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All right let's take a look at how we import music from an audio CD into our iTunes library. Before we do so, I want to recommend that before you insert a CD into your computer you make sure you are connected to the Internet. As I previously mentioned, iTunes is going to take look at the CD and connect to the CDDB, the online CD database, and try to figure out which CD you just inserted into your computer and that way it will automatically add the artist name, song title, name of the album, and oftentimes the genre and other information as well and that way you don't have to enter all that information manually.
If you're on a computer without an Internet connection or if iTunes can't find your CD's information, I'll be showing you how to manually enter information in the next movie. Now for the purposes of this exercise, I am going to go to iTunes > Preferences or if you are in Windows, go to Edit > Preferences and under General I'm going to set my preferences where it says "When you insert a CD," I'm going to set that to Show CD and that will just display the CD and all of its contents in iTunes without automatically importing it. You might want to set a different preference here when you're importing your own CDs, but in this case I just want to talk a little bit about some options before we actually import music.
I'm also going to make sure that Automatically retrieve CD track names from Internet is checked so iTunes will try to identify the CD forming. I'll click OK. All right so let's go ahead and insert a CD. So you can see up here that iTunes is accessing the Media Database, trying to figure out what the CD is and now we can see that iTunes has correctly recognized the CD as "Goodnight To Everyone" by The Jellybricks. We can see the CD title appears here under the Devices heading in the Source pane and in the main portion of the window, you can see the song titles, their durations, the artists, the album name and the genre.
You may see more or fewer categories here as well depending on how you have your preferences set. Now, if I hadn't been connected to the Internet all I would see here would be track one, track two, track three, and so on all the way down to track 10 and there would be no other information here except the duration of each track, and then I would have to go in and type all the information myself. But for the most part, if you're importing a major label artist's CD or even a semi-popular independent artist, chances are that iTunes will be able to grab the correct information from the CDDB. Even if you enter some really far out lesser-known band, chances are that someone out there has probably already entered their album's info into the CDDB.
Now at this point I have not yet imported the CD. I can see the CD as a source under the Devices heading and it has the CD icon so you know it's a CD and I can play it directly from here by clicking the Play button or double-clicking a track, which is nice if you just want to play a CD but not import it. But in this case I do want to be able to play this album without having to insert it into my computer each time so that's why we import our music. So to import a CD just make sure it's selected in the Source pane and then you can click the Import CD button in the lower right-hand corner of the window. That will import every single track on the CD.
Now if you only want a few songs of a CD, you just uncheck the ones you don't want. Now a quick tip is if you hold down the Command key on the Mac or Ctrl on Windows and you click a checkbox you will be able to uncheck every track all at once. So if you only want say two tracks of a 30 track disc, you can Command+Click or Ctrl+Click one of the checkboxes to uncheck them all and then just click the two tracks you want. But for this example I want to keep everything checked, so I am going to hold down Command or Ctrl again to select them all. Before you import, you also have easy access to your import settings, which we discussed in a previous movie, so if you want to make any changes or just check your encoding settings, you can do so here.
I'm going to leave mine set to the AAC Encoder so I just cancel out of here and now I click Import CD to import the CD in its entirety, and you can see on the top center display that it's importing the song and this is just a good way to keep track of the progress. You can see here tracks that have been imported have the green check mark next to them. Tracks that are currently being imported have this orange icon next to them. Now if I select my music library, I can see the songs that have already been imported and the songs currently being processed is here but also grayed out.
As soon as it appears un-grayed out, that means it's available and I can start playing it just by double-clicking it. (Music Playing) Now since I played a bit of the song, the center display is now showing me where I paused the song. If I want to check on the progress of my import, I can either select the CD in my Source pane again, so I can see the progress up here again. Or if I'm still in my Music Library and I play that song again, (Music Playing) I see this little triangle icon appear and I can use that to toggle through the display until I see the CD import status appear again.
This is also where you can cancel importing the CD by clicking this little X button, which you can also do with the CD selected in the Source pane. You'll see we have stopped importing down here in the lower right-hand corner and that's nice in case you accidentally click the Import CD button, which does happen from time to time, at least to me. So just let the CD continue to import. The time it takes depends on the length of your CD, your computer's processing power, and the speed of your disk drive, but iTunes will eventually import the entire CD. Another nice thing worth mentioning here is that once iTunes has recognized the CD track names and other info, iTunes will automatically remember that information the next time you insert the CD and it won't try to connect to the CDDB database again.
All right, and now that the import is done I can eject the CD by clicking the Eject button next to it in the Source pane. You can also eject the CD using the Eject button on your keyboard if you have one or by ejecting it from the finder like any other CD on your Mac. If you're on Windows you can press the Eject button on your CD drive on your computer. So the CD has been ejected and iTunes now displays my Music Library and here are the songs I just imported. Really it's very easy to do. Just insert the CD and if you import settings are the way you want them to be, just click the Import CD button and let iTunes do the rest.
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