Newbie: Single iTunes account and multiple users on single imac

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by teknofobe, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. teknofobe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Aberdeen
    #1
    Be gentle with me, a newbie to this site.

    I bought an imac 24" 4 months ago and set up individual access accounts on the mac for me and my daughters.

    I then set up an itunes account for each and I started to pay into their accounts for them to purchase some music and all was fine after syncing each nano with their access account and itunes account.

    However, it quickly became apparent that they could not share their music between account even though they are on the same computer. I have tried various searches but to be honest some of the methods suggested I just dont understand hence my appearance here.

    Can I now save the music they have purchased etc and take it all to one account and then sync them again with the one itunes account or would i be better to keep the different accounts and change the set-up so that they can see and sync with each others music.

    Hope I have explained this sufficiently clearly and any help would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    #2
    You could try one central iTunes Library. You'd have to combine all the music into one library, and then point the other accounts to that Library.
     
  3. Maxington macrumors 6502

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    May 11, 2007
    Location:
    Oshkosh, WI
    #3
    The single library system works, just make sure you don't use quick user switching because it and sometimes mess up this setup.

    I have been using this setup now for about a year and a half and so far it works ok.
     
  4. teknofobe thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Thanks guys, will give this a try but still not sure how to move their music to the single account?
     
  5. BaldiMac macrumors 604

    BaldiMac

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #5
    Combining everything into a single account is not necessary.

    To simply make the music accessible to play on the iMac from any account:

    1) Make sure sharing is turned on in the iTunes preferences.

    2) Make sure Fast User Switching is enabled in the Accounts pane in System Preferences, so you can switch between accounts without logging out.

    3) Any account with iTunes running in it will show up as a shared library in iTunes in the active account. You may need to authorize each account with the purchasers username and password the first time you try to play DRM'd files (Songs bought from iTunes that are not in the iTunes Plus format).

    To be able to share the music to sync to an iPod (for example, one daughter wants to give you one of the songs she downloaded, so you can sync it with your iPod):

    1) Simply transfer the file between accounts using the drop box, flash drive, cd, external drive, email, or whatever.

    2) Drag and drop the file into iTunes. Again, you may need to authorize with the purchasers username and password.
     
  6. teknofobe thread starter macrumors newbie

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  7. BaldiMac macrumors 604

    BaldiMac

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    Jan 24, 2008
    #7
    A little more information that may be helpful...

    1) To copy a song from iTunes to a flash drive or whatever medium you would like to use, simply drag the song from iTunes to the icon of the drive.

    2) A users "drop box" is used to transfer any sort of file between accounts. It is located at:

    Users\SHORTNAME\Public\Drop Box

    When you drop a file onto the Drop Box icon, you will get a message telling you that you will not be able to see the results of the action. This message is normal. When you login to the account that you transferred the file to, navigate to the accounts Drop Box and drag the file into iTunes (or wherever you want to put it.)
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #8
    I think there are some pros and cons to each approach.

    - With the sharing mode, you have to have multiple instances of iTunes running as well as other resource demands of the "switched out" user. Also each user "owns" a separate account, and so lots of content cannot be edited from the other accounts. Also, IIRC, all the search tools in iTunes only look at one library at a time, so you might have to search several times in order to find a single song.

    - You can move them into a central library and use access control lists to let everyone have read/write access to that iTunes library, although I'm not sure that the actual write aspect is totally solid / error-free and (i.e. being able to add new songs, update metadata and playlists, etc) still works in Leopard. I do this in Tiger.

    - I think there's a way to move them into a central library, then set each iTunes copy to look in the central location but keep its own library XML file, but then the consequence is that they will not be synced (i.e. each user would have different playlists, etc, and new songs might not automatically show up in the other users' accounts).

    If resource consumption is a total non-issue, though, BaldiMac's suggestion of using Sharing is the easiest.
     
  9. BaldiMac macrumors 604

    BaldiMac

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    Jan 24, 2008
    #9
    I took a couple of things into consideration in steering the OP away from the central library. First, I can't imagine that the OP and each of the daughters would all want the exact same music on their iPods. I got the feeling that they probably just want to share some songs here and there between each of them. Second, "Newbie" and "Access Control Lists" don't belong together. :D
     
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #10
    Yes, I did recognize that. :eek: (Oh, you mean newbie ... in Linux you're considered a newbie even after you've written your own applications. :D )

    Wait, so in terms of limitations, you can't upload any songs from the shared libraries to your device, can you? Wouldn't that be a much more major limitation?
     
  11. BaldiMac macrumors 604

    BaldiMac

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    Jan 24, 2008
    #11
    I explained how to do that in the second half of my original post. Just copy the files manually between accounts (using flash drive, drop box, etc.). They could even email songs to the rest of the family. This option is okay if they just want to share the occasional song with each other.
     
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #12
    Yeah, I guess that's not so bad, aside from any purchased music.... I tend to agree also, that that's a good solution.
     
  13. BaldiMac macrumors 604

    BaldiMac

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    Jan 24, 2008
    #13
    It would work for purchased (Fairplay protected) music as well. Up to 5 iTunes libraries can be authorized to play the songs.
     
  14. teknofobe thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 7, 2009
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    Aberdeen
    #14
    baldimac and mkrishnan, thanks a lot for your comments, some i understand and others are way past me but thanks anyways, could I trouble you some more though?

    I think I would prefer one itunes account, one library and then we all just simply use the playlists to manage what tunes we each sync with but i am not sure how to actually achieve this with them having different access acounts on the imac?:confused:
     
  15. teknofobe thread starter macrumors newbie

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  16. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    Whitehouse, OH
    #16
    I've been contemplating your exact question for a few days now and haven't been able to come up with a good solution that will work across accounts and allow each to sync/buy content with the same library without the possibility of file lock issues.
     

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