Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Quickly check for corrupt songs iPod
Last week I was listening to a playlist on my 4G iPod when I noticed it skipped a song. To investigate, I plugged it into my Mac and tried playing the same one through iTunes, but instead a little exclamation point popped up next to it in the list, indicating that the file was damaged or missing. Further investigation showed that 28 of 399 songs had the same problem, and Disk Utility didn't think anything was suspect.

The immediate thought I had was to try playing every file in my iPod, but this is time consuming (even if you only play one second of each, it adds up), and there doesn't seem to be a way to group the !s through sorting.

The best solution I found is to select all of the iPod's songs and use the Get Info window to set the rating on every file to 1 (be careful that you don't edit anything else). When it's finished, sort the list by My Rating to group the corrupt tracks together (in my case, they all had 0 stars).

(This will, of course, remove all useful ratings from your iPod. If you find them valuable, you can do the same trick with any field, like Comments or BPM. This is also an option if the corrupt song files have ratings, too.)

Finally, select all of the corrupt songs, copy, then delete. The corrupt songs will be deleted from your iPod while their track names will be saved to the clipboard. You can paste this into TextEdit so you know which files need to be re-copied. Unfortunately, you'll be on your own in remembering which playlists they belonged to.
  • Currently 3.00 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (8 votes cast)

Quickly check for corrupt songs | 3 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Quickly check for corrupt songs' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
How to lose less info
Authored by: escowles on Jul 26, '06 10:34:24AM

I definitely recommend using a field that you don't use (BPM and Grouping are probably used much less frequently than Rating).

Also, I don't think you need to delete the songs from the iPod. If you're using auto-updating, the songs will all be copied on next update (because the change you made will make them newer than the iPod versions). If you're using manual-updating, I think you can just select the songs in iTunes and drag them to your iPod. This will update the songs in place, saving the ratings, playlists, etc.


[ Reply to This | # ]
Quickly check for corrupt songs
Authored by: TiVoFan on Jul 26, '06 11:51:25AM
There is a simpler way to do this that doesn't put any of your metadata at risk: an AppleScript called Super Remove Dead Tracks from

That's a great site to find all kinds of iTunes-enhancing AppleScripts. I couldn't live without about 20 of them.


[ Reply to This | # ]
Quickly check for corrupt songs
Authored by: dan55304 on Jul 27, '06 07:32:27AM

This script will not do what the tip author suggested. This AppleScript will just delete tracks that have no file location indicator. So, it assumes iTunes is already aware that there is a problem.

The process documented in this tip will attempt to modify the tune. It will be unable to change a file it can't find. Sorting by the modified field identifies tracks that have some kind of problem because iTunes was not able to modify the meta data. In other words, this tip does not assume iTunes already knows about the missing/damaged track and forces iTunes to "look" at the actual file.

I have personally had this happen where iTunes doesn't know a track is missing or erroneously reports a track as missing.

[ Reply to This | # ]