Previous 1 2 3 Next 109 Replies Latest reply: Aug 27, 2015 7:12 AM by Chris CA Branched to a new discussion.
MelissaLynD Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I accidentally deleted my iTunes playlists but they are still on my iPhone.  How can I copy them to iTunes on my iMac?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (78,005 points)

    Connect the iPhone and select it in iTunes.

    Click the gray disclosure triangle the left of the iPhone name in iTunes.

    Select the playlist you want on the iPhone then right click - Export...

    Save it as .xml file on the desktop.

    Then iTunes menu File > Library > Import playlist and select the .xml file you saved on the desktop.


    You can delete the .xml file on the desktop.

  • MelissaLynD Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, but I was trying to copy the opposite way, from iphone to itunes.  Saw a thread about senuti and it worked!

  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (78,005 points)

    MelissaLynD wrote:


    Thanks, but I was trying to copy the opposite way, from iphone to itunes.


    How is copying a playlist from the iPhone to iTunes the opposite of copying a playlist from the iPhone to iTunes?


    You export the playlist from the iPhone (thru iTunes) then import to iTunes.

  • ItsBrent2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your answer to Melissa's question Chris.  It told me what I needed to do to copy a playlist from my iPhone to my iTunes.  I found her comment about how she solved the problem unclear.  I am also unclear why she felt your answer was not the answer she asked for.  By the way I used a text file for the transfer on my windows OS computer.  So maybe it does not mater if you use xml or txt as the format for the file.  Thanks again.

  • motya425 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for solving my problem.

  • Rasabah Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you so much for answering this Chris CA, exactly what I was looking for

  • B Real Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Additional question - CA's method works one playlist at a time, is there a way to do more than one at a time? I've got about 150 playlists to get through!


    Oh and I too have no idea why the original poster did not find CA's answer the right one.

  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (61,165 points)

    There are other tools listed in the user tip Recover your iTunes library from your iPod or iOS device. One of them may be more effective for you.


    The original poster may have chosen to make their own response as correct since they found a tool that works for them, but it does sometimes happen that the wrong post gets marked if people click the solved/helpful links at the same time as composing as response.



  • B Real Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the link. I had alredy done the Phoneview method, but it didn't restore the playlists for some reason (although I note that your link indicates that Phoneview does support playlist retrieval, perhaps I just did it incorrectly, can't remember as it was a while ago I did it).

  • B Real Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I see this issue has been discussed before



    But still no real answer to the question of how to import multiple playlists in one go (other than the not so helpful advice of don't use playlists).


    Mix albums with multiple artists can play havoc with a library, particularly when viewing on an iPhone. In the 'Artists' view, the artist with one track on a mix album will show up. You then have to sift through many artists to get to who you want, many of whom you never even realise existed on your collection (please dont point this out as a 'feature').  'Album' view on the other hand restricts your search by albumn name rather than artist name, which is not always ideal.


    Also then when you're on a long drive, you may want to set a whole collections of albums off in one go so you don't have to fiddle with the phone while driving.


    Playlists offer a way around many of these issues, and it sounds like if you lose your playlists then iTunes makes it difficult to recover. Also it used to be much easier to sync playlists between iTunes and iPhone, rather than sync artist/album combinations (I've not used iTunes since the hard drive on my MBP crashed (6 months ago), so it may have improved).

  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (61,165 points)

    You might find my thoughts on Grouping track into albums useful in regard to the whole mix albums and artist vs. album artist thing.


    "Don't use playlists" isn't very constructive. "Backup & don't lose your library" is better, but obviously no use if it has already happened. I could probably write a recursive playlist rescuing script for Windows (if I could find the time) but that wouldn't be much use to you.



  • Pandonodrim Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It looks like this solution was for the old version of iTunes. While I was still able to export the playlist from my phone there is no "import playlist" option under the "Library" menu anymore. It looks like I should be able to just drag and drop the playlist into iTunes, but it never shows up. Why isn't this working?

  • Pandonodrim Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I was able to drag and drop it into iTunes "Playlists" when saving it as a .m3u, but there's one little problem. Though the playlist shows up with its name, there are no songs in it!
    Why does Apple always have to do things the hard way? This shouldn't be difficult.

  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (61,165 points)

    .m3u playlists are essentially a text file containing an ordered list of file paths. Given that paths to the internal storage of an iPhone are not exposed to Windows Explorer I would imagine that nothing was added to the playlist because none of the imported entries appeared valid.


    I could explore the script idea a little further...


    Each object, such as a track or playlist, inside iTunes can be accessed via its LibraryPersistentID. Playlists are lists of such IDs. As long as you're syncing/managing the device with one library each ID on the device ought to match up with one in the library so replicating information from the device to the library, such as play counts and ratings is relatively simple. If you have a "new" library, even built from the same original source files, then the IDs in the device created with an earlier library won't match. I wrote a script called SyncStats a while back to import ratings and play counts in such circumstances which I should be able to adapt for this purpose.



Previous 1 2 3 Next