Legality 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
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Folder Action 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.
Then describe all of the requirements needed, including file extension, target folder and action to take. Click “OK” to start using the rule.
If you set up everything correctly, you will have all of the downloaded music files collected inside the folder.
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.
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.