It's easy to browse a list of songs using home sharing and import all the songs that are "not in my library".

Once that is done, is there an easy way to get the same playlist on the new library?

There is no option to import a playlist. You can drag a playlist from another computer to one of yours. But that would end up copying all songs again and creating duplicates.

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I ended up using Screen Sharing to export that playlist as File -> Library -> Export Playlist..., choosing XML format, then saving it to the desktop of the current mac. From there, it imported the playlist fine, but I was hoping I was missing a simpler, more drag and drop solution.

I can't believe I'm actually looking for another feature to be added to iTunes - it's got to be there somewhere.

Also, I don't want all the playlists - just a few so exporting the whole library won't speed things up or simplify the operation.

  • iTunes is pretty dang scriptable. You could probably set up a little script to make your job easier. Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 2:33
  • Hmm - I'll have to head over to Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes for a look-see. Maybe I'm looking at this problem from the wrong angle...
    – bmike
    Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 17:11
  • 1
    Just as an interesting aside for documentations' sake if nothing else. When you subscribe to iTunes Match, all of your playlists are automatically sync'ed across machines. So much so that you can't prevent that from happening. I lost some on-device only playlists after setting them up for iTunes Match :(. Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 21:07

2 Answers 2

  1. Create a new playlist on your local machine with the same name as the one you would like to import.

  2. Click on the library that you wish to import a playlist from over Home Sharing.

  3. Expand the library by clicking on the arrow to the left of the name.

  4. Expand the folder called Playlists from within the library.

  5. Drag the playlist from the home sharing library onto the one you have created.

Your music will be copied over into the new playlist. This method does have one flaw, however. If you already have some of these songs in your library, they will be duplicated. But, File > Display Duplicates may help you with that.

Unfortunately, this is the only way to do this over Home Sharing. Hopefully, iTunes 11 will improve on this, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

  • On iTunes 10.6.3 it appears you can just drag the playlist from the sidebar onto the new library and it does the correct copy. Huzzah!
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 16, 2012 at 18:49

On the macbook i wanted the playlists imported to had file sharing set up as opposed to Home Sharng.

In iTunes i went to >file>library>import playlists then on the other mac i went to the >music>itunes> iTunes music library.xml file and imported it.

This imported all the playlists in 1 go, which is what i needed to do.

  • Two things - this doesn't use Home Sharing and requires me to move the one file over. Both are small potatoes. The big problem is that the library from which I'm bringing the playlist has over 400 playlists, so the effort to clean the 399 unwanted playlists makes this a sledge hammer approach. I would expect this to work in more reasonable library sizes, though. Cheers and +1
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 11:39

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