Using MusicBridge to Sync Windows Media Player with iTunes

In my previous post about migrating from iTunes to Windows Media Player, I mentioned a small applet called MusicBridge to sync the metadata between the two program's libraries.  I wasn't extremely clear on how to use the applet, and I've received a couple of mails and comments asking about exactly how to use MusicBridge.

MusicBridge doesn't actually add songs to your Windows Media Player library--it only syncs the metadata about those songs (song names, ratings, playlists, etc.)  Before you use MusicBridge, you need to actually add the song files from iTunes to your Windows Media Player library.  The following instructions for doing this are for Windows Media Player 11, but may also work with WMP 10 as well:

1.)  Open Windows Media Player.

2.)  Navigate to File-->Add to Library, or just hit "F3".

3.)  You get an "Add to Library" dialog box with a list of folders that Windows Media Player is monitoring for new media files.  If you don't see the list of folders, click on "Advanced Options".  Then click on "Add".

4.)  Navigate to the root folder holding your iTunes music.  By default, this will be at "My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music".  (Remember that the absolute path of your My Documents folder is usually c:\documents and settings\<Your Login Name>\My Documents".)

5.)  Click "OK".  Windows Media Player will scan that folder, and all of its subfolders, and add those music files to your library.  Any AAC files, or any files you bought in the iTunes Music Store will be skipped.

6.)  When the import is finished, exit from Windows Media Player and start MusicBridge.

7.)  From the "Sync from iTunes" column, choose "All Data".

8.)  Watch and wait as your metadata is synced.

Voila!  You should have all of the MP3 and WMA files in your music library imported, with iTunes ratings, into Windows Media Player.  MusicBridge isn't perfect--it messed up a few of my tags and doesn't transfer Smart Playlists, but it works.

Good luck!

Comments (12)
  1. Patrick says:

    Hi Joe!

    I have been contemplating the move away from iTunes for quite some time.  I have this recurring thought that when I have some free time, I’ll write an app to determine how many iTunes purchased songs I have and do a query against MSN music to determine how much it would cost me to reacquire my songs with a different DRM provider.   For the moment, however- I am without free time.

    Why would I do this?  I want to have a quantitative assessment  of how locked into iTunes I am.  I want to know how much I spent and how much it’s going to cost me to convert.  I’m ready to trade my bondage from one DRM format to another because I want to take better advantage of Windows Media Center and my Xbox 360.  Until there’s an itunes plugin for media center, apple is at risk of losing me as a customer.  I do not want to have islands of entertainment data in my home when my goal is to have an integrated home entertainment system.

    So, my question to you is, any chance you’re going to tackle the problem I haven’t found time to address yet?   If not, know of any tools to support this?  


  2. Luke says:

    very disappointed in the application, since it seems to only copy the "smart playlists" from itunes to wmp, rather than the plain "playlists"…

    anyone know of any other programs that will be able to transfer itunes playlists to wmp?

  3. MD says:

    I’m not too tech savy, so bear with me… I’m trying to get my iTunes music over into WMP 11. I followed the instructions above, but instead of converting the files, wmp 11 says the number of files it finds in my music folder (which is correct) but then tells me none have been added to wmp’s library. Can anyone help? Thanks.

  4. Rob says:

    Hi Joe

    After trudging through the morass of confusing information regarding tagging on the interent, I feel rather like I’ve been dragging a corpse through a swamp.

    Here’s my problem:

    I have been using itunes and have a collection of around 20000 tracks. In itunes the 1600 albums ALL have album art and artist and album tags. Where I don’t know the artist I have put them as Various Artists. I have bought a media centre pc and big tv and want to use MCE to browse music.

    However, Itunes puts all the music into Artist Folder. SO when I add the music to WMP – I have some albums which are compilations – like a big folder called "80’s". Now wmp will display an album cover for each song in that album. So my interface is a mess of duplicate album covers.

    I’d like obviously to just have one Album cover.

    How do I make this happen?

    Bet I’m the first Zimbabwean to post.

  5. MSDN Archive says:

    Rob–I’m honestly not sure.  Windows Media Player 11 is still a bit flaky on the album art, and I don’t think it handles compilations elegantly like iTunes does yet.  In short–I don’t think this is possible with the beta of WMP 11.  I’ve been told that the album art picker is going to get *much* better in the final version.  I feel your pain though–that’s pretty lousy, and I’m having the same trouble with some of my albums.

    And, yes, you are indeed the first Zimbabwean to post on my blog.  🙂

  6. Michelle says:

    Hi-Was excited to see your posts regarding transferring itunes to WMP .  Followed all instructions and nothing.  I have the same number of tunes in WMP (version 10) that I did before.  My kids purchased a lot of music thru ITunes just to burn CD’s, but now that they have MP3 players, they want to transfer them.  We have been ripping from the CD’s to WMP, but it takes forever!  There has got to be an easier way!  By the way, we have a Sandisk MP3 and an Olympus mrobe (which is a complete nightmare–it’s software is prehistoric, but I got it to sync with WMP and it makes life more bearable).  Now if I could only get the Itunes in WMP, my  life would be complete!

  7. I’ve gotten lots and lots of questions about my previous couple of posts about how to move your music

  8. Audio says:

    In my previous post about migrating from iTunes to Windows Media Player, I mentioned a small applet called MusicBridge to sync the metadata between the two program’s libraries. I wasn’t extremely clear on how to use the applet, and I’ve received a coupl

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