one library two macs

Discussion in 'iPod' started by OldManSeed, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. OldManSeed macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2008
    Hi there, I recently purchased a 15" MBP, and thought it'd be fun to put my old 12" powerbook g4 to work for me.

    Specifically, what I'm aiming to accomplish is to store my itunes music library (+130gb) on an external firewire drive that's connected to the powerbook. I'd like to be able to access and alter/update this library, as well as sync my ipod and iphone to it on the MBP, but I'd also like these changes to appear in itunes on the powerbook.

    Both machines are connected to the same wifi network, sadly ethernet is not an option here.

    How can I make this work? I know you guys know. Please help! :eek:
  2. milk242 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2007
    I'm fairly certain that you won't be able to sync your ipods on your mbp through your PowerBook. To have one central library I believe you just go into iTunes and change the path of your library to the shared disk.
  3. Malbone macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2009
    I have a similar setup -- one set of music files on a network HD connected to a Mac; both the Mac and the WinXP machine are on an Ethernet network through a router. The Mac's iTunes uses library database files stored on the network HD; the WinXP machine has these files in the local My Documents / My Music folder, but I set the preferences of iTunes to use the music files on the network HD. The Windows menu item "Tools --> Map Network Drive" is a handy way of giving the network drive a Win XP letter.

    I had a lot of problems trying to point both machines to the same library files. I try to use only the Mac to download and add music to iTunes, but both machines would download podcasts and iPhone apps, resulting in duplicate files. Even apart from that, iTunes for Windows would truncate very long filenames, which also resulted in duplicate files.

    My solution is a bit low-tech but works a lot better. After updating podcasts and apps on the Mac, I manually copy the database files from the Mac to the PC. (These are all the individual files in the "iTunes" folder, such as "iTunes Library.itl", plus the "Album Artwork" folder.) I then start iTunes on the WinXp machine. After updating the library, it shows ALL the files as "orphaned" (there is an icon next to the checkbox column). That's scary -- but I just close iTunes and start it again, and all is well.

    This method also has the advantage of copying all my smart playlists; the library looks and functions exactly the same as it does on the Mac.

    I suppose you could do this on non-networked computers by copying the files to a flash drive and recopying them to the other machine. The external HD could then be switched from one machine to the other. Just make sure it is connected before starting iTunes on that computer.

    I would advise making an archive (ZIP or RAR) copy of these files on both machines before doing the copy the first time, just in case it needs to be undone.

    By the way, I am using iTunes 10.6 on a Mac G4 and iTunes 11.0 on the PC, with no problems.


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