Q: I realize that iTunes will not do what I am attempting. However, is there a third party app that will search for new songs on my hard drive to put into iTunes. I have all of my family’s music on an external networked drive. As members of the family add songs I need a way to find what has been recently added so other family members can add them to their copy of iTunes respectively. The only other solution I can think of is to sort everything in the music library by date, but that seems like a tedious way to get the job done.
A: The best solution for this on Windows is a tool called iTunes Folder Watch, which can monitor a folder or group of folders and automatically add any new files found in these folders to your iTunes library. This tool costs 7.50 Euros (approximately $10 USD) for full functionality, although the trial version should give you a decent feel for how it works.
In the scenario you describe, you could simply run iTunes Folder Watch on each of the family computers and it would automatically add any new songs to each of your family members’ iTunes libraries as the tracks appear in the watched folder structure.
Note that if your family members are sharing media files from a common iTunes folder, you will want to ensure that you have the option to “Keep iTunes Music folder organized” disabled under your iTunes Advanced Preferences in each copy of iTunes:
This will prevent iTunes from automatically moving or renaming the files on your shared music folder location which could cause problems with other computers losing track of your media files.