In a previous post, Import iTunes Library from Windows 7 to Surface, Tim talked about how to transfer your iTunes music and your iTunes playlists to a Surface from Windows 7. Since many more folks have now adapted Windows 8 for their normal use, I thought it important to update you on the changes and how to do it quickly. It is really quite simple; you just need to know about a couple of gatcha’s.
The good news: both Apple and Microsoft have made it easier to import iTunes to Xbox Music, which is included on your Surface. So, if you have the latest version of iTunes, 11.x at the time of this writing, you should be able to skip a few steps from the previous tutorial.
Here are the overall steps to import iTunes to Surface:
- Copy your iTunes music files to a USB device (USB stick or external USB drive).
- Export your iTunes libraries and save them on the same USB device.
- Move USB device to Surface and copy all music to Music folder.
- Open Xbox Music and tell it where to look
- Import iTunes playlists to Xbox Music
Even though this sounds pretty straight forward, it is a bit more complicated than Microsoft makes it sound in its blog post, Transfer your iTunes music and playlists to your Surface.
So, here are the step-by-step details. Remember to start with updated version of iTunes on your Windows 8 computer.
I. Locate the folder on your PC that has iTunes music files installed. It will most likely be C:\Users\gannj\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Music
II. Copy and paste the contents of the above folder to a USB device. If you have large amounts of music, be sure your USB stick has enough space. Also, be careful not to accidently copy folders that contain videos and/or applications because those will very quickly fill up your Surface’s hard drive storage.
III. Open iTunes program on your PC and export the Playlists you want. You will have to do this one playlist at a time (at least I’ve not found a way to do more than one).
NOTE: Make sure that your export file is in .m3u format
- Right-click on the playlist
- Click Export
- Select .m3u file format
- Navigate to your USB device to save
IV. At this point you are ready to copy the music and playlists to your Surface.
- Plug in your stick to your Surface’s USB port
- Open Desktop and then File Explorer
- Copy all the music files to the Music folder on the Surface: This PC\Music – this will take a while if you have a lot of music.
V. Open Xbox Music – it’s on your Metro start screen as simply Music – and double-check that the program is seeing all of your music. If you don’t see all the music files imported from iTunes, you may need to change where Xbox Music is looking for the files.
VI. Import the playlists. This is the last step: with the USB stick plugged in, select Import playlists from the Xbox main menu – it’s at the bottom left corner.
NOTE: For me, the “finish message” originally said that it imported 0 playlists but then after about 10 minutes they all showed up in Xbox Music.
That’s it; that is all you have to do to import iTunes music and playlists to your Surface tablet.
To summarize, do the following to import iTunes to Surface:
- Have the latest version of iTunes
- Know location of the music files on your PC
- Export playlists to .m3u files
- Be patient, it all takes some time.
Hope you find this helpful. If you’re having trouble with the playlists, follow Tim’s instructions in Import iTunes Library from Windows 7 to Surface.
You may also like our updated post on Freeing up Space on Your Surface using an SD card.
Joanna is a former IT Director for a major public university, who gave up a high paying career to blog full time. She is proud to be a professional geek. Joanna loves all things technology and Surface tablets are her passion. She and Tim created LoveMySurface.net to help others be more productive using these awesome tablets.