Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

12 Import Your Existing Digital Music Collection into iTunes

✓ Before You Begin

→ See Also

2.gif Run iTunes for the First Time

13.gifAdd Album Art to Songs

11.gif Add a Music or Video File to Your iTunes Library

47.gif Put Your Home Movies and Downloaded Videos on Your iPod

 

75.gif Examine and Modify Song Information Tags

 

76.gif Eliminate Duplicate Tracks

 

107.gif Restore Your Music Library Database from a Backup Copy

Let’s face it: You probably already have a number of MP3 files on your computer. If you’ve been using the Internet for a while, you might have hundreds or even thousands of MP3s, either imported from your CD collection using other software or obtained from the Internet. iTunes makes no judgments about where your music comes from; it organizes it all equally, letting you transform your flat listing of music files in a folder somewhere on your computer into the multilevel database that makes iTunes’ music navigation so easy.

This task lets you bring your collection of MP3 files—no matter how large—into iTunes with a full understanding of the consequences of the organizational options that iTunes gives you. First you set iTunes to treat imported files the way you want it to; then you import your music collection—as lengthy a process as that might be—as described in 11.gif Add a Music or Video File to Your iTunes Library.

s1.gif Open the Preferences Window

Open the iTunes Preferences window. (In Windows, choose Edit, Preferences; on the Mac, choose iTunes, Preferences.) Click the Advanced tab, and then click General.

s2.gif Choose to Copy Music Files to the iTunes Music Folder

The Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library check box determines exactly what happens when you import a new file or group of files into the iTunes database. If the check box is enabled, iTunes makes a duplicate of each imported file and places it into an appropriate place in the iTunes Music folder, in subfolders based on the Artist and Album info tags. If the check box is disabled, the iTunes database instead points to added music files wherever in the system they happen to be; it does not duplicate them into its own folder.

The default behavior is to allow iTunes to copy newly added files into its managed folder, which keeps all your music files neatly organized in a single location. You might want to turn this feature off if you like keeping certain “one-off” MP3 files in a certain folder outside your iTunes Music folder for quick access in the Finder or Windows Explorer or by other applications but you also like to use iTunes to play those files from time to time.

Enable the option if you want iTunes to keep its own copy of each music file in its own folder, to do with whatever it needs, while leaving your original copy untouched. Disable the option if you don’t want iTunes making duplicates of all your imported files, a process that doubles the disk space that your music files need (at least until you get rid of the originals).

s3.gif Choose to Keep Your iTunes Music Folder Organized

The other relevant option in the Advanced tab of the Preferences window is Keep iTunes Music folder organized. With this option enabled, every change you make to the info tags of a file in the iTunes interface is reflected immediately in the files themselves. For instance, if you change the title of a song, the file is renamed in the background to match (with a prefix reflecting the disc number, if it’s part of a CD set, and the track number). If you change the artist name or album name, the folders into which the file is organized are also renamed and the file is moved accordingly. Disable this option if you don’t want iTunes messing around with your files’ names.

For example, if you want to import all your music into iTunes while leaving the files in their original locations on your hard disk and with their original names, disable the Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library option. If you want iTunes to copy your music files to the iTunes Music folder and add them to appropriate locations in the folder tree depending on the initial state of the Artist and Album info tags in each of the files, but not to update the folders or filenames after they’ve been imported, enable the Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library option but disable the Keep iTunes Music folder organized option. If, however, you want to allow iTunes to perform all the organizational duties for which it was designed, taking full advantage of all the flexibility of music files with rich info tag data, leave both options enabled; this means you’ll always be able to navigate to your appropriately named music files in the Finder or Windows Explorer, just as easily as you can in iTunes.

s4.gif Add Your Music Collection to iTunes

When the two important settings are configured to your liking, click OK to close the Preferences window. Now you’re ready to bring all your music into iTunes.

If you have several music folders and a lot of time on your hands, you can import each folder individually into iTunes as described in 11.gif Add a Music or Video File to Your iTunes Library. However, the most fun way—especially if you enabled both organizational options in Steps 2 and 3—is to throw all your files into iTunes at once, even if you have thousands of songs in your collection. To do this, first consolidate your music collection by placing all your folders of MP3s into a single parent folder. Then drag the parent folder into the song listing area of the iTunes window and release the mouse button when you see the + icon on your mouse pointer.

Depending on the speed of your computer and the number of files you have, the length of the ensuing process can be several minutes or more, even up to the better part of an hour. As iTunes copies and sorts your music files, you can watch them being filed away into the appropriate folders within your iTunes Music folder. iTunes will be unresponsive, but using the Finder or Windows Explorer, you can watch your music collection be organized for you while you wait.

s5.gif Fill Out Missing Info Tags

Now begins a task that will probably take you days, if not weeks or months, to finish to your satisfaction, depending on how obsessively neat you are: editing all the newly imported entries in the iTunes database so that all their info tags are properly filled out. Whether you’ve chosen to let iTunes update the underlying filenames or not, keeping the info tags correctly updated is important to allowing you to navigate efficiently, set up Smart Playlists based on the info tags, and share the music over the local network or to your iPod in such a way that you can navigate it smoothly. See 75.gif Examine and Modify Song Information Tags for more information on updating your songs’ details, and 13.gif Add Album Art to Songs to enhance your songs with appropriate album art.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020