Mac Tips: iTunes/SoundJam playlist export to HTML table

This trick can be used to make a list of links to audio streams, a playlist of MP3 files or just to document your collection.

It's easy to export an iTunes (or SoundJam) playlist, and to make it into an HTML table. This trick uses Adobe GoLive v5, but will also work with Dreamweaver or any authoring program.

SoundJam was discontinued and brought back to life as Apple's free iTunes. (See my MP3 streaming apps picks for a shootout.) There are a few things that were lost in the reincarnation, including SoundJam's "Export" feature. This returned in version 2 of iTunes, but the output is not customizable and ugly. This trick works much better.

Update (8/2002): Check out iTunes Publisher which does this and more!

First, export from iTunes/SoundJam:

  • In your playlist, pick which columns you want to appear, and drag them into the desired order. I added a first row with column headers such as "name", "URL", etc. Add an "*" before the name to make this appear first.
  • Click once in the playlist window and then select all the tracks, by "Command-A" or by menu item "edit-->select all". (Note: In SoundJam, it will look like it has only selected the first column, but it has actually selected ALL the columns you picked to be visible.)
  • Copy with "Command-C" or by menu item "edit-->copy".
  • Open a new SimpleText document. (This won't work using WordPerfect.)
  • Paste with "Command-V" or by menu item "edit-->paste". You should see all the info from your playlist.
  • Save this file. (example: "playlist export")

Then import into GoLive (or any program that can import text into a table):

  1. In GoLive, create a new table by dragging the Table icon from the Objects palette onto your page. (This creates a generic 3x3 table.)
  2. Select the new table by clicking on the top edge. (The Inspector should now be the "Table Inspector.")
  3. In the Inspector, click "Browse..." to "Import Tab-Text".
  4. Navigate to the "playlist export" which you created earlier. (The "Column Separator" pop-up menu should already be on "Tab".)
  5. Click "open". GoLive will stretch the table to fit all of your info.

You may want to reformat the look. Here's what I do (GoLive version 5):

  • Apply a style to the table from the palette "table-->style". Try an alternating row shading.
  • Add a row at the top with headers describing the columns, in a standout color. Select this top row in the Table--> Select window. In the Inspector, check "Header Style."
  • Trim excess text from entries using Find and Replace. (I trim "kbps" and "kHz" down to just "k" using regular expressions.)
  • Convert stream URLs into links to those URLs, using "find and replace." Long URLs get descriptive names instead.

For examples of this technique, see my MP3 streaming picks. Also check out Silent Way's Guide to MP3 streaming players.