Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I run Bootcamp on my Macbook and want to be able to run iTunes in both OS X and Windows 7 with the same library. I don't just mean having access to my mp3 files on both OSes, I mean things like ratings, play counts, playlists, etc. will be the same. Can I do this?

share|improve this question
See also: - it's not clear if that sharing will work perfectly with BootCamp, but you can edit in details or indicate if that helps your issue. – Daniel Sep 25 '12 at 21:12
up vote 2 down vote accepted

This solution may very well not be to your taste, but the simplest thing I can think of that doesn't involve the phrases "disk partitioning" or "file permissions" would be to sign up for iTunes Match and match / upload your music collection, thereby making your music available to both your Windows and OS X partitions as though they were simply different devices (which, for all normal intents and purposes, they are).

I recognize the downsides to this approach:

  1. The service isn't free (~$25-$30/year, depending on location), or even necessarily available in all countries
  2. If you have a large library, you'll be using a lot of disk space to keep what are essentially duplicate files in each partition

But the result is a fairly painless and reliable solution, which does indeed keep your playlists, rating, and play counts in sync.

share|improve this answer
Ah, I didn't realize that iTunes Match kept your ratings and play counts! I've been on the fence about whether to get it, and now I might just take the leap. – Colin Sep 25 '12 at 20:30

Store the library files on an external drive.

In your iTunes preferences you can select the storage location. Set it to the location on the external drive both on Windows and OS X.

Preferences and some other settings, as well as caches will not be accessible on both OSes, but that data that is important, like movies/music/apps/books etc. will be accessible. This way you won't have to download and store all of your purchases twice.

Another positive outcome to this is that you can always take the drive and connect it to another system and all of your purchases will become available there. Just don't forget to add the library in the preferences.

share|improve this answer
Are you sure this will work with the ratings, play counts, etc.? When I look in preferences, the media folder location is set to Music/iTunes/iTunes Media, but the iTunes library file that stores the ratings, etc. is one level up in Music/iTunes. – Colin Sep 25 '12 at 21:40

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.