Killer Tech Tips

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How to Automatically Update Your iTunes Library?

with 19 comments

iTunes is a good media player, but it misses those little features that you might really need. One niggle is that it doesn’t update the media library automatically – you won’t see the songs that were added recently to your music folders in the iTunes library. You need to manually update the library by adding the folder again.

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This is quite time consuming, but there’s a tool called iTunes Folder Watch that comes to the rescue. iTunes Folder Watch keeps an eye on selected folders and checks them occasionally to see if there are any tracks from your selected folders that are not on the library yet, and alerts you of the same. You can just check the songs that you want to add, and the iTunes library is instantly updated with the new tracks.

  1. Download iTunes Folder Watch from here and start it up by clicking on the Desktop Icon
  2. Click the Plus ‘+’ icon to add the folders that you want to be monitoreditunes_automatic_update_library1
  3. Click ‘Check Now’ at the bottom of the window
  4. Now, go to the ‘New Tracks’ tab and you’ll a list of new songs that have not yet been added to your iTunes library
  5. Click ‘Add checked tracks to iTunes’Update iTunes Library Automatically
  6. The songs that you selected have been added to your iTunes Library. The iTunes library has been updated automatically
  7. You can go to the Configuration tab and check the first option that says ‘Automatically add new tracks (within watch folder)to iTunes without intervention’. This will tell iTunes to automatically add new songs to the iTunes library. You need not necessarily follow Steps 4 and 5 once you’ve checked this. Sad thing: This is disabled in the trial version. You need to get a license to use this feature.

Let us know in the comments if you have any questions. Do you more iTunes gripes? Check out this article on how to fix iTunes problems.

Written by Killer Tech Tips

June 2nd, 2008 at 10:04 am

Posted in how to

Tagged with ,

  • BigJim

    Sounds neat … and useful. But why do both you and the author avoid any mention of the price of the license? I’m not about to waste time with an application (and then perhaps have to uninstall it) because it is over priced. The fact that the price is so avoided makes me rather suspicious that it’s too expensive.

    Or did I miss it somewhere?

  • @BigJim Sorry but I forgot to mention it. There’s a software called iTunes Album Browser that costs around $17. If you’ve got a copy of that, you can use the same license code for iTunes Folder Watch as well. That’s what their web page says.

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  • Price of iTunes Folder Watch is 7.50EUROS – it is quite clear on the website. But the free version will still add unlimited songs, albeit only via the manual option which suits most people – it’s just a click or two. Price of iTunes Album Browser is 15EUROS which includes iTunes Folder Watch.

  • Doug

    This app is old; the support forum doesn’t show any real activity in months. The last post from the author is months ago. It doesn’t allow you to monitor UNCs or navigate your network; it only allows mapped drives. Who the heck uses mapped drives anymore? They were only required years and years ago for Windows 95, ME, and 98.

    – it appears to be old, superceded possibly, or made redundant by newer versions of iTunes or competiting products
    – it’s no good for anyone that lives in the 21st century.

  • Daniel

    I am using the free version, and it works very well for me.

    Functions exactly as I had hoped.

  • J B

    I’m the author of Folder Watch. I can reassure you this is not old software, it’s being improved all the time, and the forum is active. You can watch UNC paths now for one thing.

  • Tim J J B

    As a long-time administrator of IT departments, I more than understand the skepticism voiced above. I was also a little apprehensive until I pulled down a copy and let it churn through about 15,000 files, 4,500 of which it found and added back to my iTunes installation flawlessly. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

  • Garrett

    I just installed teh free version and it works really well. I was sceptical after reading some ofthe comments above but it worlslike a treat. Thank you

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  • itunes lova

    what the hell is a .exe???? anyone know???? how do i open this?? im on 10.5.6

  • John

    Question. On the initial scan this software had checks on all of the files in my monitor folder. 3/4 of these tracks are already in my Itunes so I dont want to click the “add checked tracks to itunes” button fearing that i might create duplicates in my Itunes folder. How do you handle this initial startup question? Thanks.

  • media4u2

    To itunes lova:

    “x\.exe” files are executable files (program files) for Windows-based machines. Macs do not use “.exe” files.

    In other words, “iTunes Folder Watch” is a Windows-only program, and cannot be used on your Mac.

    It would be nice to have a Mac version of this program, as the need is the same for Mac users of iTunes as for Windows users.

  • lauren

    This works really well, and it’s a life saver. I was like.. ” The reviews are horrible. ” But gave it a try, and the trial version works like a charm. (:

  • Patrick

    Brilliant! Works perfectly and is very simple. Took 5 minutes to download and sync my windows music directory with iTunes library. Makes up for Microso…I mean Apples shortcomings.

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  • Kasi

    Does it detect the deleted files from the hard disk and remove it from the playlist.

  • Does it actually copy the song to the new “iTunes” folder or does it just set a pointer to itunes to play the song from its current location

  • Jimbob

    You know the thing you download do you have to pay for it