Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Home Sharing - the Missing Playlist Copy Debate

The Missing Playlist Copy Debate

After setting up Home Sharing on my network, I was able to copy songs, podcasts, movies, TV programs, audiobooks, iPhone apps, etc from my husbands computer to my computer and vice versa.

One of the things that you can’t copy is playlists. This is understandable as a playlist, is a file that contains the location of the songs in that list, not the actual songs. So a reference to a location on his machine would not be workable, unless his machine was on and running when I wished to play that list.

If you wish to transfer a playlist to your computer, there is a round about way to do so. With home sharing on, you can double-click the name of the playlist from home shared computer B, so that a new window opens, showing the songs that are in that playlist.

Create a new playlist on your computer A, giving it a similar playlist name. Use 'File', 'New Playlist' or cmd N.

Select All the songs in the playlist located on the Computer B and drag and drop them into the newly created playlist on Computer A.

This will create the same playlist essentially on your Computer A and also add the songs into your Computer A library, needed to play that playlist.

The one thing that is a problem is that if you already have those songs on your computer A or some of them, the process of dragging and dropping the same songs from Computer B may result in duplicates in your Computer A music library.

If you decide to run the ‘Show Duplicates’ from the ‘File’ menu in iTunes and then delete a duplicate file, you may run the risk of deleting the actually song file that correlates with the playlist. I suppose you could make sure you delete the song file that wasn’t added last or on the day you created the playlist. But then the file that you delete might also be used in one of your own playlists.

There is another option that allows you to export a playlist from a library and import it into another. Would this also have the same problem with finding the corresponding song file and location?

I can see why the option to import playlists might be unwieldy and why Apple did NOT include this as an option in the Home Sharing that they have provided us.

The playlist option was used extensively when the first iphone software came on the scene, to give us the option to sync partial music versus our entire music library. Now that Version 3.1 for the iPhone and iTunes 9 allow us so many more options for syncing by artist, genre … the need for a playlist to sync to our iphone isn’t necessarily bothersome for me. I have really enjoyed the option of using Genius to create some playlists for me.

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