How Do I Download Songs onto iTunes – A Tutorial

itunesexperience   How Do I Download Songs onto iTunes   A TutorialI 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.

store 1   How Do I Download Songs onto iTunes   A Tutorial

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.

store 2   How Do I Download Songs onto iTunes   A Tutorial

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.

store 3   How Do I Download Songs onto iTunes   A Tutorial

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 4   How Do I Download Songs onto iTunes   A TutorialThere 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.

store 5   How Do I Download Songs onto iTunes   A Tutorial

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.

cd 1   How Do I Download Songs onto iTunes   A Tutorial

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 2   How Do I Download Songs onto iTunes   A TutorialThe 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!

cd 3 1   How Do I Download Songs onto iTunes   A Tutorial

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.

folder 1   How Do I Download Songs onto iTunes   A Tutorial

A new window opens up that allows you to navigate to the folder you want to add.folder 21   How Do I Download Songs onto iTunes   A Tutorial

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.

folder 3   How Do I Download Songs onto iTunes   A Tutorial

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.

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.

23 Comments -

0 votes

Jeffry Houser

Thanks for using our CD as a sample Guy. For those interested the band’s web site is farcryfly.com .

If enough people bug me, I’ll mp3 our albums and get them up somewhere.

0 votes

Bob3000

The text link to the Corb Lund website needs to be checked out.

0 votes

Guy McDowell

Bummer. Check out Corb’s MySpace – Corb Lund MySpace

I’m still pulling for you Corb!

0 votes

Paul

Although I am a long time user; long time hater of itunes (love hate relationship), I think sometimes you really need to get back to the basics. I think a few of the long term readers may scoff at this article, I would say don’t read it. For the new guy/girl just starting out and don’t want to stuff things up (especially when ypu purchase music ie cold hard cash) then this is a good start and I would highly recommend looking at their “Make use of bigbook of itunes” as well. I found the booklet good even for someone like me who used it since I got my ipod touch (now known as my electronic brain)

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Paul – I couldn’t agree more. For someone who’s new to iTunes and just getting started searching for guides on how to do the basics, they could get information from an amateur blogger, which may or may not be very useful, or they can learn from the old pros (like Guy here) who’ve learned to do this stuff with their eyes closed. :)

0 votes

emily

Now to the dark side … What’s happening when music I import into iTunes from My Music or a CD fails to show up the next time I boot. The titles are there, but also the dreaded exclamation point that says ‘you just THINK your music is here.’
What is the cause and the cure? Many thanks.

0 votes

Guy McDowell

I really don’t know. But stay tuned…I smell an article in that question.

0 votes

Adam

you forgot the simplest way to import music into iTunes, drag and drop

to emily: that exclamation point means exactly what the error states, the data can’t be found where it was previously, that doesn’t mean it was deleted, just missing.

0 votes

Guy McDowell

That’s funny! I solved an Outlook issue today with drag and drop. For some reason, I always over look that. Probably because I prefer to use keyboard shortcuts.
Drag and drop can sometimes be an easy way to misplace a file too, but it can also be terribly handy.

0 votes

clifford Edwards

I’m sure I paid for 4 songs. When I had the list of songs on the screen in front of me, I clicked on the first download, and the song started playing. the song was 18 minutes long, and must have gotten distracted, so when I went to accept the other 3 songs, I couldn’t find them or I couldn’t find the page that showed they needed to be accepted.

0 votes

emily

That’s just it … how does music that looks securely imported before I shut down go missing before I start iTunes up again? This never happens with downloads, seldom with CD imports. It happens most usually with folders transferred from one of my computers to another via thumb drive.

0 votes

Guy McDowell

My gut reaction is that it is a pathing issue. I can’t confirm this, but maybe it assigns the drive letter of the thumb drive to the path of the song, when it really should be assigning the drive letter of your hard drive.
I’m going to have dig into this one.

0 votes

sergemonster

i must agree with you. I used Itunes and hated it – maybe because as a microsoft user i do find buying music from their platform intrusive.

0 votes

roger

man, i’ve gotta start reading the manuals first! i’ve been putting stuff downloaded from other than itunes on to itunes 1 track at a time. i had no idea it could be 1 file/folder at a time. thanks.

0 votes

Charlotte

well i am a kid and i don’s have any credit cards so how am i supposed to make an account?

0 votes

Jeffry Houser

Inspired by the use of our album here, I went ahead and uploaded both are studio albums onto the Archive.org Live Music Archive:

http://www.archive.org/details/FCF2004-04-24.AudienceParticipation
http://www.archive.org/details/FCF2003-09-06.241

0 votes

Guy McDowell

That’s cool! I didn’t know you could do that at Archive.org. I’m going to have to look into that some more. Cheers!

0 votes

Jeffry Houser

It’s called the “Live Music Archive” so studio recordings are rare, but they do exist.
Maybe someday I’ll go through my archive of Far Cry Fly live recordings and get them up there. But don’t hold your breath.

0 votes

Su

I just bought a song on iTunes but I can’t find it in my library and when I check for available downloads it says that all my purchases have been downloaded…any ideas on how I can find the song??!

0 votes

Su

Problem has been solved, it must have been because it was my first purchase. I’m still none the wiser as to why it happened but I have my song now so I’m happy!

0 votes

bob

I love itunes personally. Just so easy to use, doesn’t do stuff you don’t want it to as i really loathe the auto sorting and other auto gimmicky stuff you see with the likes of WMP.

0 votes

Uma

Itunes is stupid..i have the software downloaded in my PC..now ho do i get songs into it..and den finally into my IPOD

0 votes

Al

I totally agree with those comments about how to either download itunes and to also purchase and download music.
It is like watching one of those infomercials saying how great it is. Just has does one know if your computer has the right capabilities and how does one purcchase and download music??