From Mac..... To Windows

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DJSimonmurray

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Ok,

This one requires a little bit of thought.

I have a MAC and currently running Apple Music. My "raw music files" are stored on an external USB HDD as they would simply take up too much space on MAC.
My media folder location is pointed via preferences to the external HDD and all works well.
My library is also fully uploaded to iCloud as I subscribe to iTunes Match.

I also have a windows PC and have installed "iTunes" from the Microsoft store, (From what i can see it must be iTunes on Windows as Apple Music not available).

When i log into my account on the PC via iTunes it correctly brings up my iCloud Library and i can see all of my albums etc, exactly as there were on my MAC with the little cloud and download arrow beside same.

So far so good.

The thing is, I would like to use the same external HDD for both machines and it simply to read the data and play files from whichever one it is plugged into. (I would also like to burn CD's and upload to iCloud from both machines).

So, if i plug the HDD into the windows machine (and point the media folder to the correct location via preferences) i would have expected the PC to see the media in that location and play file from same. (Obviously if i hit the cloud and download arrow it will download a duplicate file to the HDD in the same album folder so i dont want to do that.)

The PC is seeing all the file locations as "iCloud" as opposed the drive, even though the media folder location is pointed to same for new imports etc and set in preferences. (Just a quick point that on Mac you set the directory to the location where the media folder is stored. On a PC via iTunes which is the older interface you appear to set it to media and then music).

Is there anyway that I can simply have the PC recognise that the 'hard files' for the music are on the HDD as well as iCloud, using the former as the main play source?

I appreciate here I am moving between MAC and PC and this may not be as straightforward as anticipated. Also the MAC is running Apple music, where's PC appears to use the older iTunes interface but the core principles etc are the same.

Basically trying to get to a scenario that i can manage my library from either the MAC or PC, using the same external HDD on both devices.

Can this even be achieved and is there a way to do same without screwing up a common iCloud library between both devices?

Appreciate your help

Best

Simon.
 

cjmnews

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First off, I don’t recommend using the Microsoft Store version of iTunes. Always get it from Apple. https://www.apple.com/itunes/download/win64 It might work until you try syncing with it.

The reason you don’t see the hard files is the iTunes Library file is not on the external hard drive (plus it isn’t converted for Windows).

Unfortunately you can’t share the library file directly. Mac does not use Drive Letters for the external drive and Windows does. Mac uses / as the directory designator and Windows uses \ so the librart cannot be directly used on both machines.

The file can be converted for one or the other platform. It can’t be used by both directly.

If you had a NAS that supports iTunes, that could allow both to use the same files on the same drive. But there will be added latency, and other slowness with a NAS solution. On a plus side the drive would not need to be moved to use it with either device.
 

DJSimonmurray

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First off, I don’t recommend using the Microsoft Store version of iTunes. Always get it from Apple. https://www.apple.com/itunes/download/win64 It might work until you try syncing with it.

The reason you don’t see the hard files is the iTunes Library file is not on the external hard drive (plus it isn’t converted for Windows).

Unfortunately you can’t share the library file directly. Mac does not use Drive Letters for the external drive and Windows does. Mac uses / as the directory designator and Windows uses \ so the library cannot be directly used on both machines.

The file can be converted for one or the other platform. It can’t be used by both directly.

If you had a NAS that supports iTunes, that could allow both to use the same files on the same drive. But there will be added latency, and other slowness with a NAS solution. On a plus side the drive would not need to be moved to use it with either device.
Thank you so much for your help. This is really useful and insightful. To a degree i suppose it was wishful thinking on my part trying to get effectively a 'seamless' transition between both given the barriers that currently exist. For now, the Mac is fine for Music and im simply going to remove iTunes from the windows laptop. This isnt a huge need to have both, it was more for the convenience factor.

I suppose a potentially cleaner way to achieve same would be to have a separate windows formatted HDD on the PC, download all the content from iCloud to it, (Then the libraries on both devices would essentially be the same and you could burn/upload. amend etc from either or and the content would be synced to iCloud?

Am i think on the right lines? The issue is actually the share of the same HDD which is formatted in different ways?

Best

Simon.
 

cjmnews

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I was assuming the drive was already Fat32 formatted or NTFS which Mac can handle. Possibly a bass assumption, as if it was formatted by you on the Mac, Windows could not read it.

Using iCloud Library they should remain the same it is the storage location that will be different on each device. Having 2 storage drives should work fine.
 

DJSimonmurray

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I was assuming the drive was already Fat32 formatted or NTFS which Mac can handle. Possibly a bass assumption, as if it was formatted by you on the Mac, Windows could not read it.

Using iCloud Library they should remain the same it is the storage location that will be different on each device. Having 2 storage drives should work fine.
So,

I believe the HDD is Fat32 formatted.

Does that mean I may be able to use the same drive between machines if I store the ITL file on the HDD as opposed to the respective machine?

Perhaps I’m being too simplistic but thought I should check.

Thanks again for all your help

Simon
 

DJSimonmurray

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I was assuming the drive was already Fat32 formatted or NTFS which Mac can handle. Possibly a bass assumption, as if it was formatted by you on the Mac, Windows could not read it.

Using iCloud Library they should remain the same it is the storage location that will be different on each device. Having 2 storage drives should work fine.
just a thought, the library in cloud should be the same of both machines, (It is)

format of HDD allows files to be used on both machines.

so, if I paste the 2 ITL files to the HDD and point the Mac to its relevant file and the windows to its file, theoretically the library should still be the same on both devices as it’s cloud centric?

All we are asking is the respective device to play from the files on the HDD linked to its library file?

Again, this may be incorrect but I’m thinking 💭 f each machine can use the HDD becuase of the way it’s formatted, surely it can also connect to its resource library file?

ta

simon
 

cjmnews

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No, as I said above the mount point of the drive is significantly different between Mac and Windows. So the same file can’t be used by both systems.

Now your idea of having two files (in slightly different locations) would work except the downloaded files would not stay in sync between the two systems.
 
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