The solution that I use is to place both my iPhoto and iTunes libraries on an external drive and have permissions set to "ignore ownership on this volume" It works for me. My wife and I only have one iPad but I don't think that makes any difference. Either way both accounts can access my iTunes and iPhoto libraries. To set the permissions select the drive or volume, choose get info from the file menu and at the bottom of the get info window mark the box Ignore ownership on this volume.
It might be worth your while to spend ten bucks on an ebook titled Take Control of Sharing Files in Snow Leopard. Take Control of Sharing Files in Snow Leopard discusses
sharing digital media files for iTunes and iPhoto.
If you open the Users folder you'll find a folder called shared. That folder's access rights are set so that everyone can access it. It is the perfect place to store things like iTunes and iPhoto files when a computer is shared.
Note however that just because you drag something into the shared folder from one of yours doesn't mean suddenly changes the access privileges. After you've dragged the folder or file into Shared, select it, *Get Information* (command I) and then set the permissions for everyone to *Read and Write*. If it is a folder, click on the little gear at the bottom left of the Get Info dialog box and select *Change enclosed items*. Now your iTunes folder or iPhoto library is sharable by everyone.
Yes - just be aware that until you manually change the permissions, the folder will still belong to the user whose folder it was dragged from. Also, the first time you each start iPhoto, hold the option key and point to the photo library in the Shared folder. iPhoto won't know to use the folder there until you tell it.
So I've done that. I've put the iPhoto Library in the Users > Shared folder, and now both user accounts on the same Mac can access it.
My only concern is, will the permissions for all the files INSIDE that iPhoto Library package be okay? Will I encounter some kind of horrible permissions problem in the future, whereby one of the users suddenly can't edit or alter any of the photos?
I seem to have had success just granting my wife's user account access to the iPhoto library "in situ". I did the following:
1) selected the iPhoto library in my account's Pictures folder,
2) added my wife's account with read/write privileges in the permissions section,
3) switched to her account,
4) opened iPhoto while holding the option key,
5) pointed it to the library in my account (which had already popped up as a choice).
Seems to work just fine, no moving of files required. Anybody see any potential problems with this? I don't claim to be an expert in any way, so could have overlooked something.
I tried this, dragged the iPhoto library into 'Shared' folder, then changed permissions for the iPhoto library to 'Read & Write' for everyone.
Yet when I go into the other user account and try to open iPhoto while pointing it at that shared one, I get an error message saying "The iPhoto library is locked, on a locked disk, or you do not have permission to make changes to it. iPhoto can try to repair the permissions" (and then there is an option to quit or try repairs.)
What am I doing wrong?
I have used a program called iPhoto Library Manager (http://www.fatcatsoftware.com/iplm/) for years and it has worked like a charm. The program handles all of the permission/subfolder aspects transparently. Our iPhoto library is stored in my wife's default location, but I have seamless read-write access to it. When I open iPhoto, I see the same thing she does, and I have complete control.
To answer your question about music, there are a couple of approaches. If you turn on Sharing in iTunes, and your wife's iTunes is set to look for shared libraries, she'll be able to have complete access to play anything in your iTunes library (as long as you have iTunes open). I believe she also has rights to copy files from your iTunes library into hers.
That's great for playback on a Mac, but what you can't do is sync an iPod/iPad/iPhone with someone else's shared library, so here's how I do it:
1) My iTunes library is our "primary" library, located in my Public folder (where other users have read-access).
2) In my wife's iTunes, library, I hit keystroke Apple-O to add content to her library, and navigated over to my iTunes Library in my public folder to select it. Once I did this, her iTunes library looked like mine.
3) The key thing is that under her iTunes Advanced Preferences, I ensure that "Copy content to iTunes library" is deselected. Otherwise, it would make a copy of my entire library on her side, and that would chew up a ton of disk space.
Note that I don't think it's entirely necessary to have the iTunes library in the Public folder. It could stay in the default location as long as you changes your music folder to have read-access by other users. I moved mine before I knew any better.
When I add new content to my library that my wife wants, we hit Apple-O from her side and add it to her library. This setup is kludgy, but a) both users can sync the music to iDevices and b) it doesn't require having two copies of everything. Note that unlike the iPhoto Library Manager solution, this is a static thing. You have to manually update the "satellite" library to keep it up to date with the main one.
I'm not in front of my Mac, so some of my notations may not be completely accurate.