iTunes 10: Automatically Add New Media To Your iTunes Library

   Posted September 7, 2010 by Jimmy Selix in Music

This recipe will explain how to use iTune’s Automatically Add to iTunes feature.  This is an often overlooked and unknown feature in iTunes that lets you have iTunes automatically add music, movies, tv shows to your library.  There are a few quirks but we’ll outline those too.

1. Install iTunes (this works with any version from 7.0 and up)

2. Navigate to your iTunes library location.

By default this will be in your My Music folder (if on Windows, ie C:\Documents and Settings\Userid\My Music or C:\Users\Userid\My Music) or Music (if on OS X).  In here, you will see a folder, “Automatically Add to iTunes”.

Yup, you guessed it.  Any media that iTunes can read/playback that is copied to this folder will get added to your iTunes library when you open up iTunes.  It will copy the files to the appropriate iTunes folders (ie mp4 = Movies, m4a = Music, etc).

If you have an application that converts your movies or files to mp4 or m4v, you can have it output the files here and iTunes will import them for you.  Perhaps you have torrented media files; you could also have your torrent application move your media files to this folder if you want to sync them to your iPhone/iPod/iPad.


iTunes must be able to support the media file type for it to copy it (ie AVI or MKV won’t work)
iTunes Compatible File Formats: MP3, AIFF, WAV, MPEG-4, AAC/M4A, Apple Lossless

-With most video files, unless you modify the IDTAGS they will be defaulted to Movie as Media Kind.

-Files in the “Automatically Add to iTunes” are removed and moved to the appropriate iTunes folder.

-Opening iTunes seems to be the only way to trigger the import; it does not run in the background (or from what I’ve seen on Win7)

-Sync your Recently Added playlist to your iPhone/iPad/iPod to automatically have the added media synced to your device


About Jimmy Selix

Jimmy Selix is an early adopter that loves to be one of the first on the block to have the latest and greatest in technology and gadgets. Another love of his is being able to share his knowledge to others seeking it. Feel free to drop any comments or questions that you may have.
View more articles by Jimmy Selix

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  • Rexlibris

    There seems to be a maximum file size associated with the folder “automatically add to itunes”. If the individual file exceeds somewhere around a gig then iTunes creates a subfolder named “not added” and places the file there.

    • Anonymous

      Cool additional information. Thanks!

  • Thorne

    tracks do add in the background under snow leopard – it takes a while but they’ll show up after a while

  • Randolph Leary

    This is great – Thank You! I like to be able to structure my music folders hierarchy in way that makes it all easy to find though as well so I don’t really want to leave the content in the “Automatically Add to Itunes folder” – is there a way that I can take the files out of the “Automatically…” folder after they have been succesfully imported without disrupting the Library functionality?

  • Jack

    Who’s the idiot at mac who didn’t simply add this functionality to the media folder? I don’t want to put all my new music in a special folder. I want to put it in the folder in which it BELONGS.

  • Nathan

    Another big ass fail from Apple. I’d rather not have my music strewn about all over my laptop. That extra folder alone takes up 5MB of space. What they need is a functional media player such as RealPlayer that  lets me put my actual music folder in the watched folders list, therefore adding all new items to my library even when RealPlayer is running.

  • pratham

    am using itunes 10 and an ipod touch4g. have converted a couple of tv shows and added to the ipod. whenever i change them to tv shows they do not appear in the ipod even with the show and episode id marked.. they simply disappear..pls help

  • RogerOver

    Good news: On my Windows 7 system with iTunes 10, if you alllow iTunes to “Keep iTunes Media organized” (Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced), then dragging my mp3 files from a CD to the Automatically Add to iTunes folder works well. It moves each mp3 file to an appropriately named folder ([Artist]/[Album]) immediately (if iTunes is running) or as soon as iTunes is started).

    I still wonder why they don’t have an Import from Optical Drive feature for mp3s. Could it be they’d rather have you buy the media from the iTunes Store?

  • Abhishel

    Thank you. It helped

  • Christopher King

    This is still a shitty way to do things. Why can’t iTunes be set up to monitor my default music folder so that any and ALL new music added to my Music folder is automatically added to iTunes.
    Why go through all this ridiculous hassle to do something that Windows Media Player does the moment it’s set up.

  • Robin

    This works beautifully.
    Thank you very much – I did tweet this page.