I've been a Windows user for years, but have recently switched over to Ubuntu on one of my machines. I'd like to get my music library (gradually accumulated for the last few years) out of iTunes on my Windows machine and over to my Ubuntu one.

I have an iPhone, but am not worried about syncing that with the Ubuntu machine; from all that I've seen that's not possible now anyway. I'll continue to sync that with my Windows machine. I mostly just want to be able to listen to my music on both machines.

edited to add: I definitely did not explain this well. I have two separate machines, one desktop, at home, running Windows XP, on which I have my music, and a different machine, an Unbutu laptop, that travels with me between work, school, and business trips. The two computers are only occasionally connected via LAN.

I suppose I'm not sure exactly what question I'm asking either. I would like recommendations for a good Ubuntu music player, as well as suggestions for how to go about moving the music in an organized fashion. Should I just copy the files? Is there a music program that can import the music from a LAN-connected machine and organize it along the way? Part of my goal is to organize the hodgepodge of music folders years of iTunes has left me. If I'm very lucky I'll be able to move the music files from iTunes' F01-F23 folder naming scheme into something more useful.


  • What's not working? Most music players should be able to play M4A files (or whatever format iTunes uses). – Sasha Chedygov Dec 6 '09 at 3:12
  • So, what's the question? Do you want recommendation for music players? To sync between the machines? – Decio Lira Dec 6 '09 at 3:47

If you just want to listen on the Ubuntu machine, I recommend that you simply share the folder from your Windows machine and access the share on the Ubuntu machine.

This way, you do not need to bother duplicating everything and having two copies, you only need to keep it on your Windows machine and you will always be able to access ALL your music at both locations.

You do not specify the version of Windows, Making assumptions here -

The easiest way to do this is to go to the folder, right click and do properties then choose the sharing tab. Click "Advanced Sharing" then click "Share this folder", and under permissions, select Everyone and choose read access.

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Now, from your Ubuntu machine, browse the network and locate your machine, and you should see the shared folder. If you do not, try going into the map folder / network location (been a while, can't remember exact name) and type //<your_computer_name>/<share_name>

(edit - if you cannot see the advanced sharing options, you may need to go to Tools > Folder options and scroll to the bottom then disable Use simple file sharing.)

Edit 2 - based on your edit, I recommend VLC as your media player and as for syncing the two machines, try looking in to Dropbox

  • Hm, after reading it over now I'm confused on what he's implying. I'm not sure if he installed Ubuntu on a totally separate machine or if he is dual booting. This is the most sensible way if he is using 2 separate machines. – John T Dec 6 '09 at 3:29
  • I'm not 100% sure, but he said he is using his Ubuntu "machine" and for Itunes, he doesn't mind using his Windows "machine", so I was under the impression it is a different computer... but, I am not 100% sure now either. – William Hilsum Dec 6 '09 at 3:38
  • 1
    sounds like 2 separate machines. – DaveParillo Dec 6 '09 at 3:48

First, check out where your default save location is for iTunes songs. It can be found under Preferences -> Advanced Tab -> General in iTunes.

On Ubuntu, mount your Windows partition with the ntfs-3g driver:

sudo mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sda1 /mnt

It will probably be the first partition on the disc if you have Windows installed first. Depending on your drives type (IDE, SCSI, SATA) you may need to use hda1 (IDE) instead of sda1. The /mnt directory will now resemble the root of your Windows partition (C:\)

now, with the location you noted earlier, navigate to that folder with the cd command, example:

cd /mnt/Users/andlar/Documents/Music

replace Users/andlar/Documents/Music with the location you got from iTunes, minus the C: part of the path.

Now copy all the music to a folder under your Ubuntu home directory, called Music (which we will create) for example:

mkdir ~/Music
cp -rf . ~/Music

this will recursively copy all files in your iTunes shared folder. If they are all only mp3 files, you can use cp -rf *.mp3 instead.

The reason I chose to copy the files instead of move them is in case something goes wrong accidentally. I'd recommend deleting them after you've ensured the copy went successful.

Note: After mounting the drive, you can also navigate to the folder in nautilus (the GUI file manager) and copy that way.

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