iTunes, do your job!
July 24, 2012 7:30 AM   Subscribe

iTunes won't import songs?

Well, that's about it. iTunes (not sure on version, but it's almost certainly fully-updated) won't import songs that have been downloaded. It did for a while, and now it won't. No error message, just nothing happens. What's going on?
posted by altopower to Technology (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Where are you downloading songs from?
posted by puritycontrol at 7:37 AM on July 24, 2012

How are you attempting to import the songs? Are you dragging them into the iTunes window, putting them in the "Automatically Add To iTunes" folder, or something else? Mac or Windows? Have you tried anything thus far to fix the problem?
posted by chazlarson at 7:50 AM on July 24, 2012

If I recall correctly, I saw this happen one time (this would be years ago) when one or more of the files was already in my collection. It wouldn't import any of the whole album via drag and drop, and it wouldn't report any errors. Any chance that's happening to you?
posted by kimota at 7:58 AM on July 24, 2012

(Bear with me, I am not super-technologically savvy.)

The songs are mp3s on my hard drive that have been downloaded from a site/program that shall remain nameless (I've successfully imported songs into iTunes that have been downloaded from there in the past).

I'm trying to import by choosing "Add File to Library" and choosing the songs from the dialog box. That's how it's always worked for me in the past. Dragging does not work...the icon turns red and into a circle with a slash. This is in Windows 7. I've Googled around to find solutions and have come up empty.

Where is the "Automatically Add to iTunes" folder?

On preview, I definitely don't have any of these files already.
posted by altopower at 8:01 AM on July 24, 2012

It's possible that those files are not actually MP3's or have some sort of header corruption. Try to convert them using a free audio format converter, then see if the import works on the resulting new files.

I've encountered this a few times, and importing the files into a "smarter" audio editor (like Audacity) then re-exporting to MP3 has usually solved it.
posted by Aquaman at 8:31 AM on July 24, 2012

I agree with Aquaman -- sometimes those sketchy downloaded files don't play nice. Your Automatically Add to iTunes folder should be in Music > iTunes > iTunes Media > Automatically Add to iTunes. But if Add File to Library and drag + drop aren't working, I don't suspect this method will work, either.
posted by puritycontrol at 9:10 AM on July 24, 2012

I agree that there is a shady component that may be going on. What seems weird to me, though, is that things had been going well. Importing had been going fine with any and all (not many, granted) downloaded songs, and then all of a sudden, none. That doesn't seem like a problem with the files, it seems like an iTunes issue. I will find the "Automatically Add..." folder and try that (when I get home) and see what that does, though.
posted by altopower at 9:38 AM on July 24, 2012

Try adding the whole folder to iTunes. If that still does not work, look at the properties for a single file (by right clicking on it in the folder and choosing properties) to make sure it is an mp3 and is at least a couple hundred kilobytes. If they are too small, iTunes might skip them. Next, just double click one of the files and it should start playing in your default mp3 software, which may be iTunes or it maybe Windows Media Player or something else.
posted by soelo at 10:32 AM on July 24, 2012

I've tried adding the whole folder with no luck. I've tried double-clicking and nothing happens. I'll look at the properties when I get home as well.
posted by altopower at 12:50 PM on July 24, 2012

Do you have iTunes match turned on? I have this problem from time to time, and deactivating and reactivating iTunes match fixes it. The songs that I have imported but can't see show up when it's deactivated, and don't go away when it's turned back on.

It doesn't go through a huge uploading process or anything again, it just takes a couple minutes.
posted by flaterik at 4:04 PM on July 24, 2012

Grar. I tried adding the entire folder, and it only added the songs out of the folder that I had already added. I tried the "Automatically Add..." folder. The properties all look fine, they are definitely mp3s. When I double-click on them nothing happens. I don't have iTunes match.

I think it's time to give up. Sad face.
posted by altopower at 8:16 AM on July 26, 2012

If "Automatically Add" doesn't add them, and dragging them in shows a circle-with-slash, then iTunes doesn't recognize them as MP3s [or another supported format].

If you would be willing to zip up and send me a few of the problem files, I'll be happy to take a look at what the issue might be.
posted by chazlarson at 9:36 AM on July 26, 2012

Huzzah! I am victorious. I don't quite know how to explain the problem, but it might be header corruption as Aquaman suggested above (shiny new best answer for you, sir). I managed to play one of the files in the program, and robot-lady-voice told me to download "x3 codec." I may be stupid, but I'm not THAT stupid. So, into the garbage those files went, and iTunes gets a gold medal for refusing to import. I have now found better and non-malware files that iTunes will play happily with, and everyone is happy.

Thanks, everyone!
posted by altopower at 4:12 PM on July 26, 2012

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