Forum Question: Efficiently Storing & Sharing iTunes Tracks On Multiple User Mac

I have a Mac that has 2 users and a different Apple ID for each. Music is currently stored on each user profile in their own iTunes folders. I want each user to be able to share tracks but also eliminate any current duplications (which there are many). How is best to do this? Do i need to copy iTunes folders for both profiles to the shared directory?
Brendan Eardley

Comments: 9 Responses to “Efficiently Storing & Sharing iTunes Tracks On Multiple User Mac”

    4/11/12 @ 9:36 am

    There are iTunes libraries and there are media files. How about this:
    Each user has his or her own iTunes library, as it should be. Otherwise, things get very messed up as iTunes libraries contain all sorts of things: ratings, play counts, apps, playlists, books, etc.
    Set up a shared location on the drive (or an external) and place the files you want to share there.
    Then turn off the iTunes preference to copy files to the library when you add them. So then when you have a file you want to share, each user can drag it to their iTunes library from the shared location, but the file itself remains in one spot.

      4/11/12 @ 10:04 am

      Gary. Thank you. I have just today copied one user’s (my wife’s) itunes folder to the shared drive and changed her Itunes preferences to the shared drive. In my login, I can now add to library her files now contained in the shared directory if I so wish. To ensure I don’t delete her songs which will come up as duplicates in my Itunes, is there now an option to copy my itunes directory to the same shared directory as my wife’s or is this what you have warned against? I say this because I want to remove duplicate songs contained on the MAC. By the way, I have now turned off the Copy function on my Itunes.

        4/11/12 @ 10:11 am

        Did you move her entire iTunes library? I wouldn’t do that. You should each have your own library and only share the raw media files.

          4/11/12 @ 10:48 am

          I copied over the iTunes media folder. I used this link for my information. Am I wrong?

            4/11/12 @ 11:04 am

            You can use that, yes. But that is for sharing an entire set of media. I prefer to let each user have their own media as well as sharing some.

              4/11/12 @ 12:37 pm

              Gary. Thanks for that. How do you share only selected songs? Sorry about this.

                4/11/12 @ 12:51 pm

                So you go into iTunes prefs. You turn off the “copy to iTunes media folder” option. Then you can drag and drop files into iTunes and they are added to your library without the actual file moving anywhere. So once you have that set up, you can make a shared folder somewhere and both users can drag and drop files from it into iTunes. You can both have them “in” your library, but the file is not in your media folder — it remains in that shared folder you created.

          Renee Boswell
          4/18/12 @ 3:05 pm

          Hi Gary, I am in a similar situation, I think. We have a large collection of cds ripped to a storage drive, and are trying to have itunes for the four of us use those files and not have copies of files in each users profile. But for every library, there is a music file, with tons of duplication. Idealy, I would like to have one huge file of music, with each itunes user’s library showing only songs he wants in there. IS that what you are describing?

            4/18/12 @ 4:11 pm

            Yes. Share the files. Turn off “copy files to iTunes media folder.” Files in one place, but everyone has their own library.

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