How to Add Songs to the Spotify Music Player

Configure Spotify to play all the music on your computer

Spotify Add Local Files Option
Mark Harris

When you install the Spotify application on your desktop computer, the program searches for locally stored music on your hard drive by default. Common places that it searches include the iTunes library and Windows Media Player library. The program scans your music collection to see if the songs you have are also on Spotify's music cloud. The music that Spotify links to your account becomes shareable with others via social networking tools.

However, if you have a collection of MP3s spread across several folders on your hard drive or on external storage, Spotify won't see them. The Spotify application won't know about these so you'll have to tell it where to look if you want to include all your music collection in the music service.

Built into the Spotify application is an option to add specific folders on your PC or Mac to the list of sources that the program automatically monitors. After you add all these locations to Spotify on your Mac or PC, you can play your entire collection using the Spotify player.

Tell Spotify Where Your Music Is Located

Not all audio formats are supported by Spotify, which uses the Ogg Vorbis format, but you can add files that are in the following formats:

  • MP3
  • MP4 (unless they contain video)
  • M4P 

Spotify does not support the iTunes lossless format M4A, but it matches any unsupported file format with the same music from the Spotify catalog.

Add Locations

To start adding locations for Spotify to search, log in to your Spotify account via the desktop application and follow these steps:

  1. For Windows computers, click on the Edit menu tab and choose Preferences. (For Macs, open iTunes > Preferences > Advanced. Select  Spotify and then select Share iTunes Library XML with other applications.)
  1. Locate the section called Local Files. Scroll down if you can't see it.
  2. Click on the Add Source button.
  3. Navigate to the folder containing your music files. To add the folder to Spotify's local folders list, highlight it using the mouse button and then click on OK.

You should now see that the location you chose on your hard drive has been added to the Spotify application. To add more, just repeat the process by clicking the Add Source button. If you want to remove folders that have been added to Spotify's list, uncheck each one to see them disappear.

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