Previous 1 2 3 Next 32 Replies Latest reply: Jan 13, 2009 7:44 PM by iamtheadman
96mustang Level 1 (0 points)
Home PC - MacBook Pro
Work PC - Windows
both running iTunes 7.7

My music is on my home Mac and I manually create playlists, add music etc.

With my 3G Nano, I can connect and listen to songs on my iPod from my work PC. I can't seem to do this with my iPhone - my PC sees the iPhone but all of the music is greyed out and cannot be selected.

Is it a limitation of the iPhone that I cannot use it with two computers in this way, or is it a configuration issue?

I would prefer not to have to buy a set of external speakers just to use my iPhone to play music at work.


MacBook Pro 17" HD 2.2 Ghz, Mac OS X (10.5.2), AirPort Extreme gigabit, iPhone 3G 16 GB black
  • Damon M. Level 4 (3,695 points)
    Hi 96mustang,

    One thing that might help out.

    The iphone manually manage is not like the ipod manually manage.

    The iphone, you can only manually manage from one computer.
    It does not support disk mode like the other ipods.
    So, when you connect it to a second computer, you can see the music, but it is grayed out.
    If you try to set it to manually manage on the second computer, itunes will try to sync and erase the music existing on the iphone.

    Hope this helps.
  • 96mustang Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks Damon,
    The music being greyed out is indeed what I see.
    Is the consequence of the music being greyed out that I am unable to play songs through the PC? That is the behaviour I am seeing - I see the music but cannot actually play any of it.

    thanks again
  • gdgmacguy Level 7 (20,500 points)
    That's correct. The iPhone will only recognize music from one iTunes library at a time. If it's connected to a different library, all the songs from the other library will be inactive (greyed out), and if you attempt to sync songs from the new library, the greyed out ones will be erased.
  • Bebias Level 1 (0 points)
    Ouch! Is that permanent, or is it likely to change with an update?

    That is a deal breaker for me. I'm already annoyed at having to use an application to use my iPhone as an external drive, it transfers 10 times slower than my iPod, and now if I can't put tunes on it from two (or more) different computers, I'll go back to my iPod and BlackBerry!
  • gdgmacguy Level 7 (20,500 points)
    The iPhone was never meant to function as an external drive.

    No one knows if it's permanent or not that the iPhone can only sync to one library at a time. My guess is that it will be permanent. In any case, only Apple knows, and they're not telling

    Since we may never know the answer to your question, I guess for you it will be a deal breaker.
  • raycunn Level 1 (0 points)
    Actually, there are several articles on the web about the fact that you CAN
    synch the itunes with two computers. Music, Video, and Ringtones can be done from one computer, and Mail, Contacts, etc. can be done from a second computer.

    Just do a Yahoo search on "synching iPhone with two computers."

    If you are trying to do music from two computers, you are right, that will not work. There is a program, which I think the Yahoo search above will also uncover that allows you to do a "swap," where you can have the songs from one computer show up on the iPhone, and when you swap, the songs from the other computer show up. I am not sure if this utility survived the upgrage to version 2.0 of the softweare.

  • mbs_mac Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm having an issue syncing my iphone 3G to two computers. I use my Mac Mini to sync all of my music and videos and then I used my iMac to sync pictures. My iphone connects fine to the Mac Mini but when I connect it to the iMac (which also works fine) and then try to sync it again with the Mini, my iTunes won't recognize the iPhone. I've had to completely wipe all of the content of my iPhone now twice and start over.

    Any help out there?

  • Tokyo Tapes Level 1 (0 points)
    Man, this really *****

    I keep my music library spread across my home PC, MacBook, and work computer. This limitation really creates a frustrating problem for getting all of my music onto the iPhone. I hope Apple eventually finds a way to make this happen!

    It seems to me that if I authorize a computer through iTunes then I should be able to put the music on that computer to any device I hook up!
  • SoonerGriff Level 1 (0 points)
    I had the same problem. I have a library on my mac mini, and on my computer at work. I also sent my laptop in for service last week, so I had a disk with that library back up. I put this into my mini and it restored all the files that weren't on there, which I then put onto my iphone. I repeated the process with my library from work with the same results. I assume that this will work on any library that is authorized on your account. It's kind of a pain to do the disk backup, and probably faster if you use a jump drive, but it works for me. Hope that helps.
  • Tophatron Level 1 (0 points)
    This is unreal. I have my music collection spread between my home computer, laptop and work computer. With previous iPods (including my iPod Touch) I have been able to upload music from any of them onto my device and could playback on any of them as well. Now with my new iPhone 3G I am totally locked out from doing this.

    To get all my music onto one computer would be major hassle. This is not exactly what I would call progress.

    Does anyone know why Apple have done this? I would imagine there are plenty of people in this situation.
  • gdgmacguy Level 7 (20,500 points)

    Does anyone know why Apple have done this? I would imagine there are plenty of people in this situation.

    Does it really matter why Apple has done this? Doesn't change anything. Bottom line is, they have, and have no obligation to share the reasons with you.

    Best you can do is share your feedback with them at
  • hexonxonx Level 4 (2,455 points)
    Yes, you can sync with two computers, just not the music.

    I have my music synced from my Mac pro and my applications are syncing from my iMac. The iMac won't erase my music and the Mac Pro won't touch my apps. It works very well this way.

    As for the music, you have to blame the record labels for this mess. Their copyright laws have changed things for everybody. Don't blame Apple. This is to prevent people from going to a friends computer and borrowing music and taking it back home to their own computer.
  • Tophatron Level 1 (0 points)
    You're right, it doesn't change anything. However I was just wondering if there was a really good reason for them doing this that I might have missed.

    It would appear that there isn't.
  • JSB54SM Level 1 (0 points)

    I was pretty surprised that my iPhone would not play on my work computer. I am fine with not transferring music to my work computer and vice versa, but I think we should still be able to play music from it. It doesn't make sense.

    For now, I will just travel with my Nano. Unless anyone has a solution.

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