iTunes Dead Files Fix

December 17, 2007 at 11:03 pm 7 comments

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  • 1. Brinstar Brew  |  December 21, 2007 at 12:17 pm

    I just gave this method a spin, but I’m stumbling at the final step. It won’t let me delete the files on the missing files playlist. Any ideas?

  • 2. tkieffer  |  December 21, 2007 at 7:00 pm

    I had read that on some versions of iTunes you can’t delete from that smartlist. Create another non-smartlist… select all the “Missing Files” and add them to the new list you created. You should then be able to delete from there.

    I didn’t have that problem and I’m not sure what controls which versions of iTunes allow that. Windows vs. Mac? I just don’t know.

  • 3. David Bryant  |  March 6, 2008 at 5:55 pm


    This was a great hint. I’m running v7.6.1.9 (PC) and indeed it didn’t let me delete songs from a smart playlist, it just removed the songs from the playlist.

    My work-around was this…
    Ensure that nothing in the library had anything in the “Composer” field. Select the “Missing Files” smart plalist. Select All (Ctrl-A/Cmd-A) then Get Info (Ctrl-I/Cmd-I) and add DELETE to the “Composer” field.

    I was then able to return to my “Music” library and sort on the Composer field (I had to display it first). I was then able to delete all 1743 “Missing” entries.

    Thanks again!

  • 4. 4lilprinces  |  March 7, 2008 at 2:18 am

    Thanks so much! I had 500+ files that were MIA and was dreading Ctrl+clicking through all of them. This was a huge help.

    Deleting from the playlist didn’t work for me either, and the tip to add “DELETE” to the composer field (brilliant though it was) was a bust — since iTunes didn’t know where the file was, it couldn’t update the info.

    Here’s how I got around it. I don’t use the Rating feature (I know what I like!), so I just rated all the missing songs with 5 stars. Ta-da! Sortable (and most of all, delete-able!) in my iTunes library. Yay!

    Thanks again!

  • 5. topebrown7  |  April 20, 2008 at 5:09 am

    Sadly you cannot rate missing songs because like the other meta data if itunes cannot find the file then they won’t be changed. All you have left is a playlist with your dead tracks

  • 6. silentchaos  |  April 21, 2008 at 4:53 am

    Using the latest version of itunes, I was able to do all the steps. (tnx for the tips!) I can’t delete the files from the smartlist though, as it just removes it from the list and not from the library.

    However, the ratings trick worked! (I don’t rate stuff too) Yippe!
    This might mean that unlike an id3tag or whatever metadata the files have, ratings are stored separately by itunes.

  • 7. Jan  |  December 13, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks guys, I am relocating and sorting my library and had thousands of dead tracks. Deleted them all in one stroke with the 5 star sorting.

    It went like a breeze.

    You saved my day!!!!!


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