Is there a way to add songs to iTunes and avoid make duplicates in the process ? I've a couple of macs and I want to merge all my songs on 1 mac and then be using home sharing...

Is it possible to avoid duplicating all the songs that are already in the "destination" iTunes Library ?


You should have a look at the utility "Dupin", it allows to check for bunches of duplicates and resolve the conflicts.

I would test it for a few duplicates so you see how it works, and then I would just import everything and clean afterwards.


iTunes will only create one entry in your Library for each music file on your computer. In other words, if you try to "re-add" any file to your library that is already being managed by iTunes, iTunes will not make a duplicate.

If you have duplicate music files between the two computers, that is a much more complicated issue to handle automatically. One method involves using rsync. Be aware that with any automated merge method, it's always possible that you might lose your iTunes metadata (playlists, ratings, play counts, etc) -- and even having backups might not help you recover it easily.

Personally, I would manually add files from the smaller library to the larger library a little bit at a time and think of it as an opportunity to re-organize my music collection and get rid of music I don't listen to anymore.


When you import a song from a CD or download a song from the Internet, the song file is placed here:


When you add an item already on your computer to your iTunes library by dragging the file to the iTunes window or choosing File > Add to Library, iTunes places a copy of the file in your iTunes folder. The original file remains in its current location.

You can change this setting so that the item appears in iTunes without being added to the iTunes folder. You might want to do this so that, for example, you could save video files in a location other than your hard disk.

To add files to your library without adding them to your iTunes folder: Choose iTunes > Preferences, and click Advanced.

Deselect the “Copy files” checkbox.

From now on, when you drag a file to your library or choose File > Add to Library, the item appears in iTunes, but the actual file isn’t copied or moved.

Tip: You can temporarily reverse this setting by holding down the Option key while you drag files to the iTunes window.


I created this Mac OS X service that imports files/folders into iTunes, while skipping over already-imported files.

It won't stop importing of duplicate files (i.e., if the same file is in two different directories), but it should do the trick if you've copied all of the files into the same directory first.

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