NOTE: Created in 2010. I don't know if iTunes has increased its functionality. I don't use it any more.
I received an iPod as a gift. I would never buy one of these things because of the difficulty in using it "on your own" without being a part of the iStore. If you are going to "drink the Kool Aid", it is brain-dead simple. If you want to use your own mp3s that you have ripped yourself, or purchased from another source, it is a PITA. The engineers at Apple aren't dumb. They know it is a pain to use anything but the iTunes store and that is a good enough reason *not* to recommend this hardware to anybody. I had a Cowon player that functioned as a USB mass storage device that was extremely easy to work with under Linux or Windows (until I broke it from multiple drops).
When you rip a new CD, or buy a few more mp3 songs, you should be able to "Copy and Paste" them to your music player and use some kind of "Update Library" command to re-read the Music Library Folder. If you know a way to do this with an iPod Nano, please send a note. There is an option in iTunes to "Add Folder" to your Music Library, but what about when you're not using iTunes? It would be a complete mess to have 40 folders each with various numbers of songs in them. Please let me know how to update the iTunes library without using the procedure described below. Thanks!
This is a short how-to of one method to add a number of new files at once using iTunes. The bottom line is that I haven't found a way to do this other than to delete the whole "library" and use the File "Add Folder" option.
Procedure to Update iTunes
- Start up iTunes and click on "Music" under the "Library" heading.
- In iTunes, click on "Edit" and "Select All".
- Then click on "Edit" and "Delete". This deletes the "library" and not files.
- Add new files to your iTunes Music Library folder.
- Go to the "File" menu and choose "Add Folder to Library".
- Browser to the folder you put all your music files in and click on it and the "OK" button.
- Wait until the "Adding Files" dialog box closes.
Procedure to Update iPod
- First follow the steps above to add the music to iTunes.
- Plug in your iPod and wait until the hardware is recognized.
- Select "Music" under "Devices...[iPod_Name]"
- At the bottom of iTunes, choose "Autofill" from "Music" and under "Settings" choose "Replace all items when autofilling" if you have made any updates to your existing files.
- Click the "Autofill" button.