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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Alternative Operating Systems > iTunes: OSX & XP via BootCamp

iTunes: OSX & XP via BootCamp
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alex_kac
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May 11, 2006, 11:27 PM
 
Is there a way to have iTunes installed on both OS X and XP via BootCamp - and then have them share the same library on an external drive/3rd Partition?

I'd like to have all my music in one place whether I go between OS X and Windows on the same machine.
     
icruise
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May 11, 2006, 11:35 PM
 
You could certainly have the two versions of iTunes share the same music files. You just need to have the external disk/partition formatted for Windows (although it might need to be FAT32 formatted for the Mac to be able to write to it). This isn't entirely the same thing as sharing the same library, though, since the iTunes library stores things like play counts, ratings, etc. I'm not sure if the Windows and Mac versions of iTunes have compatible library formats, and in any case I think it's probably a better not to try and share that between platforms.
     
alex_kac  (op)
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May 11, 2006, 11:38 PM
 
Well that's what I was meaning - the Library itself. I've looked at the XML file and it seems the same except for the file paths.
     
icruise
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May 12, 2006, 02:56 AM
 
I think the Mac version of the iTunes Library file has to be in Users/Username/Music and the Windows version has to be in My Documents/My Music/iTunes. Note that this is different from the "iTunes Music Folder" which is where the actual music files reside. This is set using the "Advanced" tab in the iTunes preferences and can be placed anywhere.

So assuming that the formats are indeed interchangeable (I don't know if they are or not) you would have to work out some kind of symbolic link connecting one folder to the other.
     
torifile
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May 12, 2006, 09:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Icruise
I think the Mac version of the iTunes Library file has to be in Users/Username/Music and the Windows version has to be in My Documents/My Music/iTunes. Note that this is different from the "iTunes Music Folder" which is where the actual music files reside. This is set using the "Advanced" tab in the iTunes preferences and can be placed anywhere.

So assuming that the formats are indeed interchangeable (I don't know if they are or not) you would have to work out some kind of symbolic link connecting one folder to the other.
If that's the only problem, it's an easy one to fix. Just set up iTunes using either OS X or XP and then move the files to the ext. HD. Create an alias for OS X in the /Users/username/Music/iTunes folder for the xml file. Do the same over on XP. The clincher here is whether they use the same format for paths. I don't think they will.
     
ghporter
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May 12, 2006, 09:52 AM
 
That sounds more complex than it needs to be. I would install iTunes on both OSs, and then (through the configuration options in both installations) point the program to some shared/sharable drive/partition. My library is on a networked drive so my wife can see it on her iBook and I can see it from my PC laptop. iTunes really doesn't care where the library is, just so long as it can find it.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
alex_kac  (op)
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May 12, 2006, 11:55 AM
 
Great to hear I was thinking I'd have to write a perl script to run on boot to convert the paths in the XML file.
     
icruise
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May 12, 2006, 06:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter
That sounds more complex than it needs to be. I would install iTunes on both OSs, and then (through the configuration options in both installations) point the program to some shared/sharable drive/partition. My library is on a networked drive so my wife can see it on her iBook and I can see it from my PC laptop. iTunes really doesn't care where the library is, just so long as it can find it.
Are you sure about this? Remember, the iTunes library file is different from the iTunes music folder. I have my iTunes Music folder on an external disk, but the iTunes Library file is still created under /user/Music/iTunes and I see no way to change that.
     
Agent69
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May 12, 2006, 07:27 PM
 
You should be able to do this. Here's what I suggest:

1. Create a "Music" directory on the Windows parition (since Windows can't read HFS+)
2. Populate "Music" directory with music files.
3. Configure both iTunes (in XP and X) to not copy when adding files to the iTunes library.
4. Add files in "Music" to both iTunes' libraries.

This should work. If you are using protected ITMS files, you might have to authorize twice, however. And be sure to back up.
Agent69
     
icruise
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May 12, 2006, 07:40 PM
 
That doesn't share the library file though, just the music files.
     
ghporter
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May 13, 2006, 03:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by Icruise
Are you sure about this? Remember, the iTunes library file is different from the iTunes music folder. I have my iTunes Music folder on an external disk, but the iTunes Library file is still created under /user/Music/iTunes and I see no way to change that.
Excellent point; I was only thinking about the music folder.

However, iTunes Help (in the Windows version) points out that it will ONLY look for the actual library file (a database of all the songs and playlists in your collection) in the default location. So far, so bad. Now, look up Shared Music in iTunes help... I think THIS is the way to go for keeping things the same between two computers, though it still doesn't help with keeping a single version of the iTunes library file. I'm still at a loss.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Agent69
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May 13, 2006, 04:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Icruise
That doesn't share the library file though, just the music files.
That's the intent of my post. Of course, if I was using Windows, I would probably rather use Foobar2000 unless I needed iTunes for an iPod.
Agent69
     
icruise
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May 13, 2006, 05:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Agent69
That's the intent of my post.
Fair enough, but if you'll look at the second post of this thread, I made the same suggestion and the OP made it clear that he was interested in sharing the library and not the just the same music files.
     
Agent69
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May 14, 2006, 11:10 PM
 
Ahh, I overlooked that. My apologies.
Agent69
     
kevinq
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Dec 2, 2006, 06:12 PM
 
Hi there -

I have the same question. I'm using a macbook pro with 3 partitions - Mac OS X, Windows Vista, and Data. My iTunes music and iTunes library are on the Music folder on the data drive so both the mac and PC sides can see it.

The problem seems to be that iTunes on the mac uses the file "iTunes Library" to hold it's playlist information while the PC stores the same information in "iTunes Library.itl". Locating these 2 files in the same directory seems to have no effect - the iTunes programs on either platform look for a different file.

There is another file "iTunes Music Library.xml" whose function I am unsure of. Doesn anyone have any thoughts on any of this?

Thanks in advance,
Kevin Q.
     
willlisac
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Apr 13, 2007, 03:00 AM
 
Before wasting your time reading this, know that I do not have a complete solution.

I am also trying to achieve the same thing: Having a shared iTunes Library on OS X and XP with bootcamp.

My (relevant) configuration:

Mac Pro with two internal drives
Drive 0 OS X (HSF)
Drive 1 XP (NTFS)

My iTunes library and music is stored on Drive 0 (OS X)

Naturally, when I'm on XP I want to listen to my iTunes music that is stored on my main OS X iTunes Library.

To read the OS X HFS Formatted drive from Windows, I simply installed a piece of software called MacDrive from mediafour.com and now I can see all of my internal, external and even iPod HFS formated drives from Windows XP.

Now being able to read my "/Users/Will/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music" folder from XP, I simply told my iTunes in XP to use that folder as its library, but made sure NOT TO KEEP IT ORGANIZED. After selecting that as my library, nothing happened. So I had to manually drag and drop the iTunes Music Folder on the OS X drive into XP's iTunes and it started importing. Note: It did NOT make duplicates on my Windows Drive because I told iTunes NOT to organize the music and specified my OS X music directory as it's library.

[IMPORTANT: Letting iTunes organize your Mac Music from XP will screw everything up...trust me I learned the hard way]

This works temporarily. It DOES give your XP iTunes all of your CURRENT OS X music at the time of importing, but keeping the libraries synced is a whole other issue. For example, if I go back to OS X and I add some music, when I restart and go to XP, that new music will not be imported unless I manually drag and drop the new music into iTunes to update the XML file for iTunes in XP.

Does anyone have any recomendation on how to keep the libraries in sync with eachother? I understand sharing libraries accross the platforms is currently not possible, but keeping them synced with the XML file may be possible with scripts or software.

Any help or comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Will
     
alex_kac  (op)
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Apr 14, 2007, 01:07 AM
 
Wow, my old thread resurrected. I now use Parallels with very rare Bootcamp so I don't need this anymore, but since on both OS X and Windows the iTunes Library files are just XML files I think a simple ruby/python/perl script could modify the paths and keep them up to sync.
     
willlisac
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Apr 14, 2007, 02:31 PM
 
yeah, thanks to the power of google threads like these can stay alive forever
     
chris.wilson08
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Jun 24, 2007, 08:20 PM
 
if you are just looking to sync itune with os x and not with vista, this link is great.

TooneTown Blog: Syncing iTunes library between Mac and PC
     
kevinq
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Aug 4, 2007, 08:04 PM
 
Hi again everyone -

Great news! It looks as though iTunes 7.3 has fixed all the problems in cross-platform compatibility between the Tunes library file iTunes on the Mac and iTunes on the PC work with! This means none of these steps are needed anymore. I have been using a single iTunes Library file AND a single iTunes Music directory for a day now and it works fantastically (or "brilliantly" as we say here in the UK ). I am able to access my purchased content from both the mac side and the Windows Vista side of my boot-camped MacBook Pro. Those two pieces of data sit in a third partition that is formatted in FAT32.

To do this, all you need to do is (well, since this is your entire music collection we're playing with, BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP!):
- restore your library file (I'm not 100% sure which one of the following it is so I just copy all 3: "iTunes Library", "iTunes Library.itl", and "iTunes Misic Library") to a location both Mac and PC can access (I put it in DataDrive:/Music/iTunes/).
- restore the "iTunes Music" folder to a location both Mac and PC can access (I put it in DataDrive:/Music/iTunes/).
- restore the "Album Artwork" folder to a location both Mac and PC can access (I put it in DataDrive:/Music/iTunes/).
- open up iTunes on the mac holding the option key. It'll prompt you whether you want to open a differnt iTunes library. Click "Choose Library" and select the one from the location you put it in step 1 above.
- Go to "Preferences" advanced and select the location for the iTunes music folder where you placed it in step 2 above. I also select "Keep iTunes Music folder organized" and "Copy to to iTunes Music folder when adding to library" because it seems to help keep the mac and PC things in complete sync but you might be able to fiddle with different setting here.
- open up iTunes on the PC (after rebooting) holding the ctrl, alt, and shift keys (I think it's just one of those keys but I don't know which one but holding all of them works). It'll prompt you whether you want to open a differnt iTunes library. Click "Choose Library" and select the one from the location you put it in step 1 above.
- Go to "Preferences" advanced and select the location for the iTunes music folder where you placed it in step 2 above. I also select "Keep iTunes Music folder organized" and "Copy to to iTunes Music folder when adding to library" because it seems to help keep the mac and PC things in complete sync but you might be able to fiddle with different setting here.

This is great news! I hope I gave you enough information to duplicate this functionality. If you find this helpful, please post it on other questions about this that you see.

All the best,
Kevin Q.
     
jvyduna
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Aug 5, 2007, 11:31 AM
 
Kevin Q - I registered for this board just to tell you thanks so much for this post. I tried it today, and it works beautifully. For other people who might attempt it, my config is a bootcamp XP/Parallels 3 config. XP is on an NTFS partition. I keep the iTunes config directory with the three files mentioned on the XP drive, and I keep the music folder within that folder just like iTunes does by default.
     
pfweeks
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Oct 25, 2007, 12:50 AM
 
I too registered just to thank you. Using MacDrive 7 I am able to access my iTunes library in XP on the mac formatted external drive that houses all my multimedia stuff. My Mac formatted iPod shuffle even is synced no problem in XP even though both the iPod and the disk where my iTunes library is located are formatted for Mac! It's absolutely great!

BTW, I'm dual booting a Mac mini via Boot Camp 1.4b and I have a 500GB external (Lacie d2 quadra). The only thing that doesn't work is that it looks like I can have album artwork on either the mac or the xp side of the house, but not both. I'm even able to access the iTunes store from either XP or OSX transparently, it's just if I fetch the album artwork on one side of the house, it's gone on the other side. That's fine with me, I can live without the artwork on the XP side as I pretty much just play my "non-kids, non-holiday" playlist in shuffle mode all day long:-)

Thank you very, very, much!

Paul
     
Rickoz
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Nov 18, 2007, 05:02 AM
 
hello everyone!

wish i could say ive had as much luck! just bouhgt a macbook and its fantastic , running bootcamp XP/OSX10.5. the last thing i wanna figure out is the itunes sitch. I was using a PC so my itunes library is PC, and was linked to a folder on external drive (G: \music)

I've set up the windows side fine no problems at all. The mac side however is not going to good, ive tried getting itunes to use my pc library file, but as they use different extensions didnt work. How can i get mac to use the pc .itl file?

cheers! Rick
     
Abecedaria
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Nov 28, 2007, 03:06 PM
 
The iTunes Library file is the same for both platforms. the only difference is the .itl extension. When going from Mac -> Windows with the file, you need to add .itl so it reads, "iTunes Library.itl". When going Win->Mac, you have to remove the .itl extension so it just reads "iTunes Library".

Cheers,
abc
     
   
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