OK, so if you're like me, you actually take the time to manage your music collection and keep the tags/artwork in order on each of your tracks.
Managing this got a little bit easier with iTunes Match and iCloud because all of your devices and computers stay in sync, including your Ratings and Play Counts for each track. — However, back when I used iTunes to buy music (until about 2008, when better competitors came along) … I never realized that these tracks would come back to haunt me later on as duplicates offered via iCloud! What a messy music library I had… with Play Counts getting spread out, and files getting duplicated locally.
Since I'd converted many of these past purchases to non-DRM formats (MP3s without restrictions) to play in the car or on other devices, … suddenly, there were duplicates everywhere.
I'd been fretting on how much time it'd take to go through and clear out these duplicates… until last night! I had a “eureka!" moment. I created a "smart playlist" that found songs that were on iCloud, but not located on my computer.
Voilà! By sorting the list by date, I was able to confirm that all of the songs were from years ago, and by using the Option+Delete keyboard combo (to delete songs in the Library using a Playlist) … I was able to remove the ~500 or so duplicate tracks located on iCloud only in one quick action!
Smart playlist settings = Match all conditions with the following rules:
- Location / is / iCloud
- Location / is not / on this computer
… Then, look at the playlist that is added! I found it helpful to sort the list by “Date Added”, which you can do by showing that column. (Go to “View" menu, then "View Options" to control which columns are visible)
Breathe easy, people. :)