2010 archive site. For the current website, please visit


How to import an iTunes playlist to your PlayStation 3

Saturday 24th March 2007

iTunesPS3If you're like me (rather anal about your iTunes collection, ensuring every single track has album artwork) then the task of transferring that precious data to your PlayStation 3 could be quite a predicament. Making sure all those valuable hours spent organising your music collection are not wasted is vital.
So, after some hunting around I figured out how to do the one thing I wanted - create a playlist and transfer it to my PS3. I guessed most people might be interested in this, so I've written the following guide on how to do it using a Windows PC. Enjoy.

Things you'll need:

  • A USB HDD big enough for your music playlist, and compatible with PS3 (IE: FAT32 formatted, how to format a drive as FAT32 in Windows)
  • iTunes
  • Some music in iTunes! (note: protected tracks or file formats not compatable with PS3 will not be playable)

And now for practical bit.

  1. Open up iTunes and create a playlist called PlayStation 3. Inside that play list, place all the music you wish to transfer on to your PlayStation 3.
  2. Check all the music in your playlist has the correct data: artist name, album name etc and of course, artwork (Right click > Get Album Artwork often works). Also - make sure that there are no weird characters in artist names, album or track titles. If there are, the PlayStation 3 unfortunately simply will not display that music when grouping by Album Name or Artist. My copy of Gling Glo by Björk Gudmundsdóttir & Trió Gudmundar Ingólfssonar was nowhere to be seen.
  3. Once you're ready, Right Click on your playlist and select Export Song List... Choose a place to save it to and remember where this is. When done, close iTunes.
  4. Plug in your USB HDD to your PC. Create a folder on it called 'iTunes'.
  5. You need to open iTunes again (you should've closed it by the way), only this time, hold down SHIFT+click iTunes from your Windows Start Menu. Make sure you keep SHIFT held down until you see an iTunes dialog box. Click on Create Library. This will display a file browser box. Browse to the 'iTunes' folder you just created on your USB HDD. iTunes will now open a fresh, blank library on your USB HDD. (To open your original iTunes Library, use SHIFT+click method and select the location of your original iTunes Library).
  6. From the iTunes main menu, choose Edit > Preferences and click the Advanced tab. Make sure the check box that says Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library is checked.
  7. From the iTunes main menu, choose 'File' and 'Import'. Browse to where you saved your playlist .txt file and select it. The playlist will now be imported in to your new USB HDD iTunes Library. This may around 15 minutes for a 30Gb library and does not display a progress bar - so be very patient. Don't hit cancel!
  8. When this is done, you should see your playlist in your PlayStation 3 playlist in your USB HDD iTunes Library. But we still need to transfer / duplicate the music on to the USB HDD. From the main menu, choose Advanced > Consolidate Library. This will copy your music over to the HDD.
  9. Once done - you're almost there. Unplug your USB HDD library, and plug it in to your PlayStation 3. From the XMB menu, browse to Music. You should see the HDD pop up. Select it in the XMB, and press Triangle, choose Display All. You should see your folder called iTunes, press Triangle again and choose Copy.
  10. Your iTunes playlist is now being copied to your PlayStation 3. This is probably the longest wait, what with the PlayStation 3's 5400rpm drive but once done, you're sorted.

So. It's not that complicated but I've tried to make this a dummies guide. Good luck and happy listening!



Hi Tom,

I thought I-Tunes files were protected, so how can the PS3 play those files? I had burned my I-tunes files onto a cd, then placed it into my PS3…but while the artist/album info came up on the screen, the files were not playable. I would really like to transfer my Itunes music to my PS3, so your posting sounded really hopeful. Please let me know if the steps you described will allow this to work. Thanks! -Gunner in DC


Posted 5 days 9 hours after the item.


Aha. This is probably due to the files not being MP3. All mine are MP3 so this is something I overlooked.

You can easily enough turn unprotected tracks in to MP3 files by right clicking and selected ‘Convert to MP3’.

Tom Kiss

Posted 5 days 9 hours after the item.


Thanks for this post, it saved a lot of time.
Just one thing though, how could I get this to work with a portable hard drive and the PS3 (ie my media library is too big to fit on the PS3 hard drive). I’ve managed to get the PS3 to see all the music and folders, and it will play them. The only problem is, I can only browse the music folders (ie the artist folders) on the drive. Do you know of a way to browse my music collection by album and genre etc.

Any help would be apprecaited -I bought the PS3 with the intention of using it as a media centre, but at present its looking unlikely that its going to do the job.

craig elwell

Posted 8 days after the item.


I’m having trouble transferring album art.

.mp3s with the art in their tag work ok but itunes tends to put the art in a separate folder which doesn’t transfer to the PS3.

cheers for the guide.



Posted 1 month and 13 days after the item.


Hamildan, it doesn’t matter where the artwork is placed in the iTunes directories - the main thing is that the artwork is embedded in to each track or album.
Not sure about other formats, but I was under the impression it’s all embedded in to the tag.

You can get artowkr easily enough by right clicking on a track and selecting ‘get album artwork’. Failing that, you can drag artwork on to selected track(s).


Tom Kiss

Posted 1 month and 14 days after the item.


Tom Kiss quick question, how can you convert a protected MPEG 4 file to MP3 format, know of any software? Help me out, itunes is a ripoff - you pay for tracks but cannot move them off itunes to your PS3 because that format is not recognizable.

Ruschell S.

Posted 1 month and 24 days after the item.


Ruchell S. Well, you’ve paid for the track so it’s legally yours to backup. And in this case, iTunes lets you burn an Audio CD.
Once burned, you can then simply import the Audio CD as an mp3.

It’s a fairly backward way of doing it, but it works 100% and avoids any fiddling around with software that isn’t necessarily legal - although if you did want to go down that route, Google is your friend.

Tom Kiss

Posted 1 month and 24 days after the item.


Thanks for this writeup.  It is exactly what I was looking for; I have some MP3 converting to do before I make the move.  Nice that iTunes does it for you!  I just tried two albums following the procedures you have listed above.  The music imports great but I can not seem to get the album artwork to show on the PS3?

The album artwork folder is there, I even tried copying the images and then just associate the album covers to the music but “no image files found”?  I checked the drive and they are all .itc files…not an image file I am familiar with (nor is the PS3) :)

Thanks for any help….sorry if I missed something simple!


Posted 5 months and 11 days after the item.


Artwork in iTunes in not stored in physical folders (liek WMP uses) but embedded in to the file directly, rightly so - as this is the ‘proper’ method.

To embed artwork in MP3 files, select the tracks you wish to add a piece of artwork to, make sure you have the artwork panel open (Ctrl+G) and simply drag and drop the artwork file in to the artwork panel (bottom left).

This should embed the artwork in to the MP3 track and when you follow the import to PS3 process, you should find the artwork copies over too.

Tom Kiss

Posted 5 months and 11 days after the item.


thanks for the reply Tom.

I have the artwork folder showing and when I play the MP3 in iTunes, it shows in the artwork window.  So does this mean it is already embedded?  I tried to drag and drop the art to the songs and vice versa…it did not let me do it. 

Sorry if I misunderstood your instructions above! ;)


Posted 5 months and 12 days after the item.


Hmm yeh - sounds odd that it wont let you drag drop, perhaps it is already embedded.

Sometimes iTunes copies multiple artwork stuff to a single file, so if you right click on a track and go to it’s properties / track info - you should see in the artwork tab what images are associated with it.

This chap seems to have been doing similar things perhaps his article can help...

Tom Kiss

Posted 5 months and 12 days after the item.


Okay, I’ve got a Lacie network drive where I store my iTunes. I also have an XP PC and a MAC, both of which have iTunes installed, both of which point to the same folder on the Lacie drive over my wireless lan. So my starting point is a single physical copy of all my songs/playlists etc. This seems to work okay.

Now I’m throwing a PS3 into the mix which can get to the same Lacie over my wireless lan. It sees the tracks fine but I can’t find a way to import, or even play for that matter, my iTunes playlists.

Any thoughts?


Posted 5 months and 12 days after the item.


Thanks for the help on the drag and drop Tom.  I think they were already embedded.  I have them in a playlist ready to go to the mobile drive and I see the artwork so all should be good!

Fingers crossed that the artwork shows on the PS3!  If not, no big deal really.  It is just a bonus.

Thanks again…..

Chris F.

Posted 5 months and 13 days after the item.


my mp3 tracks worked ok but half of them didn’t get any artwork. also, the tracks that weren’t mp3 didn’t get any info (ie. album, artist, artwork) but could still be played. how could i overcome these problems?


Posted 5 months and 15 days after the item.


You could right click > convert to MP3 for file formats that are not yet MP3. A high bitrate is still good quality for MP3. I have not used AAC enough to know about problems with it, though it is a format compatable with the PS3.

The method outlined above works fine for MP3’s and although it seems that some artwork problems occur, it’s still a good method.

Good luck!

Tom Kiss

Posted 5 months and 16 days after the item.


there isn’t a convert to mp3 when i right click, only a convert to aac which doesn’t work. do you know of any programs that can convert to mp3 quickly because i have a lot of songs that aren’t mp3?


Posted 5 months and 16 days after the item.


iTunes defaults to AAC.

To change this, open preferences and choose Advanced > Importing > And then you’ll see AAC in the drop down list, switch that to MP3 and you’ll be able to select large numbers of congs and right click > convert ;)

Tom Kiss

Posted 5 months and 17 days after the item.


thanks for the info on converting to mp3. i now have all the songs in mp3 and now some are working with all the info & artwork and some still don’t have any info or artwork. is there much i can do about this? also, i have been looking around on the internet and have discovered these ID3 tags. how do i embed the info into them as i think that might have something to do with it?


Posted 5 months and 18 days after the item.


ID3 tags is the name given to the method of embedding data in to, in this case, MP3 tracks. They support album artwork and text information.
iTunes saves all its album information in ID3 formay tags, within each track.

Right clicking and ‘Track Info’ will allow you to edit this information.

Tom Kiss

Posted 5 months and 18 days after the item.


Hi Tom,

When I put some music off itunes onto my thumb drive and transfer the track to my PS3. Somehow only MP3 files (Limewire tracks) show album artwork on the PS3 and my others won’t.
  Why is this? I even converted my audio files to MP3 format but still the album artwork doesn’t appear on my PS3.


Posted 6 months and 30 days after the item.


Hi Tom,
I’m not the same person as above, its just a coincidence.
This isn’t working for me. I’m using my iPod Classic as the hdd, because its bigger than music collection.
When i plug it in, it comes with iTunes, and when i copy it, the music come under a file called “Unknown”.
Is this right?

Harry Barnes

Posted 9 months and 10 days after the item.


Hey Tom.

I copying music to my PS3 fine using a USB HDD. However I’m having some issues with the PS3 software reading some of my albums as “Unknown”. This is really annoying, because the tracks doesn’t come in the correct order.

On a PS3 website I found, that:
Content that does not have the information required for grouping is grouped into an [Unknown] folder. Some content may not be grouped.

But how do you add that information?

Thanks in advance,

Jonas Nielsen

Posted 1 year and 12 days after the item.


All I can offer is the tutorial above… It worked for me, and well - if you follow through the steps accurately then it *should* work for you.

Just make sure all your album info is edited in iTunes properly (Album, Artist, Trackname, Artwork etc) - if they still dont copy over with their information etc then I can only assume its a problem with iTunes.

Sorry guys :(

Tom Kiss

Posted 1 year and 13 days after the item.


Hi Tom,

thanks for the guide, but there is one thing I do not understand: why don’t you just drag & drop the files from within iTunes into any folder on your external drive? This way, all the actual files (except .mp4 protected ones) get copied to this folder right away. I think that this in fact is a lot simpler. Or is there any advantage I miss in your way?

There’s two problems I currently have though: the PS3 is a lot pickier on the ID3 tag than iTunes. I am trying to convert all the tags now to ID3v2.3 following this tip:

Regarding artwork, the general problem remains that the Artwork you get through the direct iTunes look-up is _not_ embedded into the file - it is put in a separate folder and only iTunes will display it. But I recall that there are a bunch of tools that let you convert the iTunes covers into embedded ones.



Posted 1 year and 28 days after the item.


Yes. I did have the mystery of the missing srtowkr in iTunes, for awhile.
However, it was becuase the tags in the MP3 were placed incorrectly and iTunes keep them that way. They would not even show-up on my iPhone.
However, if you select the songs, and than re-input a few items like Artist, Genre, Grouping, iTunes seems to understand this as a need to clean and re-write all of the ID3 tag information.
Than, after that was done, I re-selected the songs and added the artwork again. This time, the artwork appeared correctly, when I sync’ed again.
When iTunes ID3 tags are incorectly formatted, you will notice, that you can not drag artwork to a song. Or, that even tough you drag artwork to a song, it is either not accepted or will not appear.

Thanks for the tips, and I am looking forward to porting my library over to my shiny PS3.


Posted 1 year 1 month and 6 days after the item.


Tom, i figured out a much easier way using a PC, as i dont have a USB HDD.

Go to your settings for itunes and designate ur itunes library to be in your My Music folder rather than somewhere else and then search for a media server on the PS3. 

Then all I did then was stream the music from my PC straight onto my PS3.  This saves space on the PS3 for “important” stuff, like game saves and doesnt duplicate the files.

All my tunes are accessible and retain all the info, as long as it is in the itunes library.  You’ re right about ACC formats, but as you said if you set the itunes import to be MP3 then all is good.

The only thing that i cant figure out is the artwork, but that is a minor thing really, as the PS3 sets a designated visual when playing the songs anyway.  But ii will try to complete the Track / Album Info as you have outlined above and see if it works.

But good advice withstanding as this was doing my head in!

Rock on :)

brett dackiewicz

Posted 1 year 1 month and 14 days after the item.


Hi Tom, thanks for putting this transfer method up on the net, it worked a treat when I trialled it for my first playlist. Both music and playlist showed up fine on the PS3.
My problem is I can’t get a 2nd or 3rd playlist to come across on subsequent transfers. The music is transferred ok but not the playlists. Each playlist has over 1,000 songs so I’m not keen to recreate them manually on the PS3.
Any suggestions?

Paul Manos

Posted 1 year 1 month and 18 days after the item.



Your method works great. I used a USB key though to transfer certain playlists at a time (only have 40 GB PS3 and don’t really need all my tunes on the machine). All the artwork etc shows up as expected.

My only issue though, is I don’t see any of the playlists I created on my PS3. I exported a playlist, imported it, consolidated, etc. Basically followed all your steps. As I mentioned, all the songs transfer fine, just NOT the playlists. Any ideas?


Posted 1 year 1 month and 23 days after the item.


how do you import game files to your pc

ps3 dude

Posted 1 year 3 months and 21 days after the item.


Brilliant! Thanks for the tip… only problem is I have 300Gig of music so I resorted to streaming the library using Orb.

Thanks again


Posted 1 year 3 months and 22 days after the item.


I have been researching this area, as it is very complicated thanks to Sony, however I’m not sure it’s as complicated as the 10 steps you laid out here.  Why you need to create special iTunes libraries I’m not sure.

Here’s all I had to do:

1) For MP3s (where all song data and art work will be copied over too)
a) Within iTunes browse to the list of songs you want to export to PS3, which if a playlist just click on that playlist.
b) Drag and drop that list from iTunes to a folder on an external USB Hard Drive.
c) Plug the hard drive into your PS3.  Select that drive in your Music area in the Sony PS3 menu (XMB), click Triangle - select Display All and navigate to your folder - select Copy and voila your music is copied over.

2. For M4As (iTunes unprotected):
a) While the PS3 will play these tracks, artist, album and artwork are not copied over because Sony refuse to follow the AAC tagging standard that Apple and the rest of the industry support (nice one).  If you want the best audio quality you may have to live with that and make do with losing that metadata.  If you really want the metadata as well then you will need to convert the M4A tracks you want to MP3 and lose a little audio quality (every time you encode something you lost a little).  To encode your M4As to MP3s do the following:
a) Within ITunes change your preferred encoding to MP3 (on Apple it’s Itunes ... Preferences ... Encoding). 
b) Select the tracks you want to encode to MP3 and (on Apple iTunes) select Advanced ... Convert Selection to MP3.  This will not delete your M4As but create additional copies in the MP3 format.
c) Select the MP3s you want to copy to the PS3 and follow the steps in ‘For MP3s’ above.

3. For M4Ps (protected iTunes)
a) Well part of the DRM (digital rights management) includes instructions (usually) to not allow encoding to other formats, so you are stuck with these unless you use some illiegal software to hack the protection.  I won’t make that recommendation it’s a personal choice.

Hope this info helps.


Bruce Montreal

Posted 1 year 4 months after the item.


I’ve listed the solutions in more detail at

Bruce Haldane

Posted 1 year 4 months and 3 days after the item.


Another, even easier solution is to stream your entire iTunes library between your Mac and your PS3 using MediaLink for OS X.  More information about this and other PS3 solutions here:

Bruce Haldane

Posted 1 year 5 months and 5 days after the item.


Tom, You are amazing!  Thank you!


Posted 1 year 5 months and 8 days after the item.


hi i have been havin problems i done every thing this site said and pluged it into my 80gb australian ps3 and i pressed dispaly all in the music xmb it takes like 15 min to load the music and it comes up with th iTunes file i made i presss triangle and copy multiple it starts cope ing thakes like 45min it finishes but i go to the music the folder saved in the music is called unkonown i open it and there is all my music no artists folders or album folders just heaps of songs i press triange info and it has no album or artist it just says the song name and thats it can u please help me iv tried every thing and waisted my hole day please help



Posted 1 year 7 months and 14 days after the item.


i did wat you said and my PS3 still couldn’t recognize them and even worse i can’t find my original iTune libary. can u help me out?


Posted 1 year 9 months and 7 days after the item.


This is way to complicated you should use the Media Server setting on the PS3 and utilise the DLNA function on Windows Media Player 11.

To do this open Windows Media Player 11; tools; library;configure sharing; check share my media to:; settings; check all the boxes; star ratings = all ratings; click ok but do not close out the media sharing box; goto your ps3 and scan for media servers within video/music/pictures; it will then locate your PC; within the sharing settings of the media sharing box you will see an unknown device; click allow; click ok and your done.

No file transferrind, no extra lists no nothing.

Be wary as protected content is not viewable ie: m4v/m4a only mp4/mp3


Posted 1 year 9 months and 26 days after the item.


Thanks, very helpful. I didn’t require step 8 (i.e., consolidate library) as everything has been copied to the USB HDD in step 7. Btw. on Mac OS X you need to open iTunes with Option (alt) key pressed…

Christian Timmerer

Posted 1 year 9 months and 27 days after the item.


I was so excited as i thought this had worked, however as I got to the bottom of the list, under a folder called UNKNOWN ARTIST there were 502 files. These files are realised were large chunks of my music library, all unamed. There was also a lot of files called UNSUPPORTED DATA. This was really frustrating :( I dont know why Sony Have made it so hard.

How can I get all of my music to me named and in the right areas. Do I have to unprotect it all? What is the problem.7

Please help I am so unhappy :(

Harry Stevens

Posted 1 year 10 months and 13 days after the item.