Your Mac's Music folder Is full of Digital Junk!

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Get Rid of Unwanted Data

Depending on your hobbies and interests, you may have zero or a thousand files in the Music folder. If you find you have thousands, you’ll need to clean it up.

If you’ve subscribed to file-sharing Web sites, you should verify the music you downloaded still plays and that you have valid licenses. Some Web sharing music sites require you to pay a monthly fee, and if you stop paying, they revoke the licenses for the music you downloaded.

Finally, if you’ve copied your own CDs to your hard drive, you might want to delete music you no longer want. If you’ve transferred music to your iPod or have backed up the music in some other way, you might want to delete this extra copy too. If you’ve digitized analog recordings of events from days past, you should check those files and make sure they still play.

Tip: If you use the GarageBand software, make sure to work through those files, too. There will probably be tracks, songs, and other data you no longer want or need.

Deleting music files is the same as deleting any other files. Here’s how:

1. Open the Finder window.

2. From the left pane, select your user folder.

3. From your user folder, select Music.

4. Locate a file or folder you want to get rid of and drag it to the Trash. Keep in mind that if you delete a folder, you also delete everything else it in.

If you use iTunes to purchase music, chances are good that you won’t have too many duplicate music files in the iTunes folder. Of course, I am assuming you don’t have money to burn; if you do, you probably don’t bother checking to see if you already have the music on hand before you purchase it, and you could likely have duplicate files! If you copy your own CDs to your hard drive, there is also a chance you could have some duplicates, perhaps different versions of the same song: one a live version, one from the original CD, and one from a “Best Of” collection. I’m sure you have duplicates on your iPod, but isn’t that what it’s for? If you ever wildly, illegally, and unabashedly downloaded songs for free off the Internet, or if you share files with friends using a file sharing network, there’s no telling what you have stored.

Because music files can be large, you should locate and delete duplicates. Much of the problem in finding duplicate files, though, is that you could have hundreds of music files to sift through, and simply sorting them by name might not offer up the information you need. The same song could be listed under various names.

To better locate duplicate music files, try these techniques:

1. Sort the songs by title and scan for duplicate files.

2. Sort the songs by length, and scan for groups of songs with the exact same length.

3. Sort the songs by artist, and scan for duplicate titles.

This post is part of the series: Good Mac: Clean Up your Digital Files

If you’ve had your Mac for a few years, you can bet you have a lot of digital data you don’t need or want. Clean it up to get better performance from your Mac.

  1. Get Rid of Unwanted Digital Files
  2. Organize Movies and Video Project Files on Your Mac
  3. How to Use iTunes to Organize the Music on Your Mac
  4. Organize your Mac: Graphics Files and Artwork
  5. Get Rid of Unwanted Digital Files in the Music folder