How to use the ‘Automatically Add to iTunes’ folder

I expected that iTunes would automatically detect when new files are added to the default music folder designated in the iTunes properties, and incorporate them into the iTunes library and iTunes Match. It seems logical, and like a fairly simple thing to do. I was wrong.

There is a way to do it, though. I wrote a blog post about the “Automatically Add to iTunes” folder:

I have a lot of music. It’s stored on a drive attached to my home network, and synced to the world via iCloud and iTunes Match…or so I thought. I was under the impression that iTunes and iTunes Match were smart enough to add and sync new files placed on the drive, but I discovered that music I had recently added was not available in iTunes. After a little digging, I found the simple trick to make it all work—the “Automatically Add to iTunes” folder.

Music that is purchased through iTunes is automatically added and synced, so the vast majority of the music I own showed up just as I expected it to. I generally just purchase music through iTunes, and I have 11,453 songs spread across 1,080 albums in my collection, so that’s also why it took me so long to realize that other files and folders I have been adding were not available.

Every so often, though, I get music from another source, or someone gives me a CD as a gift. What’s a CD? It’s a round piece of plastic that stores data and…oh, just Google it. The point is that sometimes I acquire music from outside of iTunes, but iTunes is still my default music playing utility on my Windows PC, and I still want all of my music available on my iOS devices through iTunes Match, so I move the files to the default iTunes music folder no matter where I got them from.

I recently downloaded an album from another source that I wanted to play in iTunes, but it wasn’t there. I know I can manually add it by selecting “Add File to Library” or “Add Folder to Library” in iTunes, but I didn’t think I should have to do that. It’s the default music folder, so the music stored there should be added by default—at least in my opinion. I tried using the “Update iTunes Match” option, which ostensibly scans the music collection to ensure everything is synced, but that didn’t work either.

After a little research, I discovered a folder called “Automatically Add to iTunes”. Apparently, when you acquire music from means other than directly from iTunes, and you want to include it in your iTunes library, this is where you need to cut and paste the files and folders to.

Read the complete blog post on Forbes: Discover The Magic ‘Automatically Add To iTunes’ Folder.

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