Two computers iTunes Sync

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by waring192, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. waring192 macrumors member

    May 16, 2012

    So I have my main computer which is a MacBook Pro and I have a old MacBook Air with multiple hard drives attached for time machine etc.

    Is it possible (without signing up to Match) to auto sync the iTunes library's on both? This is because I have some devices such as my Airport Express's and Apple TV connected to my MacBook Pro but that means I always have to have it in the house and turned on.

    What I would like is if I rip a CD or download a song through youtube and add it to my library on my MacBook it auto syncs to my MacBook Air server? I would also like the ability to do the same the other way also, if I was to keep my Superdrive always plugged into my MacBook Air and rip a CD onto that library I would like it to also copy onto my MacBook Pro Library.

    Does that make sense? I would also like the album artwork to be copied etc also.
  2. waring192 thread starter macrumors member

    May 16, 2012
  3. bwintx macrumors 6502


    Jul 17, 2002
    Perhaps I'm missing something super-obvious, but you are using the same Apple ID on both Macs, right? Because I'm not getting why this wouldn't be working for you automatically. And, in case I am missing something super-obvious, I'll pre-apologize and give myself a "D'oh" up-front, here. :)
  4. waring192 thread starter macrumors member

    May 16, 2012
    Because its a backlog of CD's etc that I have ripped over many years so I would like copies on my MacBook Air Server and also on my MacBook Pro which I move around. I know any music purchased through the iTunes Store would automatically be installed on both but Im wanting to keep both updated.

    For example my next thing to do is rip all my Grandmothers old Classical CD's to put on the library on both my MacBook Air server and also my portable MacBook Pro.
  5. bwintx macrumors 6502


    Jul 17, 2002
    You said earlier, "(without signing up to Match)"; are you a paying subscriber to Apple Music? I know it allows including uploads of your own (see If not, though, don't know how to get there with iTunes. (Google Play Music allows up to 50K songs uploaded, but that's not iTunes. Don't know whether that matters to you. And there are probably other services with similarities.)
  6. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    You could possibly just relocate your iTunes library to a NAS network share and open it from both devices but I'm not sure how well that would work.

    I just signed up for Apple music and gave in to streaming stuff.
  7. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    The best I can think is to use Freefilesync or Chronosync and set it to mirror from the Macbook to your server.

    That way any files you add, move or delete on the Macbook will be reflected on the server. While this will keep it in sync there are some hefty caveats for the server.

    The server can only be used for playback and serving the library to other devices.
    - Playlists cannot be created on the server.
    - You can't organize files on the server, make deletions, additions, &c
    - You can't track anything such as playcounts, ratings, &c on the server

    This is because all data comes from the Macbook. Any changes made on the server will be wiped out by the mirrored sync.

    Two way syncing will not work. As it will favor the most recent library changed (ie the last opened). You'd end up with a hodge podge of missing files.

    Be sure to turn off anything on the server such as organize library or automatic downloads. This will just increase sync times if it keeps changing things.
  8. auhagen macrumors regular

    May 30, 2010
    It is possible, but not a perfect setup.

    First of, you need to have the media files in the same direction on every machine you wanna do this with.
    Second of all you need a cloud setup of some sort, I'm using dropbox.

    When this is in order, its fairly easy. Take your machine with the main library, and start by moving the data library files from the iTunes folder to your dropbox folder. Now hold down "alt" when you open iTunes, and select the library at the new direction.

    Now your'e up and running.

    For synchronication of the media folders, you need a 3. party app, an automator script, or you can just do it manually (I do it manually since i rarely add media anymore).

    Close itunes on the pro, and go over to the air.

    Setup dropbox on the air, and hold down "alt" again and pick the shared library files from dropbox.

    When you have made sure that all the files are in sync, just open up itunes, on the machine your'e working on, and enjoy. You might wanna disable dropbox notifications, because it's gonna sync every time there is a change to the library file.

    The only downside to this setup, is that it is important to only have itunes open at one machine at the time. Otherwise there will be some sort of file mixup to the library files on dropbox.

    This is the best solution I have found so far.


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