Its quite amazing when you stop and think that iTunes is almost 10 years old this year. Apple’s end-all-be-all monotheistic gateway for your music collection towards your iPod device, is an application that is loved and hated equally. Like a teenage mom, iTunes went from a young, innocent slender application whose sole purpose was to curate your music collection, to an over-bloated thirty-something iPod-Baby machine that had acquired more functionality (and resources) over the years. Right before Apple gave iTunes a much needed binary liposuction with version 11, iTunes was one fat mama.
But that fat mama had started herding my music collection back in its younger years, and over the course of 10 years 15000 tracks have found their way into its arms. Over 100 playlists divide these tracks into manageable chunks and … I’ll probably never get them out again. Album art, MP3 tags, comments, stars, iTunes poisons my library with proprietary metadata and decides its a better idea to arrange the songs for me instead of my own ‘one album per folder’ setup.
When I started using Linux and other operating systems more and more, I got annoyed with the fact that I could not access my iTunes music from a different OS then OSX .. and that bugged me.
Hence it was time for the great escape ! A search for an application that would export every track in every playlist that I had to a predetermined folder structure that would be compatible with parallel universes WITHOUT iTunes. After hitting “The Google” for hours on end, I decided to enter the terms “iTunes Export” and came across a brilliant little application by Eric Daugherty called .. “iTunes Exporter”.
How it works ? Simple : On Osx (sorry , its an OSX app only) close iTunes and fire up “iTunes Exporter” Select the playlists you want to export and voila : iTunes exporter creates a folder with the name of the playlist and exports the tracks (using their id3 tags as file names) together with a playlist file. The result is simple and brilliant : Your (non DRM’d) music exported to a folder tree, ready to be imported into any media system of your choice. Its handy if you iPod-iPhone or whatever iDevice ever breaks .. or you just buy an Android device.
In the words of some Scottish guy with an ax and a skirt : FREEEEDOOOOMM !!!
Links : iTunes Exporter.