add to library vs import. Help!

Discussion in 'iPod' started by Mpulsive81, May 17, 2007.

  1. Mpulsive81 macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2006
    McKinney, TX
    What's the difference between "add to library" and "import"? I've got a ton of music that i'd like to start putting on my macbook hdd but i'd like to do it in the most efficient way possible. Most of my treasured collection is on my old PC hdd but i don't know the difference between add to library and import. I've got itunes set up to import as 'aac' but all my music was mp3 format and i understand how to convert to aac, i just want to know the best way to put them on my computer. I notice that when itunes imports music it creates a folder for the artist and a subfolder the album. Coming from a windows environment, it'll take a little getting used to but out of curiousity does anyone have their setup where it's just my music folder full of music and itunes hunts it down in there? Or is that not the best way to go? Any help would be great. Thanks!
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    Okay, the differences are negligible for your uses, although generally import is used for song lists (XML files) and add to library is used for actual music tracks. I find the easiest way to add music is to literally drag the folder or track into an open iTunes window. Drag it/them to a playlist and it'll both add the track(s) and put it/them in said playlist.

    By default, adding a track to the library makes a copy of said track in the Music folder under the folder hierarchy you've already noticed. The location of this folder and even the fact iTunes acts like this can be changed in the iTunes Preferences, under the Advanced pane. However, I strongly recommend leaving it be. Add all your music in this way and then use iTunes exclusively and you should be right. One of the tempting things to do on a Mac is to play with the files in Finder (Mac's equivalent of Explorer), but if you stick to using the appropriate app and letting it take care of the files, you'll probably find it easier in the long run. However, this does mean that you'll have double ups of your files as iTunes copies them across to their location. Delete the originals and you should be fine.

    Don't convert your MP3s to AACs because there's not much point and it'll result in quality loss. If you really want AACs, then re-rip them from the CDs. Otherwise, iTunes handles MP3s just as easily (I have about 25,000 of them).

    In short, drag your song files or the folder holding your songs into iTunes, wait as it copies them across (this'll be slow if you're doing this via a network), and that's about it. :)
  3. n-abounds macrumors 6502a


    Mar 6, 2006
    yea, I'd just add (while I'm supposed to be studying for finals):

    That if you let iTunes manage your music, it will probably help you in the future. Some iTunes update will inevitably change the way it organizes music, and if you keep them in self-organized folder...well...things could go missing/ lose their references in your iTunes library. It is seriously just easier to let iTunes organize it (though I do despise how it organizes things).

    Course you can always do this later by going to 'consolidate library' under the 'advanced' tab.

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