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Fixed: iTunes Import Resulting in Duplicate or Triplicate tracks

Core Rot at Apple generated more page hits than any topic ever presented here at Many bugs remain extant; I have time to report only a few.

iTunes Tracks in triplicate

But Apple does fix bugs and it’s important to acknowledge progress—

Fixed — duplicate or triplicate tracks on iTunes import

As I have a contact on the iTunes team, I recently reported a troublesome 'import' bug: iTunes was creating duplicate tracks while importing a CD (or triplicate tracks if imported from files already copied from the CD onto the Mac).

I provided a ZIP file that made reproducing the problem 100% guaranteed. In general most bugs tend to be intermittent and thus hard to document with a test case, so a 100% reproducible case is a big help in getting a fix done.

It turns out that the duplicate/triplicate track bug was related to the presence of playlist files on the CD, as shown below.

This was a commercial book-on-CD and thus it’s a little baffling how a bug like this could exist in version 11 of a program for such fundamental functionality, but there it was. It had discouraged me from using iTunes for a few years now (I still buy most everything on CD, almost always books). Finally, the bug has been fixed and that is satisfying.

Files on the CD that included two playlist files, apparently responsible for the 2nd and 3rd duplicate:

llcMule:~ lloyd$ ls 
01.mp3   12.mp3   23.mp3   34.mp3   45.mp3   56.mp3   67.mp3   78.mp3
02.mp3   13.mp3   24.mp3   35.mp3   46.mp3   57.mp3   68.mp3   79.mp3
03.mp3   14.mp3   25.mp3   36.mp3   47.mp3   58.mp3   69.mp3   80.mp3
04.mp3   15.mp3   26.mp3   37.mp3   48.mp3   59.mp3   70.mp3   81.mp3
05.mp3   16.mp3   27.mp3   38.mp3   49.mp3   60.mp3   71.mp3   playlist.m3u
06.mp3   17.mp3   28.mp3   39.mp3   50.mp3   61.mp3   72.mp3   playlist.pls
07.mp3   18.mp3   29.mp3   40.mp3   51.mp3   62.mp3   73.mp3
08.mp3   19.mp3   30.mp3   41.mp3   52.mp3   63.mp3   74.mp3
09.mp3   20.mp3   31.mp3   42.mp3   53.mp3   64.mp3   75.mp3
10.mp3   21.mp3   32.mp3   43.mp3   54.mp3   65.mp3   76.mp3
11.mp3   22.mp3   33.mp3   44.mp3   55.mp3   66.mp3   77.mp3
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