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iTunes: Understanding iTunes Media Organization

iTunes has two organization methods for content: iTunes Media and iTunes Music. Depending on which version of iTunes you first opened, you may have either iTunes Music or the newer iTunes Media organization.

Note: If you are using iTunes for the first time, iTunes automatically uses iTunes Media organization.

Upgrading to iTunes Media organization

In iTunes 8.2.1 and earlier, the iTunes folder is organized as follows, with the iTunes Music folder containing most of your content:

  • iTunes
    • Mobile Applications
    • iTunes Music
      • Movies
      • Podcasts
      • Ringtones
      • TV Shows
    • iPod Games

In iTunes 9 and later, the iTunes folder is organized as follows, with iTunes Media organization arranging your content into folders related to the content:

  • iTunes
    • iTunes Media 
      • Audiobooks
      • Automatically Added to iTunes
      • Books
      • iPod Games
      • iTunes U
      • Mobile Applications
      • Movies
      • Music
      • Podcasts
      • Ringtones
      • TV Shows
      • Voice Memos

If you want the new organization method on an older library, upgrade to iTunes Media organization by choosing File > Library > Organize Library:

  Consolidate and Organize

Important: Once you complete this process, you cannot return to the previous method of organizing your content.

Additional Information

  • If the option to Upgrade to iTunes Media organization is not shown, you have already upgraded to it.
  • If you share your iTunes Media folder between multiple users on the same computer, or keep your iTunes folder on a network or Airport Disk, ensure all computers are using the latest version of iTunes.
    • Avoid using different versions of iTunes, or you may be unable to locate content, or may import or transfer content to the wrong location.
  • If you changed the location of your iTunes Music folder using iTunes > Preferences > Advanced, iTunes does not rename the iTunes Music folder to iTunes Media.
    • If this occurs, do not manually rename the iTunes Music folder. This could cause issues with locating or playing content.
  • In some instances, old folders may remain in the iTunes folder (Mobile Applications, iPod Games, etc).
    • After you verify these folders are empty, you can safely remove them.
Last Modified: Apr 10, 2012
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  • Last Modified: Apr 10, 2012
  • Article: HT3847
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