Oct 132019

I’ve got a HUGE library of songs on iTunes, most of them from my old CD collection. So when I have a problem with iTunes, it’s usually a big one and an incredible headache to fix.

Recently, for reasons unknown, iTunes refused to launch and then when it finally did, it moved all my music folders and files from a folder called \music to \music\Music (!!) Grrrrr.

I then reorganized my library back to its original format only to find that iTunes now had two entries for every song, podcast and audiobook: one that was real and one that was broken, denoted by “!”. Was I really going to have to select every other line on the list and delete the broken links one by one?

Looking through a number of forums I found the solution.

How to Remove Broken Song Links From Your iTunes Library

  1. Create a new Smart Playlist called ‘All Songs’, and then within that Smart PlaylistCreate a rule like ‘Artist is NOT ‘FakeArtistName‘ – whatever artist name you chose, make sure there really in no artist in your library called that:screenshot
  2. Make a regular playlist called  all-live-songs
  3. Create another Smart Playlist called Missing Songs with the following rules: Playlist is All Songs and Playlist is not all-live-songs’:
  4. Go to your All Songs playlist (which will show every good and broken track), select all the tracks and drag them to to the all-live-songs playlist. (if you have a very large library, as I do, you might want to do a couple thousand tracks at a time to not overstrain iTunes)
  5. When the tracks got copied to the empty all-live-song playlist, only the songs with true links were copied.
  6. When you copied all the songs to the empty All Live Songs playlist, only the live songs were copied.
  7. Now open up the Missing Songs Smart Playlist, which shows songs in the All Songs list (which included good and broken tracks) but are not in the all-live-songs playlist (which only included good tracks).  So what is left are all the broken songs in your library.
  8. Select all the tracks (they should all have an “!”) and press Shift-Delete — voila ! they are gone and your library now only has the good links.