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how do i download music on itunesLegality issues aside, the Internet has long been the main source of music for many of us who live in this modern society. Provided you know where and what to find, you can get virtually any kind of digital song available on the planet.

But downloading is not the same as enjoying and organizing. You still have to manually add your downloaded songs to your chosen music player application, and maybe organize them the way that you want. If you use iTunes to manage your music collection, you can automate the organizing steps and give yourself more time to enjoy your music.

In The Beginning There’s A Folder

how do i download music on itunesThe main actor for this automation system is an iTunes feature called “Automatically Add to iTunes“. This is actually a folder located deep inside iTunes music folders. This feature will automatically import the supported files inside the folder into your iTunes Library. Just manually drag and drop the downloaded files into this folder.

You can make things a little bit easier by placing the folder shortcut in the Mac Finder’s sidebar. So that instead of digging deep into the iTunes music folders, the dropzone is just a sidebar away.

However, knowing the existence of this folder opens up a new possibility – we can set up a system so that the downloaded files will end up in this folder.

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Downloaded From Torrents

Let’s start with torrent files. If you use Transmission to download your torrents like most Mac users out there, you can use its built-in grouping feature to automate the process.

Open Preferences by going to “Transmission – Preferences” menu or use the “Command + Comma” shortcut.

import music to itunes

Choose the “Groups” tab, pick one of the available groups and rename it. Or you can also create a new group by clicking on the “Plus (+)” button below.

import music to itunes

After that, check the “Custom Location” box and then find and select the “Automatically Add to iTunes” folder as the custom location. You’ll save a few steps if you’ve already placed the shortcut in the sidebar.

import music to itunes

Then check the “Assign group to new transfers based on criteria” box and start building the filtering rules. Since we are going to filter out music from the rest of the torrents, you will want to add common music extensions as rules. The expressions: “Any File” + “ends with” + “music extensions” work fine for me.

downloadable music apple itunes

You could go a little bit further and enable the “Auto add” feature under the “Transfers – Adding” in the Preferences window and choose to watch the folder where you put the downloaded torrent file.

downloadable music apple itunes

With this system, all you need to do is just click on the torrent file download link that you find on a webpage and the downloaded songs will appear in iTunes.

downloadable music apple itunes

Downloaded From Other Sources

You can set similar arrangements for songs that you download from sources other than torrent networks, such as direct downloads from your friend’s public folder. If your download manager supports filtering that allows you to save a specific kind of file in a a specific location, then you are good to go.

04 iGetter Downloads.jpg

But if there’s no such thing in your download manager’s feature list, you’ll need help from a file management system like Folder Action in Automator, Hazel (not free) or SmartShuno. We’ve discussed several How To use Folder Actions in OS X to Convert or Rotate Images How To use Folder Actions in OS X to Convert or Rotate Images Read More Folder Action 2 Useful Tips For Organizing Electronic Files [Mac Only] 2 Useful Tips For Organizing Electronic Files [Mac Only] Read More usages before. So why don’t we try SmartShuno in this discussion?

Our goal is to create a system that will move all of your downloaded music into the “Automatically Add to iTunes” folder. The first step is to open SmartShuno and start creating the rule by clicking on the “Add” button.

04 SmartShuno - Add Rule.jpg

Then describe all of the requirements needed, including file extension, target folder and action to take. Click “OK” to start using the rule.

04b SmartShuno - Rules.jpg

If you set up everything correctly, you will have all of the downloaded music files collected inside the folder.

05a Automatically Add to iTunes Folder-1.jpg

After you open iTunes, they will automatically imported. The unsupported files – which were downloaded along with the songs – will be put inside the “Not Added” folder.

how do i download music on itunes

Do you use iTunes to manage your songs? Do you know any other way to automate the song organizing process?  If so, please share using the comments below.

  1. Rcmorris11
    August 6, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Nope...

    • Anonymous
      February 3, 2015 at 3:23 pm

      did your issue ever get resolved because I am having the same problem

  2. Rcmorris11
    August 6, 2010 at 5:23 am

    I did everything the article said to a T to set up a direct to itunes download from Transmition. But the files go into a folder called "not added" inside the "Automatically add to itunes"
    And I can't open any of my torrent files now!

    Help!!

  3. Rcmorris11
    August 6, 2010 at 3:23 am

    I did everything the article said to a T to set up a direct to itunes download from Transmition. But the files go into a folder called "not added" inside the "Automatically add to itunes"
    And I can't open any of my torrent files now!

    Help!!

    • Anonymous
      August 6, 2010 at 3:34 am

      Have you set Transmission to keep incomplete files in a seperate folder (Preferences --> Transfer --> Adding and check "Keep Incomplete Files In" box)?

  4. thurana
    August 5, 2010 at 1:16 am

    The process works similarly under Windows. There is also the "Automatically add to iTunes" folder on Windows version of iTunes. So you need to redirect the downloads there. I believe uTorrent could do that.

    And as for the automation tool similar to SmartShuno, you could use Belvedere.

  5. Marcus P
    August 4, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    thank you, just what i needed.

    • Anonymous
      August 4, 2010 at 11:18 pm

      Your welcome. Glad this could help.

  6. Mark O'Neill
    August 4, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    I would imagine that it isn't all that different for Windows.

    • Anonymous
      August 4, 2010 at 11:18 pm

      Yes Mark, as I mentioned to Peter above, the process is similar under Windows but the tools used would be different.

  7. Aibek
    August 4, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    thanks for the nice tutorial Jeffry!

    • Anonymous
      August 4, 2010 at 11:17 pm

      Thanks for the nice comment Aibek! :)

  8. Peter
    August 4, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    now a guide for windows! :D

    • Anonymous
      August 4, 2010 at 11:16 pm

      The process works similarly under Windows. There is also the "Automatically add to iTunes" folder on Windows version of iTunes. So you need to redirect the downloads there. I believe uTorrent could do that.

      And as for the automation tool similar to SmartShuno, you could use Belvedere.

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