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How to remove missing, dead or otherwise broken tracks from your iTunes library

September 29, 2009

I’ve been applying my first rule of technostuff (“Favour Apple Over !Apple”) to my music collection, and as such, I’ve been messing around with iTunes.

Having come to the conclusion that actually, yes, it is rather nice if Apple just sorts all of my music collection for me, I’ve been left with a bunch of previously-elsewhere, unlocatable, unplayable files with little exclamation marks next them.

It turns out that it’s really simple to flush them out; I just followed the instructions right at the bottom of this article, which says:

  1. Make a static playlist called “All Live Files” and copy your entire library into it.
  2. Make a smart playlist called “Missing Files” with the rules set as “ ‘Playlist’ ‘is’ ‘Music’ ” and another rule set as “ ‘Playlist’ ‘is not’ ‘All Live Files’ ”
  3. The broken songs will not transfer and “Missing Files” will contain all those broken songs.
  4. Select all the songs in “Missing Files” and press Shift-Delete on Windows, Option-Delete on Mac.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. John permalink
    November 9, 2009 6:59 pm

    Thanks for this awesome guide!
    No more messy music list. all those disgusting exclamation marks. hahaha! Great tip! 5Star standard!


  1. This worked like a charm. Great tip for deleting missing files in your iTunes library. -

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