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Can I Sync my iTunes Music Library with a Microsoft Surface RT

Microsoft Surface tablet

As I wait for my Surface RT to arrive on or hopefully before it’s pre-order Nov 6th  delivery estimate I ponder the question:

Can I sync my iTunes library with the Surface RT?

At this stage I’d just be happy with my music but as I don’t have my actual Surface RT to test on, it’s off to Google I go.

iTunes for Windows RT / Surface RTCan the Surface RT Play iTunes Music

I’m guessing there is no iTunes for RT yet. A quick search around found that to be correct, at this time there is no iTunes for RT and I would dare say Apple will not be developing an RT port in the future. Therefore it’s highly likely we will never be able to sync directly from iTunes to the Surface RT or any Windows RT device.

Can I Copy my iTunes Library to the Surface RT / Windows RT

Yes! There is hope! I have tracked down a post detailing how to mount the SD Card as an NTFS folder, therefore making it visible to the Metro apps! Metro Apps can only see the Surface internal storage for some reason, so tricking Windows RT into thinking the removable SD card is the key.

Here is an exert from the post by WinSuperSite.com:

OK, let’s add microSD storage to your libraries, allowing the content stored there to appear in the appropriate Metro-style apps. (Step #1) For purposes of this discussion, I’m using a 64 GB microSD card and have added folders named Music, Pictures, and Videos to the card. I’ve also added music, photos, and videos to the appropriate folders on the microSD card to ensure that everything works as expected.

(Step #2) The first step is to create a folder on your Surface primary storage, or C: drive. I just created one called SD right in the root of the C: drive, so C:\SD in this case.

(Step #3) Next, visit Disk Management, which, yes, exists in Windows RT too. The easiest way to find it is use the new Windows 8 (and RT) power user menu by tapping WINKEY + X or mousing into the lower left corner of the screen and right-clicking. Choose Disk Management from the menu that appears.

In Disk Management, locate your microSD card, right-click it, and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths. Then, in the Change Drive Letter and Paths window, click Add. Click Browse next to “Mount in the following empty NTFS folder” to find C:\SD and add it to the paths that are attached to that drive. Now, you will see two entries for the microSD card: It’s actual drive letter (E: in my case) and the new path (Windows (C:)\SD in my case).

(Step #4) Now, visit each library in turn and add the correct microSD-based folder to the library using the Manage Library command in the Manage tab of the ribbon. For the Music library, for example, you will add the location C:\SD\Music.

Repeat this for the Pictures and Videos libraries, again using the correct folder. Be sure to navigate to C:\SD\whatever instead of E:\whatever.

Now, launch the various Metro-style apps—Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Photos—and ensure that your content appears. And it does … for Music and Videos.

So that’s iTunes music and video on the Surface RT in 4 easy steps!

To view the entire post with images check it out here at Winsupersite.com

What Types of Video does the Surface RT play? Can The Surface RT play XVID or MKV files?

The Surface RT has official support for AVI and MP4, but does not play MKV files. There are posts around the web of people trying files first hand (lucky first delivery recipients!). H264 and XVID codec are supported by the Surface RT. I’m hoping it will not be long until VideoLan VLC player is ported to the RT operating system.

What Will Work in the Surface RT USB Port?

The Surface RT Windows RT environment requires specialised drivers for ARM chipsets, the regular Windows drivers wont work. This means devices such as Telstra 3G or 4G dongles probably wont work out of the box. The good news is almost every phone has Personal Hot Spot tethering. Microsoft has a Hardware Compatibility database here so you can check what works.

USB hard drives and thumb drives are well supported, it’s mostly going to be those specialty devices like internet usb dongles that won’t initially work due to missing drivers.