iTunes: About the Add to Library, Import, and Convert functions

Learn more about the functions Add to Library, Import, and Convert in iTunes.

Add to Library

So you can access content quickly, iTunes indexes all music, audio book, and video files that you add to iTunes. This index is called the iTunes library. When you add content to the library, iTunes adds an entry for each audio or movie file to your index. The files could be in your Home folder, somewhere else on your hard drive, on an external hard disk, or on another computer that you're accessing through file sharing.

To add files to your iTunes library, you can use these options:

  • Drag files from the Finder to the appropriate icon on the left side of the iTunes window.
  • Choose File > Add to Library (on Windows, choose Add File to Library or Add Folder to Library) and select the song or folder that you want to add.

iTunes adds entries to your iTunes library for the selected files and copies the files to your iTunes Music folder (if you selected that option in the Advanced pane of iTunes preferences).

Note: When you add unprotected WMA files to your iTunes library (Windows only), iTunes converts them to new files that it can play based on your import settings.


Choose File > Library > Import Playlists to import playlists and other data files into iTunes. 

To import songs from audio CDs into your library, click Import CD:

  1. Choose the CD from the iTunes library.
  2. Click import CD.

When you import a CD, iTunes creates audio files using the Import Settings you selected on the General pane of iTunes preferences and saves the files in your Music folder.


With iTunes, you can convert music files from one file format to another. You can also convert a file to the same format using different options. For example, you can convert high-bitrate MP3 files to a lower bitrate to fit more files on an MP3 CD.

Note: You can't convert protected music that you purchased from the iTunes Store.

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