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Way to bulk import songs into itunes that are already not in itunes.

Posted on 2007-03-31
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I have always kept all my MP3 files in one directory, even with itunes. The problem is that itunes reports fewer songs than what are in the directory. What I need to be able to do is import all songs in a directory that are not already in itunes. Is there a way to do this? We are talking a large number of songs here so going through one at a time to see what is there is not a realistic option. Thanks!
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Question by:flea77
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 18831182
if i tunes is reporting incorect volume could be some of the files saved have duplicate copies.
Is your question realted to moving all media files?>>all my MP3 files in one directory, even with itunes
You could use the search and find files relating to mp3 or insert the name of the format.
If your using windowsxp pro sp2 use its back up tool once you know where the files are.
How to use the Backup utility that is included in Windows XP to back up files and folders
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308422

How to shift iTunes libraries
Steps for coalescing your music collection on a roomier hard drive
http://playlistmag.com/features/2005/08/shiftitunes/index.php

Symptom: There's no music in your iTunes library when there should be.
http://playlistmag.com/help/2004/09/trubitunes/index.php

Backing up your music files in iTunes 4
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=93033

If your still stumped where everything is I use this program comes in handy to find what is installed on the hdd.
JDiskReport enables you to understand how much space the files and directories consume on your disk drives, and it helps you find obsolete files and folders.
The tool analyses your disk drives and collects several statistics which you can view as overview charts and details tables.

http://www.jgoodies.com/freeware/jdiskreport/
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mcmarks earned 250 total points
ID: 18831496
It sounds like you are manually adding songs to your music folder, not letting iTunes do this for you.  The problem with this is that iTunes relies on a database file to know what is in your library so bypassing iTunes means it doesn't know your new music is there.  I generally drag and drop songs or folders of songs onto my iTunes window.  This causes iTunes to add the song information to your iTunes library and (depending on your settings, more on that in a sec) it will copy the song into the appropriate location.  Then I delete the original copy of the song, if I don't need it anymore.

However, there are some iTunes preferences that can affect this. To get to these select the General tab under the Advanced pane.  If you don't have the option for "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library" then iTunes will add the song to the library as discussed above, but it will not copy the song.  It will continue to reference the song where ever it was when you added it.  If this is a removable volume (like a USB drive) then iTunes won't be able to find the song when you remove the drive.  So, the onus of making sure the song is in the right place falls on the user.  Personnally, I always leave this turned on.

Now, as a one-time solution to your existing problem, what I would do is:
- Turn the Copy option I just discussed OFF.
- From the File menu, select Add to Library...
- Naviagate to you iTunes Music folder and select it

iTunes should now add all the songs to it's database.  Unfortunately, this may result in duplicates, although iTunes is pretty smart about this.  

If you need to remove the duplicates
- From the View menu, select Show Duplicates.
- Select the copy of each duplicate you want to delete and delete them.
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