How to Consolidate Your iTunes Library and Keep It Organized
Keep iTunes Media folder organizedA quick peek into your iTunes Media folder shows what's going on behind the scenes. (Mac users, navigate to your user account / Music; PC users, Your account\music.) iTunes, unlike your ninth grade record-collecting-self, ignores years, genres and record labels to simply sort in artist folders that contain albums and tracks. All compilations get thrown in a dedicated folder, as do tracks with unknown/unmarked artists or albums. As you edit artist and album data in iTunes itself, the actual files get moved around accordingly. If, for example, you pasted 'Bob Dylan' into the artist field of every song in your library (Don't do this!), iTunes would throw everything into a single Bob Dylan folder. Yes, you lose the thrill of shifting files around, but now you can use all your saved time to fix tags, adjust release dates and add higher-res custom art. Once you hit OK, iTunes will chug along for several minutes while it restructures the Media folder, and, if all goes well, you'll see your iTunes Library looks exactly the same.
Copying to iTunesThe option to Copy Files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library is a bit more of a personal preference. Checking this adds new tracks you've downloaded to your Music folder. It keeps your music centralized in a single folder, instead of spread across your Downloads folder, Desktop and anywhere else you're storing music files. Double-clicking on a new track you just downloaded will automatically add it to iTunes, and you can simply trash the original.
You can also use the Automatically Add to iTunes folder (buried in the iTunes Media directory) to add tracks to iTunes in bulk. Dropping multiple albums or tracks into this folder automatically adds and sorts them in iTunes.
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