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iTunes and Serato 101

iTunes is a popular free application from Apple which, among other things, can import, organize and play back a library of music. All Macs come with iTunes preinstalled and a Windows version is also available free of charge.

Getting started with iTunes

To download iTunes go to the iTunes download page for some info about setting up iTunes check out: iTunes Support

Some useful links

Getting your music into iTunes and setting up encoding

There are 3 main ways of adding music to an iTunes library; purchased downloads from the iTunes Music Store, ripping CDs directly into iTunes, and importing files that are already on your hard drive into your library.

The default settings in iTunes are to encode AAC files, which are supported by Serato software, however we recommend MP3 encoding. To change the encoding settings, iTunes> Preferences > General Tab> Import Settings... > Import Using: MP3 Encoder > Setting: Custom.

These settings would be best for Serato users:

Stereo Bit Rate: 320 kbps 

Besides the encoder and it's settings, the other option which simplifies importing CDs is the second check box: "Automatically retrieve CD track names from internet". As long as your computer is connected to the internet, this option will fill in the basic track information when you insert a CD to rip, which can save a lot of time typing names into iTunes. For more detailed information on encoding audio files, check out this article on encoding.

Ripping/encoding CDs

Once you have the encoding options set correctly, ripping and encoding in iTunes is a very simple process.

  1. Insert the audio CD into your computer.
  2. iTunes should then prompt you with the window ' Would you like to import the CD “CD Name” into your iTunes library?
  3. Click 'Yes' to import CD

Once the import is complete, the tracks on the CD should now be files on your computer, usable both in iTunes and Serato Software (given you have the Read iTunes Library option checked in Serato software)

Adding files from your computer to iTunes

If you already have audio files on your system, importing them into iTunes is easy. You can either drag them in your library from the operating system, or use the import files dialogue in iTunes itself, which is in the file menu > Add to Library.'

iTunes Library organization

When using Serato DJ, third-party programs such as iTunes are not the best and most reliable way to organize your Library. For the best way to organize your library we recommend using Crates inside the Serato software.

If you let iTunes organise all your music for you and you decide to make crates with Serato software, changing artist or album names can cause the files to become "missing" as the original file's name could not be found. Please make sure you edit files correctly when using BOTH iTunes libraries and Serato crates together.

Open iTunes > Click iTunes Tab in the top left corner > Select Preferences > Go to Advanced Tab. NOTE: On a Windows Machine you will need to click on the “Edit” tab to access the Preferences.

  • Uncheck "Keep iTunes Media Folder Organized"

Unchecking this will stop iTunes from moving your Audio Files around and putting them in folders of Artist and Album Name. This will avoid missing file entries showing up within the Serato library since they will no longer be shifted around by iTunes.

  • Uncheck "Copy Files to iTunes Media Folder when adding to Library"

This will stop iTunes from creating duplicates of your Audio Files when importing them into iTunes. Having this option ON could cause doubles to show within the Serato software and it will also take up more space on your computer since iTunes will be copying the music to it's own library rather than reading the file from the location on your hard drive. You should only have this option checked when you are 100% sure you would like iTunes to create copies of all the Music you drag into the iTunes Library (recommended)

If you want to use both playlists in iTunes as well as Crates in the Serato software we recommend having the "Keep iTunes Media Folder organized" option unchecked in the iTunes preferences screen.

If you let iTunes organize your music for you, all the tracks you add to your library will be copied into User > Music > iTunes > iTunes Media > Music - a folder structure according to the tags in your files. So if you have a track by Toto called Rosanna, from the album Past to Present, it will be moved into your iTunes Music folder under:

iTunes Media/Music/Toto/Past To Present/Rosanna.mp3

This can be a valuable tool for keeping your music tidy on your hard drive.

Some useful links

Consolidating your library
A useful function in iTunes is Consolidate Library, once you've been collecting music for a while, you might find you have files spread over your hard drive, on your desktop, on external hard disks, etc. This function copies all the files in your library into a single file structure. Very useful for backing up and keeping your drives tidy. To Consolidate your Library go to > File > Library > Organize Library > Consolidate Files.
Integrating iTunes and Serato
The iTunes integration in Serato Software is very easy to use, just click the 'Show iTunes library' button in the setup screen >Library Tab, and the files from your iTunes library will be added to your Serato Software library.
Then your iTunes library and playlists will appear in the crate list in your Serato Software.

iTunes is the media player of choice for many people, and a natural companion product for Serato Software. Whether you've been using iTunes already and are now looking into using your iTunes library within Serato, or if you're new to both and want to find out about the most common way of putting your music from CD into Serato, iTunes offers a very straightforward and simple way of doing the most common tasks for the digital DJ.

Why can't I see my Apple Music Files in Serato DJ?

Files from the Apple Music streaming service, that is exclusive to iTunes and iOS devices, are not supported in Serato DJ. Files from the Apple Music streaming service are DRM protected, and won't be playable in any other software, hence why these files do not show in Serato DJ software.

A full list of supported file types can be found here

iTunes Troubleshooting
If you have problems with iTunes itself, your first stop should probably be and the links listed below. If you have problems with using iTunes inside your Serato Software, check out the forum for advice from us and other users.

Useful links
Apple 's iTunes troubleshooting section