Well, iTunes 9 is finally here, and with it comes a boatload of highly anticipated features. Interface redesign? Uh...no. A music-subscription option? Uh...no. Smaller footprint? Nuh-uh. Well, surely iTunes can finally monitor folders, right?
Amazingly, impossibly, iTunes still lacks one of the world's most basic music-management features. Apple remains unwilling to acknowledge that people get music from other sources.
I mean, sure, any songs ripped from CDs or purchased from the iTunes Store automatically get added to your library, but that's it. If you rip discs with a different program or buy music from other stores, you'll have to import them manually. Yo! Steve Jobs! What up?!
Fortunately, an oldie-but-goodie solution is still available: iTunes Folder Watch, a free utility for Windows (sorry, Mac faithful), monitors designated folders, then automatically adds any newly discovered music to your iTunes library.
The free version saddles you with nag screens and a few disabled features; you can get a lifetime license (well worth it, IMHO) for 7.50 Euros (about $11 U.S.).
Of course, you could always wait for iTunes 10, which by my calculation will arrive around 2015. You know what they say: tenth time's the charm.