First, a little background. I am a collector. It is just part of my personality - I like to collect and file and organize. I am not quite OCD, but I am certainly on the spectrum. Apple has recently changed their iTunes track quality and DRM policies by making iTunes Plus universal on the iTunes store. This means that every track will eventually be available in a higher quality, DRM-free format. To avoid screwing people who have already purchased music, and to avoid losing money themselves, they have offered to upgrade previously-purchased music for $0.30 per track. A chance to improve the quality of my collection? The OCD-spectrum part of my personality cannot resist.

There is, of course, a catch. iTunes is supposed to automatically replace the old track with the new update track. Unfortunately this process is imperfect and not every track is properly replaced. After an iTunes Plus upgrade, I have suddenly found myself with multiple copies of the same tracks, some in playlists, some not, some with ratings, some without. In short, my precious, meticulously-organized collection has been thrashed. This is an OCD nightmare.

iTunes includes a "Show Duplicates" feature, but there is no way to use this feature to place replacement songs in playlists or to update playcounts, ratings, or skip information. It is also time consuming to page through thousands of tracks and select which version is the keeper. Luckily, I am not the only one with this problem. A solution exists, and that solution is Dupin.

Dupin, written by Doug Adams (not the late author), is not an iTunes duplicate finder, it is an iTunes Duplicate manager. It not only finds duplicates, but it can merge playlist, playcount, and other metadata before purging the unwanted tracks from the iTunes library. This software is what the iTunes Show Duplicates feature should be. By using Dupin instead of iTunes built-in duplicate handling features I've saved at least 3 hours of tedious work, easily worth the $15 price tag. Thank you Doug Adams and Dupin.