How to avoid duplicate files when exporting multiple playlists?

So I’m currently trying to cleanup and organise my music library a fair bit.

Currently I have everything in a big fat “Music” folder, and then sub-folders for playlists. With accompanying .m3u files in the main folder. Nothing is sorted in pretty much any way. Just massive folders of flac files.

I have selected this “Music” folder as my storage location in roon, and then made a local copy of all my playlists, highlighted them, and clicked “Export” to a new “RoonLibrary” folder.
This was done with the hope that now everything would be sorted into artist/album folders and nicely organised. Which for the most part it was. My “Roonlibrary” folder had subfolders for each artist, and each of those had subfolders for albums.

I then disabled the “Music” folder and selected “RoonLibrary” as my library folder. So that it was not showing my entire library twice.

The issue is. If I have a track in more than one playlist, it seems to make multiple copies of it.

For example, I have a track by Audiobruz called “Blow”, (Album name is also “Blow”)
This track is in 4 of my playlists. There was originally only ONE flac file in my “Music” folder, but in the new “RoonLibrary” folder, there are FOUR, seemingly one from each playlist, “Blow”, “Blow (2)”, “Blow (3)” and “Blow (4)”

If I delete the 2,3, and 4 folders, then some of my playlists now show that “Blow” track as unavailable. Seemingly roon during the export had copied the original file once per playlist and pointed each playlist to its own file, rather than just copying the original file once and pointing all the playlists to that file.
(Clean up duplicates was enabled, though the issue persists with it off)

Is there any way to either stop this from happening, not really sure why copying the same file once per playlist would be a good plan…

Alternatively, is there a way to select a track in my playlist and manually change the path?

Right now the only way to sort this is to manually re-add and re-order my playlist tracks that were duplicated.

Hi @GoldenSound,

Thanks for reaching out to us here. I just tried to verify your findings on my end by having tracks part of two playlists and then exporting them, but the results from my test did not display any duplicates with “clean up duplicates” enabled.

This might be due to the way that you exported the files, let me try to clarify. Roon is able to match audio files to the database by their contents and if Roon sees two files with the same audio content, it will essentially import the duplicate file as a “new” file and not associate it with the previous database entry. Our Preserve Edits Guide touches upon this subject, but the takeaway here is that Roon should only see one copy of the given media file at one time as to match it up with the existing database entries and playlist entries.

If the media files have been moved around and Roon saw two copies of the same file, it is possible that you got into the above state, where each file was essentially it’s own database entry. I can’t say for sure if this is what occurred here, but it is a possible scenario.

My suggestion to get out of this state is to take a look over the preserve file guide I linked above. You should first create a Backup of your Roon database (just as a safeguard) and then disable both your old and new watched storage locations. Then, ensure that there is only one copy visible to Roon. Once you have done so, go ahead and edit the original folder location and point it to the new location and the files should be matched up.

If you can give that a try it might help, and if it does not please provide some more information as to what exact steps you are taking and some screenshots if possible. You can share screenshots on this community site by using these instructions.

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