1267 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Sep 23, 2007 11:53 AM by First Magus
Timmy Y wrote:
The best way would be to create several user accounts.
Except if you go that route, then anything you buy from iTunes will only work for you, not for the rest of your family. You'd have to buy four copies of the same episode of, say, "Lost," if the whole family wanted to have it on their iPod. It's like each of you having a bookcase at home that nobody else can read from, or a CD collection that nobody else can play.
I say one household, one user account. Each of you can arrange your files as you like by using your own library, but you will all share the same user account and therefore have access to the files any one of you buys from iTunes.
To make a new library, hold down the Shift key when starting iTunes. Keep it down until iTunes asks you to find a library. Make an additional library. ITunes will keep opening to that library until the next family member comes along and holds down Shift when starting the program.
I have struggled with this issue. Having a fairly large library it really doesn't make sense to have all the media duplicated across users, but I also would like each user to have the ability to rate the music in the library without side effecting the other users.
I've tried different methods but the closest to what I'm looking still has major problems. Essentially, I "softlink" the "iTunes Music" directory in each user's "iTunes" directory to the same location. The issue with this is that when new music is added by one user it doesn't show up for the other users unless they re-add the "iTunes Music" directory in their account - but this is far from being an elegant solution since it will also add podcasts as being part of the library (and not figuring out that these are podcasts.) The other issue is when users reorganize tracks, since the song is moved from one path to another and is "lost" by other users. The other users can re-add the "iTunes Music" directory, and reload those tracks under the new organization, but the old ones will still show as being missing until the user removes the entry from their library.
This has been the closest I can get to solving this issue, and I believe it can't get better without some partial redesign from Apple. In order to allow what is desired in this thread, I believe the iTunes application needs to be split into two apps. The first app would be an OS-X daemon or XP service which would have exclusive write access to the library - the second would be the familiar UI which would use some messaging protocol to coordinate with the daemon, using UUIDs to reference library entities, and storing locally in the user profile the ratings to tracks, pod-cast subscription information, etc. If one user updates the meta-information the other users will have that immediately when loading the iTunes UI. Other features might shake out of this design like ACLs for who in a household can import/purchase/organize tracks to/in library, and the possibilities of a media centric server for a household.
I don't believe this would be a terribly difficult or time consuming change for Apple since they are a big proponent of MVC design, the logic should be already separate between the UI and the library in iTunes.