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Wiki > Main > IpodPort > ConvertiTunesDBtoTagCache

Converting an iTunesDB to a Rockbox database

This tool has been outdated since November 2006 and does not work

Rockbox can build the database itself based on the tags in your the audio files - it is not necessary to convert the itunes database


If you're using Rockbox on an iPod you might find that it is difficult to access the music you already had on your iPod. This is because iTunes writes the songs with nearly random file names, and stores all the metadata in a file called iTunesDB. Rockbox has an equivalent database, simply called database. It is possible to convert the iTunesDB to an equivalent Rockbox database, so you can browse the songs by album, artist, title, etc. as you could within the official Apple firmware.

Note however that this will not enable you to play music purchased through the iTunes Music Store.


itdb2tc (iTunesDB to Tag Cache, the previous name for the Rockbox database) is a program to perform the conversion. There is now a Windows binary available, Linux source is also available.

Windows Instructions

  1. Get the win32 binary, extract all the files into the same folder.
  2. Attach your iPod to your computer and locate the iTunesDB file (should be at Z:\iPod_Control\iTunes\iTunesDB if your iPod is drive Z).
  3. Run itdb2tc.exe from a command prompt (itdb2tc.exe Z:\iPod_Control\iTunes\iTunesDB, for example)
  4. tagcache_0.tcd through tagcache_5.tcd and tagcached_idx.tcd should be created.
  5. Transfer the .tcd files to \.rockbox on your iPod.

Linux instructions

Building itdb2tc

  1. You will need the libgpod libraries and development files, if you are using an RPM-based distribution install the "libgpod" and "libgpod-devel" packages.
  2. Get the source code here, extract it somewhere handy.
  3. Build the program by running make

Performing the conversion

  1. Mount your iPod and locate the iTunesDB file (should be at /iPod_Control/iTunes/iTunesDB)
  2. Run itdb2tc (./itdb2tc /mnt/ipod/iPod_Control/iTunes/iTunesDB if your iPod is mounted at /mnt/ipod)
  3. tagcache_0.tcd through tagcache_5.tcd and tagcached_idx.tcd should be created.
  4. Transfer the .tcd files to /.rockbox on your iPod.

You should now be able to use the database by changing the General Settings -> File view -> Show files option to "Database".

An alternative: using Picard to rename and organise music files

picard is an open source tool which can search through directories containing music files, rename the files according to the track name taken from the id3 tags, and place the files in directories named according to to the id3 tags. (id3 tags are the metadata associated with mp3 and other files which contain the names of the artist, album, track etc.) The user can specify all the details, but a typical renaming scheme might be artist/album/tracknum-title.mp3. iTunes stores music files in a directory tree located at /iPod_Control/Music, but with encoded file names. However, the id3 tags are intact, so picard can be used to transform this directory tree into a sensibly-named tree of music files, which can then easily be used with rockbox, and added to the rockbox data base using the standard method for adding files to a rockbox databse.

r9 - 02 Apr 2021 - 20:46:06 - UnknownUser

Parents: IpodPort
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