One iTunes library with multiple macs?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Jajh, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. Jajh macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2015
    Hi all first post from me #

    My question is it possible to sucessfully manage one iTunes library with multiple macs?

    I currently have all music on my MacBook pro but I have just bought a Mac mini to use as a server for my music.

    I want to move the music from MacBook pro to the Mac mini but still be able to use the itunes library on both machines.

    I appreciate I could move the library then just use home share on the mbp but I gather that I loose the ability to sync my iOS devices on the MacBook and also if I import music using the Macbook these won't show up on the Mac mini which is the server???

  2. prizm macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2007
  3. Jajh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2015
    I can't as I am above the 25,000 song limit #
  4. McScooby macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2005
    The Paps of Glenn Close, Scotland.
    I'm going to be in the same position shortly. I was thinking about plugging hard drives into time capsule & pointing both iTunes libraries to it as the source, a more clunky version would be back to my mac on the mini, but I would too welcome a more elegant solution if one exists.
  5. Jajh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2015
    It's definately going to be a problem for lots of people reaching the iTunes match limit and the ever reducing size of apples MacBook hdd space
  6. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Nov 8, 2008
    Florida, U.S.A.
    I remember reading somewhere that you can have you own iTunes Library, but leave the media on a separate location or drive. There's an option to not move the media files into the iTunes Library.
  7. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    Move your iTunes library to the Mac Mini server you set up. Copy the corresponding iTunes files to the Music folder in the home folder on the Mac Mini and you should be able to open up the library on the Mac Mini just like using iTunes on the MBP.

    Then remove the iTunes library from your MBP. Go into the finder and connect to the Mac Mini (which you will have to set up in System Prefs so that the hard disk does not go to sleep to give you 24/7 access to its data). You want the MBP to have access to the Mac Mini files at all times without you having to perform any actions to connect to it. Make sure in Sharing on the Mac Mini that File Sharing is set up and that your MBP has user credentials.

    Then open up iTunes on your MPB. Go to iTunes preferences and set the location of the iTunes media in Advanced to the iTunes folder on the Mac Mini.

    Lastly is the issue of the iTunes library files. You want your MBP to reflect the playlists, and other data on the library on both machines. Make a folder on your MBP desktop with the name "iTunes Library data". Then go to the Music folder on your MBP and into the iTunes folder and move all the iTunes library files to the newly created folder. Then go into the finder and access the Music folder on the Mac Mini, create aliases or hard links to all the library related files in the Mac Mini iTunes library folder and move them to the Music folder on your MBP. The same iTunes subfolder that they were in before you moved them to the desktop folder.

    You should now be able to access the same library from either machine.

    2 caveats. You won't have access to any iTunes on your MBP outside of your home network of course. iTunes may not allow you to have iTunes running on both machines simultaneously. I don't think it is designed to have multiple instances open with each instance able to read/write to the library .xml files.
  8. Vanilla Face macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2013
    Just spit balling but you could probably do the above and use a dynamic DNS service to be able to access it from outside the home.
  9. Jajh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2015
  10. Jajh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2015
    Still havent been able to try either suggestion yet but will update as soon as i can. meanwhile if anyone else has an idea then please post.
  11. Jajh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2015
    Hi Roland,

    Just a quick update on this.

    I have tried the solution but I have an issue with the itunes library.itl file.

    I have shared the itunes folder on the mac mini and chosen this folder on the mbp but it says the library.itl file is locked? I have also tried choosing the "apply to enclosed items" in the itunes folder which works but then I cant open itunes on the mac mini

    Any ideas??

Share This Page