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Manage your music II

In my “Manage your music” post, I walked you through converting the music trapped in your CD collection to a more usable digital format.  Now let’s tackle that external hard drive full of music files that you’ve already attained from some other source (I’m going to save any conversation on the legality and morality of pirated music for another post).

You’ll find that not everyone is quite as concerned about the proper organization of music as you may be.  They may have music that’s mislabeled or worse yet, unlabeled.  You can import music from any drive that your computer can access, like an external drive, thumb drive or even a CD with MP3 files on it.  Click on File then Add Folder to Library (or just Add to Library on a Mac).  This will open a file browser that will allow you to navigate to the folder holding the music files that you want to import.

We made a setting change earlier that told iTunes to copy music into the iTunes folder, so after the import is complete, you can disconnect the drive that the music was on and you’ll still be able to access it.

You can quickly find freshly imported music by looking in the far left column in iTunes where your playlists show up.  You’ll find a Smart Playlist named Recently Added, this list contains music that was imported in the last 2 weeks.  If the music you imported was cleanly labeled, then everything here will look just fine, if not, you’ve got some work to do.

Right click on the first file, and click Get Info. Click the Info tab and you’ll see boxes where you can enter all of the information that’s necessary to keep your music organized. Let’s assume that the only info that imported correctly was the track number. Close the info box and select all of the files that belong to a single album by using ctrl click or shift click. Right click and click Get Info again. Fill in the boxes that would have information appropriate for all of the tracks on this album, Artist, Album Artist, Album, Year and don’t forget to choose a Genre. Click OK and the changes will be applied.

Now it’s time to get each track taken care of. Go to the info for the first track and enter the name of track, click next and continue to populate the names. Wikipedia, Yahoo Music and Amazon are all great sources for this information.

Let’s tackle album art, this one’s pretty easy too. Go to one of the sources above and find your album, there should at least be a small picture on the web site of the cover art. Right click on the picture and save the image to your computer (remember where you put it). Select all of the files from an album, pull up the Info screen and double-click in the blank space where the album art should be. This opens a window that allows you to browse to the file that you just downloaded.

This process may require a bit of patience, especially if you have a large amount of music to import but it will be worth it. You’ve now successfully tagged and updated your newly imported songs! Sync them to your iPod and listen away.

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About Todd E. Grady

I'm a dad, husband, IT guy and geek of all trades.

Posted on 09.26.2011, in Music and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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