Managing multiple iTunes Libraries with different preferences | iLounge Article


Managing multiple iTunes Libraries with different preferences

Author's pic

By Jesse Hollington

Social Media & Software Editor, iLounge
Published: Friday, August 20, 2010
Articles Categories: Ask iLounge, iTunes, Music

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’ve created a new library in iTunes for an older selection of music that I want separate from the rest of the music I listen to. Both libraries are on an external hard drive. The problem I’m having is that when I go into the new library’s preferences to set where it stores its media, my existing library’s preferences also get changed and vice versa. How do I set up these two libraries so their media remains separate of one another? I’m using a Mac running Leopard.

- Megan

A: Unfortunately your iTunes Preferences are stored in a separate file that is common to the user account and not specific to an individual library. One way to get around this is to create another user account on the Mac for your alternate iTunes library—separate user accounts will have their own preferences for just about everything, including iTunes. You could even use Fast User Switching to move back and forth between both accounts and thereby access both iTunes libraries.

The other option is to use a third-party software utility to manage multiple iTunes libraries and take care of juggling your preferences file for you in the process. A good option for this is the iTunes Library Manager from Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes, which will allow you to manage up to two iTunes libraries in the free version, including maintaining separate preference files; a $10 upgrade is available to allow users to manage an unlimited number of iTunes libraries.

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...

« Transferring non-purchasd content to a new computer

Editorial: On Smarter, Eco-Friendlier Packaging of Apple Accessories »

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 section entry.


Recent News

Recent Reviews

Recent Articles

Shop for Accessories: Cases, speakers, chargers, etc.