If the XML file is not exposed to Firefly, how does it get the information about the song database? Does it build it’s own based upon the directory structure and/or the id3 tags?
Yes. If the iTunes xml file is around somewhere it can see it (above the artist folders), then firefly will grab the playlists from the itunes file, and also “augment” the tag info for songs based on what it finds (like rating, which isn’t in the actual mp3 file, but only stored in the xml file).
But it will run happily without the iTunes xml file. Mine does. 🙂
something else you can do to trick iTunes is to create an Alias (or sym link) of the iTunes folder that has all your music in it (somewhere on the network is fine) then copy that Alias to your Music folder on your local machine and point iTunes to that folder as your local music folder. If you do it correctly it will use the .xml file in that alias and you can share it between multiple users. Benefit of this is your library list is automatically updated anytime anyone updates their library with new songs or removes songs. If you don’t point it to the alias then you will have to manually update the library anytime you want the current library info. (hope this makes sense)