Gary Rosenzweig looks at how you can sync your iPod or iPhone to multiple computers using manual settings.
Hi, this is Gary Rosenzweig. You know, we get a ton of questions here at MacMost about how to sync your iPod or iPhone to multiple machines. So let’s take a look at that in this episode of MacMost Now.
Gary: Okay, so if you want to sync your iPod to multiple machines, it seems hard at first. After all, you plug it into a second machine and it complains that it’s already synced to another machine. And then there’s things to deal with, like, where are your contacts? Where are your calendar events? That type of thing. Are they in one machine, multiple machines, what does an iPod do with them? Well, it’s actually pretty easy to sync to multiple machines as long as you don’t sync at all. Well, let me show you what I mean.
Okay, so when you want to sync this with a machine, you plug it in and you get iTunes. And in iTunes you can see your device show up, and you can also see lots of different tabs about it, and you can also see the music that’s on it. Now, in order to sync to multiple machines, the idea is not to sync at all. You have to do it manually.
Check off the “manually manage music and videos”. The idea of syncing to a single machine, well that’s for the simplest case, right, when you’ve got one Mac, you’ve got one iPod, you just want to sync them together and you don’t have to worry about it. But if you’re going to have more than one machine, then you’re going to have to manage things yourself. It’s actually quite easy, so don’t be afraid of it.
Okay, so, after you’ve turned on “manually manage music and videos”, all you need to do to move music onto your iPod is drag it! So, click on the music tab there so you can see all your music. There! Then you click on your music on your iMac, I don’t have any on this one, but all you have to do is drag it over to the iPod. You can drag music from this machine onto the iPod, and hook it up to another machine and also drag it onto the iPod. The thing you can’t do is drag it from your iPod back to a machine. That would make it too easy for people to steal music, at least that’s what Apple and the music companies think.
Now, for syncing up the rest of your stuff, What you want to do is you want to is go back to your device and you want to look at all the different tabs here. So for instance, if you go ahead and take a look at “Contacts”, you can see “sync address book contacts”. Now if I turned that on for this machine, it would sync all the contacts from this machine, and I just wouldn’t turn it on for the other machine. You can do the same thing with calendars, for instance. And you can do the same thing with photos, or you can, say, select certain albums that you want from this machine to go onto the iPod.
Now, the question is, how do you easily do this? I mean, if you’ve got a ton of music on one machine and a ton of music on the other, and you don’t really keep track, how do you know what new stuff you’ve added? Well, you don’t have to worry about it, because all you need to do is basically drag your entire library onto the iPod, and it will figure out what’s already there and not copy that. So, for instance, you’ve got 38 albums on your machine and you add a 39th, you can simply drag the entire library full of songs, and it will simply add that new album to the iPod and not create duplicates of the other ones. You can do the same thing on the other machine, as well, It’s not that hard, really, as long as you don’t add music and subtract music all the time it should work quite well.
Now, if the real issue here is that you have multiple machines and you’ve got calendars and contacts you want to share between the machines and your iPod or iPhone, then you should first probably look for a solution to sync those multiple machines. You can do that through dot mac, for instance. And then, once all the machines are in sync, it doesn’t really matter which one you sync your iPod to for contacts and calendar events. You can probably try the one you hook your iPod up to most frequently.
So, the bottom line is, if you want to go ahead and sync your iPod or iPhone to multiple machines, it’s a little more work for you, but, of course, you’ll get exactly what you want in the end. Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.