MacMost Now 703: Five Ways To Share Music In iTunes

There are many ways to share music between computers and user accounts with iTunes. The one you choose depends on with which devices and computers your are sharing. iTunes Match may be the ultimate method for a single person, but iTunes Home Sharing allows you to share music with other people whom have separate iTunes accounts.

Comments: 39 Responses to “MacMost Now 703: Five Ways To Share Music In iTunes”

    Robert
    7 years ago

    I’d like to first mention what an extremely useful tutorial it was, but I have one question:
    You said that a network drive could be used as a central location for the media files and then everyone has their own ratings/playlists etc. Could I use a cloud based location such as dropbox to keep my mac and PC iTunes libraries in sync, whilst also keeping the data (ratings/playlists etc) in sync also. Furthermore, how would this affect my internet download/upload usage (my iTunes Music folder is 14GB)?
    Thanks

      7 years ago

      1. When you use Dropbox, the files are on your hard drive. They just sync between locations. So it would mean everyone has a copy of every song. It would be the same as giving everyone a copy of every song, except Dropbox would do the copying automatically and charge you for the massively huge use of drive space and bandwidth (and your ISP perhaps as well).
      2. This would not keep playlists and ratings in sync as that’s part of your library. To do that you’d need everyone to share the exact same library, which is not a good idea any way you do it.

    Richard24
    7 years ago

    So you mentioned music what about photos. Sharing from hotel isn’t good when traveling. Hotel internet is slow.

      7 years ago

      Completely different story. And it depends on what you mean by “sharing” — Sharing via Flickr, Picasa, Photo Bucket, etc are what comes to mind. But I have a feeling that you mean sharing a huge iPhoto library.

    sladey
    7 years ago

    Great tutorial Gary, (just looked and I know it’s kind of old now, so sorry)

    1 thing that I have noticed that is nearly always neglected when this type of story is published, is the data usage issue with iTunes match, easy to get a big surprises when out and about and 3g usage is turned on, on an iOS device, also if you don’t happen to have a large data package at home.

    Dinorah
    7 years ago

    Hi Gary,

    Thanks for your valuable information!
    I have mac computers at home and at work. I would like to listen to my music at work. Is that possible? My work computer is registered to me, used exclusively by me, but it a college computer on a separate network where I also have a different email and password. Any way to bring over my music?

      7 years ago

      iTunes Match is made for exactly that kind of situation.

    Tony
    7 years ago

    Hi Gary
    Your video seems to say that in Family Share IOS devices can access a shared iTunes library. I am looking for a way to play my iMac library through my iPad. I have Family sharing and sharing enabled. Can you help?

      7 years ago

      Home Sharing is what it is called. Turn it on on your iMac and your iPad and you should then see your iMac’s music on your iPad in the Music app — but only if the two are on the same wifi network.

        Tony
        7 years ago

        Thanks Gary. In the ‘songs’ view it lists alphabetically by title. Can I vary this?

          7 years ago

          Vary it how?

            Tony
            7 years ago

            Vary the listing parameters. For instance by artist or by album.

              7 years ago

              If you want to list them by artist then choose artist instead of Songs. Same for albums. See what I mean? Or is it that you want the list to look like the songs list, but grouped first by artist or album? Don’t think there is a way to do that.

    David
    7 years ago

    We have 3 computers and 3 itunes accounts. I want to have all songs on a NAS (ideally in one folder) and have all accounts and all computers have access to them. Each computer can have its own itunes library. Account holders should be able to choose what songs that want from the master library and build plays lists.

    Some songs have been ripped from CDs and other songs were purchased via the 3 itunes accounts.

    How to get the music from the 3 accounts, move it to the NAS so that it is accessible from a single location (e.g. easy backup and restore) and also allow different account holders to be able to access and play the songs (any DRM issues)?

      7 years ago

      You’ve got a lot going on. No method will be ideal for you. You just need to try out the various methods and work to get something that is close to what you want. It is going to take a lot of work — there is no simple solution when you are dealing with multiple libraries and multiple accounts.

    Pinto
    7 years ago

    Thank you very much for the tutorial.
    I’m having an issue with accessing the new iTunes media folder on the network drive.
    Only one user can access it at a time i.e. User1 is using iTunes to play music then User2 cannot access folder to play music (folder has “-” sign on it).
    I’m sure it is a setting I need to change but nothing I’ve tried has worked.
    The network drive is connected to an airport extreme.
    TIA

    Neil Reyn
    7 years ago

    Really informative video,

    I do have one quick (I think) question. I have about 100gb of music in my Itunes library which I’ve had to myself on my mac. My GF has recently made the transition from blackberry to Iphone and wants to set it up on my mac. I’ve created a useraccount for her so she can store her contact/email etc… separately for when she syncs her phone but we want to share music/photos. How can I move my music to her library? The only way I can think of is to load my entire library into her useraccount which will double the memory to 200gd which I dont have.

    Thanks v.much,
    Neil.

      7 years ago

      I have several videos that dig into this. Like http://macmost.com/storing-itunes-music-on-a-shared-drive.html You could use that technique, but put the media in a Shared folder that both accounts have access to — it doesn’t have to be an external drive. That’s one idea. Sharing photos is harder since there is no way to separate the photos from the library.

        Pavel Sigarteu
        7 years ago

        IPhoto preferences can be set to “Do not copy photos into the library” (I do not remember exact text). Then you can keep the photos in 1 common place as the music and then import in as many libraries as you need.

    Jo Dixon
    7 years ago

    Really useful information, thank you. I have activated the ‘Shared’ option in itunes so different users can access the same itunes, but my music tracks have all doubled up!! Could you please tell me if there is a way to reverse this or how to fix this problem without having to go through and delete every copied track? Thanks.

      7 years ago

      Simply turning on the sharing options in iTunes shouldn’t cause your songs to spontaneously duplicate. I’d look for another reason. What happens if you turn sharing off? Are you perhaps seeing all of the songs in your library, plus all of the songs in another library on your network — thus causing it to look like you have two of each? Control+click on a song and show it in the Finder to investigate each of a pair.

    DCiAdmin
    7 years ago

    While I’m not using a Mac, I believe my question is still pertinent as it should be an iTunes issue.
    The household iTunes library is on a NAS. I have enabled Home Sharing and can now see the library from other home computers. The issue is – the original “owner” computer is about to be formatted and rebuilt. Any way I can take “ownership” of the shared library from one of the other household computers? My now deceased husband spent many hours rating the music and creating playlists. I don’t want to lose any of that!
    Thank you for any insight or suggestions you can provide.

      7 years ago

      Try it. Use one of the other computers and run iTunes (hold down the Alt key when you launch it). Then select that library. You may need to log in to that iTunes account to have access to some content (V shows, movies, iCloud stuff, etc). But it should work. Of course that is only if the “library” is on the NAS. If only media is there, then it is much more complex.

    DCiAdmin
    7 years ago

    Thank you! That resolves my issue :)

    I had completely forgotten about the Shift + iTunes to select Libraries. I was thinking that the only place to make that selection was in the Preferences -> Advanced tab.

    Thanks again. Your prompt response is appreciated!

    Kyle
    7 years ago

    Gary, great information – thank you!

    My situation involves one home MacBook Pro, a wife with an iPad and iPhone, daughter with an iPod touch and iPad, finally my youngest just got an iPod touch for Christmas. My oldest daughter and wife have their own iTunes accounts on their devices, but nothing on a computer.

    I want all three of them to be able to share on the one MacBook Pro. How would you set up accounts on the MacBook and in iTunes?

      7 years ago

      Difficult to advise because there are so many factors and choices. No one right way. I would start by creating use accounts for them on your Mac, so everyone has their own user account. Then they would have their own iTunes accounts and libraries set up in each user account. Then it depends on whether you want to try to share anything — music, etc.

        Kyle
        7 years ago

        Thanks so much. I was going to set up different user profiles for each of them, but was not sure if that was right. The primary thing we want to share is music. How would you advise with one machine?

          7 years ago

          There are many ways to do it. I would probably choose this: http://macmost.com/storing-itunes-music-on-a-shared-drive.html but using a Shared folder on the drive, not necessarily a shared external drive. So everyone has their own Mac user account, with their own iTunes library. But the media files (not library) are stored in a shared location.

            Kyle
            7 years ago

            Much Appreciated! Merry Christmas!

    Courtney
    7 years ago

    Hi Gary, I am hoping you can help me. I purchased a new ipod nano for my mother for her birthday. I have a mac she has a pc. I installed itunes to her pc. I then wanted to share music from my library to her new apple id library. I copied music to a data cd and copied them into her library. However, now the music will not play saying it cannot locate the original file…help! I authorized my account on both computers and still not working…

      7 years ago

      Perhaps you have her iTunes set to not copy the files to her media folder? Then iTunes is still looking for that data CD.

        Courtney
        7 years ago

        Thank you! How would I find that out or change that?

          7 years ago

          See 4:20 in the video where I talk about that feature.

    Courtney
    7 years ago

    Gary, what would you recommend as the best way for me to share music with her? I’m not sure how to transfer my music to her library being they are two different apple ids. Thank you for any help you can provide.

      7 years ago

      What you are doing is a good way. Just sounds like you missed a step or don’t have things configured correctly. But watch the video again — it is all about the different options you have.

    Laura Moffatt
    7 years ago

    I have an iomega network drive connected to my AirPort Extreme. I would like to move all of my music from my iMac to the network drive due to the huge library. What do you suggest? My household is all under one apple ID using iPods, iPads, etc.

    RC
    7 years ago

    Hi Gary, Thanks for all the info.We (3 in family)just purchased a new Macbook pro which will be the main family computer for a while. We are migrating from a pc. We all use one itunes account for purchases and music management. We have 2 iphones, an ipad and 3 ipods. What about the strategy of setting up a generic user account on the macbook, perhaps name it Music and Photos, and thus doing our sharing that way? i.e.When we want to do itunes or photo stuff, we log in as that generic user?

      7 years ago

      I guess you could. Not the way I would do it if forced to work this way. I can see it working well for photos. But for music there’s no reason not to simply put the music files on a shared location and each of you can have your own iTunes library.

Comments Closed.