I'm thinking of purchasing Mac Drive 6 (from Mediafour.com) in order to access my Mac formatted partitions on my HD when I'm working on Windows using Boot Camp.
Now, my question is concerning the itunes library. I would love to listen to my music from my itunes library on my mac when Iím on Windows, but I don't want to copy my whole library onto my windows partition.
So is there a way to tell the itunes on windows that the library is located on the Mac partition without copying something or importing something?
I don't know if that makes sense.
IMac Intel 2 Duo 2.16 Mhz 20" with 250 Gig HD and 2 Gig RAM with X and XP Pro+ iPod Video 30 gig + iPod Nano Green 4 gig + Nikon CoolPics 5400 + Sony Cybershot DSC-W100
Within iTunes on the PC you can select what folder you want to be your music folder, you would choose the one on your Macs drive which you use while in OS X. Under the iTunes preferences you would uncheck "Copy files to iTunes Music Folder when adding to library."
Under the iTunes preferences you would uncheck "Copy files to iTunes Music Folder when adding to library."
I'm not sure this step is necessary. If both the Mac and Windows iTunes are using the exact same iTunes Library folder, either iTunes (Windows or Mac) would copy the music to the same location and update the library. Am I missing something?
Mac User since 1989
MacBook Pro 15.4"/2.33GHz Core 2 Duo/4GB/250GB HD/256MB VRAM
Mac mini/2.0GHz Core 2 Duo/1GB/120GB HD
PowerMac G4 "Sawtooth"/1.4Ghz G4/1GB/2 x 120GB HD/64MB ATI Radeon 8500
iPhone 3GS 32GB on Rogers Canada Master of the Art Of Geek.
On your Mac, there's a folder created in your home folder, at Username/Music/iTunes. Similarly, on a Windows computer there's a folder in that user's home directory called iTunes.
Some of these files have to be in that directory for iTunes to find them. Also, the files are not in the exact same format (file extensions differ slightly). Aside from that, the Mac and Windows files are identical and can be moved back and forth if necessary. So, you need a copy of these files on each OS (more specifically, in each user's home directory; it's no different if you have multiple users on one OS).
Those files are what keep iTunes libraries and playlists organized, store the metadata (song names, album art, etc), and in general make iTunes work like it's supposed to work.
What doesn't have to be in that folder are the music files themselves. You can have them anywhere, including on another partition. This is what you are pointing to in iTunes preferences.
When you install and run iTunes for the first time, it creates a place for them in the iTunes folder in the home directory, but they don't actually have to be there if you don't want them to be there; change the preferences and iTunes will create a new folder wherever you tell it to and look there for the actual music.
So, some files <i>must be</i> in the home folder on each OS, but the actual music files (the ones that take up all the space, and the ones iTunes actually uses to play music) don't; you can use the same folder for that on both OSs.
You will probably get used to moving files from your Mac and Windows home folders back and forth: if you add a CD to the library on one OS it won't be listed in the library of the other until you convert and copy those files over to the other OS's or user's home directory.
I find it much easier if you do check the options to keep you iTunes folder organized. Vexel makes a good point, though: depending on what steps you do in what order, you could end up causing iTunes to go on a copy frenzy.
I'm with Vexel here; I would suggest launching iTunes on Windows, unchecking the options to keep the iTunes folder organized and to copy music to the iTunes folder, then point iTunes to the single music folder where the actual music files are (be sure to go to that specific folder; on a Mac it's at Username/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music by default, or at pathname/iTunes Music if you've moved it already).
Then copy the necessary files from your Mac home directory to the Windows home directory: on my version of iTunes there is iTunes library; iTunes Music folder, and iTunes Music Library.xml.
You want to quit iTunes on Windows, copy those files (iTunes library and iTunes Music Library.xml) from your Mac home directory and replace the ones iTunes created on your Windows home directory, make the necessary changes (you might have to rename them with the correct file extension, which should be obvious if you have Windows set to display extensions; I can't remember exactly right now what they are) and away you go.
In your Windows home directory, I would suggest renaming the existing iTunes files first (eg iTunes Music Library OLD.xml) so that you can fix any errors that might crop up. Then put the files from your MacOS side there and rename them with the correct extension.
Then launch iTunes for Windows, and your library should be the same as your Mac library. Play a song, and it should find them on the Mac partition and play away. At this point you can now re-enable "keep organized" and "copy to library" in the preferences of the Windows copy of iTunes.
Work with copies of these files, to be safe, and if you want to delete something, well, put it on the desktop or somewhere for a while till you are sure everything works.
Similarly, if you update these files because the libraries on both OS's are no longer the same, rename them or move them to the desktop rather than delete them, until you are sure all is well on both sides. You may find you are moving them from the Windows side the the Mac side; no problem, works the same way.
The only thing that might crop up is MacDrive itself; it has to be able to mount Mac volumes pretty much at startup. You should probably eMail them and be sure it will do what you want.
It will be OK on most file types (aiff to aif, mp3 is mp3) but remember that Windows will only see a 3 character extension. If you have problems down the road with some music files, that's the first place I would look. Also, become familiar with the illegal characters in Windows file names and stop using them as a matter of habit; in some cases just having an illegal character on a mounted file system can cause Windows to crash.
Last edited by gordguide; Oct 16th, 2006 at 03:59 PM.