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Old Mar 18, 2012, 05:03 AM   #1
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Sharing an iTunes library on a network with Macs and PCs

I've searched, but couldn't quite find the answer.

I have an external HDD connected to my Airport Extreme. This HDD shows up as a shared drive on my Mac and my Windows 7 PC. The iTunes library is on there.

Both iTunes on the Mac and PC are pointed to the right place for the library.

However, when I open iTunes on either machine, they go through a huge "checking/updating library" phase, which takes about 30 minutes. During this time iTunes is frozen.

When the library becomes available, everything has a ! icon next to it, and when I check the library path it has changed to /iTunes media instead of just /iTunes. I change it back, it finds the files, but it'll reset itself again next time.

Is there any way for two computers to share the same library, or do I need to do it via Home Sharing? But with Home Sharing, that means iTunes needs to be left running on one machine, doesn't it? Which for me isn't practical.

Is there something preventing multiple computers accessing a single network library of music? I used to work in an office which had a music share, and it worked fine, although that was all Windows machines and wasn't using iTunes.
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Old Mar 18, 2012, 06:32 AM   #2
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iTunes is very limited and archaic.

What I do is have my iTunes library on an external hdd connected to my mini.
The mini uses iTunes and works perfect.
I then have the mini sharing the external hdd to windows.
Windows uses the superior Windows Media Player which is pointed at the share. Media loads up rapidly and plays from the share, read only. The only bad thing is it doesn't handle high complexity lossless files natively.

This solution could work for you with an airport shared hdd. Unless you really must use iTunes on windows?
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Old Mar 18, 2012, 03:39 PM   #3
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Well, I assume that iTunes is the only thing that'll play Apple Lossless files, for a start. Will see what WMP can do.
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Old Mar 18, 2012, 05:27 PM   #4
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Here's one method.

I don't think it works between two different OS's though.
For me I just have a NAS and simply import "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library" turned off, into iTunes on my Macs.

Another solution might be using iTunes Match. All your music is in the cloud albeit 256kbps.
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Last edited by blueroom; Mar 18, 2012 at 05:35 PM.
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Old May 11, 2012, 05:08 PM   #5
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ok, thanks. I was afraind that my only option was either iTunes match or hacking the itunes xml file to a dropbox folder etc. It just suprises me that apple hasn't incorperated this functionality. Anyway, thanks for the help. I will continue my search.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 10:24 AM   #6
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Similar issues

Trying to do the same thing, somewhat. I was thinking of getting a NAS drive and putting all my media on that drive. Both my Wife and I have separate iTunes accounts and thought that if we direct iTunes form our perspective computers to the Music folder on the NAS drive that any media purchased by either her or I will whind up in that folder for both of us to access. Of-course we might have to manage the music manually after the new purchases. Not sure if this is the best way to do this or are we **** out of luck until iTunes allows for this type of set. Any thoughts?
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