I have a ton and a half of songs in my iTunes (Windows 7). I recently consolidated my library from 3 different Hard Drives.

I also deleted some of the unwanted music folders on my C Drive (but I forgot to make a list so I could delete from iTunes).

I want to verify that all the songs in the library actually exist on disk.

It is physically impossible for me to just play each song one at a time to find out if it exists or not.

I know that I have to disconnect my HDDs (just keep C drive) to do this.

I know that I can export the library and purely check for the existence of file://D/ and file://E/, but that won't cover the music files blown away from the C drive.

How do I verify that all entries in iTunes have a physically valid file on my C drive?

3 Answers 3

  1. Choose Edit > Select all.

  2. Now choose File > New playlist from selection. Call the playlist "Exist". Only the listings that exist on disk will be added to this playlist.

  3. Now create a smart playlist called "Do Not Exist" with the conditions: Playlist is not "Exist", and Media Kind is Music.

The smart playlist called "Do Not Exist" now contains all the audio listings that do not exist on disk. To remove these listings, select all of them and hold down Shift as you press Delete.

  • Does this work for you guys? I'm probably doing something wrong :-( Basically I got list of my podcasts. Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 12:27
  • I have improved the solution to exclude podcasts. Cheers!
    – sentinel
    Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 13:12

User "sentinel"'s approach is simple and elegant, but I cannot make it work. Steps 1 & 2 produce a playlist with ALL items, including those in the Library that do not have files on the disk. The Select All in Step 1 selects all items, whether present on disk or not, and thus the playlist created from selection includes the bogus entries as well. Therefore, Step 3 yields nothing. (Am I missing something?)

Meanwhile I found a post elsewhere from someone calling him/herself dlegros in 2005, and though it is a workaround, it does work:

  1. Caveat: for this to work you need to use a field in the Get Info form that you do not use or do not care about, because you are going to ultimately erase any information that currently exists in that field for every song in the library. In this example we are going to use BPM (Beats Per Minute) as this seems rarely used and is not important to most people. If BPM is important to you, don't do this, or find another field you don't care about. You must use a field that is editable in the Get Info form.

  2. Display your Music Library.

  3. Add the BPM column to your view (in Windows right click the column headers and select Beats Per Minute).

  4. Edit >> Select All

  5. Open the Get Info form (File >> Get Info, OR Ctrl-I, OR right click one of the selected items and choose Get Info). Make sure all of your songs are still selected and that the title on the top of the Get Info form says "Mulitple Item Information".

  6. Change the BPM field to 999, make sure the check box next to that field is the only one checked in the form so that no other data will change, then click OK and wait for the library to process the change. This will only change items when iTunes can find the file on disk.

  7. Click the BPM column header to sort by BPM. Everything that has blank BPM, or BPM not equal to 999 is a missing file. Because you sorted, you see all the missing items together. Select the block of missing items and delete them.

  8. Though not completely necessary, Select All once again, Get Info, and change the BPM field to blank, select the checkbox next to BPM, and OK to reset them all to blank.

  9. Select the column headers and remove Beats Per Minute from the view.

If there is a more straightforward approach, please let me know :)


sentinel's answer is now 7 years old but still works... almost. It won't work currently as stated.

Modifying it slightly, here's the new procedure as of 4/4/2017:

  1. Create a new playlist called "Exists". Do not select any music first, just create it blank. If you select all and "New Playlist from Selection", iTunes will NOT verify the songs, so don't do that. Just create the blank playlist.

  2. Select-All on your music and drag all the songs to that playlist. This will take a couple minutes to process, as it's verifying that each song can be found.

  3. Optional - Select All on your songs again and try to create a "New Playlist from Selection", to an "Exists - Old Method" playlist. Then compare the song count of that playlist to the song count of the new method's "Exists" playlist. The new method will have fewer songs if any weren't found.

  4. Same as the old method, create a Smart Playlist named "Not Exists" or whatever, with rules "Playlist is not 'Exists'" and "Media Kind is Music". Right click and update if it doesn't update on creation.

That playlist will contain all the songs that weren't found. If you know they were just duplicates or whatever, you can simply select all, right click, and "Delete From Library" to clear them out and leave the non-duplicates.

That cleaned up my own library after I'd moved some directories around and re-added them.

And until I did that, Sync'ing to my iPhone was erroring out on some of those duplicate songs and thus not syncing the songs at all, even the duplicates that DID exist.

Thanks for pointing the way, sentinel!

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