iTunes to Zune Playlist Converter

Please Note:

This application and all support for it has officially been moved to my new website. Please visit that location to download the latest version or to submit a comment.

In my the first part of my Microsoft Zune review, I mentioned that frustration with the autoplaylist feature of the Zune jukebox software had driven me to write a VB app that converts iTunes playlists to Zune compatible *.zpl playlists. On Jake’s suggestion, that app is now available for download here.

The program is pretty simple to use. Just follow these handy steps:

  1. Download the zip file and unzip it to a directory of your choice
  2. Open iTunes and close the Zune jukebox software
  3. Right click on the playlist that you wish to export and select ‘Export Song List…’ from the context menu
  4. Choose where you’d like to save the playlist, and ensure that ‘Save as Type’ is set to *.xml
  5. Launch the ‘iTunes to Zune Playlist Converter.exe’ application from the unzip directory
  6. Use the browse button to load the saved *.xml file into the ‘iTunes Playlist File (XML)’ field
  7. Use the browse button to choose where you’d like to save the converted Zune Playlist file. Note that for the Zune player to recognize the new playlist, it must be saved to C:\Documents and Settings\User\My Documents\My Music\Zune\Playlists\ on Windows XP, or C:\Users\UserName\Music\Zune\Playlists on Windows Vista.
  8. Click the ‘Convert’ button, and wait for the success message box to pop up.
  9. Launch the Zune jukebox software and go into the ‘Playlists’ view. You should see your newly created playlist in the pane to the left. Note that it might take a second to recognize the playlist, and another minute or two after that until the list is playable, depending on the size of the list. This is because the Zune software has to sift through the playlist and link each referenced file to one in its current library before the list can be used.

There, that wasn’t too hard, was it? Lastly, it’s important to remember that this only works if the iTunes library and the Zune library in question are drawing from the same media files! That means that you should have the Zune jukebox software set to monitor the iTunes music folder that you are drawing from, so that the same files are referenced in both programs’ libraries.

This little hack worked well for me, and allowed me to load my Zune with playlists created in iTunes, without having to try and use the gimped Zune rating system and autoplaylists to do so.

Enjoy, and if you have any questions or comments, post here, or email me at jonfritz at gmail dot com.



Edit: Thanks to David F for pointing out a flaw in the program that made converting multiple playlists in one session a pain. The application is now fixed. If anybody notices any more bugs, please let me know so that they can be fixed immediately.

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