Use iTunes to upload CDs to Google Play Music on the Apple Mac

Store your music CDs online and stream them to any device. Here's how to use iTunes and Chrome on the Apple Mac to upload your CDs.

If you have lots of old CDs lying around gathering dust, why not store them online? Google lets you stream them to any computer, phone or tablet. Here’s how to do it on your Mac with iTunes.

Do you have stacks of CDs?

I have lots of them that I bought years ago when they were the best way to listen to music. Now they are stuck in a cupboard because I don’t want to throw them away, but I don’t even have a CD player anymore.

That’s not quite true, I have an old MacBook with a CC/DVD player, bought just before Apple made them obsolete. If you have a new MacBook without a CD/DVD-Rom drive, you can always add one using the USB connector.

Apple’s USB CD/DVD drive is expensive, but there are other USB drives that are compatible with the Mac and they are quite cheap. I have seen them for as little as £11 / $13. It isn’t always a good idea to go for the absolute cheapest hardware, but even quality drives are not much more than this.

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They can be used to read your CD music library into the Mac and from there they can be uploaded to Google Play Music.

Set up iTunes for importing CDs

iTunes is used to copy CDs to the Mac and before starting, go to iTunes > Preferences.

iTunes preferences for importing CDs on the Apple Mac

At the bottom of the first tab set the option to Ask to import a CD when a CD is inserted.

Tick the box Automatically retrieve CD track names from the internet

Click Import Settings

It is possible to import the CD using different file formats and quality settings. MP3 provides the best compatibility because every media player and audio app supports it. However, the AAC encoder is said to be higher quality and these days it is widely supported.

Click Import Using and select the AAC Encoder.

Click Setting and select High Quality (128 kbps).

Select the encoder and bitrate for importing CDs in iTunes preferences on the Apple Mac

I actually selected the Custom setting and chose 192 kbps because I like my music to be slightly better quality. It is a good balance between quality and file size.

Import CDs using iTunes

Now you can insert a CD into the CD/DVD drive and after a few seconds iTunes asks if you would like to import it.

Import a CD using iTunes on the Apple Mac

When it is done, the CD can be ejected and the next one can be inserted. Just keep feeding CDs into the CD/DVD drive to copy them onto the Mac’s disk.

iTunes on the Apple Mac

Find the files

iTunes keeps the CDs that are imported in a simple directory structure. Open a Finder window, go to your home folder > Music > iTunes > iTunes Media > Music.

In this folder are subfolders for each artist. Open an artist folder to see a folder for each album. You'll need these folders in a minute.

Google Play Music in Chrome

Open Chrome, go to the Chrome Web Store and install Google Play Music. This extension enables you to upload iTunes music from the Mac. It can be disabled afterwards, but you will need it for the next step.

Go to play.google.com and click Music on the left.

Google Play Music in Chrome browser on the Apple Mac

Click My Music, open the menu sidebar and click Upload Music.

Google Play Music in Chrome browser on the Apple Mac

Now just drag a music folder - the CD you imported - from a Finder window and drop it on Chrome. The time taken to upload the album depends on the speed of the internet connection and it can be as little as two minutes.

Upload music to Google Play Music using Chrome

Afterwards you will find the album complete with cover artwork and track names, in your music library. Click it to open it and play the music.

Google Play Music on the web

Listen on your phone

The best feature of this is that you can upload up to 50,000 tracks to Google Play Music and play them on any device. Google Play Music is available on any computer, Mac or PC, macOS, Windows or Linux using a web browser.

You can even create a Mac desktop app to play Google Play Music using Automator.

Google Play Music app on the iPhone

Google Play Music is available for the iPhone, iPad and Android phones and tablets too. Within a minute or two of uploading an album on your Mac, you can stream it to your iPhone.

 

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