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How to Add Music to iTunes Library – 3 Methods Explained

Let me walk you through the main ways to add music to your iTunes library. I‘ll be explaining how to:

  • Purchase music from the iTunes Store
  • Subscribe to the Apple Music streaming service
  • Import your own audio files

Each method has its own pros and cons, which I‘ll cover to help you decide the best option for your needs. Follow along as I provide step-by-step instructions for building up your iTunes music library!

Purchase Music from the iTunes Store

The iTunes store has over 75 million songs available for purchase and download. When you buy music here, it‘s yours to keep forever and listen to across all your Apple devices.

Here‘s how purchasing from iTunes works:

On iPhone/iPad:

  • Open the iTunes Store app
  • Tap the Search bar or browse sections like New Music
  • When you find a song or album, tap the price button
  • Use Touch ID or enter your Apple ID password to authorize the purchase
  • The music will automatically download into your library

Browsing iTunes Store on iPhone

You can buy individual songs for $0.99 to $1.29 or entire albums typically starting at $7.99. Some pre-release music can be pre-ordered up to a week before release date.

Higher quality music is available by upgrading to iTunes Plus files. These songs are 256 kbps DRM-free AAC files that sound twice as good as older 128 kbps tracks.

On Mac/PC:

  • Open iTunes and click on the Store tab
  • Search or browse to find music selections
  • Click the Buy button on a song, album or playlist
  • Authorize with your password or Touch ID
  • Music will download into your library

iTunes Store on a Mac

The iTunes store makes it easy to buy the latest releases from all your favorite artists. Purchased music seamlessly appears in your library across all devices thanks to iCloud syncing.

But if you want access to a wider catalog of music, subscriptions may be more cost effective than buying individual songs.

Subscribe to Apple Music

For $9.99/month, Apple Music gives you unlimited access to over 90 million songs on demand. It‘s a great way to stream a huge variety of music without having to pay per song. You can also download songs for offline listening.

Let‘s look at how to get started:

On iPhone/iPad:

  • Open the Settings app and tap on Music
  • Tap the Join Apple Music button
  • Select Student, Individual or Family plan
  • Use Touch/Face ID to confirm subscription

You can also join Apple Music right in the Music app by going to the For You tab and tapping the offer banner. Or sign up on Apple‘s website which redirects you to the Music app.

Once subscribed, the entire Apple Music catalog is available to stream over WiFi or cellular data. To save music for offline listening, tap the + icon to add it to your library, then tap the download icon next to each song, album or playlist.

Downloaded music stays in your library until you delete it. You can stream music again anytime when connected to the internet.

On Mac/PC:

  • Open iTunes and go to the For You, Browse or Radio tab
  • Click the Apple Music offer banner
  • Or go to Store tab and find the Apple Music subscription
  • Pick your plan and authorize with Apple ID password

Apple Music on a Mac

You can also sign up on Apple‘s website to be redirected into iTunes. Downloading for offline listening works the same way as on mobile devices.

Apple Music is a great choice if you want access to a huge library of music to stream and download. Next let‘s look at how to import your own audio files.

Add Your Own Music Files

Importing your own music into iTunes allows you to listen across all your devices. iTunes supports common formats like MP3, M4A, WAV, and AAC files.

Here‘s how to import your music:

On Mac:

Adding music is easy on a Mac. Just drag and drop audio files or folders right into the iTunes application window. Or use File > Add to Library to select files to import.

This will copy the music into your iTunes library while preserving the original files in their existing location. Then you can listen to the songs and albums across all your Apple devices.

On Windows PC:

If iTunes isn‘t already installed, download it for free from Apple‘s website and run the installer.

Then similarly drag your audio files directly into the iTunes window to import them. Or use File > Add to Library to browse and select music to import.

This adds the music to your iTunes library without moving the original files.

Syncing Music to iPhone/iPad:

To transfer your iTunes music library onto your mobile devices:

  • Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer using a USB cable
  • Open iTunes. Click on your device icon in the top left
  • Go to the Music tab. Check "Sync Music"
  • Select playlists, artists, albums or entire library to sync
  • Click the Sync or Apply button

Syncing iPhone with iTunes

Syncing allows you to copy your iTunes music onto your mobile devices to listen on the go. You can choose to transfer specific playlists for more control.

The main benefit of importing your own music is being able to consolidate your personal media collection into iTunes for easy access across all your devices.

Compare the Pros and Cons of Each Method

To summarize, here‘s an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of each approach:

Method Pros Cons
iTunes Purchases – Own music forever
– High quality files
– Sync across devices
– Pay per song/album
– Limited catalog
Apple Music – Unlimited streaming
– Huge song catalog
– Sync across devices
– Monthly subscription fee
– Streaming quality varies
Import Own Files – Access personal collection
– No recurring fees
– Sync across devices
– Limited to owned music
– Need to create backups

As you can see, each approach has its own pros and cons. Purchasing music allows you to permanently own songs to listen offline, but can get expensive compared to a streaming subscription. Apple Music offers a vast catalog that‘s accessible as long as you pay the monthly fee. Importing your own files lets you consolidate media across devices but doesn‘t provide access to new music.

Hopefully this overview gives you a better understanding of the different ways to add music to iTunes. Let me know if you have any other questions!


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