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I have upgraded to macOS Catalina and have no real complaints. But to the best of my knowledge, some audio applications — mainly DJ playlist-based applications — that use the old iTunes XML library file might be out of luck.

Is this really the case? Is there no way to generate an XML file based on your Music library in macOS Catalina?

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While Apple Music does not automatically generate an library XML file, this can be done manually in the app itself.

While the old XML file is not automatically generated anymore, you can manually export an XML file of your Music library in macOS Catalina which — I will assume — is in the same exact format as the old iTunes XML file by following these steps.

First, open up the Music app, go to the “File” menu and choose the “Library” option.

Music app file menu.

Then, in that list there are two options: “Export Library” and “Export Playlist.” I’m choosing “Export Playlist” for this example.

The “Library” sub menu.

After doing that you will be presented with a fairly standard Apple file save/load interface to save the “Library.xml” file and there you go!

The file save interface.

While definitely not as convenient as the old way it was constantly generated in iTunes, I believe this should work well for apps that require the XML file.

Slightly snarky note/criticism from a programer: Why isn’t there a JSON formatting option for export? Let users choose XML or JSON based on needs since — honestly — nobody really likes dealing with XML in 2019. But I digress…

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  • As a developer and architect, I disagree about the XML part. Built in namespacing, rock solid validation and last but not least transitions make XML the data format of choice for many applications, imho. It is not that you would write XML by hand, would you? – Markus W Mahlberg Oct 12 '19 at 7:20
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    Also: it's in Apple's plist xml format, which means it's practically unusable in it's raw form -- you either need to transform it into better XML, into JSON, or load it into memory to do anything with it. ( You've got to do a lot of next following|preceding -sibling selection. ) It doesn't require namespaces, but it does require data typing more specific than JSON data types. Translating the same bad structure into JSON would not be any better, and would likely be worse. – Steven D. Majewski Mar 6 at 21:00

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