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Manually manage your music on your iPhone

6585 Views 81 Replies Latest reply: Feb 17, 2008 10:48 PM by Bezerker RSS
  • havemusicwilltravel Level 1 Level 1 (100 points)
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    Jan 19, 2008 12:43 PM (in response to Michael Rosenberg)
    Enough of semantics. I'm with you. I just was responding to manual mode issues accross platforms. Also comparing iPod to iPhone in manual mode. I thought a platform basis (Windows or Mac) would be helpful to ascertaining the problem we are inquiring about. Apparently I riled the semantics police.
    built myself, Windows XP Pro
  • Matthew Chiavelli Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Jan 19, 2008 4:12 PM (in response to kworley)
    Ok, one more setup question. Did you happen to copy either your desktop drive's iTunes Library to the external drive or vice-versa to create that 2nd library?

    The reason I ask is every iTunes library has a unique ID (that's how iTunes "knows" that you are trying to sync from another library). One way of fooling iTunes is by copying the library to another drive/computer and making that the computer's new iTunes library. I have used this trick to circumvent the fact that the Shuffle will only let you use a single computer's library, even though you can manually manage music on the Shuffle. It appears that the way Apple has implemented the iPhone's ability to manually management music is identical to how it's worked for the the shuffle since it was introduced.

    Using this trick I am able to fool my iPhone into letting me manually manage my music on two machines because they have the same iTunes Library ID. My iMac's (10.4.11) iTunes library was created by duplicating the one on my wife's iMac (10.5.1). This is of limited use since I have over 80GB of music and copying that to my MacBook or office G5 tower isn't an option.
    MacBook 2GHz - 2GB of RAM, Mac OS X (10.5.1), 2GB of RAM
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (122,170 points)
    Apparently I riled the semantics police.


    Baloney - I'm not the one who is riled apparently. it is called a discussion with no need for name calling.
     PowerBook G4 17-inch/1.67GHz/2GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.5.1), 7200rpm-100GB HD,  iPod w/Video 30GB,  iPhone 8GB
  • kworley Level 4 Level 4 (2,105 points)
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    Jan 19, 2008 4:37 PM (in response to Matthew Chiavelli)
    That's probably what happened.... When I got the iMac, I transferred the library from the PowerBook using the Migration Assistant. Since the library was smaller back then it was still living on the internal PB drive. As it grew, it got to the point where it was taking up over 20 GB of the 60 GB internal drive on the PB. Even though the iMac was my main machine, I wanted to have a backup of it accessible from the PB, so I copied the entire iTunes file from the iMac to the external drive, then moved the external to where the PB usually lives (another partition of that drive is where I have the Time Machine backup for the PB set up to run). I also copied it to an additional portable FW hard drive that I carry when I travel. If the PB is using the iMac's library "identity" when it's running the library file from the external it would explain why the iPhone works with both.
    15" Aluminum (FW800) PowerBook w/1.5 GB RAM, 17" iMac w/3G RAM, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • kworley Level 4 Level 4 (2,105 points)
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    Jan 19, 2008 5:04 PM (in response to kworley)
    OK- after thinking about it for a minute (and with the knowledge that I had a Time Machine backup), I did the following:
    1- quit iTunes on the PowerBook
    2- deleted the iTunes Library file from the PowerBook
    3- copied the Library file from the iTunes folder of the iMac to the iTunes folder of the PowerBook
    4- opened iTunes on the PB, got the message that it couldn't find it's Library, pointed iTunes to the file I had just copied.
    5- Since the iMac has a much larger library than the PB, there were a lot of files in the library that were not actually on the PB. I double-clicked on one and got the "can't find file, do you want to manually find it" message. Said "no"
    6- I selected the entire contents of the library, and hit "delete". Got the message asking me if I wanted to move the files to the trash. I said "No". Result: a completely empty library, but with all my playlists from the iMac still in the left column.
    7- went to the iTunes folder on the PB, and dragged all the music back to the Library. Once it was all copied over checked to see that the smart playlists were populated (they were)
    8- connected iPhone... it now allows me to use the PB to manually manage the music in the same way as I use the iMac.

    I'll have to clean up the PB library (delete some playlists that don't have any music in them and so on), but this allows me to do what I want to do- If I'm traveling with the PB and want to add or delete music from the iPhone without completely wiping it I can do it. This is something that not everyone would want to do- I can see issues with losing data about number of times the song has been played recently and so on, but that's not a concern of mine. I don't rate my music (If I didn't like it, it wouldn't be on my computer). I'm happy.
    15" Aluminum (FW800) PowerBook w/1.5 GB RAM, 17" iMac w/3G RAM, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • kworley Level 4 Level 4 (2,105 points)
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    Jan 19, 2008 5:17 PM (in response to RoryMac)
    I copied ONLY the library file (NOT the .xml file). I think we've figured out why it worked for the two of us for whom it DID work- we inadvertently tricked our iPhones into thinking that two computers were in fact the SAME computer. Of course, now that we know how it was done, we can do it intentionally.
    15" Aluminum (FW800) PowerBook w/1.5 GB RAM, 17" iMac w/3G RAM, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • Michael Rosenberg Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
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    Jan 19, 2008 6:48 PM (in response to kworley)
    Of course, now that we know how it was done, we can do it intentionally.


    we sure can!!!! thank you thank you thank you! it works great!
    the only difference in the recipe you gave is that after i copied
    the itunes music library file from my imac to my windows laptop,
    i gave it the .itl suffix. i deleted all the music as you said,
    then i also deleted the playlists from the mac. and then i added
    the music in the itunes music folder back into the library,
    which was simply processing the info. then itunes fetched all
    the album artwork. after that i plugged in the iphone, and the
    manually manage music box was already checked! i'm in business!
    thanks again.
  • kworley Level 4 Level 4 (2,105 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 19, 2008 7:45 PM (in response to Michael Rosenberg)
    "the only difference in the recipe you gave is that after i copied the itunes music library file from my imac to my windows laptop, i gave it the .itl suffix."

    Since I was working with two Macs, the suffix wasn't an issue, but I guess the .itl suffix is something the Windows machine would need. I'm glad it worked for you.
    15" Aluminum (FW800) PowerBook w/1.5 GB RAM, 17" iMac w/3G RAM, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • EloyP Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 19, 2008 10:26 PM (in response to kworley)
    Yes this provides for doing so which I just confirmed.
    iMac 2 GHz PowerPC G5
  • MathiasF Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 20, 2008 1:20 PM (in response to kworley)
    Thanks, kworley!!

    It worked for me as well. I moved the two main iTunes library files (iTunes Library.itl, iTunes Music Library.xml) from my desktop, then copied the two files from my notebook's iTunes installation. I didn't have to point to a new location or anything, just loaded it up and was running. I haven't yet cleaned up the libraries, but I'm assuming that doing cleaning on both systems separately will not break this functionality.

    Finally, i can manage music on iPhone on multiple computers!! Woo!
    iMac, Windows XP Pro
  • Michael Rosenberg Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 20, 2008 1:34 PM (in response to MathiasF)
    i don't believe it's necessary to copy the xml file. i didn't
    and everything is working fine.
  • blaster99 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2008 3:48 PM (in response to EloyP)
    So everytime I update my music library, will I have to re-do this?
    PC, Windows Vista, n/a
  • destr01d Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2008 8:35 AM (in response to RoryMac)
    Home XP machine with full iTunes library and synced to iPhone with "Manually manage music" checked.
    Work XP machine with "Manually manage music" checked.

    Copied the 'iTunes Library.itl' and 'iTunes Music Library.xml' from the home machine to work. At work deleted everything within iTunes except for some smart playlists. Docked the iPhone and now all music is playable from the iPhone.

    I suspect you could start with an empty iTunes library on the work machine and just paste the "Library Persistent ID" string from the home version of 'iTunes Music Library.xml'

    One big quirk: While playing music from the iPhone, at every song transition the iPhone screen turns on for a few seconds with "Sync in Progress". Distracting but I'll deal for now ... I guess this is since the iPhone can not be put in disk mode.

    Message was edited by: destr01d
    iPhone 16GB, Windows XP

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