Sharing/Syncing iTunes Music Library

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Xian Zhu Xuande, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. Xian Zhu Xuande macrumors 6502a

    Xian Zhu Xuande

    Jul 30, 2008
    Hi folks,

    Maybe a hard-core iTunes enthusiast among you can help me out with something.

    Here's what I want to do:
    1) Store my iTunes library/files in a centralized location.
    2) ... a location which is accessible from other computers in my network.
    3) ... in a way that library information is shared/updated (e.g. a song rating).
    4) ... and in a way that does not make syncing an iPhone a pain in the ass.

    What I tried:
    I moved my iTunes library to an AirPort disk (using newest AirPort Extreme) and updated it to reference the files stored on that AirPort disk. Keeping old files in place (as a fallback) I loaded iTunes from my laptop (with option) and selected the alternate library. I got everything to update and run smoothly. The next day I turned on my Mac Pro and referenced the new library. It was working smoothly as well (I took care to quit iTunes on the laptop before launching the Mac Pro—one headache at a time). After a while, though, iTunes (on the Mac Pro) complained of an error -50 saving the iTunes library (couldn't write). I quit iTunes and relaunched, causing it to hang checking the library. I then found that the whole partition on the AirPort disk was not allowing write operations (although the others were). Restarting the AirPort fixed this issue. The Mac Pro was able to reconnect to the library and get past the checking stage, but it reverted back to the files on one of its local hard drive. It is stubborn about switching back.

    I considered using a Mac Mini as a media server but as far as I can tell this introduces a few limitations. 1) I have to sync with the Mac Mini. 2) I cannot alter files in meaningful ways from other computers, such as ratings, through the shared iTunes library (and remote administration seems like it would introduce its own array of pains).

    Is there something I can do to make this work?

    Or do I just need to wait a while longer for this process to smooth out?
  2. brandone macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2010
    San Francisco
    There is no way to do exactly what you want. However, you are already on the right track. When sharing an iTunes library, it is impossible to allow users to modify ID3 data, this ensures data integrity. Your suggestion of moving music to a separate mac mini is a good one. Once you have moved all of your media to the mac mini, install this software:
    This emulates an iTunes shared folder. You can setup firefly to continually search for music added to the target folder. This means, that if you share the music folder on the mac mini to the whole network, anyone can add music to it, and it will auto add it to the database. The other huge improvement over using iTunes to share, is that there is no maximum user limitations. When sharing with iTunes, only 5 individuals can connect per day.
    If you want any other info on how to set it up, let me know.
    good luck.

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