Sharing iTunes content on multiple iPhones

Q: I’m getting a new iPhone on Friday and giving my old one to my wife. I want to know the best way to go about sharing music and apps with both iPhones. Would it be easier to set her up on the PC with iTunes (still using my account), re-download the apps and share the music library? I’m not sure if you can sync to a shared iTunes library or not. All guidance will be greatly appreciated, as I will be setting this up on Friday.

– Anonymous

A: Having your wife use the PC is probably the simplest way to go if you want to share all of the content from a single library. You can easily connect two iPhones to the same iTunes library and have them sync the same apps and media content. Each iPhone will appear in iTunes as its own separate device with its own sync settings, so you can either choose to sync everything to both iPhones or select specific applications and playlists individually for each iPhone.

If your wife wants to continue using a different computer, this is an option as well, although you would need to transfer any content that she wants on her iPhone onto that computer so that she can access it and sync it from there.

Transferring the library content in this case is generally as simple as copying the files from one computer to the other and importing them into her iTunes library. Applications work much the same way as music in this regard.

One thing to keep in mind if you do choose to share a library: All playlists, ratings and play counts will be shared between both devices, which may be a concern if you rate your music or rely on play counts and last played times for Smart Playlist purposes. Essentially, play count and last played information will be aggregated from both iPhones, and ratings changed from one device will be transferred back to your iTunes library and transferred up to the other iPhone.