14 Replies Latest reply: Dec 19, 2013 9:57 PM by Gary Wright4
lasam Level 1 Level 1
Several people in my house share the same laptop and we all have our own user id. I am the administrator. How do I set up itunes so that all of the music, the entire library, is accessible to all user id's when each person is logged in? I thought I had it figured out but whenever I download new music the others don't see it, only what was already there. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

mac, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Mac on Andy Level 3 Level 3
  • amandaangel2000 Level 1 Level 1
    I am having the same problem. I followed the instructions to Share an iTunes library between 2 user accounts (a month or so ago) and it work like a charm, except I didn't realize that when I bought new songs, that they weren't showing up in the library when my husband open iTunes in his User account.

    To sum up, I followed the directions on how to "Share" the same iTunes library between 2 user accounts and it works. Both user accounts can open and play music when logged in to their respective accounts.

    We use the same exact Apple ID when downloading anything from the iTunes store either directly on the Mac or even through either of our iPhones.

    But if I purchase songs when logged in to my user account and then we switch to his user account and open iTunes, nothing that I purchased is anywhere in iTunes. I have to actually go to the iTunes folder and find the files that I just downloaded (if music, in the music folder) and then double click them to import them into my husband's iTunes.

    And this is all with using the same Apple ID to purchase songs either on the computer or on either of our iPhones. If I purchase songs on my iPhone and then sync it using my User Account, it does not show up on when logged into my husband's User Account.

    The same goes for Apps (and everything else, it's not just Music that doesn't show up). When apps are ready to be updated, iTunes puts the number of Apps that need updated next to the Apps section within iTunes. But if I update them when logged into my User Account, when logged into his User Account, iTunes is still showing that Apps need to be updated.

    I am thinking that this is not truly a "Shared" iTunes library and that *****. My husband and I both have iPhones and have different contacts, etc so we started syncing our iPhones in our own User Account so that we could both use Mobile Me. So that is why I did the shared iTunes library because when we synced our iPhones previously, we did it on the same account so that we could access the same Music Library. I thought this was a perfect solution and was extremely excited when I learned that you could do this.

    Now it is just a headache and I can't figure out how to have the songs that each of us download show up on the others library.
  • extricated Level 1 Level 1
    Article HT1203 does help, but I agree with others - it still isn't the fix we're looking for. When I download more music (or update Apps for my iPhone/iPod) it won't show up in the other user's account.

    I wonder if at Step 3 where it says, "Important: Do not move the iTunes folder, the iTunes Library file or the iTunes Library.xml file." - what would happen if I moved them?
    I don't want to mess something up by playing around too much.

    One shared account worked great for awhile (pre-iPhone), but now that we both have iPhones, a whole new set of issues comes up (facetime, address book sync, MobileMe, etc.). However, we still have ONE AppleID and we share ALL of our music and Apps.

    After saying all that ...
    The bottom line is yes, we can share libraries, but they don't still don't share music and app updates.

    I hope I didn't put words in anyone's mouth, but this does seem to be a fairly common issue - voiced in various ways across the forums.
  • Gmor Level 1 Level 1
    Give this ago, This is what I am trying at the moment and is a bit experimental, I haven't Tested it yet with iPhone/iPad/iPods sync yet. (will do this soon and will report back)

    1. BACK UP!!! (just in case) Copy your itunes folder normally found under (user - "username" - Music folder) to a usb drive or just copy it into the music folder. (in fact do a full system back up I'm guessing you haven't done it in a while)

    2. Create the new user account if not already done so. (I am setting up my other users as a new users with no existing iTunes content.)

    3. Move the itunes folder under (user - "username" - Music folder) into (user - shared)

    4. Change the read/write access to the (user - shared - iTunes folder) Right click on the folder - +Get Info+ - Under Permissions allow all the users Read & Write, Click the cog and select apply to enclosed items.

    5. Make an alias of the "iTunes folder" and move it back to your original itunes folder location +(user - "username" - Music folder)+

    6. Remove alias from the name.

    7. Start itunes check to make sure every thing is ok, play a few tracks.
    Under iTunes preferences - Advance
    make sure the itunes media folder location is (user - "shared" - iTunes - iTunes Media)
    I also have Keep iTune media folder organized checked
    & Copy files to iTunes Media folder checked. (When music, vids, or update Apps for my iPhone/iPod, it should now show up in the other user's account)

    8. Close out of itunes User done.

    9. Log into user 2's and go to (user - shared) folder Check to make sure this user has read & write permissions. Make an alias of the "iTunes folder" and move it to user 2's music folder +(user - "username" - Music folder)+

    10. Start itunes check to make sure every thing is ok, play a few tracks.
    Under iTunes preferences - Advance
    make sure the itunes media folder location is (user - "shared" - iTunes - iTunes Media)
    Make sure Keep iTune media folder organized & Copy files to iTunes Media folder are checked.
    Log this user into the iTunes store if need (it shouldn't effect the the other users)

    11. YOUR DONE, Unless you have more users, then just repeat steps 8, 9 ,10 (and 11 if needed)

    Just note that only 1 user can access the Shared iTunes account at a time so close iTunes if you not using it.

    Each user should be running off the same iTunes library now. Once you are happy with the set up and nothing has happened to your music then delete the back ups in step 1.

    Hope this helps, Let me know how you get on?
    I will let you know how I get on with 2 iPhones and 2 iTunes store accounts under each User syncing.

    AND I cant see why this shouldn't work for iPhoto.

    Message was edited by: Gmor
  • Mac on Andy Level 3 Level 3
    Yes the article allows users to share music and selectively import the music they want into their iTunes libraries. Remember it's the iTunes libraries that are the database of the tracks you want to see in your iTunes when you open it up. I misunderstood your requirements, the article works if e.g. Your daughter wants to have access to a few of the albums in your library but doesn't want your Barry Manilow collection in her iTunes just in case her friends see and she is ridiculed for life.

    Rather what you are wanting is the SAME iTunes library for all users. This requires you not just copying the media but also the iTunes library files into a shared location and everyone using the SAME iTunes library files with their copy of iTunes.
  • jhfairch Level 1 Level 1
    the only solution I have found is for each account, occassionaly re point the shared media file library under FILE>ADD FOLDER TO LIBRARY. It seems to work but a pain each time you download some music you want accessible to other pc account holders. I dont know if continuing to add the same folder to the library is a bad thing or not...
  • jhfairch Level 1 Level 1
    should have said "shared media file FOLDER" not library...
  • mmm Ovaltine Level 1 Level 1
    This site was what I was looking for - but still am a little confused.
    The concern is that I am sharing the folder called Media. Will the procedure on this page work if I only share the folder called music? I only want to share the music. The other users can select which playlists they want to keep on their iPhones. I am afraid that if I copy the entire media folder over, the other users in my home with iPhones may lose their downloaded apps, movies, ical data, etc. When I have three different users with three different iPhones & ipods, and duplicate my iTunes library three times, I am using up 150MB of memory on my computer.
    I also noticed that when I moved my media file to the shared folder, I did lose my playlists.
    Main question is - how can I just share the music library?
  • mmm Ovaltine Level 1 Level 1
    150GB is actually used - & running out of memory!
  • Se7enthr33 Level 1 Level 1




    This post is exactly what you're looking for

  • Se7enthr33 Level 1 Level 1

    Much of the following procedure you won't have to do. I suspect in your case you have a permissions issue that prevents sharing. You can either set your external drive to ignore permissions, or follow the relevant portion of the following procedure.




    1. Decide which library will become the shared library. Log into that user's account. Make sure iTunes is not running. Drag the entire iTunes folder (containing iTunes Library, iTunes Music or iTunes Media, everything) into /Users/Shared.


    2. Open iTunes while the option key is depressed. In the resulting dialog, select Choose Library and navigate to the one you just put in the Shared folder.


    3. Go to iTunes > Preferences, then to the Advanced tab. Make sure the following two items are checked:

    Keep iTunes Media folder organized

    Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library


    4. Quit iTunes.


    5. Open Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities folder). Carefully type the following:

    cd /Users/Shared --then hit Enter

    chmod -R 775 iTunes --then hit Enter


    6. Switch to the other account. Just as you did before, open iTunes with the option key down and navigate to the shared iTunes folder.


    7. Just as you did before, make sure the same two preferences in the Advanced tab are checked.

  • JAfromTX Level 1 Level 1

    Worked like a charm! Thanks, Se7enthr33!!!

  • bayridge Level 1 Level 1

    Do you know how to do this on a PC?

  • Gary Wright4 Level 1 Level 1

    Has anyone tried upgrading iTunes to a newer version after following these instructions?


    I was using a shared iTunes media folder for two users of iTunes 10.7 - not by this same method - and upgrading to iTunes 11 made quite a mess of it.


    How would I un-do these changes before upgrading iTunes, and does this still work with iTunes 11?