The Best Way to Organize Your Music Files on Mac

Do you have your music files all over the place on your Mac hard drive?

There are people that need to have their music thoroughly organized and there are people that couldn’t care less. Some people want to organize their tunes a bit better, but just don’t know where to start. If you fall into the latter category, then this post is for you.

We know how annoying it is to be looking for a specific song when your files are a complete mess. For that reason, we’re going to tell you the best way to organize your music files on a Mac so that your Music app is streamlined for the way you listen to music.

It’s not as hard as you might think to keep things organized, but there are a few key tips that can make it easier and cleaner. Keep reading and you won’t have to look at a hard drive in disarray anymore.

Start by Changing the Destination

When you import batches of music into the Music app, it can be difficult to figure out where the files actually go. This is usually how you end up with files all over the place, so the first thing you should do is change the destination where new files are sent to.

With the Music app open, go to “Music”, then “Preferences”, then click on “Files”. From here, click on “Change”, then simply select a new destination for your newly imported files on your hard drive or a reliable external drive. The new songs that you send into the Music app will go into this new location, but the files that you’ve already imported will remain where they currently are.

If you want to revert back to the old destination, all you have to do is go back to “Music”, then “Files”, and just click “Reset”.

Move the Existing Files

With all of your new downloads going to this new destination, it’s best to have all of the files that you’ve already imported moved to that destination as well. This will keep things nicely organized so that everything’s easy to find and looks great in the Music app.

If you’d like to keep all of your music in the folder that you created in the first section, go into the Music app and click “File”, “Library”, then “Organize Library”. From there, click “Consolidate Files” and all of the files in your library will be copied into your default folder.

It’s important to note that this process doesn’t move your existing files. It copies them into a new folder. If you want to get rid of duplicates, then you’ll have to move on to the next step.

Delete Music App Files

Now you’re going to go through and delete all of the old albums in the Music app so that you can re-import them from the new location. This is a simple, but time-consuming process, so set aside an hour or two to get it all done.

All you really have to do is go into the Music app and right-click on each album that you want to delete. When the pop-up menu appears, click on “Delete from Library” and when you’re asked if you’re sure, click “Delete Songs”.

Yet another pop-up will ask you if you want to delete the files or keep them. Since you’ve already copied them into the new destination, you can click “Move to Trash” and they’ll disappear. They’ll remain on your hard drive until you empty your trash.

Re-Import Your Songs

Now it’s time to re-import all of the songs into the Music app. Before you drag everything in, this is a great opportunity to do a little extra file organization with everything in the same place.

Most people’s music folders and files look like a huge mess because they’re imported from different places (CDs, torrents, iTunes purchases, etc.). Take some time and organize all of the folders so that all of your music files will be easy to find from now on.

Start by making sure all of your songs are in the corresponding album folder. Once you’ve done that, place each artist’s album(s) together in an artist folder. If you’ve got a mixture of WAV and MP3 files, find a WAV to MP3 converter Mac capability, and make everything MP3 so that they take up less space on your hard drive.

When you’re done, go back into the Music app, click “File”, “Import”, then select the desired folder that you just created and it should appear. After it’s been imported, you can take the time to check and update the details in the Music app. This is another time-consuming endeavor, but your future self will thank you when everything’s perfectly organized in the app.

Do this until you’ve imported all of your music and you’ll be all set. With all of the music imported and properly labeled, it’s easy to organize it all how you want it with a few clicks in the app.

Find Your Cover Art

All that’s left to do is find the cover art for all of your albums. This is an arbitrary exercise, but most music listeners find it easier to navigate the Music app if there’s album art.

Apple Music is usually good about finding the cover art, even if you didn’t purchase the album through iTunes. That being said, there are always a few outliers and it just doesn’t look great when the odd album is without artwork.

The first thing to try out is right-clicking on the empty album art and clicking “Get Album Artwork”. The app will search its database and either come up with something or tell you the artwork can’t be found.

When this happens, go to trusty Google (or Cover Flow) and find the album art yourself. Save it to the corresponding album folder, then go back into the Music App, right-click on the album, select “Get Info”, then upload the artwork manually. Voila!

Organized Music Files Make Life Better

Now that you know how to organize music files on your Mac, you can start enjoying your Music app once again. It can be tough to look at a disorganized Music app and even harder to find things that you want to listen to. Use these tips and change your life forever.

If you found this post helpful, check out more of our blog for additional tech tips.


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