This is the location of the podServe blog posts published up to June 2015.

Welcome to the podServe blog, a selection of tips, tricks, comments and various other ramblings on the topic of CD ripping, digital music, streaming and all the things that go right and wrong in being entertained.

Automatically Add to iTunes?

How do you add music to your iTunes library? Well, pretty easily, we do it most days and when we complete a project we brief clients on how they can do this themselves. These days most of our digital music goes back on a small USB hard drive but the process is the same if you’re loading from a data CD or data DVD.

“Add folder to library”. It was in iTunes at the outset and in the first how-to notes we supplied with the first set of CDs we ripped some ten years ago. Reliable, proven and I don’t think we’ve edited our instruction sheet nor had anyone say it was difficult to follow.

A couple of years ago iTunes introduced a new folder which it creates along with your main iTunes music library file. It’s called Automatically Add to iTunes and there’s no escaping it. So, why? And what use is it for you? Why would you need a second way of adding music when the first works so well?

Let’s tackle the how first. Anything you put into this folder will be checked and then added to your iTunes library the next time iTunes is opened. As its a data file you can use normal tools such as drag and drop to get files across. Then just open iTunes, the rest is done for you.

More complex is the why?

In many ways its easier. You just drag and drop. If you have files from multiple sources you can scoop each group up, copy them over and away you go. If you’re restricted by the number of USB connections it is straightforward to copy several batches of files rather than plug in each unit and run through the Add folder loop.

It’s tolerant to breaks. I found this myself a couple of weeks ago when a lightning strike nearby caused our power to trip out. Not only did I need to go back to the beginning with Add folder but you’re never quite sure if the process completed properly.

You can start and stop. Not sure the files came across? Just drop the lot again and let the operating system sort out if there are any duplicates.

You don’t need to worry about file types. Just stick everything into Auto add and let iTunes sort out not just what goes where but also what should and shouldn’t be in iTunes. You can see any orphan files, they get left in the Auto add folder after you open iTunes. If you inadvertently include a Word document iTunes will leave it be.

You know the files have reached their destination. With add folder I’ve sometimes had a nagging doubt that it worked OK. Actually it had but Auto add offers a handy, comforting, open view of what has happened. I like the now you see it, now you don’t method.

Of course you don’t need to constrict yourself to music files, this method will handle movies and podcasts too. Just drop them into the magic folder and let the computer sort out the details.

I’m very tempted to revisit our advice to clients on how to load music. In fact i bounced this off a couple of friends over the weekend and got an unexpected response. Scepticism. They thought this was so simple, so foolproof, that it was almost too good to be true. Well then, go on and give it a try next time you need to add anything to iTunes,
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