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How to use TiViTunes (version 1.5)

Here are the instructions for using TiViTunes version 1.5. If you are using a prior version, you can upgrade for free by opening the Web menu and choosing Check for updates.

  1. Make sure that iTunes is already running. You need to be using version 7.7.1 (or later) of iTunes. (Earlier versions of iTunes may also work, although they are not guaranteed.) You also need to be using version 2.4a (or later) of TiVo Desktop.

  2. Start TiViTunes by clicking on the Windows Start button, choosing All Programs, then choosing Maximized Software, then choosing TiViTunes.

  3. Immediately after starting, TiViTunes will display a list of all iTunes playlists.

  4. If you have run TiViTunes before, you can skip to step 8 below. Otherwise, if this is the first time you have run TiViTunes, open its Tools menu and choose Options.... This will display the Options window as shown below:

    Options window (Playlist Folder tab) screenshot

  5. Make sure the Playlist Folder tab is selected.

    You need to tell TiViTunes where to save the playlists that it exports from iTunes. In order for your TiVo DVR to be able to read the playlists, you need to direct TiViTunes to create the playlists in a folder which is under one of the music folders published in the TiVo Desktop software.

    Note: In versions of TiViTunes prior to version 1.4, you had to publish your playlists to a folder which contained the song files (or was a parent folder thereof). TiViTunes 1.4 and 1.5 no longer have this restriction. You can publish your playlists to any folder which is published via TiVo Desktop (or a sub-folder thereof). However, this folder no longer has to be a parent directory of the all song files.

    There are two different ways to select the playlist folder. The recommended method is to click the Pick TiVo Folder button. This will display a window which lists the music folders published via TiVo Desktop. You will have the best success by choosing the "highest" level folder available.

    Alternately, you can click the Pick Any Folder button, which will display a window that lets you choose any folder, regardless of whether it has been published as a music folder in TiVo Desktop.

    For example, if you have added the following music folder to the TiVo Desktop software:

    X:\Documents and Settings\Ken\My Documents\My Music

    Then for the Folder in which to save playlists field you should select the same folder:

    X:\Documents and Settings\Ken\My Documents\My Music

    Be sure not to select a folder that is not under the folder published in the TiVo Desktop software. For example, this folder would not work (because it is not under "...\My Music"):

    X:\Documents and Settings\Ken\My Documents\My Playlists

    You can also use the Pick Any Folder button to select a folder which is a sub-folder of a published music folder. For example, the following folder would work:

    X:\Documents and Settings\Ken\My Documents\My Music\My Playlists
  6. Select the File Types To Publish tab.

    Options window (File Types To Publish tab) screenshot

    By default, your TiVo DVR can only play MP3 files. However, if you install the free Universal Audio Plug-in (from Dan Haddix) on your PC, then your PC will convert other song formats into MP3 on the fly so that your TiVo can play them. (Alternately, you can also manually convert your songs to MP3 format if desired.)

    If you do not have the Universal Audio Plug-in installed, select Standard mode. If you have the Universal Audio Plug-in installed, select Enhanced mode, and then also place a check mark next to the types of files that you would like to have included in the playlists created by TiViTunes.

    The Do not create empty playlists option will be checked (enabled) by default. When this option is checked, TiViTunes will not create a playlist if none of its songs can be used by TiVo. For example, if you try to export a playlist such as the standard iTunes Purchased playlist which consists entirely of songs purchased from the iTunes Store (ie, songs in .M4P format), then the resulting playlist would be empty because TiViTunes knows that TiVo cannot play .M4P songs.

  7. Select the Other Options tab.

    Options window (Other Options tab) screenshot

    Some TiVo units cannot successfully play a playlist if it has too many songs. The number of songs supported in a playlist seems to vary somewhat between TiVos. For example, we have seen a playlist of 180 songs work, but crash if it has more songs than that. You should go ahead and create your playlists to contain all of their songs, but if a large playlist causes your TiVo to crash then you can enable the Limit playlists to no more than X songs option and re-publish your playlists.

    You can also choose whether songs should be written to the playlist in the order that they appear in iTunes, or if their order should be randomized.

    By default, TiViTunes will contact the Maximized Software web site every 14 days to see if a new version of TiViTunes is available for download. (Registered users get free updates of all future versions.) You can use the options in the Check for updates to TiViTunes section of this tab to control whether, and how often, TiViTunes will check for new versions.

    Note: If your computer runs Vista (or later), you may be prompted to confirm that the program WiseUpdate.exe can be launched. (WiseUpdate.exe is used to contact the Maximized Software web site and check for new versions of TiViTunes.)

  8. After you have set the options, click the OK button to return to the main TiViTunes window.

  9. Review the List of iTunes playlists and place a checkmark in any playlist that you would like to publish to TiVo.

  10. Please note that if you click Check all, TiViTunes will place a checkmark in every playlist except for the default iTunes playlists. You can override this default behavior by placing a checkmark next to any of their names.

  11. Click Publish playlists to TiVo. TiViTunes will create the playlists with checkmarks. When it has finished, TiViTunes will show you the total number of songs successfully written.

    Please note that if you have not registered it, TiViTunes will only write the first five songs in each playlist. Once you have registered TiViTunes it export all playlists without restriction.

  12. You may want to go to your TiVo and use the Music feature to play any of the playlists to make sure that everything worked fine.

  13. When TiViTunes has finished, you can close TiViTunes. Use TiViTunes again at any point in the future when you have new or changed playlists.

How to uninstall TiViTunes

Use the Add or Remove Programs applet in Control Panel. Select Maximized Software TiViTunes and then click on the Remove button.


  1. A future version of TiViTunes may have the capability to run silently in the background, monitoring iTunes for changes to playlists and automatically re-generating the published playlists. (Registered users receive free upgrades to future versions of TiViTunes.)

  2. If your computer is running Windows Vista, be sure to install TiViTunes with User Account Control (UAC) enabled. If UAC is disabled when you install it, TiViTunes will not run successfully. The README file that is displayed during TiViTunes setup has instructions on how to enable UAC.

TiVo® is a registered trademark of TiVo Inc. iTunes® is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. TiViTunesTM, iCoverArtTM, and Scripts for iTunesTM are trademarks of Maximized Software.

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