How to import CD tracks to iTunes | iLounge Article


How to import CD tracks to iTunes

New to the world of iPod and digital music management?  What better way than to load all your audio CDs into iTunes and begin building your library.  This can be a daunting task if your collection is large, but worry not; Apple makes it easy, and iLounge is here to help. This is the first article in our new iPod 101 series to help our readers get familiar with basic functionality of the iPod and music management software. Today we start with iTunes for Mac or Windows.

First, make sure you’re running the latest version of iTunes for Mac OS X or Windows.  Chances are that the iPod you received shipped with an outdated version.  Bypass the Install CD entirely and download the latest version of iTunes from  Install it on your computer (Mac OS X or Windows XP, 2000), and follow the instructions below to begin building your song library.


First, we will set up the format you wish to import your music as.  Go to the “Edit” menu (“iTunes” menu on OS X), and select “Preferences…” Select the “Importing” tab.  Apple’s default preference is 128Kbps AAC encoding.  You may choose a higher bitrate to encode at if you wish; you will experience higher sound quality, but each song will take up more space, meaning you will be able to fit less music on your iPod.  While many agree that AAC offers superior quality over MP3 at equivalent bitrates, iTunes also allows you to choose MP3 encoding if you need greater compatibility with other players, people, and devices. 

The AIFF and WAV options are for special uses only. In most cases, you will not want to use these uncompressed audio codecs, because it creates very large file sizes.



Once you choose your encoding preferences, the rest is easy.  Insert an audio CD, and iTunes will attempt to retrieve the album and track titles from CDDB (an Internet database for such information).  Within a second or two, your album information is populated and the CD shows up in the “Source” column in the left of the window.

Double-check the track information listed and correct if needed… by single clicking on a text field twice.  You can batch edit the information for multiple tracks by shift-clicking or control-clicking to select multiple tracks, followed by a right click and “Get Info.”



Once your tracks are titled properly, click the “Import” button in the top right.  iTunes will take a few minutes to digitally encode (or “rip”) the tracks on the CD to your hard drive.

Once imported, your songs will appear in your “Library” (See “Source” column on left).  Unless you have selected other advanced options for iPod syncing, everything in this Library will be automatically synchronized to your iPod each time it is connected to your computer.

Get yourself a tall glass of [insert favorite beverage here], and repeat as needed.  Once your library has been fully digitized, you can start to truly enjoy your music through the features and simplicity of iTunes and the iPod.

Jerrod H. is a Forum Administrator and Contributing Editor for iLounge.

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Where does iTunes store the actual file when its done importing the cd? I consolidated my library but it wont consolidate the cd i imported

Posted by NK47 on December 18, 2008 at 4:46 AM (CST)


i just bought backstage and backed up my ipod which took forever but can’t get it to transfer to itunes i tried a couple times all my music comes up in backstage i tried to check button in preferences to import to itunes automatically but it isn’t highlighted and won’t let me check it. help me out someone!!!????

Posted by robert on February 8, 2009 at 7:37 PM (CST)


Hi there

I can import CD’s to itunes fine -
But for some reason the tracks on the CD won’t sync to my ipod - very frustrating.
Can you help?

Posted by taz on May 11, 2009 at 7:11 AM (CDT)


I am having big trouble with Itunes, when I open Itunes and put a cd in my cd drive Itunes does not pop up asking me if I want to import my cd, now yes I have had a look at my preferences and they are put to I want to be asked about importing cd. it just doesn’t pop up, I think I am about to cry with frustration

Posted by Really pissed on July 10, 2009 at 6:50 AM (CDT)


Something odd seems to have happened with my imported tracks - ripped from CDs - they have disappeared from the iTunes library but are still on the PC’s hard drive. Anyone got any suggestions what to do please - other than go and reimport them all - or if I have to do that how can I prevent this happening again?


Posted by Robert Williams on July 25, 2009 at 9:41 AM (CDT)


When I upload songs to my ipod they show up on itunes as track 1, track 2, etc. with no other info. about song, album, artist.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by mm on August 17, 2009 at 9:05 PM (CDT)


Hello All,

I have had an ongoing problem with iTunes, which Im hoping somebody can help me with. The process is as follows:

1)  Insert CD to iTunes - programme asks if I want to import the tracks to iTunes and I confirm
2)  After importing a few tracks (between 1 and 3 generally) iTunes stops inporting the CD and takes me back to music library page.
3)  I reinsert the CD, but iTunes does not regonise it at all this time - I then have to restart iTunes, and sometimes (but not always) it recognises the CD.

I have to repeat this process a number of times for every CD I try to import to iTunes.

I have checked and the software is fully up to date.

Can somebody advise if this is a glitch in the software which can be fixed, as its driving me up the wall!!!

Many Thanks

Posted by John Bollands on September 9, 2009 at 5:52 AM (CDT)


I tried what has been mentioned in the topic. But still I can’t find the cd import” button and so iTune is useless for me. The burn button is also not seen. COULD YOU HELP?

Posted by abdul karim on September 13, 2009 at 11:02 PM (CDT)


My problem is that iTune doesn’t recognise the CD. HOw to proceed

Posted by abdul karim on September 13, 2009 at 11:09 PM (CDT)


ok, im trying to help my mom setup up her ipod and import some cd’s and i myself have an ipod and have never had issues dealing with this.  When i downloaded the newer version of itunes it was a different setup.  i followed the directions and yet the cd doesnot show up on the library. what should i do?

Posted by Dakota on October 3, 2009 at 2:24 PM (CDT)


I have imported a cd but 10out of the 12 tracks import into one album and each of the other two into albums of the same name?

Posted by Mick on October 30, 2009 at 5:10 PM (CDT)


I haven’t read all the conversations, but some of my CDs will play or rip in itunes.  One example is the Beatles’ White album .... one CD I could rip but the other one could not.  Any ideas

Posted by Vetmark on November 20, 2009 at 1:14 AM (CST)


i’m new to all this   i imported some albums and everythings fine but one album in particular has all the tracks showing up as albums themselves why?

Posted by TImo on December 28, 2009 at 8:19 PM (CST)


when i put in a copied cd itunes cant read the songs it seems it will copy to play list but not pull up name of song or artist can this work or not have a few cds from friends like to get the songs on ipod with name of songs and artist thank you

Posted by joe on February 14, 2010 at 4:56 PM (CST)


I can’t figure out a quicker more efficient way to eject the CD and load another. Right now I have to close then re-open iTunes to for it to recognize the   newly loaded CD. wtf? Any ideas?


Posted by Ernesto on February 22, 2010 at 12:58 AM (CST)


When i import CDs, each track shows up as individual album.

Posted by G James on March 7, 2010 at 2:31 PM (CST)


When I try to import songs from CDs, they are only about 0-10 seconds in lenght. This problem started after my hard disk failed and I replaced my xp system with windows 7. I’ve tried all of Apple’s advise on the matter but that hasn’t solved my problem. THe same situation happens when I try to rip with Media Player.
Has anyone had this problem and found a solution to it?

Posted by J Dooley on March 12, 2010 at 2:45 PM (CST)


Hi, I need some help when importing CD’s to Itunes version 9. With some CD albums, Itunes seems to create multiple albums. I think what Itunes is doing is that it creates another album when the album artist is different. I tried it with Kenny G Greatest Hits and it created 5 albums.

How do I resolve this problem?? I’ve tried clicking on album but this doesn’t work.

Please help

Posted by Shailendra on April 6, 2010 at 6:38 AM (CDT)


Hello, I have a ton of burnt cds that I am trying to import onto my itunes. The problem is that itunes can’t find the names of each track. Lately I have been typing in the names, but this seems to take to long. Is there something out there in itunes that can read the titles? It would save a ton of time, as I have about 3,000 more songs to import. Thanks in advance.

Posted by johnnie k men on April 27, 2010 at 7:46 PM (CDT)


I got all of music “imported” into itunes. But cannot get it to transfer over to the ipod. All the boxes on the various songs have a check mark. When I connect the ipod is says connected, syncing, but nothing transfer over. Any ideas?
Thank you

Posted by jeff on June 9, 2010 at 10:52 AM (CDT)


Hi, I have a problem when importing CD’s. It has been fine up until yesterday but now what happens is that it recognises the CD, even plays it but when I start to import it after a few seconds it says I Tunes has detected a problem and will close. And there are no other options - it just closes! I have tried different CDs and also an external CD Drive but its just the same. It seems it is a problem with i tunes rather than my CD Drive or laptop because as I said it recognises the CD and plays it, just wont import it. Please help!

Posted by jemma on November 17, 2010 at 4:42 AM (CST)


Every time I try to import a song from a CD, “iTunes has stopped working. Windows will close the program and check for a solution.”

I haven’t had this problem until now.

What do I do?

Posted by M Cantrell on November 28, 2010 at 1:45 PM (CST)


trying to import cd “itunes has stopped working windows will close the progrm and look for a solution and then closes

Posted by ken povey on December 7, 2010 at 3:05 PM (CST)


what about some help

Posted by ken povey on December 7, 2010 at 3:07 PM (CST)


Hello. I am having the exact problem that was posted by Larry S on December 28, 2003 at 11:16 PM (PDT) - I am having a very strange problem importing my CD’s into iTunes.  I put the CD in the drive, and iTunes recognizes the CD.  It then pulls up the track list from the Internet database, and it looks like it is ripping each of the tracks from the CD onto the hard drive.  But the process goes much too fast, and then when I go to look at the tracks on the hard drive (through iTunes), all of the tracks are listed, but with a track time of “Not Available”, and no artist or album info.  Of course, when I go to look at the actual file that was copied onto the hard disk it is way too small (all of the files are less than 10KB).  And these will not play.  I have tried everything I can think of, but I can’t fix this problem.  Can you please help?

Posted by Peter R on January 6, 2011 at 8:43 PM (CST)


I have used iTunes for awhile and am just encountering a different problem, I will import a cd, and everything looks fine, but now when I try to drag the songs to my iPod or playlist or new file it looks like it works, bit it’s not there. I have tried many times to re import it but it’s just not working, and even the little checks turn green like it is on there. Any answers?

Posted by Budster on March 10, 2011 at 12:18 AM (CST)


Frequently when I download a cd, each sound track will come through labeled and operating as if it is a separate album.  When downloaded to my Nano each individual song has to be clicked instead of automatically playing the next song.

Posted by Vernon Bailey on March 10, 2011 at 4:07 PM (CST)


When I import an Audio CD it chooses the wrong name from the database. I want to find the files imported but cannot Itunes/Itunes Media. No they are not there, and the program has given my files complete wrong names. Where are my files and hos to tell Itunes never to ask the database.
Regards Niels Ebbe

Posted by Niels Ebbe Huus on August 3, 2011 at 4:32 PM (CDT)


I have a DVD-R full of my favorite songs. Itunes plays it but it wont copy it to the playlist. I have to have the DVD-R to hear it. What can I do to copy it into my itunes library?

Posted by Jess on November 15, 2011 at 8:26 PM (CST)


I bought the full 50 CD Decca Sound set recently, and am trying to import them into my iTunes library, but the speeds are much slower than I’m used to. Haven’t changed the import settings from the default AAC 256kbps (stereo), but am getting 0.5x import speed and very big files.

Posted by Helen Vorrath on January 31, 2012 at 3:12 AM (CST)


I need help badly. why do i get individual tracks on my iphone instead of the whole cd playlist when imported from pc itunes ?

Posted by ipohjohn on February 16, 2012 at 12:04 PM (CST)


I successfully loaded a number of CD’s to my itunes library but cannot get them onto my ipod.  PC says the sync is complete but content is not on the ipod.  I have tried to sync with itunes and to sync only marked songs.  Nothing is working??????

Posted by Dorothy on June 3, 2012 at 10:47 AM (CDT)


itunes software is driving me mad. Why does it separate albums into constituent tracks? Why does it list some albums as ‘unknown’? Why does it split my album into ‘announcements’ and tracks with tunes? All this means I have a long list of tracks with no way of identifying except by listening to the track…and then hope my memory is good for that track. The whole thing is absurd.

Posted by Philip Skeldon on November 16, 2012 at 6:56 AM (CST)

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