How to Import Downloaded Music to iTunes

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When streaming music and digital music stores are so popular, downloading MP3s from the web and adding them to iTunes may seem odd. But every now and then, especially if you download live concert recordings or listen to lectures, you'll need to download individual files.

Importing music files into iTunes so you can sync them with your iOS device or listen to your music on your computer is really easy.

It just takes a few clicks to find and import the files.

How to Add Music to iTunes

  1. Before getting started, make sure you know the location of your downloaded audio files. They may be in your Downloads folder or somewhere on your Desktop.
  2. Open iTunes.
  3. To import a group of the file all at once, click the File menu.
  4. Click Add to Library.
  5. A window pops up that allows you to navigate your computer's hard drive. Navigate to the location where the files are from step 1.
  6. Single click the files or folders you want to add and then click Open (Alternatively, you can double-click the items you want to add).
  7. A progress bar appears as iTunes processes the file.
  8. Check that the music was added by opening the Music option from the drop down near the top left corner. Then choose Songs and click the Date Added column to view the most recently added songs.

When you add songs, iTunes should automatically categorize them by name, artist, album, etc.

If the songs imported without the artist and other information, you can manually change the ID3 tags yourself.

How Copy Music Upon Import Into iTunes

Usually, when you add music to iTunes, what you see in the program are just references to the actual location of the files. For example, if you copy a file from your desktop into iTunes, you're not moving the file.

Instead, you're adding a shortcut to the file on the desktop.

If you move the original file, iTunes can't find it and won't be able to play it until you manually locate it again. One way to avoid this is to have iTunes copy files into a special folder. Then, even if the original is moved or deleted, iTunes still retains a copy of it.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. In iTunes, click Edit (on a PC) or iTunes (on a Mac)
  2. Click Preferences
  3. Click Advanced
  4. On the Advanced tab, check Copy files to iTunes Media Folder when adding to library.

Once enabled, newly imported songs are added to the \iTunes Media\ folder within the user's account. The files are organized based on the artist and album name.

For example, if you drag a song called "favoritesong.mp3" into iTunes with this setting enabled, it will go into a folder like this: C:\Users\[username]\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\[artist]\[album]\favoritesong.mp3.

Converting Other Formats to MP3

Not all songs you download from the internet will be in the MP3 format (you're likely to find AAC or FLAC, these days). If you want to have your files in a different format, the easiest way to convert them is to use the converter built into iTunes itself. There are also free audio converter websites or programs that can do the job.

Other Ways to Add Music to iTunes

Of course, downloading MP3s isn't the only way to add music to your library. Other options include:

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