iEcosystem iTunes

Add / Import MP3 music files to your iTunes library (+add music folder)

When you purchase music from the iTunes Store, these songs and albums are automatically added to your iTunes library: but what if you want to add to iTunes music purchased from other music stores, or add to iTunes MP3's and other audio files from your computer? iTunes makes the process very easy, and this tutorial explains how to do just that.

Import an MP3 file to your iTunes library

Follow these steps to import and add a music audio file (MP3 or other) to iTunes:

  • If needed, open iTunes
  • Then, click on the "File" menu
  • Choose "Add File to Library" (or press Ctrl+O on Windows / Command+O on Mac)
  • iTunes will open a browse dialog that lets you navigate through the folders on your computer: go to the folder where your MP3 files are located.
  • Click on the file you want to import, and hit Enter (Windows) / Return (Mac)
  • iTunes will add the MP3 file from your Mac / PC to your iTunes library

Tip: when you add MP3 and other audio files from your computer to iTunes, only a "link" to the file is created. In other words, the original MP3 is not copied to your iTunes Media folder. Read the next section of this tutorial to see how to force iTunes to create a copy of the imported music files.

Import an entire folder of MP3's

To save time, iTunes also lets you import an entire music folder, which spares you from adding or importing individual MP3's, one at a time:

  • From iTunes, click on the "File" menu
  • This time, select "Add Folder to Library"
  • iTunes will open the "Add to Library" dialog, and let you select a folder
  • Navigate to the music folder whose files / MP3's you want to import
  • Click on the "Select Folder" button
  • iTunes will import all supported audio files and add them to your library!

Make iTunes create copies of imported MP3's inside your music (Media) folder

iTunes' default behavior is not to duplicate files on your computer: therefore, when you add an MP3 or other audio file to your iTunes library, the original file is not copied: the downside to this approach is that when you change computer, a backup of your iTunes library will not include music files you manually added to your library.

Here's how to make iTunes create copies of imported files inside the music (Media) folder:

  • On Windows, go to Edit > Preferences
    On Mac, go to iTunes > Preferences
  • Click on the "Advanced" tab
  • Check the "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" checkbox (unchecked by default)

    Force iTunes to create copies of imported MP3 music files
  • Click on "OK" to apply the new settings

From now on, any time you import music into iTunes, it will automatically create copies of these files (MP3 or other) inside your actual music folder! Next time you migrate your iTunes library to another computer, these files will be imported as well.

iTunes Tutorial

Unless specified otherwise, our free iTunes tutorials apply to both Mac OS X or Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

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