Exporting iTunes Library with Songs Selected


I cannot explain why iTunes has such bad interface design? It must be that Apple just doesn’t focus on it as much as their other products? That being said, a friend of mine was asking for a way to export his iTunes into XML that remember his preference of songs. Whenever you move your library from one machine to another after an import you normally have to go through your library and un-check all the songs you don’t want to sync.

Naturally I thought – sure just use the Export feature! I was assured this process didn’t work and has never worked for him or anyone else.

Apple Export Library File Menu

Sad to say, he was right. This does export an XML file, but it has no indicator of “checked”, “selected” or “disabled” in the key nodes. Total #FAIL!

Then I remembered, for some reason iTunes has hidden functionality when you right-click on things. It’s for the über geeks that like to right-click on things just to see what happens. So I went for broke and tried this, right click on Music Library and Export:

How to Export iTunes Library With Selected Data

“Believe it or not, I’m walking on air!” — That solution worked! The XML file exported in the same manner as using the ‘File’ menu, but this time it included a node <key>Disabled</key><true/>

So there you go. You can now move your library to a new computer/workstation and not have to re-select all the songs you want to synchronize with your mobile devices. And when in doubt, try right-clicking on the item – it may work in iTunes that way.

Apple, it is time to show a little more love to iTunes and update your crazy usability issues. Don’t even get me started about how both Video and Books use the color purple to indicate their storage space!

iTunes Colors - Poor usability

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