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I recently had a mishap with my music library, resulting in the untimely termination of hundreds of innocent music files. These songs were not removed from iTunes, so there are many tracks that are seemingly normal, but upon closer inspection are actually gone, never to be seen again.

Is there any way I can make a smart playlist or something that'll show me only tracks whose source file can't be found?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Two approaches: First, take a look at Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes - dougscripts.com. He has a ton of useful scripts, including Super Remove Dead Tracks, which you might be able to modify to just list them if you want.

Or, if all you want to do is create a playlist of songs which have no native file, there is a very simple way to do that (which I found repeated by so many people that I don't know who to attribute it to):

  1. Create a regular playlist, not a smart playlist. For this example, call the playlist "Alive".

  2. Select all tracks in your main library and drag them into "Alive". Note that "dead" tracks with no native file will not appear in this playlist.

  3. Create a smart playlist defined as: Playlist -- Is Not -- Alive. Call this playlist "Dead".

You now have a list of "!" songs which are missing their native files. You could then go ahead and delete the dead ones if you wish.

Deleting is not allowed from a smart playlist. So, select all songs from the new "Dead" playlist by clicking Ctrl A. Then, right click and choose to add a new playlist. Now you will have all of your songs in a non-smart playlist. Select them all by clicking Ctrl A. Using delete removes them from the playlist and not your library, so you will need to use Shift Del.

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Oh, I wasn't aware that "dead" songs wouldn't copy to playlists—thanks! –  timothymh Apr 8 '12 at 18:51
    
Timothy: That's part of the beauty here: the "dead" songs won't copy to the regular playlist ("Alive"), but they can appear in a smart playlist ("Dead"). –  Ed Stout Apr 9 '12 at 20:03
    
I can't seem to delete the songs in the Dead playlist. It just shows me the list but doesn't offer any way to delete them all at once. –  user43712 Feb 24 '13 at 19:03
    
@Nickshorty You can select everything with ⌘A, then delete them normally. –  timothymh Apr 16 '13 at 21:09
    
"Deleting is not allowed from a smart playlist." Actually, it is! Select the song(s) to delete, and hit Option+Delete. You'll get the normal confirmation message asking if you want to move things to the Trash, etc. –  John Booty Sep 9 '13 at 15:01
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