MacMost Now 58: Syncing Your iPod to More Than One Computer

Gary Rosenzweig looks at how you can sync your iPod or iPhone to multiple computers using manual settings.

Comments: 30 Responses to “MacMost Now 58: Syncing Your iPod to More Than One Computer”

    12 years ago

    Hey Gary,

    Did you use Screenflow to make this episode?

    12 years ago

    Oliver: No. But I did use Wirecast, which is from the same company (Vara) so there are some similarities.

    Duncan
    11 years ago

    Thank you so much. this was soooo helpful!!!!!!!!

    Michelle
    11 years ago

    THANK YOU!!! I was ready to pull my hair out. Your solution is SO simple. I apprecitate it!

    Nigel
    10 years ago

    awesome. thanks

    Heather
    10 years ago

    When I check the manually manage box, it asks me to apply the setting, when I try to do so, it says i need to erase my ipod and sync to the computer.

      10 years ago

      Which type of iPod do you have?

      Gil
      9 years ago

      I get the same message with my Iphone 3GS

    Rick Morrison
    10 years ago

    What if one computer is a Mac and one is a Windows. Is the procedure the same?

      10 years ago

      Yes. It should be. You just need iTunes on both.

    Terry Gibson
    10 years ago

    Dear Gary
    Just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your Tips and Tutorials. I particularly enjoyed the recent article on why Macs do not require virus protection software.
    Keep up the great work!
    Terry Gibson
    Calgary, Canada

    Terry Gibson
    10 years ago

    Dear Gary
    I wanted you to know how much I value your MacMost now Tips and Tutorials. I have learned a lot from them. I particularly enjoyed the recent one on why virus protection software is not required for the Mac.
    Keep up the great work.
    Terry Gibson
    Calgary Canada

    John McDonald
    10 years ago

    Hi Gary

    Does this method still work if you are using iTunes 9? I don’t seem to be able to drag tracks from my macbook over to my iphone. Track just bounces back to the music library on the macbook.

    By the way, great site. John, Glasgow, Scotland

      10 years ago

      Yes. It definitely still works if you use iTunes 9 with an iPod (not an iPhone, though). But it has to be set to manually sync. And what you are dragging to the iPod needs to be something the iPod can handle — mp3, aac, video of the right format, etc.

    KD Neu
    10 years ago

    In attempting to ‘not sync’ my iPod Touch to a second (and third) Mac, I was able to bypass all the warnings about erasing current library, etc. and get to the main menu to click on the ‘manually sync’ option; however, I find that I can’t drag and drop to the iPod icon. I highlight the song, and attempt to drag it to the iPod icon, and nothing happens. What am I missing?

    Love this site! Often look for answers here, but I can’t figure this one out on my own!

      10 years ago

      You can’t do it just be bypassing those warnings. Your iPod is still synced with your 1st mac, so you can’t do it. You have to switch it to manual completely (erasing everything on it)
      I’m not even sure that you can do it at all with a Touch — I’ve got mixed reports about that. I don’t have one to test.

    Howard Brazee
    9 years ago

    I have much more music than my 32G iPod will hold, not to mention video. I can pretty much get it to fit by telling it to convert to MP3 when I synchronize from my Mac. But I get more by not synchronizing everything. Then I switch it to manual before taking my iPod to work. When I get new music, I need to compress it before I load it on my work computer. Periodically I turn on sync at home to get my selection updated.

    What I’d like to see is this updated for iPads. I got the biggest iPad, but still needed to compress my music. Then I had to create a new selection of most recent events in my iPhoto because my complete iPhoto won’t fit. Trouble is, we kept the master iPhoto on my wife’s machine and used Chronosync to copy it to mine (iPhoto isn’t designed for multi-users). Since she doesn’t keep much on her iTunes, I wanted to sync to her iPhoto and my iTunes, but couldn’t figure out how to do it.

    Our work-around was to switch my computer to being the master for iPhoto as well as iTunes.

      Diane Woodward
      7 years ago

      Maybe I am not understanding what he is saying about iPhoto, but I don’t see why iPhoto can’t be used by multi-users. Each person can have his or her own library. When you start up iPhoto, just hold down the option button and you will have the option to create a new library or to open one of your other libraries (other than the one last used).

    anthony
    9 years ago

    Gary,
    Starting to be a big fan, LOTS of problems with duplications..
    I have one Big Imac, a macbook pro, three iphone, mobile me account , a wife, a treatment coordinator, an office manager, a HR person and two kids in preschool.
    All need to see my calendar to make appointments, and i also need to make appointments. But where my frustration lies, is in the duplications of addresses, contacts, and calendar events, I have even brought all the above said devices to the store and left them there for a day and now my mess gets bigger and bigger. Now i have combines contacts with the wrong names and profile phots with the wrong person,UGHHHHHHHH,, If possible please respond to my email to help,,,
    Happy holidays
    Dr. Anthony LaVacca DMD
    NDScare.com

      9 years ago

      If I were you I would look for a all-in-the-cloud solution. Something like Google apps.

    chantelle c
    8 years ago

    thank you so much this was so easy and you say what it means and show it clearly. not like you tube kids. i am surprised you didn’t need to download another program like some people do. <3

    Nick
    8 years ago

    Gary, I have an Ipod that has about 2000 songs on it that was created on another pc that the hard drive crashed on. Is there any way to either sync it to a new pc or get the songs off it?
    Thanks and enjoy what you do here.
    Nick >

      8 years ago

      I’m guessing that you don’t have a backup of that PC’s drive?
      You can use some hacking tools (search for them) to get the music files off of it. Some are better than others, and it will require some manual work too. Been years since I looked at tools that do this, and I hope for your sake they work better today.

    Don
    7 years ago

    You are doing great job!

    Diane Woodward
    7 years ago

    I love your tutorials. They are much more straightforward than most and yet thoroughly cover what I need to know. I would love to have one about synching the iPad. Apparently, iCloud is allowing me to synch it wirelessly which is fine for apps. But I am not getting the music I want. (I have multiple music libraries on my MacBookPro). If I hook it up to one of my Macs and check manually manage music, will it affect the apps? I don’t think it will, but I don’t want those messed up. Thanks for all the work you put into helping us get the most from our Macs!

      7 years ago

      iCloud and wireless syncing are two separate things.
      iCloud lets you sync contacts, events and some other data through the Internet. Wireless syncing is the same thing as syncing with your Dock cable to your Mac or PC, but it uses your local wifi network instead of the cable.

    Russell
    7 years ago

    Gary: My co-worker, who unfortunately is all PC based has a problem. His wife and he own iPhones and his two kids iPods. Somehow the identities have been switched so when he plugs his phone in, iTunes says it is his wife’s, etc. Big problem is little sis’ iPod is full and little brother’s isn’t. So when he tries to load apps it says his machine is full, when in fact it is his sister’s that is full! Any ideas on how I can help them fix this mess? (I am the Mac go-to guy in the office, but haven’t seen this before!) Thanks for your help!

      7 years ago

      Never heard of that before. I would do a full restore on both and get them back to how they should be.

    jamaicanknight
    7 years ago

    thanks so much for the info.it worked well,even though your video was long ago.just as an update,i have ipod touch 4th generation and itunes 10.so like u said i chose my ipod on the left pane of the window and in summary chose manually manage music and videos.then i drag and drop my songs in music within library.then i go to music on my ipod and then click autofill,and now the new songs in my library are on my ipod on my second PC.ur vid helpd me to gets this done so big up and respect.later im gonna see how putting on videos and apps on my ipod from my second PC works out.

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