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I have all the music stored in ~/Music and I want to delete all pop music (or it could be a different genre).

I was thinking to look the song metadata to check and see if a song is pop, and then delete it. I'm just organizing the music collection, and it's not a problem if there are some false-positives.

For now, it's safe to assume that all the files are mp3 and have id3 tags.

How can I achieve this?

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  • Hi and welcome to the site. You need to be more explicit in your answers. Should we assume that these are mp3 files with id3 tags? – terdon Nov 16 '14 at 12:59
  • @terdon: I assume you meant "questions". Sorry about that. I've updated the question now. I will take care of that from now on :) – Joseph John Nov 16 '14 at 13:14
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  1. Open Rhythmbox Music Player and import all your Music files. From the Rhythmbox menu select File -> Add Music -> Select a location containing music to add to your library (This should be set to your Music folder.) -> click the Import listed tracks button.

  2. Wait for a few minutes for Rhythmbox to import all the songs in your Music folder. How long it takes to import all the songs in your Music folder into Rhythmbox depends on how many songs there are in your Music folder.

  3. In the Rhythmbox search box, search for a genre that you want to remove (for example, Pop). This will populate the big central pane in Rhythmbox with all the songs that have this metadata tag. Warning: This search will also populate the central pane with all of the songs that have metadata tags that contain the string pop, such as Pop/Rock and BritPop, as well as songs that have the string pop in their names! So you can't delete them all. You have to be selective and only delete the songs that have Pop as their genre in the Genre column.

  4. Select all the songs that you want to delete from your ~/Music folder. This is the tricky part! In order to not delete songs that have the string pop in their names, which you don't want to do!!, you have to go down in the Genre column and individually remove only those songs which have Pop listed as the Genre in the Genre column of Rhythmbox. And don't delete the songs that have other metadata tags that contain the string pop, such as Pop/Rock and BritPop, in case you want to keep these songs, and only delete the songs that have the Pop metadata tag.

  5. Right-click on the song(s) that you selected for deletion, and from the popup context menu select Move to Trash.

  6. That's it. This method works very fast, so I strongly advise you to get familiar with how it works by testing it on a few individual songs that you backed up first, so that you don't accidentally send any songs that you want to keep to the Trash.

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  • Excellent idea. Thank you for the answer, karel! – Joseph John Nov 16 '14 at 13:20
  • Be careful when deleting songs. In the case of the Pop metadata tag the search for Pop will also return all songs that have other metadata tags that have Pop in their names, like Pop/Rock and BritPop, as well as all songs that have the string pop in their names, etc. So you can't just delete all of them! You have to check the songs one at a time, to make sure that you want to delete them before you delete them. – karel Nov 16 '14 at 13:24

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