iTunes Finally Adds New Music Automatically

For years, one of the biggest complaints about iTunes has been its inability to automatically add new music to your library from a watched folder. As of yesterday's iTunes 9 release, that's no longer the case.

iTunes now automatically adds new music to your library from a watched folder they quietly added to the iTunes Music folder structure. Apple did its darndest to sneak this new feature in under the radar among several who-cares features, but for our money, it's absolutely the best feature to come to iTunes 9. So how does it work?

Just find the folder named Automatically Add to iTunes in your iTunes Music folder (~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Automatically Add to iTunes/ in OS X; C:Users/Your Username/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Automatically Add to iTunes in Windows). Any music that finds its way into that folder will automatically be imported into iTunes.

Let's say, for example, you downloaded Radiohead's In Rainbows via BitTorrent. Previously you'd have to manually add the music to iTunes via drag and drop—not a big deal, but kind of annoying, considering every other music player on the planet can watch folders for new music. We've shown you how to automatically sync iTunes to any folder in the past (and shown you a few other tools offering similar functionality).

Now you can use iTunes' new watch folder to take care of this for you. (For what it's worth, most BitTorrent clients have a feature that allows you to move completed downloads to specific folders—that's probably the folder you'll now want your music downloads to move to.)

I gave it a try on my Mac and the MP3 I added vanished nearly instantaneously. A quick search of my iTunes library later and there it was. (It's still in my file system, of course—it's just organised in iTunes' Artist/Album structure.)

It's not a groundbreaking feature, but considering it's been one of lamest feature omissions of iTunes for years, we're excited to have it.

Thanks Jonathan Simon and jeffk!


    Apple is fantastic

    fantastic? For finally adding a feature that practically everyone else already has? umm ok!

    but seriously - im glad - i was getting jack of constantly drag and dropping new album folders over into my music folder.

    I'm just happy I can now use my 1st gen iPod Shuffle with iTunes & Windows 7 without having Sharepod in between!

    Hmm... I'd still prefer it to automatically watch my Music folder, rather than me having to reloacate my music folder to something within the iTunes folder hierarchy :\

    Ditto Steven, would be nice if you could configure where that file is located/scans. It's a step in the right direction though.

    Wow, thanks for this. I wasn't understanding why even though the Automatically Add option was checked, it still wasn't auto-adding!!

    how about if you put an alias/shortcut of your music folder within the Automatically Add to iTunes folder?

    you can pick where itunes relocates the file to...
    it relocates it to wherever you have set as the "itunes media folder location" in the advanced tab of the itunes preferences however it still puts it in the artist and album subfolders

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