How to Solve Duplicate File Problem on iTunes

I find that I have three or four copies show up in my itunes folder for just about every album I have. Itransferred all my CDs to itunes (Apple Lossless format) a couple of years ago. The only exceptions are recent files I added (new CDs). Is there a way to remove these duplicate references? I'm not sure why they're showing up. I have had one or two harddrive fails, and I created a backup directory for music at one point, which have have had something to do with it - but it should be a backup, not a duplicate.

Any help would be apprecaited in knowing how to remove these dupes, and on keeping proper backup going forwrd.

Am using a PC, iTunes, all Apple Lossless files. Am also open to changing to another interface as long as it's convenient. I do like the itunes remote access via iphone though..
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I used iTunes for the first year or so while the whole music server thing was in it's early stages. During that time my music library became an unpleasant mess that I am still trying to clean up several years later.

Every time an update came out or some other event occured that would result in a full rescan of my library initiated by itunes, it created doubles and triples of every song I own.

In my opinion if you are just starting to dip your toes into the PC based audio world you may save yourself a whole lot of headache (and hard drive space) later if you use something other then iTunes now.

I have since moved to the squeezebox software and transporter in my setup and being able to control your own folder structure within your music library is a huge advantage that can't be ignored. Duplicates are thing of the past now plus I am not locked into Apples proprietary music format which holds MY music library by the sac
I've been using iTunes since version 1 and have never had a duplicate file problem. I've always run it on a Mac platform and I'm currently using versions 9 and 10. Is the duplication issue something specific to Windows?

It's mandatory to have backups of your iTunes library and music files before implementing a software upgrade. If you cannot undo it, you shouldn't do it.
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The software (old DOS interface) has a itunes_remove_duplicates action.

My version 10 generates duplicates all the time

Very intersting post -thanks for posting duplicate remover utilities. Will try them

I have the same issue on my Mac powerbook using iTunes. Seems t have come about through backups and changing libraries (I tried using an NAS for awhile, gave up.) I wanted to get most of my music off my laptop. Changing libraries every time was a pain, and it was hard to rip a cd to the right library. I now have 3 libraries on the laptop, keep trying to consolidate, and it's like whack a mole.

In reaction, ive been experimenting with Vortexbox ( and love it. It's Linux based, and includes squeezebox server. You can use an old PC and create a nice music server for free in about 15 minutes. Can also work as an NAS for iTunes.

Eventually Iget a higher end vortex box based server like Sonore and just use MOG and streaming radio on the laptop.
iTunes thinks multiple artists on the same album should have another cover folder. There is a way to resolve this in preferences.

How, exactly? I do not have the duplicate file problem, but the breaking up albums drives me crazy.

Glad your foray into computer audio is progressing, Albert.