Make iTunes your own
Add music from CDs and other download stores, plus album artwork and other media – including internet radio streams
Once you’ve rediscovered old iTunes Store purchases, you may want to start adding more content to your library. Although you can sign up for Apple Music to access millions of tracks, you might add music from CDs, or tracks you’ve purchased elsewhere online.
While ripping music from CDs is less common these days, you may well have other media you’ve purchased online from Amazon or maybe even artists’ own websites, or downloaded for free from sites like Soundcloud ( soundcloud.com). One little known feature of iTunes is that adding this content to your library is as simple as using the copy and
paste commands in Finder. Say you have a folder of MP3 files provided as a bonus for buying a vinyl album from an artist’s online store, which is a fairly common thing these days; simply copy or move that folder to the one named “Automatically Add to iTunes.” You’ll find the latter folder located in /Users/<your username>/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media by default. If you followed the steps to transfer your iTunes Media folder to an external drive, as detailed in the previous section, navigate to the folder there instead.
In this location, place your music and/or video files in the “Automatically Add to iTunes” folder and they’ll be added to your library when iTunes is open. Note that this only works for files that are in a format iTunes can understand, such as MP4 video files and MP3 and AAC audio files. Manage your metadata When you import an audio CD to iTunes, the app connects to the online Gracenote database to look up info about the disc’s artist, tracks, and artwork.
If the album isn’t in the database, you’ll see a list of numbered track titles and no album cover, and the title may also be incorrect. Follow the steps in “Customize your albums” to fix this.
After you update a disc’s details and import its contents, you may find no image of its artist is shown in iTunes’ Artists view of your music. If you have an Apple Music (or iTunes Match) sub, you can fix this in iTunes > Preferences > General by turning on iCloud Music Library. If the artist has material in Apple Music’s catalog, their picture will be shown in the Artists view after the app next auto-updates your online library, or after forcing a manual update using File > Library > Update iCloud Music Library.
Enabling iCloud Music Library makes music in iTunes on your Mac available online. It can take a while to upload the tracks, depending on the size of your library, how many tracks can be matched against Apple Music’s catalog, and the speed of your internet connection. If content from your library isn’t in Apple Music’s catalog, iTunes automatically uploads it (with some exceptions – see “Check iCloud Music Library uploads”).
Using iCloud Music Library on your Mac enables music you add to iTunes to be played on other devices you also connect to it – on other Macs and PCs, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. Mini treats While our guide mainly focuses on music and video, iTunes can play many kinds of content that aren’t listed by default. To discover them, click the pop-up menu near the top left of iTunes and choose Edit Menu. Put a check mark next to media types you want to organize and play in iTunes. Click Done, and you’ll be able to choose those kinds of media from the pop-up from now on.
The additional media you can play in iTunes includes internet radio stations. See “Radio Gaga” on the previous page to learn how to set this up. You can listen to Beats 1 without an Apple Music sub, though other features under Radio require one.
If you want to keep an eye on what’s playing, consider using iTunes’ MiniPlayer instead of switching between iTunes and other apps. This is a smaller window that shows the currently playing track. You can extend its height to reveal the Up Next queue, and search your library or Apple Music’s to line up things to play. To switch to it, choose iTunes > Window > MiniPlayer.
While the MiniPlayer is convenient, it’s also easy to lose track of it among other windows. In iTunes > Preferences > Advanced, put a check mark next to “Keep MiniPlayer on top of all other windows” to avoid this. You can drag the MiniPlayer to a new position on the desktop. However, note that it won’t be shown when you’re using an app in full-screen mode.
Hopefully our guide will have convinced you that iTunes is a powerful media manager with hidden depths that make it worth engaging with. If there are features you’d like to see added or improved, you can share your thoughts with Apple at apple.com/feedback/itunesapp.html.