How to export song lists from iTunes

Apple's iTunes software offers hundreds of ways to view and sort your media library, but it can't be all things to all people. Sometimes you just want to get that data out of iTunes and into another program.

So if you're itching to e-mail a playlist to a friend, but not sure how to get the info out of iTunes, we'll show how in this slideshow tutorial.

(Note: this tutorial is also available as a step-by-step video.)
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The wrong way

The most logical method for export iTunes song data is a little misleading. You'll find an option for exporting library data in the iTunes file menu, but the result file it produces is a thorny mess of XML data that isn't easy to make sense of or transfer into another program. Don't be fooled!
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iTunes view options

Fortunately, there's a much more elegant way to liberate your iTunes info: copy/paste. To do this, find the data you want to export--this could be a listing of your complete music library, a playlist of your top-rated TV episodes, or even just the data from single song.

The copy command is only going to pick up the information we see on the screen. To get more or less data on your list, head to the iTunes View menu, and look under view options. If you're just e-mailing a playlist, you probably want to whittle the view down to just title, artist, and album info. But if you're jonesing for more song data, you can also find options for things like release date, or even a record of the last time a song was played.
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Copying iTunes data

Once the list looks complete in iTunes, use the select all and copy commands from the iTunes Edit menu.
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Pasting iTunes data

Now open up the document that is going to receive the information. This could be an Excel spreadsheet, a text doc, or even a Google spreadsheet. Hit paste, and your iTunes data will drop in as a tab-separated list. You'll need to go back in and add headers to label each column, but that's really all there is to it.
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Print to PDF

Another handy trick you can use is to export your library to PDF. iTunes has all kinds of cool printing options for making CD sleeves, but it also has a full-page album view for showing off your entire library.

On a Mac, the iTunes print dialog should offer the option to print this info to paper or to a PDF document. PC users can get the same PDF-printing feature by heading over to Download.com and installing a free app called DoPDF.
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Using DustyTunes

Finally, for exporting your iTunes library data to the Web, DustyTunes.com will take that iTunes XML file I talked about at the beginning of this tutorial, and transform it into a list you can browse online and share with friends.
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