Upgrade my Mac and still share my iTunes with XP?
March 18, 2008 6:51 PM   Subscribe

OSX (Tiger) and XP are currently sharing one iTunes library via MacDrive and some trickery but I'm gun-shy upgrading iTunes or moving to Leopard...

I am currently able to access my Mac iTunes (7.4.2) and Mac formatted iPod from XP on my dual-booting Mac (still running the BootCamp beta from last fall). I have been gun-shy to upgrade my Mac OS or iTunes for fear of losing this functionality. I upgraded iTunes last fall under both XP and OSX and it broke and I had a devil of a time rolling both versions back (thanks Winclone!) to regain what I had before the upgrade. Ever since I've resisted most of the Apple software updates. I love having one library and have the added bonus of being able to sync my Mac formatted iPod and access my iTunes Store account from the XP side through the wonders of MacDrive 7. I was wondering if anybody else has been able to achieve this level of parallelism on later versions of iTunes and/or Leopard. All I did was install iTunes on both OS's and point them at the same library on the Mac HFS partition. Macdrive 7 makes this partion readable/writable by XP. The only trickery involved is renaming your Mac "iTunes Library" to "iTunes Library.itl". Apparently OSX doesn't car if you add the "itl" extension and its required on the XP side.

Even if nobody has done this, maybe someone would be brave enough to try and let me know how it goes, maybe on a fully updated version of Leopard? You can download a fully functional version of MacDrive from mediafour.com but it's only good for 5 days.

Thanks in advance.
posted by Rafaelloello to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
I can't speak with any degree of certainty, but it seems like changing the XP OS or the MacDrive version would be a lot more likely to screw things up than upgrading the Mac OS. The HFS+ partition and the iTunes library shouldn't really change much from a MacOS upgrade.
posted by p3t3 at 10:06 PM on March 18, 2008

If the library is set up in Windows it shouldn't matter. I use my Windows system at home to manage my iTunes library and one-way sync the entire thing to my Music folder on my MacBook Pro. They don't share the same library, exactly, but the Mac version is a mirror image of the one on my Windows system. I only make changes from within Windows and then sync them. My (Windows-formatted) iPod syncs fine with either library, it can't tell the difference. I'm running Leopard with the newest version of iTunes for both Mac and Windows, and I only see two minor issues: First is that opening iTunes on the Mac usually seems to prompt it to update the library (which takes a minute or so). Second is that album art automatically added through iTMS doesn't always sync correctly, but album art added manually (as in, copy art and paste onto tracks) syncs fine.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:36 AM on March 19, 2008

Response by poster: First is that opening iTunes on the Mac usually seems to prompt it to update the library (which takes a minute or so). Second is that album art automatically added through iTMS doesn't always sync correctly

I get this behavior using my single Mac library too; If I've used my Mac library on the Windows side, I get the updating library when I come back to the Mac side. As for the artwork, it seems like I can have it one side or the other, but not both. If I update the Album Artwork it will stay in place for just the one OS, so I go sans Artwork on the XP side. I guess if I had some automatically update Artwork in the background trick I would use that on both sides as I'm already paying Comcast too much for as little bandwidth as I use. For my purposes I prefer the single Library as I have TV show/video purchases in my iStore account that take up a lot of room and right now I can access them from both sides without taking up double space.

I keep all my media on a Lacie d2 Quadra HFS+ external drive, which works out pretty well because it just sleeps if I'm doing "regular" computer work and only wakes up when I go into iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, etc. I'm kind of inclined to keep all my media on the Mac side of the house, even though I have a lot less experience with Macs than PCs. Maybe we trust more what we understand less?
posted by Rafaelloello at 7:33 AM on March 19, 2008

This question reads like such a MacDrive shill, but I'm going to fall for it and try yr product MacDrive anyway, because I want to do this. I'll let you know how I get on using MacDrive
posted by bonaldi at 2:21 PM on March 19, 2008

Response by poster: Nope, no shill. MacDrive works great (I got a $10 off coupon in with my Lacie hard drive and gave it a whirl, ended up buying it when the demo ran out). I got the idea from kevinq's post in this Thread, although he put his iTunes library on a FAT32 partition (I just extended his solution by using MacDrive to put it on my HFS+ Lacie). He did it with iTunes 7.3, it worked great for me up through 7.4.2, then broke on whatever the next iTunes upgrade was. Took me hours and hours to roll both OS's back to 7.4.2 and get it working again.
posted by Rafaelloello at 7:51 PM on March 19, 2008

Best answer: Figured it out.

1. Upgraded everything on the Mac side of the house.
2. Turned off my external drive (so my iTunes library wouldn't get diddled with during the upgrade when I upgraded the Windows side)
3. Rebooted and upgraded the windows side.
4. Rebooted again with the external back on and I still have a bi-OS iTunes library. I even have Safari 3.1 on both OS's.

Likin' it, likin' it;-)
posted by Rafaelloello at 7:31 PM on April 7, 2008

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