Sharing iTunes library on a single 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: I can’t believe I’m the only one who needs to do this (marital bliss depends on success), but I need to find a way to share one music library between two users on the same machine. I would like two users to share music (without the other user needing to be logged in), and if possible, music added (purchased from the iTunes Store or ripped from CD) would be placed into the same library and both users would have permission.
A: With iTunes 7, this is actually not all that difficult, although a few steps are required to configure this.
The first step is to shut down iTunes and move your iTunes Music folder to a common location that both users on the computer have access to. This can be a folder at the root of the hard drive, or in any other common folder that can be shared between both users.
Once this has been done, simply restart iTunes while holding down the SHIFT key (Windows) or OPT key (Mac), and keep holding this key down until you see a dialog box similar to the following:
From there, simply click “Choose Library” and then browse to the location that you moved your iTunes Music Folder to. iTunes will simply begin accessing the music folder in the new location, and will remember this location until you manually change it again using this same method.
You can then simply log in to the second account and perform the same steps: Start iTunes while holding down SHIFT or OPT and choose the new common library location.
You may also want to go into your iTunes Advanced Preferences and update the iTunes Music Folder path to reflect this new location as well, depending upon how you normally store your music files, in order to ensure that any new content you add goes into the correct location.
The only caution to this method is to ensure that you do not have iTunes open in more than one user profile at a time (ie, if you are using a feature such as “Fast User Switching”), as the iTunes database is not designed for multi-user access and this may risk corruption to it. If you normally log out from one account before logging in to the other, you should be fine. However if you use Fast User switching, simply ensure that iTunes is shut down in the first account before loading it in the other user account.
- 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 releases iOS 10.0.2 to fix headphone controls, iCloud Photo Library
- Report: Apple’s Siri home hub has reached the prototype stage
- Apple acquires machine learning company Tuplejump
- Apple releases iOS 10.1 public beta
- iOS 10.1 beta adds ‘Portrait’ Depth of Field effect
- Apple releases first iOS 10.1, watchOS 3.1, tvOS 10.0.1 developer betas
- Report: Apple considering acquisition of high-performance car maker McLaren (Update: and Lit Motors)
- Google brings Allo messaging app to iOS
- Apple working on fix for Lightning EarPods glitch
- DisplayMate says iPhone 7 has the ‘best performing mobile LCD display’
- Thought Out Simplex Tablet iPad Stand
- SmartX Galaxy ZEGA Starter Kit
- Apple iPhone 7 Plus Leather Case
- Apple Watch Series 2
- iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
- Twelve South HiRise 2 for iPhone + iPad
- Nomad Pod Pro for iPhone and Apple Watch
- Sevenhugs hugOne Sleep Monitoring System
- Kanex GoPower Watch Portable Battery for Apple Watch
- Nuvyyo Tablo Over-the-Air Television DVR
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps