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Author Topic: Search for Missing Files  (Read 3126 times)

Rands

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Search for Missing Files
« on: October 11, 2004, 07:56:03 pm »

I know this has probably been covered before but I ran a few searches and came up with nothing.

Is there a way to search the library for all entries that no longer have corresponding files?

Thanks.
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Omni

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Re:Search for Missing Files
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2004, 08:47:53 pm »

I think I asked the same question a couple of weeks ago.

I end up spending a day or two over a weekend slowly scrolling through the library looking for that hard to see "broken link" icon one by one. :-\

To add to my woes, shortly thereafter I reinstalled my system, reorganized my media library (externally, before I reinstalled MC 11), and then tried the "fix broken links" tool in the import tool.  That just created a mess of my library.

And though this post sounds a tad negative, let me quickly point out that I am not really throwing stones at MC.  As far as I know, there is no tool on the market that can adequately do all this eloquently. :)

With that said, though, it would be nice if we could specify "broken link" as a smartlist tag, but as I understand it, MC doesn't verify that a link is broken until you actually view the item, so this probably isn't possible.
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Rands

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Re:Search for Missing Files
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2004, 09:09:55 pm »

You're right about that.  Until the file appears on the screen, the icon doesn't change to the broken link.  I'm not sure how often people want to do this but if it's often enough, it'd be nice to have some kind of tool somewhere for this kind of thing.  Either that or perhaps MC could detect if a file exists or not when it is selected which would be useful with select all.  However, that'd probably be really bloody slow for large libraries.

In the meawhile, looks like I have some work ahead of me.
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Valissystem

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Re:Search for Missing Files
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2004, 10:01:10 pm »

And though this post sounds a tad negative, let me quickly point out that I am not really throwing stones at MC.  As far as I know, there is no tool on the market that can adequately do all this eloquently. :)

I don't want to be negative either, however I have seen one Media Database tool that allows a search that "fuzzily" tries to find prospective files, and presents a dialog with a list of unfound files that you can select and either accept, browse to find the file,  or re-search starting from a different path location. This allows you to iteratively find files that have moved, been re-named or otherwise changed.

It's not often that you need to do this sort of management, however it could be better at least by allowing a list of "missing files"
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Rands

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Re:Search for Missing Files
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2004, 04:10:17 am »

It is MC 11.  Sorry for not pointing that out.  However, there is no actual importing that needs to be done, just pruning of dead links.
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Alex B

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Re:Search for Missing Files
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2004, 07:18:55 am »

In MC 11 it is possible to have only one empty folder in the search location. Then MC will only remove the dead entries from the library. It would be more logical with a "Don't import, just fix broken links" option. MC 10 had that in "Update Library...->Clean Up".

That doesn't help if you like to fix the dead entries by yourself. (E.g. by restoring the missing files from a backup media.)

A simple solution would be an option for gathering the entries with broken links to a new playlist instead of deleting or fixing. (That playlist could be named e.g. "Broken Links".)

There is already a mechanism for finding them, so that should be relatively easy to accomplish.
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Rands

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Re:Search for Missing Files
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2004, 10:49:40 am »

MC 10 had that in "Update Library...->Clean Up".

So I'm not going completely mad.  I remembered something like that from MC 10 so I looked through MC 11's menus option-by-option twice wondering if I had misremembered or not.

The only thing I don't quite get is the "external changes" setting.
I can run this dialogue twice, once right after the other, and MC still reports that it's updated over 100 external changes on the second run, when, surely, it should have caught all those the first time, and found none the 2nd???

It seems to me that it's the equivalent to Library Tools -> Update Library (From Tags) so that it would re-import any changed tag info from files that are already in your library.

It looks like the Import tool is going to do what I need although, honestly, I probably would have never looked there with this job in mind.   Seems a little unintuitive UI-wise because it's not even on the 'user discovery' path.  Generally people will encounter the Import tool once and that's when they do an initial installation of MC and start with an empty library and a drive full of media files.  Furthermore, a program that's on version 10 and going on version 11 will have most of its userbase with already fully functioning libraries and who have devised their own workflows for importing new files and probably look at the Import dialog as a tool for people who are starting fresh, not wanting to just import a directory here or a directory there.  This is further acerbated by the fact that most people rip from within MC so there's no need for by-hand importing anyway.  

Just a thought.
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Matt

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Re:Search for Missing Files
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2004, 10:55:45 am »

Try to think of "Import" as "Synchronize Library" now.

We may rename it.
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Alex B

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Re:Search for Missing Files
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2004, 11:19:16 am »

Anyway it would be nice to have a report about broken links without deleting anything.

A log file would be fine. A playlist even better, because then it would be easy to make corrections with MC tools.

It is not always possible to point out correct folders for fixing the links. As far as I understand MC will then remove the entries. So there is no way to know which library entries had broken links and got removed. Also all the library information is then lost even if the files are reimported later. That is the reason I have not used "Update Library/Clean up" since MJ8 days.
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Rands

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Re:Search for Missing Files
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2004, 12:44:33 pm »

These are all good points.

I'd like to recommend that J River does more than just rename Import to Synchronize Library.  I ran the tool this morning and it did exactly what I wanted it to do:  it cleared out a bunch of dead links.  But, as Alex B points out, I don't know exactly what's gone.  A report or log file would be a nice addition.  

Alex, I did notice an option to ignore files that have been imported previously which I took to mean that it would ignore files in the search path that had been at one time imported but were no longer in the library which leads me to believe that the database remembers what files it's had but lost?  I could be wrong on that, though.
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Alex B

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Re:Search for Missing Files
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2004, 01:57:58 pm »

Yes, I think MC 11 keeps track of the deleted files, though I don't know how long/far. Infinitely?

If it remembers all the deleted files the ones with broken links are probably not registered separately.
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Valissystem

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Re:Search for Missing Files
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2004, 04:20:06 pm »

The other functionality that is related here is to replace one set of files with another. For instance I have an album that I have re-ripped at a different bit rate (even perhaps having shifted from mp3 to ape or something similar) and I have bios, lyrics, "number of plays" counts that I want to keep across versions. There is no reasonabe way of reassociating those records (which are in the database) with the newer files.

The only way of doing it at the moment (which only works if the file format is the same i.e. mp3 to mp3), is to shutdown MC, move the old files out of the directory they are in, move the new files into that directory and then rename them so they have exactly the same name. If you now restart MC it will allow you to "refresh tags from library" for the files.
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Rands

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Re:Search for Missing Files
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2004, 04:27:54 pm »

Actually, that's not entirely true.  Just select the files in MC that you wish to change and use Find and Replace... to change the filenames's extensions. This is the method by which I can move entire directories of mp3s.  I'll move them via Total Commander (or whatever) and then, in MC, use Find and Replace... to search for the old directory name and replace it with the new one.

Works like a champ for just about any file-based activities.
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JustinChase

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Re:Search for Missing Files
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2004, 05:23:54 pm »

Actually, that's not entirely true.  Just select the files in MC that you wish to change and use Find and Replace... to change the filenames's extensions. This is the method by which I can move entire directories of mp3s.  I'll move them via Total Commander (or whatever) and then, in MC, use Find and Replace... to search for the old directory name and replace it with the new one.

Works like a champ for just about any file-based activities.

*****  Be careful with this.  If you find/replace while the tags are still 'associated' or 'connected' with the actual files, the rind/replace will actually rewrite the extension or path (read:move the file :o) and your library will get all jacked up.  Don't ask how I know this. :-[

Make sure to move the files out of the way in explored (or disconnect the newtork connection) before renaming.  then you can find/replace, and update library from tags to get correct bitrate, file type, etc.
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Rands

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Re:Search for Missing Files
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2004, 05:36:41 pm »

I wonder if that happens if you do not have MC set to update files when tag info changes...  I'd be fairly disturbed if it did so you might be able to get away with disabling that feature in Options and then doing the necessary searching & replacing.
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Valissystem

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Re:Search for Missing Files
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2004, 05:46:20 pm »

I think that the thing that is a bit annoying is that you have to do things "behind MC's back" to "trick" it somewhat.

The renaming that MC does can be awkward, because even if MC has seen a file in a directory (through the Explorer section) that is not imported into the database, it will rename around that file if it thinks that the file should be still there. This is cleared if MC is restarted of if you have used "delete this file from the database" (which can only be done when that file is acually there).
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