iTunes Add Music Automatically from Any Folder

I’ve read a lot of posts saying Apple has no way in iTunes to automatically import music from any folder you put files into. Also, an equal number complaining there is only one folder now, in iTunes 9.

Here is a quick and easy way using Automator in OS X to do it yourself.  In about forty-five hot and dirty seconds, you can create a folder action with Automator to monitor the addition of new music files for you. This folder will automatically add the new files to iTunes, convert them, and even remove the added files from the import folders. (Scroll to the end of the post for the workflow file, if you’re in a rush.)
First, open Automator. Click the Folder Actions icon:

Automator Folder Action

Automator Folder Action

In the next window, in the upper-right, find the drop down menu, choose a folder to receive the import action:

Folder Drop Down

Folder Drop Down

If you don’t have a folder created already, then just choose “Other” and in the next window you’ll be able to make one.  If you do, choose “Other” and select your pre-made folder.

Next, find “Music” on the left hand column, followed by “Import Audio Files” in the right-hand column.  You drag the “Import Audio Files” to the large gray area to the right, and choose an encoder for your import.  See screen shots below:

automatorSS5That’s about all for the import.  Click “File”, then “Save As”, and pick a name for your Action.

You could stop there, but you will end up with re-imports of your files as they aren’t deleted automatically on import to iTunes.  So, the logical thing to do is let the folder delete them for you, by again using Automator’s built in actions. To do that, just select the “Delete Source Files After Encoding” checkbox:


Be sure to save your workflow, and you should be ready to import your music automatically using iTunes from whichever  folder you chose.  Still waiting on Apple for a video option, but iTunes has never been the best when it comes to playing nice with things like other’s video codecs.

In order to add this to another folder without going through Automator is easy.  Just right click (or control click blech…)the folder you want to create the action on, and choose “Folder Actions Setup” in the list.  It will open a list of actions for you to choose, and you will find your iTunes import action there under the name you saved it as.  Select it, and you have just added it to another folder, and kept it alive on the original to boot.  Beautiful.



If that was too much for you to handle, you can just download the workflow right here. Save this file to ~/Users/yourusername/Library/Workflows/Applications/Folder Actions (if the folder doesn’t exist, you may have to create it), and you should be good to go!