Sell Your Old iPhone For Cash!

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  1. mdelvecchio's Avatar
    Hello,

    After reading the iMore article about canceling iTunes Match if also subscribing to Apple Music, I decided to cancel Match. As part of that article it suggested backing up my iTunes library and as part of that downloading all of my music from iCloud Music Library:

    https://www.imore.com/how-download-all-your-music-icloud-music-library
    https://www.imore.com/how-back-your-itunes-library

    Cool. But now I have brand new .m4a files next to all of my original .mp3 files. Screenshot:

    [dropbox link to screenshot removed]

    ...this has doubled the storage space needed for my music locally. My understanding is the M4A files are higher-quality, non-DRM versionf courtesy of Apple. In which case I should be OK deleting the MP3 originals.

    Is there a known-good-way to do this? Most of the duplicate file removers seem to be about removing multiple copies of a particular song, and not geared toward the scenario described above and in my screenshot. I want to preserve each song (even if it's also found in another folder since I make mix-CDs and compilations), I just want to delete the second-copy of every single song.

    Anybody else see this?
    09-08-2017 03:50 PM
  2. Tartarus's Avatar
    I would open iTunes, select ‘song’ view, make the header for ‘music kind’ visible, sort by title and delete all the MP3 versions if you’re sure you have the m4a version.
    09-08-2017 04:26 PM
  3. mdelvecchio's Avatar
    Cool header (it's actually just "Kind"), I didn't realize that was there. But that won't work, since iTunes song-view only lists the "Matched" version which is the .M4A files, and does not list the original MP3s along-side.

    Also, for any un-matched song which has an iCloud Status of "Uploaded" and doesnt have the new M4A copy, the song remains in MP3 format alone and is listed as such, so sorting & deleting all MP3s would cause data loss for all un-matched songs. Definitely don't want to do that.

    Since my screenshot can't be posted, I should clarify -- the files are visible in the Finder only. iTunes only lists the songs as the new M4A kind, but if I go to the Finder folders for my Music, I can see all the double-files everywhere (original MP3s + matched M4As).
    09-08-2017 05:48 PM
  4. Tartarus's Avatar
    Cool header (it's actually just "Kind"), I didn't realize that was there. But that won't work, since iTunes song-view only lists the "Matched" version which is the .M4A files, and does not list the original MP3s along-side.

    Also, for any un-matched song which has an iCloud Status of "Uploaded" and doesnt have the new M4A copy, the song remains in MP3 format alone and is listed as such, so sorting & deleting all MP3s would cause data loss for all un-matched songs. Definitely don't want to do that.

    Since my screenshot can't be posted, I should clarify -- the files are visible in the Finder only. iTunes only lists the songs as the new M4A kind, but if I go to the Finder folders for my Music, I can see all the double-files everywhere (original MP3s + matched M4As).
    I know from own experience there is a header that shows if it’s an MP3 file, protected m4a file or other kind.
    Just try and find it. I am currently not next to my computer, so a screenshot will have to wait until I’m home.

    You should make a playlist with all duplicates and sort on name and delete the MP3 version.
    09-09-2017 11:38 AM
  5. mdelvecchio's Avatar
    I know from own experience there is a header that shows if it’s an MP3 file, protected m4a file or other kind.
    Just try and find it. I am currently not next to my computer, so a screenshot will have to wait until I’m home.

    You should make a playlist with all duplicates and sort on name and delete the MP3 version.
    Sorry but I don't think you're quite following by drift. I did find the header (it's called "Kind"). However this won't serve the problem purpose I've described, because iTunes only lists *one* copy of each song -- either the iCloud Music Library-downloaded copy, which is M4A, or the un-matched original, which is MP3. iTunes does not list *both*. So in the file system it looks like this:

    Happy Birthday Song.m4a
    Happy Birthday Song.mp3
    Some Other Song.mp3

    ...but in iTunes it looks like this:

    Name | iCloud Status | Kind
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Happy Birthday Song | Matched | AAC audio file
    Some Other Song | Uploaded | MPEG audio file

    So if I were to delete all of the "MPEG" items, I'd be deleting only all of the non-matched original files, and losing data. Bad.

    I'm starting to think there's no way to fix this in iTunes itself, but that a utility or script is needed to delete the .m4a songs when there is a .mp3 with the same name in the same folder.
    Last edited by mdelvecchio; 09-10-2017 at 03:07 PM.
    09-10-2017 01:22 PM
  6. Tartarus's Avatar
    If it’s a windows computer, open File Explorer, go to the Music subfolder under your iTunes folder.
    In the search field tap ‘*.*’
    This will list ALL your music files. Sort by title and multi-select the MP3 version of all duplicate files.

    There is more convenient way to do this.

    I’d delete the MP3 version if I were you as the m4a file has, in some cases, a better quality.

    Or even better yet, delete ALL your songs (after making a backup) and download them back through iTunes.
    09-10-2017 09:13 PM
  7. mdelvecchio's Avatar
    While I'm on a Mac, my library has 8,000 songs, so manually deleting all of the duplicates (MP3 originals + M4A downloads from iCloud Music Library) is a daunting task. Tho you're right, I do intend to keep the DRM-free M4A copies downloaded by iTunes from Apple because they're better quality than my MP3 originals.

    Backing up the iTunes library and deleting everything, then re-downloading from iCloud Music Library may be a better way, yes. I'll give that a shot.
    Tartarus likes this.
    09-11-2017 03:18 PM
  8. Tartarus's Avatar
    Good luck and let us know..

    One thing is for sure, I don’t ever hope to stay in your shoes, man..
    09-11-2017 08:17 PM
  9. mdelvecchio's Avatar
    This seemed to work -- I selected all tracks in iTunes, then "Remove Download". Then I went to the file system and deleted everything in my Music folder. Then in iTunes I selected all tracks again and "Download". This gave me either the newer matched M4A file, or my MP3 original. Mostly, I noticed a few tracks from my mixed CD albums missing and I replaced them. Hopefully I didn't lose too much, but for the most part it's there and good enough. Thanks!
    09-12-2017 09:02 AM
  10. Tartarus's Avatar
    This seemed to work -- I selected all tracks in iTunes, then "Remove Download". Then I went to the file system and deleted everything in my Music folder. Then in iTunes I selected all tracks again and "Download". This gave me either the newer matched M4A file, or my MP3 original. Mostly, I noticed a few tracks from my mixed CD albums missing and I replaced them. Hopefully I didn't lose too much, but for the most part it's there and good enough. Thanks!
    I’m glad it all worked out for you in the end.
    Thanks for the update.
    09-12-2017 07:07 PM

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