iTunes Guide: How to Add Songs to Your Music Library

Adding songs to your iTunes music library allows you to organize, play, and sync your favorite music across devices. With a few simple steps, you can import songs from CDs, purchase music from the iTunes Store, stream songs from Apple Music, and more.

Get Started with iTunes

iTunes is the ultimate hub for organizing your digital music collection. The free software from Apple lets Windows and Mac users manage and play music, movies, TV shows, audiobooks, and more.

To get started:

  • Download and install the latest version of iTunes from the Apple website.
  • Open iTunes and sign in using your Apple ID. This gives you access to the iTunes Store and Apple Music.
  • Import songs from CDs or add music files already saved on your computer.
  • Subscribe to Apple Music for access to over 90 million songs that can be added to your library.

Import Music from CDs

One of the easiest ways to add songs is to import CDs you already own. Simply insert a CD into your computer, then:

  • In iTunes, click File > Import CD.
  • The songs will appear in your library, and iTunes will automatically lookup song details like artist, album name, genre, year, etc.
  • By default, iTunes makes a copy of the songs and saves them on your computer. You can edit Preferences if you prefer to add aliases instead of copies.

You can also drag and drop songs directly from a CD folder on your computer into the iTunes window.

Purchase Songs and Albums

The iTunes Store gives you access to a catalog of over 75 million songs.

  • Browse or search for music in the iTunes Store.
  • Preview tracks before you buy them.
  • Purchase individual songs, full albums, compilation albums, box sets, and more.
  • Downloads are instantly added to your iTunes library.

iTunes makes it affordable to grow your music collection. Songs are just $1.29 each, while most albums cost $9.99-$11.99.

Subscribe to Apple Music

An Apple Music subscription unlocks access to over 90 million songs for streaming and downloading. The service costs $9.99/month after a free trial.

Apple Music features include:

  • Huge catalog: Stream almost any song you want, with new music added daily.
  • Add songs to your library: Make Apple Music tracks part of your permanent collection.
  • Download for offline listening: No internet? No problem. Listen anytime.
  • Curated playlists: Enjoy playlists made just for you based on your tastes.
  • Radio stations: Tune in to radio stations from multiple genres.

With Apple Music integrated with your iTunes library, you can easily add songs, albums, and playlists for downloading or offline listening.

Import Files Already on Your Computer

If you have music files stored on your computer or an external hard drive, import them into iTunes to manage alongside the rest of your music collection.

Add a Single File

  • In iTunes, click File > Add File to Library.
  • Select the song file you want to import.
  • The file will appear in your library.

Add a Folder

  • In iTunes click File > Add Folder to Library.
  • Select the folder containing audio files for import.
  • All compatible audio files within the folder will be added.

You can also drag and drop files and folders directly into the iTunes window for a quick import.

By default, iTunes copies imported files into the iTunes Media folder. You can edit Preferences to add aliases instead while keeping music organized in custom locations.

Transfer from iPhone, iPad, or iPod

If you have music saved locally on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch:

  • Connect the device to your computer using a USB/Lightning cable.
  • In iTunes, a button will appear in the upper-left allowing you to transfer purchases from your device.
  • Clicking this button will transfer all eligible items into your iTunes library.

This makes it easy to backup music bought or downloaded on mobile devices.

Add Songs from the Internet

MP3s and other audio files downloaded from the web can also be imported:

  • In iTunes, click File > Add File to Library.
  • Select the downloaded song file(s) to add to iTunes.
  • Files will now appear in your music library.

This allows you to legally add free music tracks or audio files purchased from sites outside the iTunes Store.

Use Home Sharing

Home Sharing lets you share iTunes libraries with up to 5 computers on your home WiFi network. This allows you to wirelessly stream content from another user’s iTunes collection.

To set up Home Sharing:

  • In iTunes on both computers, click File > Home Sharing > Turn On Home Sharing.
  • Sign in using the same Apple ID on both machines.
  • Connect both devices to the same WiFi network.
  • Music will now be shareable across libraries.

Through Home Sharing, you can add shared songs to your personal collection. Just right-click on the track and choose Add to My Library.

Create Smart Playlists

Smart Playlists automatically populate with songs from your library based on custom rules and criteria.

To make one:

  1. In iTunes, click File > New Smart Playlist.
  2. Define rules for the playlist like artist, genre, release year, etc.
  3. Specify the song details must “match all” or “match any” of the rules.
  4. Choose a limitation like number of songs.

For example, you could make a Jazz playlist limited to your top 50 most-played jazz songs from the last decade. Whenever you add new music matching the rules, it automatically populates in the Smart Playlist.

Enjoy Your Music Library Everywhere

No matter how you prefer to add music, iTunes makes it easy to build up your personal collection. You can access purchased and imported libraries across iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac, PC, Apple TV, HomePod, and other devices.

With a vast catalog of songs available instantly via subscription streaming or downloads, iTunes and Apple Music take your music library to the next level. Follow this guide to seamlessly add songs and integrate multiple music sources into your ultimate iTunes collection.