Adding music from a second library | iLounge Article


Adding music from a second library

Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...

Q: I have a friend’s iPod with music on it already. She wants some of my music but wants to keep hers. Is there any way possible to add my music without deleting hers.

- Jacob

A: By default, an iPod can only be automatically synchronized with a single iTunes library, and any attempts to automatically synchronize it with a second library will result in all of the existing content being replaced on the iPod with the content from the new library.

However, iTunes also offers you the option to manage the content on your iPod manually, rather than using automatic synchronization. To set the iPod up to do this, simply connect the iPod to your computer, select it in the iTunes source list on the left-hand side, and choose “Manually manage my music and videos” from the “Summary” screen:

Once you apply this setting (by clicking the “Apply” button), iTunes will no longer sync any music or video content to your iPod automatically. Instead, you will need to drag and drop content onto your iPod from your iTunes library in order to add it to your iPod.

However, this setting will travel with the iPod itself, so it will remain in manual mode regardless of which computer you physically connect it to. You can then drag and drop music onto your iPod from any iTunes library that you happen to connect it to.

Note that should you ever return to automatic synchronization, however (by disabling the “Manual” setting above), any content you added to your iPod from another iTunes library that has not been copied into your own iTunes library will be deleted from your iPod. In automatic synchronization mode, the content of your iPod is always a mirror of what is in your iTunes library—no more and no less—so tracks that are not in your local iTunes library are removed from your iPod in automatic synchronization mode

One other thing to note about manual management of the iPod:  In manual mode, ratings, play counts, and last played times are not transferred back to your iTunes library, so this data will only be maintained on your iPod. Whether or not this is a serious issue will depend on how you use this information in your iTunes library.

The most asked question at

How do I copy content from my iPod/iPhone onto my computer?

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, Apple TV and iPhone Video Formats

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, iPhone and Apple TV Video Conversion (Mac)

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, iPhone and Apple TV Video Conversion (Win)

Best Speakers?

Best Headphones?

Best Case?

Best In-Car Solution?

Best Battery Extender?

Find more answers in the latest publications in our Library. Free downloads developed by the editors of iLounge!

Ask iLounge Archives:

1-24-14: Viewing only downloaded iTunes Match tracks

1-22-14: Splitting purchased content between two iPads

12-13-13: Non-Bluetooth Lightning dock speakers

12-11-13: Shared Apple ID and switching away from iPhone

12-6-13: Syncing multiple iCloud data with a family Mac

Read more recent Ask iLounge articles...

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...

« Sell Your Old iPod, Buy a New One (or iPhone)

iTunes Plus DRM-free music »

Related Stories


If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods/iPhones/iPad or accessories, or if you sell or market iPod/iPhone/iPad products or services, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter


Recent News

Recent Reviews

Recent Articles

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter


iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2014 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy