Itunes... One machine, two logins, same library???

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by whaleboy, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. whaleboy macrumors member

    Feb 14, 2007
    I've searched the forum but didn't find much. Here is what I'm trying to do...

    I have a MBP with two user logins. I want to just have a single itunes library. Sharing is lame because Itunes needs to be already running on the master login for the second to see it, so thats out. I just want the library to live on a shared location so that either login can see and modify it.

    I've tried...

    Moving User/Music/itunes folder to the shared folder outside of the user directories and pointing both itunes (via Prefs/advanced) to that itunes folder. The original itunes works fine that way, but the secondary logins itunes still can't see it even after setting the location in the prefs. An odd thing too... When the itunes folder was in my user folder, it had several folders under it, and all the music was in one of those subfolders (music?). But after dragging the itunes folder to the shared folder, now all the individual folders show up in the itunes root, not in the subfolder they had been in. ???

    So the question stands... If I have my music in a shared folder, how do I get itunes in both logins to use the same library?


  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    That Shared Folder route should work, but you'll need to select the top-level iTunes folder, Get Info, set it to allow read permissions (if not read/write) to both accounts, and then tell it to apply those settings to all contained files as well.

    I think you're just unable to "see" the files from the other account, as I'm able to get it to work across accounts on my Mac this way.
  3. whaleboy thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 14, 2007
    No go... I changed the itunes folder to read/write (it was just set to read) for all accounts, but when I go into Itunes in the other account and in itunes/prefs/advanced and change the itunes library location to the shared itunes folder, nothing shows up in itunes. I can see all the music folders in the select browser, but itunes refuses to list anything. The same location works fine in my account. The same method also works fine on my PC with two login accounts. I don't know what the deal is here, but its really annoying. I've never liked itunes, and I'm liking it even less now...

    Anyone else have it working under more than one login?

  4. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    If I remember correctly, to make it work, put the iTunes Library on a Disk Image and then put that disk image in a shared location. I'm reaching way back into my memory on that one... SOP is to use an external drive... so a disk image might be a good workaround. Although one user might have to log off for the other user to connect to the Library.
  5. whaleboy thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Ok, after a little experimentation, I noticed that even though the library was pointed to a shared folder, an itunes folder in the local music folder was still created every time itunes started. I deleted this from both accounts and replaced them with an alias to the shared folder. I fully expect this to fall apart in some way, but at least I can now see the music, etc from itunes in each account. We'll see what happens if I try to add music...

  6. didgeytrucker macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2007
    Sharing the Library is easy. Just point iTunes to the same folder.

    Sharing the <iTunes Music Library.xml> file (which is what you want to do) won't work. iTunes creates an .xml file for each user in the user's iTunes folder and I don't see any way to tell iTunes not to do that.

  7. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    I have had this system set up for about a year. It is definitely possible, when i first set it up had terrible problems with permissions.

    In my shared folder is the folder that contained all the actual music folders.

    In iTunes the iTunes music folder location is set to HD:Users:Shared:iTunes Music on both accounts, then just added all the songs to iTunes.

    In doing this iTunes does make it's own folder inside music in both of my home directories, this just contains the itunes library files and another folder called iTunes Music. This folder is empty but for me iTunes insists on creating it from time to time so i leave it alone.


    I just used BatChmd to change the permissions. That hint wasn't around when i did it, believe me i did hell of a lot of searching when i first started out trying to do this.
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
  9. whaleboy thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 14, 2007
    It would be easy if it worked. I pointed both to the same shared folder. Nothing shows up in itunes on the second account, just a big empty window.

    The aliases work so far. I can now access the same music from both accounts.

  10. whaleboy thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 14, 2007
    I did, and didn't see an easy way. I don't want to jump thru hoops (like having to start itunes with special scripts that set permissions, etc). A seamless way to have two logins on the same computer listen to the same library should be a braindead easy thing to do (especially on a mac), and should be a pretty common request... I don't see why they've made it so difficult. It was easy on my PC (although that was a much earlier version)... I've since re-installed XP on that machine and have yet to set up itunes again. It probably won't work this time...

    The share feature is there, but is just plain stupid that you have to be logged into both accounts and have itunes running in each. Useless in my opinion...

  11. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
  12. whaleboy thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 14, 2007
    The only difference between that and what I tried was instead on changing the lib location by Option starting, I did it in prefs/advanced, and that didn't work (it should... It asks for a location, I give it one, and it doesn't see it). I'm good for now with the Alias route...


  13. pdchamp macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2007
    I found this in the help section of Itunes.
    To listen to another account's music files:
    Open iTunes.
    From the iTunes menu, choose Preferences.
    Click Advanced.
    Deselect the "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library file" option.
    Click OK.
    From the File menu, choose Add to Library. Note: Windows users can also choose Add Folder to Library to add a folder of songs.
    Navigate in the Add To Library window to the location where the other user's music is saved (the iTunes Music folder in the case above).
    Click Choose.

    I tried it and it works.

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