How to Add Files to iTunes Library

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Adding files (or songs) to your iTunes library is easy with instructions from an iPod user and expert on music downloads in this free iTunes video lesson.

Part of the Video Series: How to Use iTunes
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Video Transcript

DREW NOAH: Okay. So, now, I'm going to talk about adding files to your iTunes library. And when I say files, I'm mostly just talking music files that maybe you used in a different program before you got iTunes and this basically--most likely, they're going to be a bunch of MP3s or something. So, how you do this is you just go to 'File' and then 'Add to library' and it brings up a little 'Add to library' box. And what you can do is you can just browse through a folder and then add everything in that folder. You can just choose or you could select one file and just choose that. But probably the easiest way is all the music that you want to add, you browse that folder and then choose that. But let me just--before I start doing that, let me show you one more thing in the 'Preferences'. I'm going to the 'Preferences'. In Windows, this is under 'Edit', the 'Edit menu'. And under 'Advanced', General, I have this checked, 'Keep iTunes music folder organized'. It says, "Places files into album and artist folders and names the files based on the disc number, track number and the song title." So, you always want to keep that checked and you also want to keep checked 'Copy files' to iTunes music folder when adding to library. So, this means that when I'm adding files--so, I'm telling iTunes here's this folder full of music files I want to add. And what it will do is it'll copy it into its own library so it'll be safe and just in--basically, it's going to copy it over so it will be in two places, right? So, the reason you want to do this is--because this has happened to me before when I was new to iTunes, I had music all over my computer and I just added it from different places and then something happened and maybe I moved the folder around and then my songs are gone 'cause all iTunes knows how to do is you added that file so it knows where that file is located and when you click to play it, it's going to where that file is supposed to be located and playing it from there. And if it gets moved, if you change the name of a folder or do anything like that, it's not going to be able to find it and then you'll find a whole bunch of your songs have gone offline and you don't know where they are. So, that's why I like to leave that checked. One more time, that is 'Copy files' to iTunes music library. And what it's going to do is--iTunes has its own directory where it keeps all the files that maybe you're importing or that you buy in the iTunes store and it will copy any files you add. So, just to kinda demonstrate that, here's a folder full of MP3s that I downloaded and they're all right here and they're in my documents and I just put them in my documents and then here's what I did. I just went to 'File', 'Add to library' and then you just navigate to them and then I would hit 'Choose' and there you go. It added them to the library. But you see what happens is over here, this is my iTunes directory which came from my Music, iTunes and these are all my iTunes and other CDs I've imported and stuff from the iTunes store and you can see I copied it over into my iTunes library. So, now, it's here and it's in my documents. So, I could delete it from here, I just still have it on here. But the reason--like, this is good. If you're transferring from another computer, you might put them all on--like, all your music on a drive and then if you check that copy over to my iTunes library, you could just show iTunes where that drive is and then have it copy it all to your computer. So, that's how you add files to your iTunes library. It's 'File', 'Add to the library'.

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