What's Up With Xbox Media Center

November 23, 2005

Feature Focus: iTunes Sharing

asdfOf all the software released over the last few years, nothing has had more impact than iTunes, besides maybe Firefox. iTunes does an amazing job doing the impossible. Storing your 40 gig music library and presenting it to you in a usable way. From smart playlists to live searching, iTunes is pretty powerful.

One of its greatest features is its capability to share an entire music library to another copy of iTunes over the network. Fortunately for us, Apple has used an open format, DAAP, to achieve this. One of the beauties of an open format is the ability for anyone to use it, and thats just what a contributor to the Xbmc development team did.

Xbmc has the ability to browse your entire music library as served to it by iTunes. And even better, it has access to those playlists you've made. This is great, because you can make up a playlist on your computer, where its faster to create, and then access it via Xbmc.

Setting it up is trivial. You just need to add a bookmark in your XboxMediaCenter.xml file within the music section. Use my entry as an example.

  <name>Jon's iTunes</name>

Just add the ip address of the computer with iTunes on it. You can have multiple shares for each computer in your house. For example, I have "Jon's iTunes" and "Steph's iTunes" on my Xbmc. Now, navigate to your music section of Xbmc and voila! Your entire iTunes library is now available within your Xbmc.


What you see is a long list of all of your playlists. If you want to navigate your entire music library, browse to the name your iTunes is sharing as. My iTunes identifies itself as "Jon Maddox's iTunes". You can see it in the picture.

You might be asking your self, "But wait?! There has to be a catch!" Well, there is kind of. Xbmc will not be able to decode or play your iTunes Music Store purchases. They're encrypted with Fairplay DRM. There used to many ways and sources to break your music out of this DRM, but since iTunes 6.0's release, all of the methods have been broken. Stay tuned though, it will be broken once again.

iTunes is the kind of application that really shows us the power we have with digital media. Gone are the days of keeping track of CDs. With iTunes, you can simply make a playlist of your favorite tracks and listen to them at your computer, or burn them out to a CD to bring to a friends house, or sync it to your iPod for your road trip, or access it via Xbmc for your party. Those who dismiss this as not being a revolution are severely unenlightened.


  • My wife loves itunes cause she's an ipod fanatic, me I like microsoft and XBMC. Now we're much happier becuase now I stay in bed and show her all her songs with XBMC and she gives me more sex!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:22 PM  

  • What an awesome tip. I just set this up as described and am now listening to my iTunes playlist over my home theater system. Thanks for the info.... Please keep it up.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:55 PM  

  • legend!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:03 AM  

  • I can see the list without a problem, but none of my music plays. The Xbox hangs. Any hints?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:20 AM  

  • you connected with wireless or ethernet? My experience with wireless with itunes sharing was that it was really slow. Even with ethernet, newer builds of XBMC have iTunes sharing slow too.

    Make sure you're playing supported formats as well.

    By Blogger Jon, at 1:52 AM  

  • Need help:

    Ok I can access my music files easily but no playlists or library info. I usually go (in XBMC) to ..... My Music.....WORKGROUP (SMB) NETWORK ....RAIDERS....Public....Our Music....Itunes, then from there I see the 100's of folders of artists.

    I have my all music files along w/ the itunes music library.xml file and itunes library database file located here on my NAS (comp is off) ...............

    smb://RAIDERS/Public/Our Music/Itunes/

    According to the XBMC itunes share you can use.......


    No how would I tell XBMC to look in my path? And read the Itunes playlists and Itunes library info stored there on the NAS and use it. According to the DAAP your only supposed to use an IP address, enabling sharing getting the shared files off an IP comp. Thanks for anyhelp.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:56 PM  


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:25 PM  

  • I decided just to use SMB. Even though I do use iTunes to play some of my shit, I still need to manually copy mp3's to my mp3 player as I did not buy an iPod (nor did I want one!). This means that I do not use the iTunes library. If anyone can tell me a way I can use the iTunes library and still use a non-apple mp3 player then I'd be interested!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:17 AM  

  • I use xbmc but since I have a laptop and am very mobile with it I have a server for all my media. I've tried to link up XBMC to my server via mt-daapd and it never works. :(

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:38 PM  

  • hey anonymous, asking about using iTunes and another mp3 player: use iTunes to organize all your music, it does it really well, and then just go into yout itunes music folder and you can drag and drop in the organized files into your mp3 player. Now, you will not get the playlists and such, of course, but itunes is still a very useful organization tool.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:39 PM  

  • I remember XBMC prior to DAAP iTunes support and I also remember putting up money to the first person to code it which eventually got it done. I think the pot got up to a few hundred dollars actually. At the time very few people saw the need and the thread in which it was started got very little attension... believe it or not.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:20 PM  

  • Unfortunately I am finding this feature basically unusable over a 802.11g network. It just hangs.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:33 PM  

  • i´m having the same problem.. i´m sticking with smb for know. and also why are the album arts not coming when using daap ?

    By Anonymous gisli haukur, at 12:11 PM  

  • I too am one of the people on the original thread that funded workd on this, in fact I think it was me tht started it.

    But I too am not too pleased with the speed at present, I do hope it gets worked on some more.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:59 AM  

  • Hey there, nice going.
    Is it possible to use more then one IP and with that 'see' more then one iTunes Library at the same time?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:21 AM  

  • Hey there, nice going.
    Is it possible to use more then one IP and with that 'see' more then one iTunes Library at the same time?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:22 AM  

  • yeah looks im gettin the same, i can view the playlist but cant play em, even my own tunes ive imported from mp3s etc. im on wifi too. awww well worth a try

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:50 PM  

  • Hi there. i am trying (unsuccessfully) how to use iTunes to organize all the fragmented media on my xbox. does anyone know how to lean up audio files on the xbox so the management / usability is better.

    i'd like to use a tool (like itunes) to tunnel into the xbox, reorg the files, and leave it cleaned up.

    thank you!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:00 PM  

  • I can't find the xml file that is suppost to be edited, where will it be located

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:22 PM  

  • I can't find this file either - doing a search on Google tells me that in the latest version of the file name has changed but I can't find what it's changed to. Anybody know??

    By Blogger Crazy Maisy, at 2:20 PM  

  • Does anybody know when XBMC will support iTunes 7? this feature will only work w/ iTunes 6 and earlier :'(

    By Blogger Bortone, at 9:35 PM  

  • Can't find the file either. I'm completely new to this. Ftp'ed into xbox and copied the entire xbox hard drive to my PC and did a search for the file, and found nothing. Has the file name changed for newer versions?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:43 PM  

  • I don't know if anyone is still following these comments, but just in case ... I love this feature and used it with my iTunes on my PC, but now I have a Mac and it isn't reading my iTunes files from my Mac. Is there something I need to do differently for XBMC to access my iTunes from a Mac?

    By Blogger Aaron Kamauu, at 10:06 PM  

  • If you are looking for XboxMediaCenter.xml the filename changed. Look through the changelog.txt file which you probably downloaded with your latest XBMC build.

    Using the disk partition you installed XBMC to (mine is E:) the location and filename are now...


    But none of this matters if you are trying to get iTunes version 8 to work using this method because it only works for iTunes 6 and below (see http://xbmc.org/wiki/?title=ITunes_(DAAP))

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:30 AM  

  • thanks!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:18 AM  

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