Where I Almost Ask Apple to Give What They’ve Already Provided Me

So, I’ve been meaning to write this little letter to Apple for something like two years now.  Read on for the #Chuckfail afterward:

Dear Apple:
I would really like to have more granular control over my podcast episode
settings in iTunes.
For example, let’s look at the “The Classic Tales” podcast.  I want to keep all
of those episodes until I get around to listening to them.
However, for something like the “Wall Street Journal This Morning,”
a daily news show, I only want the most recent episode.  No one likes to listen
to last week’s news.
As it stands right now, I can have to choose between the two options for
keeping podcast episodes, and it’s the same settings for all podcasts
in my iTunes library.  I’m betting this is not a difficult feature to implement
and I’m also willing to bet I’m not the only one who wants this.

So, after I finally write this out and just before I decide to post it here, I switch over to iTunes to check on something…and guess what?  Yep.  There are indeed episode settings for individual podcasts, right there in front of me.  Glad I caught it before I posted this and looked like a fool.  In my defense, I’m assuming this is a recent new feature that I had missed. I hope so, anyway.

“Delete All Duplicate Files” Means Just That

Over the years, I’ve moved my music collection from computer to computer, and with the ever-larger hard disk sizes I confess I’ve been a bit lazy about checking for duplicate files. After my recent finding I had five copies of some songs, I figured it was time to do something about it. I found a handy little duplicate file finder application for Mac OS and it found a ridiculous amount of duplicate files: Over 16,000. I was tired, it was late, I hit the “Delete All Duplicate Files” button. The next day, I figured out what that meant: If there was one copy of a file, it deleted ALL identical versions of that file, including the original. Ooops. This caused me all kinds of trouble, as it deleted Omnifocus data files, some Firefox cache and config files, and of course, music files. I’ve been slowly crawling through my iTunes library bit-by-bit identifying “missing” files and using Apple’s Time Machine (glad I was using that regularly!) to restore the missing files.

At first, I didn’t see the pattern in what files were missing, as they seemed random. I’d look in a folder where iTunes has my music folder organized (by artist, then album) and wonder why two or four out of twelve files were missing. After a few file restores, I began to realize a lot of the missing songs were some of my favorites–those most likely to be copied in multiple places. Ah, naturally, the favorite songs would be the ones to get deleted. I’ve temporarily disabled my Time Machine backups so my music files don’t roll off the back end of the monthly snapshots. Hopefully I’ll be done here in a few more evenings. It’s good mindless unwinding work if nothing else.

Update (4 July 2009): I finally finished the laborious restore process last night. Many good lessons were learned.