I finally bought Tiger for my laptop a month or two ago. Rather than upgrading, I opted for the format-reinstall; I tried out all sorts of crap when I first got the thing, so there was a lot of stuff floating around that I didn’t know about, and I figured it would be nice to start fresh.

In the process, of course, I lost all my data. I backed up my music and some leftover notes and files from classes, but there doesn’t seem to be an easy was to re-establish my iTunes library. It’s worked out OK for the most part - I did keep the MP3’s, but I haven’t been using my laptop for music much lately anyway.

The one thing I didn’t think about was my playlists. I’ve had playlists for every quarter going back into 2003, with the songs that I heard a lot at the time. As I’ve surely mentioned before, my mind makes incredibly strong associations between songs and events or periods of time. As such, it was nice to have these playlists that were the soundtrack to my life at the time.

The library XML file was in my backup, so I can sift through that to find the information I want. Unfortunately, the playlists are stored in there as lists of track IDs, so doing it by hand would involve searching this huge text file for the ID I need, for a few hundred individual tracks.

Looks like it’s time to figure out the quickest way to parse XML…