (I'm a Mac user, so I'd just use one of the AppleScripts that have been designed to weed out duplicates.)

Glen Whitman said...

I tried that, but nothing turned up. So I had to come up with something else. Here's how I eventually found the duplicates, for anyone who's as anal retentive as I am:

In the iPod song list, I put all songs in alphabetical order. The first dupe I found just by scanning the list visually (it was "Jungle Boogie," which appeared on a Pure Funk album and the Pulp Fiction soundtrack). But the second I didn't see.

So I created an empty playlist called "Counter" in iTunes and copied it to the iPod. Then I copied all songs starting with 'A' in the iTunes library to the iTunes Counter playlist, and all songs starting with 'A' in the iPod song list to the iPod Counter playlist. Then I compared the song totals, and it turned out the iPod Counter's total was 1 higher than the iTunes Counter. By deleting equivalent alphabetical chunks from both playlists, I zeroed in on the dupe ("Angels of the Silences" by Counting Crows, which appeared on both their album Recovering the Satellites and a compilation album that came free with the first issue of Maxim magazine).

Of course, I was lucky the dupe appeared in the A's. But really, the A's were just a test of the counter-playlist method. If I hadn't found the dupe in the A's, I planned to use a binary method -- looking at A-M, then A-F (or G-Z), then A-C (or D-F), etc. This would have located the correct starting letter in a maximum of 5 comparisons.