Hey, here’s a fun game for those of you using iTunes. In the View menu, click on Show Duplicate Items. This will group all of your songs by title and artist in such a way that you can see when you have multiples of certain files. If you’re so inclined, you can delete as you see fit and clear up hard drive space!
Of course, if you’re an album guy like me, you won’t do that. You might have (as I do) three instances of Rush’s New World Man, but that’s because it’s on Chronicles CD2, Retrospective II and, of course, Signals. You might choose to not have the hits sets in your hard drive if you have all the albums. Me, I like to have every CD I own ripped and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Besides, in this example, I love Chronicles almost like it was its own album, so I’m not gonna get rid of that!
Digging around further, I was interested to see 6 copies of Guided By Voices’ Game Of Pricks, 4 instances of Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne, and 5 versions of Iron Maiden’s Run To The Hills. And so on. It’s endless, really, and rather neat to see just what all has been sitting inthere, displayed in this different way…
One of the biggest offending bands, overall (in my collection) is the Rolling Stones. For example, I found 8 copies of The Last Time (5 from compilations, two live, and one from Out Of Our Heads), and 9 copies of Start Me Up (4 live, four compilations, and Tattoo You). Most of their stuff, I have several copies, because I own all the albums and many of the live albums and compilations.
But the biggest duplicator I could see, in casual glancing, was Pearl Jam. I have, for example, 18 iterations of Alive in my iTunes (14 live, 1 compilation and 3 versions of Ten)! Exactly the same number for Even Flow. Most of their songs have high numbers, simply because I own a lot of Pearl Jam (duh, I must, eh?). I have all the albums, plus the live stuff is crazy… for starters, they released every damn show on an entire tour (in 2000) on 2CD sets. I own several of those. Plus the Live At The Gorge box set (which is 3 shows), the Broadcasts set that Scott got for me, and so on…
What to think of all this? Well, on the one hand it points out that the 30,000 songs I currently have in my iTunes isn’t really all that impressive if I have so many duplications. How many individual songs (without duplications) do I have? I don’t know that there’s a setting to show me that. But it’d be way less, certainly. On the other hand, these are all unique instances of the tracks as they are all coming from separate albums. So, from a collector’s point of view, it’s still damn impressive! Ha.
Anyway, I found this all quite instructive. It was a fun experiment, conducted as I waited for the clothes dryer to finish before I headed for bed last night.
***And before you hate my guts for fucking up how you view your iTunes because you went and clicked what I said and can’t get yours back to the way you had it, go back to the View menu and hit Show All Items and you should be right as rain.