Q: I am trying to share my music library between two users on the same computer. I have followed your instructions from your 04-24 article, as well as your ‘Transferring your iTunes Library’ iPod 201 article. The end result is always the same. The library (after being moved) remains visible on the login on which I made the move, however, I cannot see it from the other user’s login. I’ve tried to consolidate the library etc. but the only way I can access the files is to import them again under the second login.
This doesn’t result in duplicate files, but it seems to add them to the iTunes library. This is fine, but I have to do this every time I get new music. I must be doing something wrong, but what?
A: It sounds like the step that you’re missing here is actually copying the iTunes library database either to the new user’s profile, or to a common location that both users can access.
How you should handle the iTunes database depends largely on whether you want to share all iTunes-related information, such as ratings, play counts and play lists, or whether you’re only looking to share the music content itself and keep your other metadata separate.
If you want to share your entire library between both users, including all of your metadata, then you need to move your main “iTunes” folder, located under your user profile’s “My Music” folder to a common location, such as C:\iTunes. Since your media content is also stored under this folder, you’ll also need to update the location of the “iTunes Music” folder in your Advanced preferences within iTunes itself.
Once you’ve moved this folder to the new location, you need to point iTunes itself to this new folder within each user account. To do this, hold down the SHIFT key (Windows) or OPT key (Mac) while starting iTunes and you will be presented with a dialog box that provides you with the option to either choose or create a library.
Select “Choose Library” and browse to the new location of your main iTunes folder (ie, C:\iTunes). This will open the iTunes library database and related support files from the new location. Note that you will need to take this step in both user accounts to point them to your new iTunes folder, since iTunes will want to create a new library under “My Music” by default. Once you have redirected iTunes to use the new path in each account, however, it will continue to do use that location unless you change it again by following the above steps and choosing a new location.