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Replace Songs in iTunes with Higher Quality Versions Keeping Stats Apps
I had a few albums in my iTunes library that were ripped way back in the SoundJam days, before hard disk capacities were what they are today. After I upgraded my sound system, I decided to re-rip some of my favorites from the the CD into higher quality 256 kbps AAC. The problem, though, was that I had these songs in many different playlists and with high play counts and other information I didn't want to lose!

Here's how to get around this problem:
  1. Rip the new CDs with the higher quality setting.
  2. Trash the files you are going to replace and empty your Trash. The files can be found by right-clicking the songs and choosing "Show in Finder".
  3. Back in iTunes, right-click on the new songs you just ripped and select Show in Finder. Keep that window open for future reference.
  4. Delete the songs you just ripped from iTunes but tell iTunes to keep the files.
  5. Try to play the old songs, the ones that you already deleted from your hard disk. A ! symbol will appear to the left of each song and iTunes will say that it can't find the file. It will prompt you to locate it. Do so, choosing the corresponding file with the higher quality replacement. If you don't know where it is, you can drag it from the Finder window into the dialog iTunes is displaying.
  6. Do step 5 for all the new files.
[kirkmc adds: There is another way to do this, though it involves making sure your tags on the files in your iTunes library match those on the CD before you rip it. If they are the same - album, artist, song, and genre - you can just rip the new tracks and iTunes will tell you there are already songs with the same names and ask if you want to replace them. It will do this, maintaining the exact same information, such as play count, last played date, etc. If you have changed the tags on the tracks in your library, you need to make the same changes to the tags on the CD's tracks.]
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Replace Songs in iTunes with Higher Quality Versions Keeping Stats | 10 comments | Create New Account
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Replace Songs in iTunes with Higher Quality Versions Keeping Stats
Authored by: dr9553 on Aug 14, '08 08:18:51AM
Or you can use something like this to copy all the tag info:

http://dougscripts.com/itunes/scripts/ss.php?sp=copytinforackstotracks

or even this one:

http://dougscripts.com/itunes/scripts/ss.php?sp=rememberthesetags

both let you select your current tracks and then paste that info to the new tracks. I use this to get info from the ITMS and paste it onto my mp3s so it can find the album artwork.

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Replace Songs in iTunes with Higher Quality Versions Keeping Stats
Authored by: jwz on Aug 14, '08 09:43:56AM

Those scripts only copy the ID3 tags. They don't copy the extra info that iTunes knows about the songs that are not stored in the file itself, specifically, "Date Added", "Play Count", and "Rating".

I believe there's no way via AppleScript to alter the "Date Added" of a track.



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Replace Songs in iTunes with Higher Quality Versions Keeping Stats
Authored by: dr9553 on Aug 14, '08 10:10:15AM

The play count can be updated using the Copy Tag Info script.



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Replace Songs in iTunes with Higher Quality Versions Keeping Stats
Authored by: kyngchaos on Aug 14, '08 08:37:47AM

Or, if the songs don't have the exact same title/album (as kirkmc suggests), you can also replace by file name. This isn't as automatic as that method, but is more so that the original hint (no dialogs to find each one).

1. rip the new copies. Move the files from your library to your desktop (in a new folder to reduce clutter).

2. rename them to exactly what the old songs are (copy-n-paste helps). It doesn't matter if the format is different and the file extensions are different.

3. drag them into the old folder and replace the old copies. Even though iTunes is open, the files won't be in use so the Finder will let you do this.

4. correct file extensions, if encoded to a new format.

5. play the songs and just fast-forward skip through each one to update the iTunes info.

6. if you don't like the new titles, correct them.



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Replace Songs in iTunes with Higher Quality Versions Keeping Stats
Authored by: logicnerd411 on Aug 14, '08 09:07:02AM

Just an FYI - I used to replace my songs within iTunes similar to the method described above and it caused very erratic behavior with playback on iPods and sometimes iTunes - where it would play a song and then at some point within the file, forward to 2 seconds before the end of the file and freeze the playback. It took me a few months to link the erratic behavior specifically to the songs that I had replaced in iTunes. I gathered it had something to do with iTunes not properly syncing or updating its metadata to notify all parties involved that there was a new file that needed to be synced.

Hope this helps someone if they experience strange behavior!



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Replace Songs in iTunes with Higher Quality Versions Keeping Stats
Authored by: DougAdams on Aug 14, '08 10:06:47AM
Copy Tag Info Tracks to Tracks *does* transfer Play Count and Rating (and Song Name, Artist, Album, Album Artist, Composer, Grouping, Last Played Date, Artwork, Genre, Comments, and Year). But you are correct: iTunes manages Date Added and there is no way to manipulate that with AppleScript.

---
Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes
dougscripts.com

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Replace Songs in iTunes with Higher Quality Versions Keeping Stats
Authored by: DeltaTee on Aug 15, '08 05:51:34AM

The most important thing that this keeps is the playlist information, which none of the other solutions do.

I've done this hint countless times (just figured it was something everyone did) and can confirm that it works well--just a bit slow. I've worked on automating this before, but never been able to find a satisfactory solution. If Apple made the location property of the track read-write (instead of read-only) this would be dead simple.



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Replace Songs in iTunes with Higher Quality Versions Keeping Stats
Authored by: VirtualWolf on Aug 14, '08 08:33:33PM

You don't even need to do that.

If the songs on the CD have the same name/artist/album/genre/etc as what is already in your iTunes library, iTunes will ask if you want to replace the songs in your library with the newly imported ones. It keeps all the album artwork and playcounts and so on too.



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Replace Songs in iTunes with Higher Quality Versions Keeping Stats
Authored by: Unstoppable3288 on Apr 01, '13 09:15:15AM

Thank you so much for this worked great!



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Replace Songs in iTunes with Higher Quality Versions Keeping Stats
Authored by: teknikool on Aug 30, '13 06:14:54PM

This method will keep the old stats of the old song, yes, however, it will keep the old gain. For those of us who use "Sound Check" the ReplayGain like function. I've noticed that these volumes can be all over the place, which defeats the purpose of Sound Check. I have not found a way to manually initiate "Sound Check" and Fade-In/Fade-Out points. Any suggestions?



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