Adding Downloaded MP3s to iTunes

With the popularity of streaming music and digital download stores, most of us don't need to manually add MP3s to iTunes. But every now and then, especially if you're a big music fan who downloads live concert recordings or listens to lectures or other website content, you'll need to download individual MP3s and add them to iTunes.

Adding downloaded MP3s to iTunes is a simple process. Here's how:

Download the MP3

Make sure you know where the file has been downloaded to.

On a Mac, that's usually the Downloads folder or the desktop. On Windows, it's often the desktop.

Make sure you can find the file in the location it's been downloaded to. If you can't find it, use your computer's search tool to look for it.

Launch iTunes

Once iTunes is open, find the MP3 you want to add and drag the file into the open iTunes window. Depending on what version of iTunes you're running, and what section of iTunes you're in, you'll see different things.

  • In iTunes 10 and earlier, the MP3 will have a plus sign next to it to indicate that it is being added.
  • In iTunes 11 and up, in the Song view, you'll see the same plus sign.
  • In iTunes 11 and up, in other views, the plus sign doesn't appear; instead, a dark blue outline shows up at the outside edge of the iTunes window.

iTunes will process the file (you'll see a progress bar for importing the file in the top window pane in iTunes) and automatically categorize it by name, artists, album, etc.

If the MP3 imports without that information, check out this article for how to solve that problem.

Now that the song is part of your iTunes library, you can listen to it or sync it to your iPhone or iPod.

Guides to Adding MP3s from Other Sources

To learn how to add MP3s acquired from other sources to iTunes, read these tutorials: