Home > Computing, Software > Importing .m3u playlists into iTunes 10.4.x on Windows

Importing .m3u playlists into iTunes 10.4.x on Windows

When Apple released the 10.4.x versions of iTunes. support for importing playlists in .m3u format seemed to have become broken. Having spent considerable time today creating some playlists on my main desktop PC, it was very frustrating to find out that they wouldn’t import properly into the iTunes library on my laptop.

The fix requires modifying your .m3u playlist file and can be easily carried out in any text editor such as Notepad. Please note that it is extremely important that you get the file paths correct or the playlists will not work!

In my case, I store music in D:\Neil\Music (I set up redirects to Music, Videos etc. to relevant folders within D:\Neil). The file structure is the same on both my laptop and desktop systems and I keep directory structures and contents synced using SyncBack, using my Buffalo LinkStation NAS box as a backup source and a sync source for the laptop.

First, you need to export the file from iTunes. To do this, right-click on the playlist of your choice and choose ‘Export’. Choose where to save the file and change the file type to .m3u.

Next, open exported .m3u file up in Notepad. You’ll find the relevant paths to the music will look similar to this:

#EXTM3U
#EXTINF:293,Can’t Fight This Feeling – REO Speedwagon
D:\Neil\Music\Compilations\Take It On The Run_ The Best Of REO Spee2 Can’t Fight This Feeling.mp3

The first step is to replace the first part of the path to the drive. We need to replace D:\ to file://localhost/D:/file://localhost/D:/, where D can be changed with the drive letter than is relevant in your case.

To do this, go to the Edit menu and select Replace. Enter the relevant item to find – e.g. D:\ and the item to replace it with – e.g. file://localhost/D:/file://localhost/D:/. Click Replace All and then Cancel.

The next step is to replace the rest of the ‘\‘ characters in the file to ‘/‘ characters. To do this,  go to the Edit menu and select Replace. Enter the relevant item to find – \ and the item to replace it with – /. Click Replace All and then Cancel.

Next, save the file. Repeat if necessary with any other playlists. You can also make other changes using the above method for different paths etc.

To import the file on the target computer, open iTunes and also ensure a Windows Explorer window is open with the .m3u files present. Drag the files onto the iTunes sidebar.

You should be all done!

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Categories: Computing, Software
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