Songbird: Removing dead tracks

When I was at college recently, I connected my (now missing) mp3 player to my laptop in order to play some music which I didn’t have on my laptop. Nothing interesting there you say, other than the fact I misplaced something, well, in order to play said music I imported it into the media player I use in windows: Songbird. This is where things start getting fun…

Songbird doesn’t (by default at least) remove dead tracks, and it didn’t detect my device as a portable media player, so I told songbird to scan it (as if it was any other folder on my computer). This in it’s self is not a problem. The music was imported, It played all all was well. So, where is the problem? As I just said, songbird doesn’t by default remove tracks that can’t be played (does give you a nice little error box though). The error box is fine for a small number of tracks, you simply remove the dead tracks from the library when it tries (and fails) to play them.

This is not fine when you’ve imported 200+ songs from a place which no longer exists, infact it’s very very annoying. So I was franticlly looking though the menus trying to find something that would remove the dead tracks from my library – after clicking on almost every button within the ui, I came to a very unfortuate conclution… There isn’t anything to do this.

Songbird is a lot like firefox, it’s has plugins (in fact, it’s built on XUL, which is the same thing firefox is built on). So I thought that I’d have a look though the plugin database online. After a few searches, all of which returned nothing, I had a look over the first few pages of the directory. I found, staring me right in the face was the plugin I needed… It’s called The Exorcist.

I downloaded and Installed the plugin. Rebooted songbird and… what now? Baring in mind that I don’t use songbird that much, I was now puzzled as what to do next. I restored to my tried and tested methord of finding answers: click on menu buttons till I find what I’m looking for. 10 minutes later, I stumble into the Views->Media Views->Ghost Tracks section. Finally. From here it is simple. The plugin has a nice little button you press to remove all the dead tracks, then you simply return to your old media view (Views->Media Views->Filter Views), and your done.

Now anyone that said such a simple task needed such a complex way of accoplishing it… please, please don’t work on making plugins :P. I am glad that in the end at least I was able to achive what I needed to do, but the answer it seems is simple for next time, Use Rhythmbox in Ubuntu, and save myself some time.

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