Using Windows 8 Phone with iTunes library in Synology

Welcome to the world of Windows 8 Phone :)

Even if you are an Apple person (like me ? …) and even if you are using iTunes as your music library in a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air or Mac Mini, it is now very easy to copy the contents of that iTunes library (music, videos, photos, podcasts) with a Microsoft Windows 8 Phone. As far back as the previous version, such a tool is already available. See here.

Microsoft has a Mac app that works with the iTunes library. That part is easy and the software can be found here in this link: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-sg/how-to/wp8/windows-phone-app-for-mac

Windows 8 Phone with iTunes in Synology NAS

It is actually an approved app in Apple Mac App Store

Windows 8 Phone with iTunes in Synology NAS

Once you installed the software and you are good to go… you will be happily syncing the contents of your Apple iTunes library on your Apple Mac machine with a Microsoft Windows 8 phone (if I sound weird, it is because after so many years in IT, this sounds almost impossible many years ago… such is the rivalry and dominance of one party.. the world has changed..)

All is fine.. except if you are me (as usual :0)

I do not keep my iTunes library contents on the Mac itself. I keep it on a Synology NAS. Read this article for more information on why and how to do so.

I did this because I have limited space on my MacBook Pro and I want to use the space in the NAS to keep my iTunes library (which can get really big over the years..). Even my iTunes library “itl” file (sort of like a catalogue file) is kept on the NAS itself and NOT on the Mac itself. Every time i open my iTunes on my Mac, I need to point the iTunes software to the location of the iTunes itl file in the NAS. There are ways to make this easier but I am okay. I seldom synch my iPhone/iPad with my Mac anyway.

So back to this…. If you do keep your iTunes library on a NAS, the Windows 8 app for synching between iTunes and Windows 8 Phone will tell you, when you launch it, that it cannot find the iTunes library…. (it assumed that it is on the Mac and probably also assumed it is in that default Mac folder).. probably….

To solve it, do this. Go to the menu and go to FILE and choose “Access to Folder”. Point that to the FOLDER in the NAS containing your iTunes library (to be exact, the itl file).

Windows 8 Phone with iTunes in Synology NAS

Windows 8 Phone with iTunes in Synology NAS

Close the program. Launch it again.

It should work now. You should see all your playlist, genres, artists like my screenshot above. And you can then start selecting your library and sync the Windows 8 Phone with the iTunes Library sitting on your Synology NAS.

Windows 8 Phone with iTunes in Synology NAS

After you are done, unplug your Windows phone and if you have been a good boy and use proper MP3 tagging method like this one described here, your songs with its full glory of album art should appear :)

Like these pictures:
Windows 8 Phone with iTunes in Synology NAS

Windows 8 Phone with iTunes in Synology NAS

Windows 8 Phone with iTunes in Synology NAS

Windows 8 Phone with iTunes in Synology NAS

Windows 8 Phone with iTunes in Synology NAS

When you are playing a track, your front screen of the Windows phone will have the artist name scrolling around.. nice touch :)

From this…
Windows 8 Phone with iTunes in Synology NAS
To
Windows 8 Phone with iTunes in Synology NAS

Now if you look at this picture of the Live Tile carefully, it is missing something, it does look weird, right ? A grey background with just words of the artist scrolling around. While we don’t give Microsoft enough credit sometimes for their design, I doubt they will allow such an ugly Live Tile to appear on their flag ship product…..

There is a reason and a fix.. and I will share in my next blog post :)

Enjoy :)

And Tell me your Thoughts