iTunes TV show size totals don’t match actual disk storage
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: I’m seeing a really confusing inconsistency in iTunes that I’m hoping you can help explain how to fix as I’ve been tearing my hair out trying to figure out what’s wrong. The problem is that the total storage space that iTunes says it’s using for my TV shows is way off when compared to the actual disk space being used, by dozens of gigabytes in fact. At first I thought maybe I had some extra files in my iTunes folders left over from ripping my own DVDs, but I’ve been through them twice now and can’t find any extra stuff in there that isn’t already listed in iTunes. I’ve even gone so far as to add everything up manually in the “size” column in iTunes in case there’s a calculation error in iTunes, but it matches what iTunes is showing me at the bottom of the screen. Strangely, this problem only seems to apply to TV shows—movies, music, podcasts, and books all more or less add up correctly (or close enough at least). Any idea how I can find the hidden content on my hard drive that’s taking up this extra space?
A: Since you say this issue is only showing up for your TV shows, it sounds like the problem might be related to how iTunes handles items that are available in your library in multiple SD and HD formats.
The storage sizes shown in iTunes reflect the actual content that is displayed in your iTunes library. The problem is that with TV shows purchased from the iTunes Store, you may have up to three different versions of the same item stored on your hard drive—standard-definition, 720p HD and 1080p HD. For these items, both the individual size and the total at the bottom of the screen will only display the size of the selected version, not the cumulative size of all of the versions that are actually stored on your hard drive.
Which version is displayed for your movies and TV shows by default is determined by the Preferred Video Version setting in your iTunes Playback preferences.
You can also override this default on a per-item basis by right-clicking on the item and choosing your preferred version from the Version sub-menu.
When changing these settings, you’ll notice that iTunes will update the individual storage sizes and calculated totals to reflect what content is actually selected for playback in iTunes, which can result in quite a discrepancy in some cases, particularly between SD and either format of HD content.
Unfortunately, getting a total is not as simple as changing the default format and adding up the numbers, since there’s very likely going to be a lot of overlap here. As the name implies, the Preferred Video Versionsetting in iTunes only specifies the preferred format to display; if an item is not available in the preferred format, iTunes will display the best available format. This means that your totals for each setting will include content that is only available in one of the other formats. Further, iTunes does not provide any way to actually search or filter by video format; no Smart Playlist criteria or even columns are available to display this information. You can use Windows or Mac OS X search tools to search for and total up your video file sizes manually—720p HD files will have an (HD) suffix and 1080p versions get a (1080p HD) suffix—but there isn’t any way to easily correlate this to the totals displayed in iTunes.
If you are concerned that there is extra content laying around in your iTunes Media folder that isn’t actually in your iTunes library, one way to deal with this is to simply transfer your library to another directory or hard drive using iTunes’ Consolidate feature, as explained in our article on Transferring your iTunes Library. Since the Consolidate feature only copies files that are actually listed in your iTunes library, anything extra will be left behind in the original folder. Although this will take time and disk space, this is one of the more straightforward ways to ensure that your iTunes Media folder contains only those items that are actually listed in your iTunes library.
- 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?
- ConnectSense Smart Outlet adds power monitoring, reduces price
- Automatic releases new Automatic Lite version of car monitoring accessory
- Apple releases fourth tvOS 10.0.1 beta
- iOS dev finds unimplemented one-handed keyboard in iOS code
- Apple sends out press invites for ‘Hello Again’ Oct. 27 Mac event
- Apple releases fifth beta of iOS 10.1 to developers
- Apple partners with builders to include HomeKit-enabled devices in new homes
- Report about Apple Pay in Japan hints at Oct. 25 release for iOS 10.1
- Apple Pay adds 20+ new U.S. banks and credit unions, MBNA Canada coming ‘mid-2017’
- Misfit launches Phase smartwatch
- Incase Icon, Pop, and Textured Snap for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Philips Hue Motion Sensor
- Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature Headphones
- Tech Armor FlexProtect and Shock Flex for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- SwitchEasy Flash and Fleur for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Blue Microphones Raspberry Mobile Microphone
- Incipio Haven for iPhone 7 and Reprieve Sport for iPhone 7 Plus
- Mophie Hold Force Magnetic Case System for iPhone 7
- Speck Presidio and Tech21 Evo Tactical for iPhone 7
- Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge Rockstar
- 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
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps