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What Is the Purpose Of the Various “Automatically Add” Folders?

As a very recent PC to Mac convert, I am trying to wrap my head around what I believe to be “special” folders.

For example:
Music > Music > Media > Automatically Add to Music
Movies > TV > Media > Automatically Add to TV

Early on, I figured out that I could drop a song file into the “Automatically Add to Music” folder and the system would pick it up, move it into the “Music” folder (same file system level), and add it to my Apple Music song library. However, odd to me, that if I were to drop the song file straight into that same “Music” folder myself, the song would not show up in my Apple Music Library.

Using an external USB drive as a source, I copied my well curated music library into the “Automatically Add to Music” folder and watched it get digested into Apple Music. I would think that Apple probably did not intend the folder to be used in quite the same way that I have done. While I clumsily stumbled onto the mechanics of what is happening, I do not understand the why, how, etc. Obviously, these are special folders with some underlying mechanics in the realm of your “Folder Actions Setup” YouTube video.

I don’t know if the mechanics and understanding of these special “Automatically Add” folders is worthy of their own YouTube video, but it would be nice, for me at least, to get a better grasp on them. For example, what happens if you delete one of these folders? Where did they come from to start with? Will a deleted one recreate the next time you launch the related app? If not, can you create the folder manually and setup the underlying actions? Inquiring minds want to know!

Comments: One Response to “What Is the Purpose Of the Various “Automatically Add” Folders?”

    3 years ago

    When you want to add music to the Music app or you want to add videos to the TV app, just drag and drop them into the app itself, not these special folders. Using these folders will work, but you don't need to use the special folders.

    These folders are meant for times when drag-and-drop into the app won't work. For instance, say you want to download 100 songs from a website and import them into Music. You can just choose to save those files directly to the special folder. Otherwise, you'd need to save them elsewhere first, and then drag-and-drop into the app. Maybe you do the a lot because you use a third-party site to purchase your music. Then this functionality would be pretty useful on a regular basis.

    So they can be useful in the right situation. But most people will never need them. If you delete them, they just go away, no problem. But I don't think you can get it back. I don't think the latest systems put them there by default as I don't see them anymore myself. You could probably create your own using an Automator Folder Action as Import Audio Files is an Automator action. But I don't see an equivalent for the TV app.

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