Q: The free live album from Coldplay appears to have been downloaded to my computer as a ZIP file of nine MP3 music files. My computer has Windows XP so I created a new folder in my “Coldplay” folder, which is in my “iTunes Music” folder. I moved the nine MP3 music files to the new folder. After closing all these folders, I waited a few minutes before opening iTunes. After opening iTunes, I didn’t see the nine MP3 music files in my iTunes library. What is the step-by-step procedure for getting
them into my iTunes library?
A: Unlike other applications such as Windows Media Player, iTunes does not support any kind of automatic import from an external folder. iTunes will only import tracks that you specifically tell it to import, regardless of where you place these tracks.
The simplest way to import music into your iTunes library is just to drag the files from the Windows Explorer window into your iTunes window and iTunes will automatically import them into your iTunes library. Alternatively, you can also browse for files to add right from within iTunes by choosing File, Add to Library from the iTunes menu.
Depending upon your iTunes preferences, files you import into iTunes using either of the above methods may or may not be actually copied into your iTunes Music folder. You can confirm this by opening your iTunes preferences from the Edit, Preferences menu option in iTunes, and selecting the “General” tab:
In addition to displaying the current location of your iTunes Music folder, you will see an option here titled Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library. This option determines whether tracks you import are copied into your iTunes Music folder automatically, or whether iTunes simply references them from their original location. Of course, if you copy the files into your iTunes Music folder manually, as you’ve already done, you can still just as easily import them from that location, in which case this setting has no specific effect as the files are already in your iTunes Music folder anyway.