Multiple iPods on the same computer
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.
Q: How do I have two separate accounts for different iPods on the same computer? I recently gave my daughter my old iPod, and don’t know how to create an account for her for the old iPod while I still have an account on it. Also, how do you delete songs from the old iPod so she can add her own music?
A: Note that it is possible to use two or more iPods with the same iTunes library. iTunes will recognize each iPod as a distinct device, and you can customize the preferences and synchronization settings for each iPod individually. So you could, for example, set one iPod to sync your entire music library, and another iPod to only sync specified playlists, choose a different set of playlists for each iPod, or set one or both of them to add content manually rather than automatically synchronizing. This allows both iPods to share the same music library. One disadvantage to this however is that all ratings and playcounts will be shared between all iPods that sync to that library, so if you’re actually sharing songs, you won’t be able to specify different ratings for them.
If you want to keep two or more entirely separate libraries in iTunes, simply assign each iTunes user their own user account on the computer. iTunes stores its library data in each user’s local profile, so each user essentially gets their own iTunes library.
User accounts are set up as a function of your computer’s operating system. Simply go into your Control Panel on Windows or your System Preferences on Mac OS X and choose the Users (Windows) or Accounts (Mac) option to manage the user accounts on your computer. Simply create a new account for your daughter, and then when she logs in and starts iTunes, she will be presented with a brand new, empty iTunes library that she can start out with and import her own music into.
If you don’t want to create separate user accounts on your computer, iTunes 7 also provides another way that you can have multiple libraries. By holding down the SHIFT key (Windows) or OPT key (Mac) when starting iTunes you can tell iTunes to use a different library. See our Ask iLounge 9-12-06 column for specific details on how this works and how to set it up.
An important thing to keep in mind when using different libraries is to always ensure that the correct library is active when using automatic synchronization and connecting your iPod. Otherwise, you may inadvertently sync your iPod to the wrong library, potentially replacing all of its content.
If you want to erase your daughter’s iPod entirely and let her start over fresh, your best option is to perform a “Restore” on the iPod, which will return it back to its default factory settings, erasing everything on it. This is done by selecting the “Restore” option in iTunes itself. See the first question in last week’s Ask iLounge article for specific information on how to do this.
After a restore, the iPod is basically returned to the condition it was in when you first took it out of the box. When first connecting it back to iTunes, you will be presented with the normal iPod Setup Wizard, and can choose the sync settings for the new library and proceed to configure the iPod for your particular preferences.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple under fire for patent infringement from haptic feedback company Immersion
- CBS CEO Moonves notes Apple talks have stopped
- Apple will source iPhone 7 ‘A10’ CPU solely from TSMC
- Federal bill aims to take regulatory power for phone encryption out of state hands
- Job post shows Apple emphasizing new complications, faces for Apple Watch
- New comments hint at forthcoming streaming TV service from Apple
- Apple Music available on Sonos starting today
- Screen protector installation now available at Apple Stores
- Russia mulling tax increase on App Store purchases, other Apple services
- Lawyers threaten to sue Apple over ‘Error 53’ codes disabling iPhones
- Vicks SmartTemp Wireless Smartphone Thermometer
- Gumdrop Cases DropTech Case for iPad Pro
- Edifier MP700 Rave Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- Just Mobile HoverDock for Apple Watch + HoverDock for iPhone
- VRS Design Dandy Layered Case for iPad Pro
- Just Mobile TENC for iPad Pro
- Native Union DOCK Lightning
- Native Union DOCK for Apple Watch
- Hitcase Pro+ Action Pack and Snap for iPhone 6/6s
- Urban Armor Gear Trooper for iPhone 6/6s
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 8.4 + Apple Music
- CE Week 2015: IK Multimedia, Monowear’s Apple Watch bands + More
- Live From CE Week 2015: Brand New iPad, iPhone + Mac Accessories!