How to Import iTunes Playlists

Exporting an iTunes playlist can be useful when you want to copy music to another computer, or transfer song and playlist information to another application. You can also use the playlist import and export feature to transfer playlists from your iOS device to your iTunes library on your computer. Important note: the playlist doesn't actually contain any music files but just redirects to songs in the library.

Export playlists

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Select the iTunes playlist you want to export. When you export a playlist, you're exporting a list of songs and their order. You can export playlists to transfer from iPhone to computer, or from iTunes to another media player.

You can export any iTunes playlist, including playlists on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad. Select the device in iTunes then click the playlist name in the "On My Device" section in the sidebar.

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Press . Alt if you are using Windows. The menu bar will appear. You can also press Ctrl+ Bto turn the menu bar on.

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Click the "File" (Windows) or "iTunes" (Mac) menu. A small menu will appear.

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Select "Library" → "Export Playlist". The file browser will open so you can choose where to save the playlist file.

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Choose a new location to save the file. By default, iTunes for Windows will save playlists to the "system32" folder, which is not a convenient place for you to easily find later. Choose an easily accessible location, such as your desktop or Documents folder.

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Choose the format you want to export the playlist into. Click the "Save as type" menu to see formatting options. You'll have many options depending on how you want to use the playlist:

Select "XML" if you plan to import the playlist back into iTunes, such as when transferring playlists from iPhone to computer or sharing with friends.

Select "M3U" if you want to import the playlist into some program, such as Winamp or MediaMonkey.

Select "Text files" if you want to save the entire data for each song to a tab-separated plain text file. This option can be useful when you want to import playlists into a database or spreadsheet program such as Excel.

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Name the playlist and save. By default, the playlist file will match the original name on iTunes. You can change it to whatever you want before saving it to your computer.

Import playlists

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Click the "File" (Windows) or "iTunes" (Mac) menu. If you don't see the menu bar on Windows, press Alt.

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Select "Library" → "Import Playlist". The file browser will open.

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Find the playlist file you want to import. iTunes can import XML and M3U playlists. Select the file you want to import into iTunes.

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Add any songs to the playlist that you don't already have in your library. Your computer will error when you import a playlist that contains one or more songs that aren't currently in your library. You need to transfer these songs to your library if you want the playlist to be complete, then re-import the playlist.

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