Organizing and Consolidating your Media

In this lesson for iTunes on the Mac, we look at how we have iTunes keep our media organized and how we can consolidate our media into iTunes.

Having iTunes Keep Your Media Organized
By default, when you add any media, such as a song or movie, iTunes will copy that into the iTunes folder in your Music Folder. This way all your media is going to be located in this folder and iTunes will know where to find it. iTunes is basically keeping all your media organized in its own folder.

Organizing your Media Yourself
If you do not want iTunes to organize your media and you want to organize it yourself, you need to tell iTunes not to organize it. When you do this, iTunes will not copy any media you import into iTunes, it will just keep note of where that media is in your folders that you keep them organized in.

To do this, you need to go to iTunes Preferences. This is located under File in the menu bar. When you select Preferences, a new window will open. Now you need to click on Advanced. You’ll see an option for Keep iTunes Media Folder Organized. When you deselect this, iTunes will no longer organize your media.

Consolidating your Media
If you are organizing your own media and now you want to have iTunes organize, what you’ll want to do is Consolidate your media. When you do this, iTunes will organize all your media by copying your media to the iTunes folder. Before you do this, you want to make sure that iTunes is set to keep your iTunes Media folder organized in the iTunes Preferences under Advanced. Once you have that set, you’ll then want to consolidate.

To consolidate, you go to File in the menu bar, and under Library you’ll see Consolidate Files. Select this to have iTunes consolidate all your media files. You can also select Organize Library. When you do this, you’ll see two options. Consolidate and Reorganize Files. Consolidate will consolidate all your media into the iTunes folder while Reorganize files will create folders (Music, Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, Audiobooks, and so on) inside your iTunes folder, and place all your imported media files in the appropriate folders, select Reorganize files in the folder ‘iTunes Media.’

A tip – if you are moving your iTunes library to another computer, you will want to consolidate your media.

See this Lesson in Action
If you want to see this lesson in action, take a look at the video above.

Lesson tags: Mac Tutorials
Back to: Tutor for iTunes for the Mac > Media Settings and Restrictions