10 Replies Latest reply: Feb 10, 2011 9:56 PM by aoitsukinosuke
Chris in NY Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)
There are many posts on this but my question is a bit different. My wife and I have iPhones. Originally, I have both iPhones syncing to separate accounts on our MB. We each have our own email, calendars, contacts, etc...even music and movies.

This has worked really, really well. But now, our HD is nearly packed full. Having a portion of our music, movies, and podcasts (about 30-40% of both our collections) being the same is a BIG overhead on HD space.

Is it possible to sync email, calendars, contacts separately still via separate OSX accts...BUT sync both iPhones to the same music, movies, and podcasts by pointing Itunes for each iPhone to the same music/movies library???

Thanks Mac Community for the help as always

MacBook (Late 2008), Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • GeekBoy.from.Illinois Level 4 Level 4 (2,805 points)
    You can keep two separate iTunes libraries, both of which store the media in the same location. This might solve your problem of duplicate files, but it does have it's own drawbacks, as content added to one library will not be automatically added to the other library, even though the media is in the same location for both libraries.

    Attempting to sync 2 iPhones to the same library will have negative side effects, as iTunes doesn't really support different address books, or calendars, etc. based on device, so you would end up with one shared address book you would both get, and similar with some of the other data as well. This may be acceptable to you, or it may not.
  • Chris in NY Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)
    Thanks for your quick reply!

    Ideally, either iPhone is synced in their respective OSX account through iTunes. They will sync with their own contacts, calendars, etc...

    But if I point iTunes settings from both OSX accounts to see a single iTunes folder in the /Users/Shared/ folder...will they both be able to sync their own music, movies, podcasts, apps, etc...

    Appreciate your response -- just not clear since I'm kinda new at using two iPhones with iTunes!
    Thanks, Chris
  • GeekBoy.from.Illinois Level 4 Level 4 (2,805 points)
    If you have 2 iTunes libraries, one for each user account, then you can have 2 totally separate iPhone configurations for address book, mail, calendar, ratings, play counts, etc. Now, each of those libraries may instruct iTunes to store their media in the same folder so that you only have one copy of each of the songs, etc. I don't remember the exact steps to change the library location, but I believe that if you go to iTunes->Preferences then hit the last tab (or next to last) it should be the top section where you specify the location that iTunes uses for storing the media. At that point, you can just modify both libraries to use the same shared folder.
  • Chris in NY Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)
    Thanks for your ideas. I played around with it and discovered this.

    I placed the iTunes music, movies, etc...in the .../Users/Shared/... directory.

    In each my wife and my user music directories (.../Users/(username)/...) We have our respective files: iTunes Library, iTunes Library Extras.itdb, iTunes Library Genius.itdb, Temp File, and iTunes Music Library.xml

    In each iTunes settings page (for each iPhone) I direct iTunes to sync our respective email, contacts, calendars, etc...Note: I do not use the MobileMe sync function in System Preferences (this creates duplicate entries of everything in email, calendars, and contacts.

    I can sync different combinations of the music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, books from same library on Shared drive to each iPhone.

    Photos still remains separate for each User and iPhone. But I suppose I can do the same and stick the iPhoto library in the Shared User directory, too...that would work, too.

    This allows us to curate our own collections on our iPhones, sync our respective stuff, and avoid duplicate files of the overlap of our collections of music, movies, TV shows, etc...

    It helps that we both use a single iTunes account to buy things.

    It works.

    Message was edited by: Chris in NY
  • GeekBoy.from.Illinois Level 4 Level 4 (2,805 points)
    I'm glad it works for you and gives you what you want (or at least close to it).
  • aoitsukinosuke Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    We have 1 Mac, 2 itunes libraries, 2 iphones. Syncing apps and music separately shouldn't be a problem.
    But, how can we sync different contacts for each phone sir?
  • GeekBoy.from.Illinois Level 4 Level 4 (2,805 points)
    I would think that if you want totally different contacts for both phones, you would use different apps on the Mac side to sync the contacts with. Sync one with the Mac Address book, and one with Google, MobileMe, etc. Another option would be to use the technique used by the other person where you use different groups within your contacts and sync all of them to one address book.
  • Chris in NY Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)
    On my Mac I have two different use accounts, my wife's and mine. In each there are individual settings for iTunes to sync each accounts' email, calendar, contacts, etc...these files are located in our respective user account folders on the drive.

    But for music, movies, apps, podcasts, etc... I moved the "iTunes" folder from my user account folder to a Shared user account folder.

    So, when an iPhone is synced it grabs info from the user-specific folders + the media from the shared folder.
  • GeekBoy.from.Illinois Level 4 Level 4 (2,805 points)
    Ah, that's where I went wrong. When my wife & I share computers, we generally only have one login account on the computer. I wasn't thinking about having separate accounts so there would be separate address books, etc.
  • aoitsukinosuke Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you gentlemen. Now it looks brighter. 2 libraries in iTunes and 2 groups in Address Book should do it. BUt, I think I'll go with 2 separate user accounts. Looks like this is the best bet to avoid any mix-up and/or limitations.