Importing folders with M3U files
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: When I import music into my iTunes library it seems to be getting imported twice and I’m ending up with duplicates. For example, one of my music folders has ten MP3 files and one M3U file. When I drag-and-drop that folder to add it to my iPod touch, it adds the MP3 files twice. I am using Windows Vista. If I remove the this M3U file and drag the same folder, the files are only added once. This just started happening with the latest upgrades to iTunes and it only happens on my Vista machines, not my XP Machine. What is happening and how can I stop iTunes from doing this?
A: An M3U file is actually not a music file itself, but is rather a playlist of your tracks. Depending on what application you may have used to organize your music in the past, M3U files can often get created automatically in each folder to group tracks for other applications. If you open up an M3U file using an application like Notepad and take a look inside you will likely see nothing more than just a listing of your MP3 files.
iTunes does not normally care about M3U files, and will not create them. However, in those cases where you actually want to import them as playlists into your iTunes library, you can do so manually by using the File, Import option on your iTunes menu.
The most likely cause of the problem in this case is that the more recent version of iTunes on the Windows Vista computer is importing your M3U file in addition to the MP3 files whenever you drag them in. Previous versions only imported M3U files if you did so manually, however iTunes 8 appears to collect them alongside your MP3 files during the normal import. The result is that it imports the MP3 file itself directly, and then imports all files referenced in the M3U file. Since the M3U files in each folder likely contain a list of all of the tracks in that folder, you simply do not need to import these files.
The simplest solution would be to go through your music folder structure and delete all of these M3U files unless you are using some other application to manage or play your music that specifically requires them. You can quickly search for and clean out all of the M3U files simply by using the Windows “Search” option to locate files that end in an M3U extension, and then selecting them all and sending them to the Recycle Bin.
If you need to keep your M3U files for some reason, then the other option to avoid importing them into iTunes would simply be to use the Windows “Search” function to locate your MP3 files instead, and then drag those search results into iTunes as a single group of files.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- iDevices adds dynamic automation, enhanced scheduling to ‘Connected’ app for HomeKit
- Apple reports that iOS 10.2.1 significantly reduces unexpected iPhone 6s shutdown issues
- Mobiata announces sunset of FlightTrack 5 and FlightBoard apps
- Harman announces first Wireless CarPlay implementation
- Report: Apple still considering several possible wireless charging solutions for ‘iPhone 8’
- Mini Metro adds Endless Mode
- Apple issues statement opposing Trump administration’s rescission of transgender rights
- ResearchKit study conducted using Apple Watch reveals new insights into seizures
- Instagram adds ability to include up to 10 photos or videos in a single post
- Facebook’s talks with MLB raise possibility that game streams could come to Apple TV
- PureGear PureSwitch HomeKit-enabled Wireless Smart Plug
- 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones
- Revogi Smart Lightbulb, Smart Lightstrip, Smart Candle + Smart Meter Plug
- Audeze iSine10 In-Ear Headphones
- MOCACARE MOCACuff Connected Blood Pressure Monitor
- Apple AirPods
- Elgato Eve Motion
- Olloclip Core Lens Set for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Logitech Pop Home Switch Starter Pack
- Elgato Eve Light Switch
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10