iTunes Problem: File missing, podcast still in playlist

Something weird happened while I was re-organizing some things in iTunes today. I have my podcasts organized into a few smart playlists; Daily, Bi-weekly, and Weekly, and a couple of content-specific playlists. Until this afternoon, I had all of the playlists set up using a series of rules consisting of “Album is” and then selecting the name of the podcast. This was working pretty well, but I realized today that my list of weekly podcasts was so long, that it actually seemed more efficient to set up that particular smart playlist with the rules “Genre is Podcast”, and then a half-dozen or so “Album is not…”

When I did this, a podcast which I had deleted a long time ago showed up on the list, but with the little exclamation point indicating a problem. Sure enough, if I try to play that podcast, iTunes tells me the file could not be found, and asks if I’d like to locate the file. I have searched my entire computer, and the file is nowhere to be found, as I suspected. Like I said, I had deleted the podcast a long time ago.

What I can’t figure out, is how to delete the podcast from the playlist. It doesn’t appear anywhere else in iTunes; not in the “Podcast” directory, not in the music list, and not in any other playlist. I suppose I could create a rule eliminating that podcast from the Weekly playlist, but that seems like only a workaround, rather than correcting the root problem.

FWIW I’m on a year-old MacBook Pro, running OSX 10.7.3, and iTunes 10.5.3(3). I do all of my music and podcast organization from within iTunes, with automatic syncing turned on (i.e. I do not manually manage my music).

Any ideas?

Well, I would up fixing it with this AppleScript I found. It took me a while to figure out the right terminology to use when searching for a solution. It did the trick nicely, and even found some dead tracks I hadn’t discovered yet.