use common itunes library between mac os bootcamp (windows)?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Oats, May 11, 2010.

  1. Oats macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2003
    New York
    Is it possible? I end up using bootcamp or OS X about 50/50 these days, and it would be nice if I could access my media files when I am in both OSes.

    I think this will be possible now, once I upgrade to 10.6, since I've heard that Windows can now read Apple's HFS+ formatted drives, using the bootcamp 10.6 drivers.

    Anyone tried this? Is it possible that even the iTunes library files could be the same, so that if I add an mp3 in Mac OS, it would show up in the Windows iTunes automatically as well? I'm thinking probably not since one path will include "D:\" and the other will be "MacVolume\" but wouldn't that be neat?
  2. koruki macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2009
    New Zealand
    Although I haven't tried it, but I assume it is possible if you copy all the music to your windows partition (cause windows cant pick up your HFS partition, but OSX can pick up the FAT partition on windows).

    In OSX, make sure you tell your iTunes to not COPY the music you import into the playlist. Import all songs from the windows folder you put music in.

    let us know if you hit any problems.
  3. Oats thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2003
    New York
    I was thinking the other way around -- keep my media on the HFS+ partition, rather than a windows partition.

    Reason: FAT32 is limited to 32GB, and my media library is >32GB.
    NTFS would be an option, except that Mac OS see these as read-only. (Write capability can be added with NTFS-3G, but is not 100% reliable.)

    I heard that 10.6 bootcamp drivers allow windows to read/write to HFS partitions... is this true?
  4. DWrightTX macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2011
    Its possible

    I'm not sure if t works if you put you music on the FAT Windows partion, but I can confirm it works if you keep it on your Macintosh HD.


    Step 1: Know the directory to your music on your Macintosh HD. Usually its YourUserName>Music>iTunes>iTunes Media

    Step 2: Go to your windows partion and go to iTunes

    Step 3: Go to Edit> Preferences in iTunes. Under "Advance" Tab, Click on "Change" under "iTunes Music Folder Location" and direct to the directory you found in step 1

    Step 4: In iTunes go to File>Library>Import Playlist. When clicked navigate to the directory that you found in Step 1 minus the >iTunes Media

    For example:

    Instead of: YourUserName>Music>iTunes>iTunes Media
    It would be: YourUserName>Music>iTunes

    When there click "iTunes Music Library" and its an XML file

    That should do it! I did found that there has been some errors with file type. Like some of my songs show up as Music Videos, but they still play properly

    FYI I am running WIndows 7 Ultimate and Mac OSX Lion (10.7) Older Boot Camps might not let you access your Macintosh HD from Windows partion.
  5. gwarfthegreat macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2011
    to the party late...

    Well this is an old thread, but I just wanted to add me 2cents in case someone comes across it looking for answers.

    I can confirm DWrightTx's setup:

    I currently have my iTunes library hosted on my Mac OS partition (10.7), and on my bootcamp partition (win 7) I simply opened iTunes file>add folder to library select: Mac HD>Users>Username>Music>iTunes and it adjusts accordingly. I haven't messed around with adding stuff to and fro, but so far its worked swell.

    Hopefully that is all that is necessary
  6. Danxter macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2011
    Share with a NAS

    Hi everyone,

    Two days that I am searching a solution to share my media library between my MacPro (W7+Lion 10.7.1+Snow Leo 10.6.8), my MBAir and my MBPro (XP+Lion 10.7.1). I can't find any fix...

    I've got a NAS (ReadyNAS NV+) and all my files are on it as well as the iTunes library files (itl+xml). The problem is that, when I look into the xml files, the path of the files is different :
    -file-->Localhost-->Nas-->Media (for windows)
    -file-->Localhost-->Volumes-->Media (for Lion)

    So, when I boot OSX after using Windows, it rebuilds the library and can't find the files. Same problem when booting osx after windows.

    Do you have a solution for that please? I've tried to just import the xml file but it doesn't work...

  7. DESNOS macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2011
    Assuming the path is accurate, the simplest solution would be to symbolically link the "Volumes" folder to "NAS" in Lion. That way the paths will be the same. This can be done by typing into the terminal "ln -s /Volumes /Nas". Keep in mind that shortcuts from the finder are not equivalent to symlinks, so you need the command line for this.
  8. Danxter macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2011
    I tried but I have this error :

    ln -s /Volumes /NAS
    ln: /NAS: Permission denied

    Edit : Another problem. The path in Windows is file://localhost//Nas and in OSX file://localhost/Nas

    Note the // for windows and the / for OSX...
  9. DESNOS macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2011
    My bad. "sudo ln -s /Volumes /Nas" then type your invisible password. As for the slash thing, it may not make a difference. Give it a shot.

    I think Mac OS may work fine with extraneous slashes. It does on the command line anyway. Windows probably won't work with single slashes though.
  10. Danxter, Aug 25, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011

    Danxter macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2011
    Thanx but... What is the password when I don't have any password for my OSX? He absolutely wants a password

    I've typed "sudo ln -s /Volumes //Nas" and osx did not make any objection.

    So, I have to research the files in Windows now. I will see if when I restart in OSX it's doing the same...
  11. DESNOS macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2011
    Sudo requires a password to be set. It's a key feature that makes macs secure. If it didn't require a password, anyone could do anything they liked with you computer. The solution would be to temporarily assign a password to your account, run the command, then remove the password again.
  12. Danxter macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2011
    Ok thanks to you

    I've typed "sudo ln -s /Volumes //Nas" and next the password and osx did not make any objection.

    So, I have to research the files in Windows now. I will see if when I restart in OSX it's doing the same...
  13. Danxter macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2011
    So, in OSX it has just rebuilt the library and all worked but I restarted in Windows and it does not find the files... I think that osx understands the path but change it anyway with the real native path and then, windows don't understand... Maybe making a link as in OSX should work?
  14. DESNOS, Aug 25, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011

    DESNOS macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2011
    Strange... I don't really have much experience with windows symlinks, but I do know one thing: If it doesn't work going from Windows to Mac, it's highly unlikely it'll work the other way around. The only solution that comes to mind is a complex scripting one, but that may just be me enjoying the long complicated route... There may be some simple solution I'm overlooking.
  15. Danxter macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2011
    I used mklink in Win7. It works well now but a problem : it rebuilds the library (but no need to research the files). It takes 5 minutes approximately... If you have a tip for that...
  16. DESNOS macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2011
    Not that I know of. Switching OSes like this with one iTunes library isn't officially supported by anyone, so personally I'd just wait the 5 minutes.
  17. Danxter macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2011
    Ok, it's a victory for me anyway. Thanks again for your help! Without you I wouldn't have found a solution!
  18. tomllama macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2007
    I have my iTunes libraries on an HFS+ drive and can access them from Win7 without issue (no rebuild when switching). It may be due to my use of MacDrive to enable Win7 to read and write to HFS+ disks.
  19. applefan69 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 9, 2007
    Does this COPY all the media files into the windows partition? For me Harddrive space is limited and I would not want that.


    I can confirm Macdrive works as a simple solution if your willing to pay money.

    What I have done and it worked:

    Install Macdrive in windows

    In windows open the properties window of the Itunes directory on OS x.

    unclick the "Read only" check box. (without Macdrive this gives an error)

    Hold Shift while starting itunes (in windows 7, bootcamp partition)

    Choose the directory for the OS x itunes library when it asks which library to use.

    Works great but I dont wanna pay for Macdrive, I discovered all this using the trial.

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