Synchronizing an iTunes Library Between Two Computers

Oct 26, 2010

Like many folks, I have a desktop that I use for most of my computing, and a laptop that I use while travelling, at a coffee shop, or perhaps while watching tv. The other thing I have is a lot of music, all nicely rated and organized in iTunes. The problem is that new music I get goes onto my desktop, but I would like to have the exact same stuff on my laptop. Enter iTunes-Sync, a simple script that I wrote to synchronize the iTunes library file and all of the content (music, etc.) that it depends upon between the two machines.

Using iTunes-Sync is simple:

laptop:~/$ perl dinomite

That’s all there is to it. The script copies the iTunes Library file wholesale, and uses rsync(1) to pull over the album art, mobile applications, and music directories.

I only care about getting everything from my desktop to the laptop–if you want to go both ways, or perhaps preserve metadata changes made on the laptop the process will be a bit more involved. Before you use your laptop, close iTunes on both machines, and then run iTunes-Sync from the laptop. Go out and have fun. When you get back, close iTunes on both machines and run iTunes-Sync from the desktop.

You can get iTunes-Sync on GitHub; the only thing you need is the file itself.