MacMost Now 773: Storing iTunes Music On a Shared Drive

By making one change in your iTunes preferences, you can use music in iTunes that is stored outside of your Music folder. This allows you to collect and organize your music on a shared drive and still have it play within iTunes. You can then have those same music file available to other Macs on your network.

Comments: 14 Responses to “MacMost Now 773: Storing iTunes Music On a Shared Drive”

    James
    7 years ago

    What about file locking ?
    Can two users play the same song at the same time?
    Thanks

      7 years ago

      Sure. File locking should only prevent moving and changing of the file. But even so, you would naturally have a shared drive set to ignore permissions if you are using it as a shared drive. Otherwise, it wouldn’t work very well for that purpose.

    Daniel Bula
    7 years ago

    Gary,

    I’m enjoying you’re shows, thanks for the hard work. A comment thou, with iTunes, I have an external drive with all my apps, music and videos stored. I only use one Mac, but there are different users profiles on it.

    In iTunes the media folder location is pointing the ext drive and I have both check marks on (keep iTunes folder organized and the copy files options). So all users access the media folder having their own iTunes Library. All files are in a common folder.

    Question, when I download an app update in my library it’s copied on the ext drive. Say my wife login to her profile and iTunes, the app starts downloading the update again. So iTunes is not capable to see that we own the updated version of the app on my drive.

    Is there a way to avoid having to download these updates more than once?

    Thanks in advance.

      7 years ago

      OK, so you aren’t using the method in the video, but another method where you have a shared media folder, like in episode 631 (just pointing that out for others reading the thread).
      So apps are not stored in the iTunes Media folder. They are stored in the Mobile Applications folder. I believe you can do it two ways: have your entire iTunes folder (iTunes library) stored on another drive, or have just your media folder stored on another drive. The first involves moving the iTunes folder to the external drive, then starting your iTunes app up with the option key held down to point it in the right direction. The second involves just setting the iTunes media folder to the new location using iTunes, Preferences, Advanced.
      It sounds like you have done the second, meaning that each user has their own Mobile Applications folder.
      And that is what you want. I assume that you and your wife have separate devices with separate iTunes accounts. So you will have different things in your mobile applications folder. Trying to combine them will lead to trouble, I’d expect.
      Needing to download common app updates isn’t that big of a deal and I wouldn’t try to force that as it could lead to other issues.

    Jonno v w
    7 years ago

    Gary, sincere thanks for all the work you have done on this site. Your teaching style is really accessible and intuitive.

    Keep up the good work.

    Best regards

    Jonno

    Nick
    7 years ago

    Is it possible to just move the entire existing iTunes folder/library to an external drive that’s always available to all Macs in the house?

      7 years ago

      The problem then is you have multiple machines competing to update the iTunes folder. Could lead to conflicts. Plus, it would only allow for one iTunes account, not sharing media between multiple people with multiple iTunes accounts.

        Nick
        7 years ago

        Gotcha. Thanks!

    Mark Southee
    7 years ago

    Real shame that 3rd party music players (on iPad, iPhone) can’t access shared iTunes libraries, due to API restrictions

    Brian
    7 years ago

    Gary, this is such a great idea as I used this for years but had to stop in the end because the file links would constantly (practically everyday) become unlinked so I’d have to go and double click each file (thousands in my case) to get them back. In the end I had to put them back on my Mac and have had no problem since! Too bad iTunes can’t do an auto-find to connected drives. And yes I constantly kept my software up-to-date!

    Tom
    6 years ago

    Gary,

    When I buy iTunes songs from the store, and my iTunes Media folder location is pointing to the shared folder on my NAS, will this not avoid the steps of copying to NAS, deleting from local hard drive, and dragging from NAS to iTunes?

    thanks,

    Tom

      6 years ago

      Yes. But you would still have to add it to the other iTunes library.

    Stuart
    6 years ago

    Great work as ever Gary – keep it up ;)

    I would love to see the next side to this and it as a show. as stated in one of the comments above when:
    multiple users on the same MAC
    One account linking to a NAS drive as per this episode
    other users creating their own library but not duplicating the the tracks.

    Thanks

    stu

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