How Do I Download Songs onto iTunes – A Tutorial

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I have to put this out there to get it off my chest. I hate iTunes. In my opinion, the interface is not intuitive, and the labeling of controls is misleading. Whew, I feel better. Now I’ll just wait for Steve Jobs to storm into my house and neutralize me.

If I have problems with iTunes, then I’m sure there are plenty of other people who do, also. So here I am with “How Do I Download Songs onto iTunes” so you can get them on your iPod and you can go about your iDay.

I’m going to assume that you already have iTunes (download here) installed – we’re using iTunes 8.2 on a Windows XP Home laptop. I’m also going to assume that you have an iTunes Store account. If you don’t, refer to this article to learn how to get one.

Adding Songs from iTunes Store

Let’s look at adding music from the iTunes Store first. Once you have iTunes open, just click where it reads iTunes Store.

download songs onto itunes

Shortly, the iTunes Store will be visible in the right-hand window. Hmmm, Jets Overhead has a free single, that sounds interesting. Because it is free. Now, I will click on that selection.


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iTunes will open up to a page that tells you about the band and song as well as some comments from people who have downloaded the song. That’s nice. What we’re interested in, is at the bottom of the page. This is where we get the song. Look for the Get Song button. Just click on that.

If you are already signed in, the song will start to download. This can be checked by looking in the left-hand side of iTunes for the Downloads label. store_4There it is! Downloads equal one. Now where did it go? Into the Library of course, under Music. Just click on Music and you’ll see the song on the right-hand side.


Adding Songs from a CD

I’m using a CD made by a band with a guy I sort of know, Jeffry Houser. He’s an Adobe/ColdFusion guru who is also a good musician. The band was known as Far Cry Fly. Anyway…

Put the CD into your computer’s CD/DVD player. iTunes should automagically ask you if you want to import the contents of the CD. Click on good old Yes. Has clicking indescriminately on Yes ever let us down? Oh, yes, I guess it has.


iTunes will begin importing all the music off of the CD. You can tell which song is being imported and which ones are completed by the icons next to the songs.

cd_2The check mark in the green circle means great success in importing the song. The squiggle in the orange circle means that the import is in progress. Eventually, all the songs will be imported. “Where did they go?” you ask, with childlike wonder dancing in your eyes like so many little sprites rejoicing in your innocent thoughts. Well, into the Library of course!

Voila! There they are!

Adding Songs from a Directory on Your Computer

You can either do this song by song or you can add a whole directory of music. The whole directory method is the best approach if you’ve already legitimately and legally created back-ups of your lawfully purchased music collection. So, here’s how that goes.

Click on File> Add Folder to Library.


A new window opens up that allows you to navigate to the folder you want to add.folder_21

Ah, there it is! Corb Lund and the Hurtin’ Albertans. I urge you to check them out. Definitely a favourite of mine. Select the folder by clicking once on it and then click on the OK button. How was that? Was it… OK? Tee hee.

Ala Peanut Butter Sandwiches and pow! Your folder of music is added to the Library.

Those are the three ways to add music to your iTunes library, so bookmark this page in case you ever find yourself wondering, “How do I download songs onto iTunes again?” Now that you’ve got that power, go crazy and fill that library up and rock out. Or in my case, country out. That doesn’t work, does it?

If this little tutorial has helped you out in anyway, please let me know. Now, I’m going to send a link to this article to my daughter, since she’s been bugging me for months to show her how to do this stuff. Don’t tell her I just figured it out myself.

For more tutorials on iTunes, check out our MakeUseOf Big Book of iTunes free PDF download.

Do you know any other way to add music to iTunes? Is there an automated way of doing it? Let us know in the comments.

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