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Import from iTunes by Hand

If you want to update an iTunes that is not on the same Windows machine or on an OS X machine, you will have to update the file by hand. Updating manually takes a little more than just replacing the library XML file, as iTunes simply ignores the XML file unless its binary library file is corrupt.

  1. Export the merged library file using the Export to File... to a non-iTunes location on your hard drive.
  2. Back up your existing iTunes library.
  3. Copy the exported library to the iTunes library location.
  4. To force iTunes to use the new XML file, you will have to artificially "corrupt" the binary library file. To do so, open the binary file (again, see iTunes Libraries for the exact file names) in a text editor and delete everything, then save the file. It should now be 0 bytes.
  5. Start iTunes and, when it complains that its library is corrupted, tell it that it may import from its backup (which is the XML file you just copied) and it will reload itself from that file instead.

For more information, see Synchronizing iTunes Libraries online.

See also:
Import from iTunes with TuneSync

Exporting Libraries