iTunes

iTunes

Roon can easily import your iTunes playlists, and in most configurations, it will update them automatically if you make changes in iTunes.

The Basics

Roon imports your iTunes playlists by reading a file that iTunes can generate, called an XML. This will work as long as your XML is stored in the same folder as your media. If you've already generated the XML and configured Roon to "watch" the folder where it's stored, all you need to do is enable iTunes import. First navigate to the Edit screen for the storage location where your iTunes XML is stored:




Then, just enable iTunes Import and you're good to go!



If you want to know more, or if you're having a problem setting up iTunes sync in Roon, read on!

Setting Up iTunes

iTunes can create a file called anXML file, which contains a list of all the songs in your iTunes library, as well as all your playlists. When this file has been generated and is stored in your default Music folder, you should be able to just enable iTunes importing. Recent versions of iTunes do not create the XML file by default, so you will need to ensure the file is generated by checking this screen and making sure the Share iTunes Library XML option is checked.



By default, your iTunes XML is stored at these standard locations: - Windows: C:\Users\Your User Name\Music\iTunes - macOS: Users/Your User Name/Music/iTunes.

Troubleshooting

In most cases, your playlists should be imported once Roon is watching your iTunes XML. The two most likely issues relate to a) iTunes XML not syncing or b) Media files not stored with XML

Testing Your iTunes XML Sync

If you're having trouble importing or syncing your playlists into Roon, it's a good idea to first confirm your XML is being updated by iTunes. To confirm the file is being updated properly, find the XML file -- it will be called ciTunes Library.XML and will likely be stored at one of the standard locations listed above. Once you've found it make a quick change in iTunes and confirm that the XML file is being updated -- for example, create a playlist called Test or add a file to an existing playlist temporarily. You should see the file modification time update to whenever you made the change in iTunes, like this:

Media Files Aren't Stored With XML

If certain playlists or tracks in your playlists aren't showing up, it's possible your XML is separated from your media files. First, some background about playlists in Roon. Imported playlists must be added to Roon in the same folder as the tracks they contain. So if you've watched two folders, Downloads and Music, a playlist you want to import in the Downloads folder can only include tracks from that folder -- any tracks it references in the Music folder will be skipped. Playlists imported from your iTunes folder function the same way. If your iTunes XML is stored in your Music folder, but the files themselves are stored somewhere else (like on an external hard drive) you will need to consolidate them into a single folder for Roon to watch. A few ways to achieve this are:

Option 1: Copy your XML file to the folder where your media is stored (try this first)

In many cases, Roon will be able to understand the contents of your playlists as soon as the XML file is stored in the same folder. Once Roon is watching a folder that contains both your music files and your iTunes XML, force a rescan:

Note that if you copy your iTunes XML this way, subsequent changes made to your iTunes playlists will not sync automatically. If the above doesn't work, you can also try the following. Make sure you have a backup of your iTunes library before proceeding. 

Option 2: Copy your iTunes Library to the same location as your files

In your Music folder, find the folder called iTunes. Copy this to the folder where you keep your music. Once Roon is watching a folder that contains both your music files and your iTunes XML, force a rescan:

If you copy your iTunes library this way, subsequent changes made to your playlists in iTunes will not sync automatically to Roon, **unless** you point iTunes at the new location by following these instructions.

Option 3: Consolidate Your iTunes Library

If the above doesn't work, or if the music in your iTunes library is spread across multiple folders, you will want to consolidate your library to a single folder. - Make sure you consolidate to the folder you want Roon to watch (meaning on your NAS or USB drive) - Make sure you have a backup of your media, as iTunes will move your files around - To consolidate your iTunes Library, follow Apple's documentation here.

If your iTunes XML is updating properly and Roon is watching a folder that contains both your XML and your media, you should be all set. If you're still having problems syncing your iTunes properly to Roon, please let us know.

What's Changed in 1.3

Prior to version 1.3, Roon handled iTunes differently. Instead of using the iTunes XML to supplement the data in your file tags, Roon previously imported iTunes libraries solely based on the data in the XML. This worked for some simple use cases cases, but it also caused a lot of problems. iTunes XML's frequently contain references to files that have been deleted or moved, sometimes by the thousands--producing bad or confusing experiences in Roon.

iTunes XML's are also not a great authority on where files are located, and many cases iTunes installs involving network storage could not be made to work correctly. Moreover, that approach still left many users out in the cold. The iTunes XML represents a list of paths from a computer running iTunes. When the media and the XML and the Roon Core are all on the machine, that works OK, but many people have situations that are more complicated than that--and they were often unable to use our iTunes support at all.

Finally, in that model there wasn't a very good way to migrate away from iTunes later. Since the XML was treated as the sole authority, users had to keep going back to iTunes to import more content or clean up problems. The new implementation takes a simpler and more balanced approach. It uses the iTunes XML as a source for additional information about your files, and to support importing of playlists, but uses Roon's folder-watching infrastructure to locate the actual files. This way you can start with your iTunes library, and then either use both apps side-by-side, or just move forward with Roon.

The downside is: this requires that the iTunes XML and the media files are placed into a single folder that Roon can watch. This can be done in iTunes by "Consolidating" the library, but it will present an extra step for people with particularly complex setups and media spread across devices. Users who are already using the old implementation can continue to do so -- we're not going to rip it out from under anyone, but new users will only be able to use the new stuff.

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