Growing Your iTunes Music Library - A Guide

By Glenn Wolsey

iTunes. No question, it's the worlds best and most widely used music management application.

The main function of iTunes is to store your entire digital music collection. Some people have 200 tracks, others have 50,000. But where do people get all their music? People with bulging MP3 collections surely can't buy every track they own, so where do they get them?

In this article, we will go over some of the common, legal ways to obtain music, and give you that music collection you have always dreamed of!

Your original CDs

Yes, all that money you spent on CDs, all that time you spent collecting them, was worth it. Import all of your original music CDs into iTunes. This way you have the original legal copy of the album, and the ability to import at any sound quality. Original music CDs are still the most popular source of music acquisition.

The Public Library

When did you last go to the library? Chances are, you didn't know that most libraries now have hundreds, if not thousands of CDs available for loan. Most are free! You might want to be careful with copyright infringements though. If you don't delete the music from your computer when the CDs are taken back to the library, you could be in some big trouble with the RIAA.

LP Records

You can buy hardware and software specific for importing all of your old LP records into iTunes. This is a time-consuming process though, as the music needs to import in real time.

iTunes Music Store

With over two million tracks available for purchase, the iTMS is your gateway to a huge music collection. It costs 99c per song, and $9.99 per album. It's a great way to purchase music, with loads of exclusive tracks, without leaving the iTunes application!


Torrenting is illegal, but you can find many unsigned, legal for download albums up on torrent websites. Torrenting is a fast way to download full albums and discover new talented artists.

eMusic has thousands of songs available for legal download. They offer 50 free downloads. After that you pay $9.99 a month for 40 downloads (they have more expensive packages that lower the cost of each download even more). A pretty decent price, if you're interested in the non-mainstream tracks they have to offer.


Amazon has a download section of the site with thousands of tracks from unsigned and upcoming bands. They also feature cool remixes and mash-ups for download. Worth a good look at! is the ultimate software and wallpapers on the Internet. Not many know they also have a great sub-section dedicated to music downloads. These are all legal and many of the tracks are from actual commercial artists who post exclusive studio recordings.

But the thing is, these are only the ways to "obtain" your music. Where do you actually find music that is worth keeping? Here are some ideas:

Listen to the radio. Not any of the stations that play music in the Top 40. Instead, check retro stations playing songs that didn't hit the big scene. Sometimes, these can be the best songs of all.

Another way to find music that might not occur to most people is to find out the favorite artists of the artists you already listen to. Use the Internet to find bios of the musicians you like, and find out which bands they enjoy listening to. Chances are, if you like their music, you'll like music that they like as well.

Enjoy your new music collection! But before you start, make sure you have the right reason in mind about music. Music is for personal enjoyment. Not to beat someone else's track count. Keep in mind this motto. "Killer not Filler". Enjoy!