itunes tip – deleting all not found songs

A while back I moved around some mp3s on my hard drives in order to organize and free up some space. Now in itunes there are 10000 or so songs not found. You know the ones with the little exclaimation point. Well, there is no apparent way to sort by the not found lable in order to easily highlight and mass delete. After spending a few days deleteing one by one, I found a tech blog with great answer to this issue. So, I’m posting this as help to anyone in the same boat.

Question: How do you mass delete not found songs from your itunes library?

Answer: Sort all the songs by Date Added. Generally, the songs that are not found were all fron around the same period of time. Sorting on this will allow you to group them together in order to highlight these and delete them manually.

If you have too many missing files, added over a long period of time, then I think the best thing to do is just to delete the entire library (without deleting the files) and then re-add the songs back again from your hard drive.

If you have a lot of complex playlists and don’t want to do #2, then look around for an Applescript that might help automate some of these deletions. I think there’s one specifically called “Find Missing MP3s” or something like that.

Don’t forget to backup your library. And be sure to read the Sticky messages in the forum first for general info on what to do about Missing files and why this sometimes happens with the iTunes database.

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