Sync iTunes on two or more computers

Good day, Habr!

I would like to share the experience of free synchronization of the iTunes library on two or more computers. Who cares - I ask for a cat.

Money sync

In order for your iTunes music library to always be with you, you need to pay $ 24.99. For the money, apple will transfer music to the cloud and you can easily synchronize your media library with all your iGadgets. I did not want to pay $ 24.99 in order to synchronize music from any computer, in addition, there could be not only music in the iTunes folder, but I wanted everything to be always (well, almost always) with me.

Free storage

Library synchronization requires storage. There are many services that offer to store your data, but all of them are free until a certain point and, moreover, not all are suitable for synchronization. But first things first ...

I chose between three storage services: Google Drive, Bitcasa and SkyDrive.
  • Google Drive is a great service for storing data, but it stores a lot of documents, books, photos and other files, which in total with the iTunes library can exceed 5 GB and therefore you need to pay extra for the place, which I don’t want to do .
  • Bitcasa - offers a lot of space for data storage, but, as it turned out, data from only one computer can synchronize this service. Choose a folder on your computer and make a mirror in the repository. The second computer is the second folder.
  • SkyDrive is a direct competitor to Google Drive. Free available 7 GB. It is quite enough to store the library (as for me), but it is worth considering that the speed of downloading and downloading files leaves much to be desired.

So, I chose SkyDrive. I created the SkyDrive folder on the computer, created the iTunes folder in it and moved the entire library to it. All files immediately began to be uploaded to the cloud. Next, I created the SkyDrive folder on the second computer and the files from the cloud were automatically downloaded to me. All that remains is to indicate in iTunes the iTunes Media location folder in SkyDrive.

ITunes Settings

Despite the fact that all the files in the library are stored in one place, in the cloud, we need to pick iTunes to work with different computers. iTunes stores additional library information in the "... \ Music \ iTunes" folder. There are four files in this folder that you need to pay attention to:
  1. “ITunes Library.itl” - contains ratings, comments, additional information about playlists and more.
  2. “ITunes Music Library.xml” - contains information about the location of media files in the library.
  3. “ITunes Library Genius.itdb” - recorded after launching the Genius function, your musical preferences.
  4. “ITunes Library Extras.itdb” - contains information from the database of music CDs.

Of these files, we are only interested in two files: “iTunes Library.itl” and “iTunes Music Library.xml”. These files have an identifier that blocks iTunes syncing from another computer (wants to replace all files with those stored in the new library). You can change the identifier in each file, or you can simply save the specified 2 files in the cloud and download them when you need to update the library. These files can be stored in the same SkyDrive, but create a separate folder. When you need to update the library, you will need to copy these files to "... \ Music \ iTunes", and after updating the library, back to SkyDrive. Alas, I did not come up with anything better. Well, perhaps, store these files in Google Drive or synchronize through Bitcasa to separate folders (for each computer). But this does not change much.

It is also recommended that you enable the option in iTunes: "Process music and video manually." Allows you to add only selected files to the device.

Now everything is ready for synchronization!

Everything is ready for synchronization, but one more thing needs to be clarified:
  • When adding the iTunes Library.itl and iTunes Music Library.xml files to the main iTunes folder, the library files may not be found. The fact is that on another computer the files are located in a different folder and the wrong path is indicated in the files that describe the library.
    • The solution to this problem is to explicitly indicate the location of the media file when you try to listen to it (view). The rest of the entries iTunes will find itself. Well, or you can try AutoCorrect to replace part of the path that points to media files. I have not tried to do this, since you need to make replacements in two files and, besides, you need to store a string containing the path to the file on a new computer, so that you know what to change.


In conclusion, I would like to say that the above method allows you to keep the file library always at hand (if there is Internet), but some additional steps are required to synchronize between devices. Of course, I would like to do everything in a couple of clicks and not bother with dragging and dropping additional library files, but so far I have not found another solution.

I will be glad to helpful comments, hints and tips. I apologize for pointing out the wrong hubs for the post: not one another and did not come close to this topic, at least by name.


Also popular now: