Moving an iTunes Library from OS X to Windows

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This was done using OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), Windows 7 Professional, and iTunes 10 on both systems. It may work just fine on different versions of the operating systems and iTunes, but I don’t know for certain.

I wanted to move a copy of my rather large iTunes library from the Mac over to the Windows system, which is always on. While it’s easy to setup Home Sharing and then initiate an import of all music over the network, there doesn’t seem to be a way to sync the playlists. I may be mistaken, but I could have sworn that when I first enabled Home Sharing I was able to sync my entire library and playlists from an OS X 10.6 system over to another system running 10.5 (with both running the latest version of iTunes at the time).

Unfortunately, only the files synced with the Windows system. I couldn’t find an easy method for copying playlists that didn’t involve a third-party program.

I decided to take a more direct route and just copy my entire iTunes library manually. To do this I pushed a copy of everything within the iTunes folder to a network drive, deleted everything within the Music\iTunes folder under the Windows account, and then pasted a copy of my library into the Windows iTunes folder.

Note: This will only work if your media is stored within the iTunes folder. If you’ve always had have the option under Advanced to Copy files to iTunes Media Folder when adding to library then you may already be in good shape.

The next time I fired up iTunes in Windows I had my media and the playlists I had setup on the Mac. The only thing I had to change after copying was the name of the iTunes library – it had also copied that from the Mac.

The information and artwork for my movies transferred, but the movie files did not because they were not stored within the iTunes folder. This was expected and preferred – the ASUS hard drive isn’t large enough to also accommodate the movies (I may upgrade the drive in a few months so I can also store the movies there).

I haven’t used the library much but it appears to be working fine.

Accessing Two Different Windows Shares With Different Credentials Simultaneously From The Same Server

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Perhaps I was aware of this restriction a long time ago, when I used a Windows system as my primary desktop, but I completely forgot this. Windows does not permit accessing two different shares that use different credentials when they exist on the same system. There may be more to it than that. For example, it may only apply to a Windows user account logged into a desktop system.

Regardless of the details, I wasn’t able to access two shares on a network drive from the ASUS (Windows 7). Every time I tried to connect to the second share I’d receive a vague error message stating that the connection couldn’t be made. I knew the credentials I was using were correct.

One solution is to disconnect the first share and then connect to the other one. However, I was using that share for the Windows system backup and I didn’t want to bother with having to remove the connection and then re-establish it.

After searching a few pages and forums I came across one post in the Microsoft TechNet forums that explained a workaround. That this even works is laughable, but it really does. User Mustafa Radha explains that using the IP address for one share, and then using the network name for the other share, will work. Indeed it does.

For example, assume I’m trying to connect to a machine named “Server” with an IP address of 192.168.1.2, and it has two shares named “Photos” and “Documents”. You could access both shares at the same time by using these paths:

\\Server\Photos\
\\192.168.1.2\Documents\

Of course, you could swap the IP and name as desired.

Source: Microsoft TechNet – Connecting to multiple shares on a single server with multiple credentials? (System Error 1219)

Accessing Network Shares from OS X (Prior to Lion)

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Updated 08/15/2011: Based on the my blog stats it looks like many of you are hitting this page while searching for information on connecting to Windows shares from OS X Lion. I’ve found another resource that may be of assistance, though I can’t verify it:
Access PC Windows 7 Files From Mac OS X Lion (TrickyWays)

There are multiple ways to access a network share from OS X. For example, you may find the shares by browsing Network. Since I know the IP addresses of the machines I need to connect to I usually take a more direct route, which can also be useful in accessing shares that may not appear under Network.

In this example the target computer is a Windows system named Target with an IP address of 192.168.1.5.

Traditionally, under Windows you would have used \\Target or \\192.168.1.5 to access files over the network.

In OS X you can go to the Finder and then do the following:

  1. On the Finder menubar select Go
  2. Choose Connect to Server
  3. In the Server Address box type smb://192.168.1.5 [or your target machine IP]
  4. If you want to save it under Favorite Servers click the plus button
  5.  Click Connect
  6. Select the appropriate share and/or provide authentication credentials

I also use this method to connect to Mac shares.

I’ve read that Apple dropped Samba support in Lion due to licensing changes and has instead added true Windows sharing support. As a result, using “smb://” may no longer work. I can’t verify this since I don’t have Lion (I’m still using Snow Leopard). I spent a few minutes researching this but several different methods were offered across different Websites. I can’t test them to determine the simplest method so for now I’ll refrain from posting a suggestion.