iTunes to Zune Playlist Converter

Posted: August 20th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Music, Software | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

This handy application converts iTunes playlists to Zune jukebox playlists. I wrote it out of frustration with the Zune jukebox auto-playlist feature, and it has served me well so far. The project is still in development, so if you have any suggestions on how to improve it, please leave a comment.

Download the Program

The program is pretty simple to use. Just follow these handy steps:

  1. Download the zip file and unzip it to a directory of your choice
  2. Open iTunes and close the Zune jukebox software
  3. Right click on the playlist that you wish to export and select ‘Export Song List…’ from the context menu
  4. Choose where you’d like to save the playlist, and ensure that ‘Save as Type’ is set to *.xml
  5. Launch the ‘iTunes to Zune Playlist Converter.exe’ application from the unzip directory
  6. Use the browse button to load the saved *.xml file into the ‘iTunes Playlist File (XML)’ field
  7. Use the browse button to choose where you’d like to save the converted Zune Playlist file. Note that for the Zune player to recognize the new playlist, it must be saved to C:\Documents and Settings\User\My Documents\My Music\Zune\Playlists\ on Windows XP, or C:\Users\UserName\Music\Zune\Playlists on Windows Vista.
  8. Click the ‘Convert’ button, and wait for the success message box to pop up.
  9. Launch the Zune jukebox software and go into the ‘Playlists’ view. You should see your newly created playlist in the pane to the left. Note that it might take a second to recognize the playlist, and another minute or two after that until the list is playable, depending on the size of the list. This is because the Zune software has to sift through the playlist and link each referenced file to one in its current library before the list can be used.

It is important to remember that this only works if the iTunes library and the Zune library in question are drawing from the same media files. This means that you should have the Zune jukebox software set to monitor the iTunes music folder that you are drawing from, so that the same files are referenced in both programs’ libraries.



Originally posted at

16 Comments on “iTunes to Zune Playlist Converter”

  1. 1 iTunes to Zune Playlist Converter | Bus error: Jake Billo's weblog said at 10:29 am on August 20th, 2008:

    [...] application and all support for it has officially been moved to my new website. Please visit that location to download the latest version or to submit a [...]

  2. 2 Dave Lahn said at 12:18 pm on August 23rd, 2008:

    Yes, one step conversion.

    Take all playlists from iTunes, put them in ZuneGimpPlayer

  3. 3 admin said at 12:23 pm on August 23rd, 2008:

    Are you on about that again? You are persistent. I’m going to write an app with one big red button that just crashes your machine for you.

  4. 4 Dave Lahn said at 6:25 pm on August 24th, 2008:

    Nonsense… you don’t know how to write GUIs for Mac apps.

  5. 5 watterzz said at 11:30 am on October 8th, 2008:

    haha…i don’t know what zunegimpplayer is, but that is a funny convo

    thanks for the app jonathan…it worked perfectly for me

  6. 6 Dyan said at 11:01 am on October 29th, 2008:

    This is great info to know.

  7. 7 msmochuck said at 1:32 am on November 5th, 2008:

    I only got 12 out of my 48 songs from itunes.
    Any suggestions? A yellow triangle error message is beside the remainder of the playlist. says may be on autoplay. i don’t remember where i saw the autoplay, and since i have been looking everywhere, i don’t know where to start.

  8. 8 Jon said at 7:04 am on November 5th, 2008:

    Well the program works by simply translating a playlist from iTunes format to Zune player format. So the thing to do is to check that you can play all of those songs in iTunes first – if they all play, that means that your iTunes playlist isn’t broken.
    Next, make sure that your Zune jukebox software is monitoring the same folder that you keep all of your itunes music in. The software won’t move actual files, so the two programs have to be sharing the same music folder.
    Now, if for some reason you can play all of those 48 songs in iTunes, check that you keep all of your music in the same folder (ie let iTunes manage your music folder), or that you’ve added every place that you keep music to the Zune watchlist.

    I hope at least one of those helps. I’m afraid that without a little bit more description of the problem, that’s the best I can do. Also, what’s this about auto play?

  9. 9 zune game downloads said at 5:01 am on November 6th, 2008:

    zune game downloads…

    Time is so short, even 24 hours is not enough for all the entertainment….

  10. 10 kyle said at 1:12 am on November 30th, 2008:

    Thanks for the program — it’s fantastic (and yes, it’s beautifully simple). Saved me a few headaches, I’m sure.

    Thanks again!

  11. 11 tecb0y said at 8:32 am on December 8th, 2008:

    This is AWESOME! I have been looking for a program like this. All others I have tried do not work on VISTA 64-bit but thankfully yours does. Thanks for someone finally coming out with an app that actually works.

  12. 12 Susanne said at 5:52 pm on February 10th, 2009:

    Thanks, your steps were easy to follow.
    However, I had the same issue as msmochuck…only a handful of my songs converted. The rest show an exclamation with this error message:”Either the playlist was created as an autoplaylist or songs in the list are using outdated links to zune Marketplace. To restore unplayable songs find them in your collection or Zune marketplace and add them to this playlist.” The songs don’t appear in my collection and becasue I didn’t get the songs from the Zune Marketplace the second suggestion won’t help either. I tried your suggestions with no luck. Any other suggestions?

  13. 13 Jon said at 7:47 am on February 11th, 2009:

    I’m sorry to hear that the software isn’t working for you Susanne. As I said in the above post, the software works by just copying the playlist file into the Zune format, and does not move any song files.
    What is probably happening is that your playlist includes some songs that the Zune software cannot find.
    In the normal song view of the Zune software, can you find and play any of the songs with a triangle beside them in the playlist? They have to be part of your Zune library for this process to work.
    If you could do me a favour however, I would appreciate if you email me the iTunes playlist file (*.XML) and the Zune playlist file (*.ZPL) and a list of a few of the songs that arent working so that I can troubleshoot and make sure that my program is working.
    You can find my email address on the ‘About Me’ page.
    Thanks for reporting the bug, I’ll try and get it solved shortly.

  14. 14 Brian said at 7:48 pm on March 2nd, 2009:

    Love the software. It seems to do just what it is supposed to.

    However, I’m having the same problem as Susanne and a few others. Namely, the playlist shows up in Zune, but with the yellow exclamation point showing up next to each song, and none of them play.

    Here’s the crazy part though, if I simply double click the playlist, it opens up in Zune with all the songs in the Now Playing list, and they all play. So, basically the exported playlist seems to have all the working parts to work with Zune. But somehow Zune doesn’t seem to like the playlist as an when it imports. There also seems to be no way in the Zune software to copy the working list from “Now Playing” to an actual, permanent playlist. Weird.

  15. 15 Jon said at 7:08 am on March 3rd, 2009:

    Thanks for the input Brian. Given the problems that have cropped up recently, I think it’s time to rewrite this project from the ground up. Since its original release, I’ve stopped using both iTunes and the Zune software, so they may very well have changed their standards since then. Check back at the site within a day or two, and I’ll post a new version that will (hopefully) solve some of these problems. Cheers.

  16. 16 The Return of the iTunes to Zune Playlist Converter » Index out of Bounds said at 10:43 am on September 24th, 2009:

    [...] a couple of irate posts regarding the failure of my old iTunes to Zune playlist converter tool to work with newer [...]

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