Linking Dual Boot OSX WinXP iTunes Libraries

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by tayl3730, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. tayl3730 macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2010
    Flint, MI
    OK, so what I'm trying to do is... I have a MBP with three harddrive partitions. One partition has Mac OS X on it, the other is NTFS WinXP, and the third is a FAT32 data partition.

    I want to be able to reference files on the third partition from BOTH operating systems... but I'm unsure of how to do it because the way the two OS's refer to the drives is different. For example, in OS X, my file might be called:

    Where as in Windows, I would define the location of the file as:

    So I end up with the problem of my "program" only seeing the file in one OS and not the other, depending on how I define the location. Is there a way around this? Possibly with environment variable or something in the offending OS? Or perhaps some kind of shortcut? Or maybe just different syntax? Any input would be great thanks!

    I'm essentially trying to have both OS's use the same .itl file in iTunes. The .itl file is located on the third partition, separate from both OS partitions. The problem that I'm having is that i get the (!) next to all songs when booted to the other OS. I've gone in and "corrupted" the .itl file (erased everything with Notepad) and let iTunes restore the library with the .xml file (after modifying the directory locations of all the songs with a Find/Replace)... but this only works for one or the other, not both...

  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I think the easiest way is to go to the file menu and do add to library, then go and add the folder that contains all your music. Make sure you clear your libraries first, so you don't get a bunch of duplicates.
  3. tayl3730 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2010
    Flint, MI
    Thanks for the suggestion alust,

    However, I'm concerned that it might not fix the problem. If I add music files in one OS, the directory for that song in the iTunes Library file will be native to that OS, meaning, if I add a song in Windows, and boot to OS X, the (!) will be there because it will have added the file "H:/My Music/foobar.mp3"... whereas, if I booted first to OS X, added the song to iTunes, then rebooted to WinXP, I'll get the (!) because the file "Volumes/DOCS/My Music/foobar.mp3" will have been added.

    They are THE EXACT SAME file, just the two operating systems have to find it differently. I'm thinking I'll probably have to set up some sort of shortcut, symbolic link, etc... in either WinXP or OS X so that one has the "correct" file name, and the other is redirected via the link/shortcut...

    I mean, I guess I could try it if you really think it will work, but I'm skeptical since I've tried double clicking the (!) on one OS, and navigating to the file so it works... then rebooting and the (!) appears on the other OS! It's like I can't keep both of them happy (since, OSX iTunes and WinXP iTunes are indeed altering the same .itl file).
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    Well, that's how I did it with mine, although I don't have the additional FAT32 partition. I just dual boot OS X and win 7 (NTFS), and I have all my iTunes files on the Mac partition. They are in the iTunes folder that it normally uses, and all I did was find that folder in the directory in windows and add it to the library. It worked well for me, although it is slightly different because of the extra partition.
  5. tayl3730 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2010
    Flint, MI
    OK... so it's been a while but I've figured this out (been busy!)

    Again, to recap... my harddrive and music is structured in the following way... hope this is useful for others :)

    > Harddisk0
    >>sda0/disk01 (MAC OS bootloader partition??)
    >>sda0/disk02 (EFS, Mac OSX boot partition) "Macintosh"
    >>sda0/disk03 (FAT32, shared data partition where music resides) "DOCS"
    >>sda0/disk04 (NTFS, WinXP boot partition) "Windows"

    If that's not clear enough... here is the result of my df -h command... more info is always better right?

    Filesystem Size Used Avail Capacity Mounted on
    /dev/disk0s2 60Gi 22Gi 37Gi 38% /
    devfs 110Ki 110Ki 0Bi 100% /dev
    map -hosts 0Bi 0Bi 0Bi 100% /net
    map auto_home 0Bi 0Bi 0Bi 100% /home
    /dev/disk0s3 119Gi 20Gi 99Gi 17% /Volumes/DOCS
    /dev/disk0s4 30Gi 25Gi 4.9Gi 84% /Volumes/Windows

    OK... so this actually seemed to be a rather simple fix... Since WinXP isn't really "friendly" with symbolic links... I chose to keep everything in "Windows format" and make changes in Mac OS...

    Currently, the structure of MP3 files in my iTunes .xml library file are as follows (as a result of the WindowsXP version of iTunes):
    'H:/My Music/Artist/Album/something.mp3'
    This is where iTunes want's to look for all of my music files when you try to play them... If you need to change this, simply open you're iTunes .itl file in something like Notepad and select everything and delete it. Save the blank file over the original (all of this should be done with iTunes CLOSED!) The next time you open iTunes, it will look at the .itl file and say "WTF?!"... it will say that the iTunes library has been corrupted and ask you if you want to rebuild it using the .xml file. This technique can also be used to make everything native to Mac's version of iTunes (for example if you wanted to make every version of iTunes look for your files in "/Volumes/DOCS/My Music/abc/def/...", this will break the WinXP directories of iTunes since it won't know what /Volumes is...)

    As stated in previous posts... Mac OS doesn't understand what "H:/" means... and wants to know where is the music in terms of "Volumes/DOCS/" or something... so all I did was create a symbolic link (using Mac OS terminal) in the root partition which pointed to /Volumes/DOCS and was called "H:/"... see below:
    ln -s /Volumes/DOCS H:

    So now, in MacOS, anything that looks like a Windows file "H:/a/b/c..." will actually work! I started iTunes in Mac OS and it worked like a champ!

    Since I've already linked the library file (the .itl file) between the two versions of iTunes, everything works great... both can play songs and edit metadata, and if I modify a playlist in one OS, then boot to the other, it will also show the change!

    This is also nice since now, I can sync my iPhone to iTunes regardless of which OS I'm booted into... initially it would recognize the phone's library as "someone else's" and ask if I wanted to wipe everything off and sync... by linking the same library between OS's, this problem was fixed, but the music wouldn't show up in one of the OS's... now music shows up and plays, I can sync in Mac OS or in WinXP and my phone (nor iTunes) knows the difference!
  6. spaceman123 macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2011
    So.. I have the same problem.. How exactly did you do this? I'm a total noob when it comes to the terminal so, can i have some instructions on how to do this? Or at least make it a little clearer. Thanks.

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