How To: Make iTunes scan folders for new music

One of my biggest complaints about iTunes is that it doesn't monitor folders for new music. Well, after a little trial and error, here's a quick way to make iTunes scan a folder and add any songs that aren't currently in your music library.

  • Run iTunes.
  • Choose "File" > "Add To Library…"
  • Browse and choose the folder you wish to scan

This will cause iTunes to scan the music folder, adding any new tracks that in the folder and subfolders without duplicating music that is already in your iTunes library.

Side note to Merrin: To use for your laptop, browse & select the Music folder on the network drive.

21. November 2006 by Kevin Donahue
7 comments

Comments (7)

  1. You are so clever!

  2. Nice tip. I'll have to try that. I don't like that it doesn't scan either.

  3. okay, it didn't work for me.

  4. @Steff – thanks.

    @rob – Really? It works for me. I'll check the version of iTunes and we can compare notes offline. Mines' a Mac version, of course, but that shouldn't matter.

  5. maybe it's my pc. oh well.

    happy thanksgiving!

  6. I can't get iTunes to STOP monitoring folders! It keeps importing songs as I rip them but I don't want it to. I keep all my files on a seperate HD and when I move the songs I end up with duplicates and 'cannot find file' errors. How do I REMOVE folders from being monitored?

    Thanks

  7. Jesse – Sounds like you have iTunes set up to copy music to your iTunes folder when adding to library, which is an option in the "ADVANCED" Preferenses Menu (or Options Menu for PC users). iTunes is throwing a copy in your local hard drive, but when you move it – it is no longer in the Music folder, hence the "!" next to your files.

    My suggestion – For windows users with music on a seperate drive, your almost better ripping CDs in another application (like Windows Media Player), copying them to your Music folder on your other drive, and then dragging & dropping them on your iTunes window. To avoid duplicates, make sure that iTunes is not copying files to your iTunes Music folder when adding to the library (Advanced Options).