Transferring playlists between iTunes libraries

Q: I have a PC with a complete iTunes library. I have set up a second PC and have copied the entire library from the first PC to the second PC. My daughter has multiple playlists on the iTunes library in the first PC. How can we transfer the various playlists on to the iTunes library in the second PC?

– Peter

A: If the tracks themselves exist on both computers, the simplest way to transfer your playlists is to export them from your first iTunes library, and then import them into the second iTunes library. Unfortunately, there is no simple way to do this en-masse unless you really want to move the entire library, including all ratings and play counts as well.

To export an individual playlist, simply select the playlist in iTunes, and choose File, Export… from the iTunes menu:

You will be prompted for a file name and location to save the exported playlist to. By default, this should be the name of the playlist followed by the XML extension. These defaults should work fine in most cases.

Once you’ve exported your playlists, simply copy them over to the second computer, and bring them into the second iTunes library using the File, Import option:


Transferring playlists between iTunes libraries

Specify the name of the XML file that you exported earlier, and the playlist will be created in your second iTunes library, with references to all of the tracks that exist in that library.

Note that this procedure does not move over any of the files themselves. These must already exist in the target library and have the same track and artist names in order to be properly identified for the imported playlist.


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