One of the most annoying things about having digital music libraries is that organizing it is a difficult task. A lot of us don’t bother with organizing it, and even the ones that do will have at some point of time pulled their hair because bands release the same music in albums, singles and special versions. Duplicates make it difficult for you to create fair playlists, and sometimes make a track play multiple times in a ‘shuffle’ based playlist. Most of all: they waste your hard disk space.
On Mac OS X, if you use iTunes, there is a built-in tool that helps you weed out duplicate tracks. People have also written Apple Scripts which find duplicates and list them in a playlist. However, all these tools use basic text matching and will often reject duplicates if they don’t have the exact same tags.
dupeGuru ME is a tool to find duplicate songs in your music collection, available for Windows, Mac OS X and even Linux. It does not use track details from any player, and is therefore independent from iTunes playlists or library info.
A thing to note here is that dupeGuru is fairware. A dialog is displayed on launch which reminds you of the same.
The main dupeGuru interface is pretty simple: a dialog that asks you to add all your music folders which you want to scan for duplicates.
Once you’ve added all music folders, press scan. I have a 40+ GB music collection, and dupeGuru took around 2 minutes to go through all my music and display a list of duplicates.
Fuzzy matching means unclear matching. dupeGuru displays a percentage of matching between two tracks that it considers duplicates, and thus an 80% or 90% match means that the track details are almost similar, but not exactly the same.
This can be seen as both a very powerful tool and also a drawback. A lot of music is my library is similarly named but completely different. Examples of this include Beethoven’s piano sonatas, and two tracks named ‘Ode to a Rainy Day’ and ‘Ode to a Sunny Day’ respectively. dupeGuru detected these as duplicates, but in reality they are different.
On the other hand, this feature can be considered useful for two tracks named as:”The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army” and “White Stripe – Seven Nation Armies”.
Other stuff you can do with dupeGuru includes moving the duplicates to a separate folder, creating a playlist of the duplicates, and customizing the level of matching according to your preferences.