iTunes Library Share Hack (Original)

Quick and easy iTunes hack

iTunes doesn’t play well with multiple accounts on one computer. This is the simple way I share my iTunes library and playlists with another Windows XP user on my computer.

This is a free and fast way of synchronizing songs and playlists between two or more users. Note that when user “A” adds to his library, the library of user “B” does not update automatically. No music files are copied or duplicated in this process.

iTunes files and music are stored in your:

C:\Documents and Settings\USER A\My Documents\My Music\iTunes

Our goal is for USER B to have access to all playlists and music from USER A’s account.

1. Go to: C:\Documents and Settings\USER B\My Documents\My Music\iTunes

Back up:

iTunes Music Library.xml
iTunes Library.itl

to a safe place should something go wrong. You can always place these files back where they came from if you want to revert to USER B’s original library.

2. Copy and paste:

iTunes Music Library.xml

from C:\Documents and Settings\USER A\My Documents\My Music\iTunes
to C:\Documents and Settings\USER B\My Documents\My Music\iTunes

3. Rename the extension of iTunes Library.itl to iTunes Library.txt in the USER B’s folder.

4. Open iTunes Library.txt in notepad, select all (CTRL+A) and delete all text. Save the file and rename it back to iTunes Library.itl. The size of the file should now show 0 KB.

5. Launch iTunes from USER B’s Windows XP account. Sit back and enjoy the music.

After the last step iTunes will go through a series of messages and prompts. It may take several minutes depending on the size of your library.

How this works is like this. The .XML file is iTunes library backup. In case .ITL file is damaged iTunes will rebuild the file using the .XML. So what we do is we swap out the XML file and damage the .ITL file and iTunes does the rest of the work for us.

I’m not familiar with Vista so I don’t know if this technique works with it.

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