If you have a large music collection, you might know the problem: you end up with the same songs in your collection in multiple locations. No matter how you try to organize the file and folder structure, keeping track is simply difficult with so many music files. The problem will only increase if you use multiple music programs, like iTunes, WinAmp or Windows Media Player.

So how can you remove duplicates from your music collection? Maybe you even have files on different computers and portable devices, like an external hard disk or USB sticks. Nobody has time to listen to all their music files and find the duplicates.

Although there are a number of programs that can search for duplicates based on file name or file tags, a very good solution is offered by Bolide Software, which is called Audio Comparer. The thing that makes the Audio Comparer different is that it compares audio files based on the actual audio in the file.

The program supports the most common audio file formats, including MP3, WMA, OGG and AAC. And it can remove duplicates directly from your iTunes library!

How to Use Audio Comparer

Downloading and installing Audio Comparer is pretty straightforward. Just visit the Audio Comparer website and click the free download to get the eval version.

Once installed, running the program will bring up the program wizard, which can help you find duplicate audio files.

Audio comparing software

Once you are familiar with the program, you can disable the wizard, but it offers a nice introduction with easy-to-follow steps.

When comparing audio files, the program can look for exact duplicates are for similar files. I suggest you try the similar files option and see if any wrong results are produced. It is actually possible to set a threshold for what is supposed to be a similar file.

Once you select the location(s) of the audio files to check, Audio Comparer gets to work. This also brings up maybe the only negative aspect of the program, which is the processing time for new music collections. Because Audio Comparer needs to ‘listen’ to the audio files in order to compare them, the processing takes time.

Comparing audio files

Also keep in mind that the process takes up a lot of CPU time, so other programs might respond a bit slower than you are used to. If you have a large amount of files, it might be a good idea to run the Audio Comparer at a moment you are not using the computer for other things.

Once the audio files have been processed, you will see the results.

Each audio file is listed, and if suspected duplicates are found, they will be shown in a tree-like view, with the percentage of similarity indicated.

Audio file compare results

You can now select individual file in the audio group and take appropriate actions to clean up your music file collection. To verify and confirm your choices, you can select each file and check the details in the top, and you can even play the audio file to listen to it again.

There are many more options, but for detailed instructions, please check the local help file that comes with the program. Overall Audio Comparer is a very useful program if you want a reliable way to find and remove duplicate audio files from your music collection.

If you are still interested in looking at other options, check out Similarity. It also compares audio files with the purpose to find duplicates. Both the content and the tags are used in the music file comparison, and the program uses a percentage value to indicate the similarity between audo files.

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