iTunes on a single Mac w/multiple users

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by CosmoPilot, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. CosmoPilot macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

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    Nov 8, 2010
    Location:
    South Carolina
    #1
    I have a family of 4. We all use the same Apple ID, and share music, apps, movies, etc. Up until now, I've always managed everyones iPhone, iPad backups using my iTunes account/login.

    I've recently decided to set up separate user accounts on our iMac (4 total). The main issue I'm having with this set up is with iTunes!

    I've followed Apple's recommended settings for this, however I can't seem to figure out how to stop getting duplicate song files.

    Example:
    I buy a song while logged into my account on the iMac, everything is good. Then I log into my kids account and the song is not showing in their library. So, I select "add to library" and then I get 2 copies of the song.

    OR, I use the sharing feature, so their iTunes looks at mine to "add new content" and the same thing happens...DUPLICATES. I have all their accounts' advanced settings to not copy files to iTunes Music folders....but yet it still does.

    99% of the time, I'll be logged onto the iMac; therefore, I'll get all songs, apps, and books downloaded automatically with the Store setting. What I'm looking for, is a way for everyone else's login on the iMac to reflect exactly what my Library shows without making duplicates (for HDD space consideration).

    Does anyone have any suggestions/solutions?
     
  2. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #2
    If you want everyone to have the same iTunes music/movies, etc. then you could just point every user's iTunes to look at your library (the master).

    iTunes > Preferences > Advanced tab > iTunes Media folder location > Change... button
     
  3. CosmoPilot thread starter macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

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    #3
    This is what I've done per Apple's website linked in my original post. The only difference, is the 'master folder' is in Users > Shared directory.

    When I initially set it up, all accounts see and play all the media conent just fine. The issue is when I buy a new song that everyone else would like to use as well. If I use the sharing feature with fast login switching the other accounts will add the newly purchased song but does so by creating a copy even though I have the copy music to iTunes deselected.

    Additionally, if I Add to Library it is a long process and still generates a duplicate. Am I missing something?
     
  4. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #4
    Your problem is that iTunes only updates the library when it loads. If you're using Fast User Switching, it won't see the update until iTunes is quit and relaunched.
     
  5. CosmoPilot thread starter macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

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    #5
    So if I understand correctly, I don't need to use iTunes sharing at all. Once a song is added to anyones iTunes library (from a recent iTunes purchase), all the other accounts will automatically update their respective libraries when iTunes is quit and relaunched?

    I'll give this a go and see what happens.
     
  6. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    Colorado Springs, CO
    #6
    Yep, that's how I manage two of my iTunes apps on different computers (they both point to the same library on my file server).

    The only thing that may annoy everyone is that the library seems to keep the size of the last open iTunes window. So if one user changes it then quits iTunes it'll show up that size for the next user to run iTunes. It's annoying to me because one Mac has a 12" 4:3 screen and the other is a 13" widescreen.
     
  7. CosmoPilot thread starter macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

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    #7
    Ahh, I see now. You're using 2 different computers. This makes more sense now. I'm talking about using the same computer.

    In your case, 1 computer makes a copy of the file and adds it to your iTunes Media folder with a copy on the server. I'm trying to use 1 computer with 4 separate logins. I want all for users to see the exact same library. in essence, when user X adds a new song to their library via an iTunes purchase...I want users Y & Z to see it in their libraries as well without iTunes making a new copy of it.

    As per your suggestion, I started fresh and re-added the Media Folder to Users > Shared. Then I opened iTunes from a different user. I went to Preferences, Advanced, and choose the new media location. However, it still shows no music. I closed iTunes and reopened it...still the same thing. The only way I'll be able to get it to list all the music is to click on "add to library." After I clicked "add to library" and pointed iTunes to the shared folder...it now displays all the media content.

    At that point, all users iTunes libraries are in "sync" However, when I purchased a new song...no body else can see that song in their own iTunes library unless they click on "add to library" again! In the future, user X, Y & Z may not be aware of what an someone else purchased, therefore, they will have to add the entire media folder each time when doing this. This process takes about 2 to 3 minutes each time. Doing so, doesn't make duplicates but is time consuming.

    The other work around I've learned is through sharing (not to be confused with home sharing). Sharing allows me to leave iTunes open on user X's account and then be able to see it with user Y's account (fast user switching). However, when I tell iTunes to copy new content discovered from user X's profile, it does may a duplicate and renames the file xxxx1.mp3.

    I've search high & low and can't see to find a better solution.
     
  8. CosmoPilot thread starter macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

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    South Carolina
    #8
    I finally figured this out.

    Put the entire iTunes folder in a shared folder (permission for everyone to read/write).

    Then hold down the option button as you click on iTunes. This gives you the option to use a different library. Point everyones iTunes library to the shared folder's "iTunes Library.itl" file. This is where I kept messing up.

    [Apple's support website has you only move the iTunes Media folder to a shared folder, and subsequently it has you change everyones iTunes library to point to the new location of that folder. However, if a user adds music to the media folder from their iTunes library, it WILL NOT show up for anyone else because they have a separate iTunes library. Each separate user would have to click on "add to library" (very difficult if you don't know what someone purchased. Also, using the sharing feature causes iTunes to create a duplicate. Using Apple's method, you are able to use fast user switching between users with each having iTunes open at the same time. The downside is mentioned above]

    By actually placing the entire iTunes folder in a shared folder (with correct permissions) and pointing each user to the "iTunes Library.itl" file. Every user will in fact be using the exact same iTunes library/media/playlists/etc. This is the solution I was looking for. The downside here, is fast user switching doesn't support this method. In other words, only 1 user can have iTunes open at a time. My families solution...quit iTunes when your done using it!

    Hope this helps someone in the future. I had a heck of a time finding any information that pointed me to the .itl file.
     
  9. Eddiesalsa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #9
    CosmoPilot... Thanks for sharing this complete solution... I have the exact same issue but with only 3 users on an iMac which I just got last week. This is my first Mac and been having this itunes problem back on my old PC.

    I will follow your complete process tonight and hopes it all comes out well.

    Thanks again for sharing this info...really appreciate it..
     
  10. CosmoPilot thread starter macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

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    #10
    Good luck, let me know if you need any other information.
     
  11. Eddiesalsa macrumors newbie

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    Jun 23, 2010
    #11
    it worked perfectly... THANKS!!!!

    The only obstacle I had was setting up the permission for the users, couldn't figure it out at first but then I had to think logical and got it... The only question I have in regards to permission setting, do I have to select "Staff & Everyone" to have read & write permission? Or can I just had added the 2 user's and selected Read & write permission, then select "Apply to Enclosed items"?

    Thanks,
     
  12. cingularpat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #12
    CosmoPilot, I have a question about your setup. I'm about to help a friend setup a very similar situation (one Mac, two iPhones) and I figured this would be the solution. However, I have to ask... Does each user's calendars, contacts, etc. still sync separately even though they're sharing one iTunes library? I would appreciate any information and/or advice you can offer here. Thanks!
     
  13. CosmoPilot thread starter macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

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    #13
    Yes! Under settings, iCloud is a new feature. This is where you will setup each individual's iCloud stuff. Under each users login, all iCloud stuff is completely separate (assuming each person has a unique iCloud apple I'd).

    For iTunes, everyone shares the same apple ID so they can share purchased content.

    On the iPhone, just set them up with the unique iCloud apple ID. Then go into settings > store, and change the Apple ID to the shared one.

    iMessage and FaceTime should have the unique iCloud email address o. The phones as well.

    Hope this helps.
     
  14. ToothTooth macrumors member

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    Oct 8, 2010
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
    #14
    What if I don't use iCloud? I'd like to be able to sync my ipod and my wife's ipad separately so that our contacts, apps, etc. don't get mixed up. Is that possible if we're using a shared itunes library but separate user accounts on one mac computer?
     
  15. ToothTooth macrumors member

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    North Carolina, USA
    #15
    Can anyone help with my question? Much appreciated.
     
  16. CosmoPilot thread starter macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

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    #16
    Not possible as far as I know, perhaps someone else could chime in. The issue is iTunes is needed to sync each device, so you'll be using the same iTunes library to share music. iTunes doesn't have a function to segregate contacts, calendars, etc.

    The only work around I could possibly see is if you each used different programs for contacts (Outlook, Address Book), and had iTunes use those desperate programs to sync with.
     
  17. Blomkvist macrumors member

    Blomkvist

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    Jan 8, 2012
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #17

    ToothTooth: I would simply turn off the synching option for calendar/contacts on each of your devices, so that when you sync to itunes it only syncs media/apps. What applications do you each use for calendar/contacts?
     
  18. ToothTooth macrumors member

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    Oct 8, 2010
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
    #18
    Yes, I guess that would work. We each use separate Google accounts to manage our calendars and contacts.
     
  19. frugalfly macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2013
    #19
    Can't give kids' account permission for itunes library.itl file

    I have been trying to set up my itunes the way this thread described (in reply #8) so my kids can use itunes while logged in as their own user. However, every time I try hitting Option while opening their itunes and choosing the Itunes library.itl file for their library location it tells me the Itunes Library Extras.itdb file is locked or on a locked disc or I have no permission to write.

    what am I doing wrong? I have added my kids to allowed users on the administrator's public folder (where I moved the entire itunes folder), as well as to the itunes folder in that folder, as well as making that specific file read/writeable by my kids' user. All are Read/Write accessible. I am at my wit's end trying to make itunes accessible by my kids without the problem of duplicate songs or having to import any song I buy into each user's itunes.

    help!
     
  20. CosmoPilot thread starter macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

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    #20
    You need to grant permissions to the folder where the iTunes library is located
     
  21. frugalfly macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2013
    #21
    have to allow permissions for EVERYTHING in itunes folder

    I finally got it to work after changing permissions on each individual file in the itunes folder. I don't know why I can't just allow read/write permissions on the folder and that would take care of it, but I had to change the read/write permissions on every file and folder in my itunes folder. But I think I'm up and running now!
     

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