5 Replies Latest reply: Sep 24, 2012 3:00 PM by Jim VanLeeuwen
Keiloon Level 1 Level 1

I have multiple devices that I want to use with iTunes.  I have an iTouch(16GB), an iPhone(16GB), an iPod(8GB) and an iPad(32GB) and a second iPhone(16GB).  I use my iMac to manage things.


I also have 2 iTunes accounts at the moment.  I am trying to figure out how to best manage my music, photos, ebooks and audio books.  Because each device has a different amount of memory I must limit the content on each of these devices.  However, I would like to have as much of my music as possible on each of the devices.  If I use a single account for all of the devices I spend a long time checking and unchecking the content I want on the device every time I sync one of the devices.  It is quite time consuming.


Should I have an account for each device?  If I do have an account for each device then do I wind up with multiple music libraries which would take up a huge amount of space on the iMac.


I cannot be the only one with a number of Apple devices that they want to manage.  Usually Apple has an elegant solution for these kinds of problems.  I just have not stumbled across a good way to manage the devices and the content.


Thanks for any help you can provide.

iTunes, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Jim VanLeeuwen Level 6 Level 6

    I use Method 2 as described in How to use multiple iPods, iPads, or iPhones with one computer:  http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1495



    I create several playlists and select which playlists I want on each device.  Several playlists end up on all devices while others are only selected for one device. I keep one playlist strictly for "New Stuff" and I drag songs into or out of this playlist as my mood changes.


    I don't ever check or uncheck items except holiday songs when the season passes.

  • macronencer Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks for the tip Jim - I am actually already trying to use method 2; but it isn't perfect.


    Here's an example. I have an iPhone4 (32Gb) and an iPad2 (64Gb). I have 70Gb of music...


    So my current solution is to use a 'master list' for each device, i.e. I have lists called "All iPad Music" and "All iPhone Music", each synced to the relevant device. In addition, I have various playlists that play  collections of certain types (e.g. film music, rock, favourite tracks etc.), and I sync these to each device as well. this ensures that the playlist is fully synced on the devices I want it to sync to. It also means I can do things like adding only my favourite tracks from certain albums to the iPhone music list, so that when I look at the album on the phone I just see those tracks, not the whole thing.


    Fine. OK. So the other day, I decided that MP3 wasn't good enough and I wanted to re-rip all my CDs to Apple Lossless format (I've been working with audio a lot recently and my ears are getting fussier!). Hmmm... this is getting rather scary rather fast! How on Earth can I keep a lossless version on iTunes for the iPad and an MP3 or AAC version (depending on the importance of the music) alongside it to sync to the iPhone? That would get very confusing very fast.


    Maybe the forthcoming iTunes technology might solve this for me? I hear they are planning to allow different quality versions of music on different devices. However, I gather this is only for iCloud. I have a lot of music I bought on CD, not via iTunes. Will Apple still allow me to sync this at different qualities? Or will I have to pay to upload it to the cloud first? How does that all work?


    I'm full of questions, I know. Sorry!

  • Jim VanLeeuwen Level 6 Level 6

    If you have a lot of hard disk storage available to iTunes, you could rip your CDs as Apple Lossless and then create an AAC or MP3 version of those tracks you want on your iPhone.  This document explains iTunes conversions: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1550.  iTunes does not delete the original when converting to another format, so your music library will have both versions.

    To avoid confusion when creating your playlists, view the music libnrary sorted by kind.  If you don't have a kind column, use the iTunes View menu > View Options to add it.


    I don't think iTunes Match will help you do what you want.  iTunes matches your songs at 256 kbps AAC. Songs you upload (those without a match) can be any format that iTunes can handle.  Check it out here:  http://www.apple.com/itunes/itunes-match/

  • macronencer Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks for the link Jim.


    By chance I got some other advice today as well, from someone I work with. He pointed me to this:


    http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/03/12/itunes_106_adds_option_to_sync_192kbps _256kbps_quality_audio_to_devices.html


    It looks like exactly what I need. I have selected "Convert to AAC 256kbps" on my iPhone's summary page in iTunes, and it's rather good; you instantly see the memory map change to reflect the new usage. I recovered about 1.2Gb of space by converting just what I have in lossless format so far. Hopefully this will mean that I'll be able to do what I need to do.


    One thing I've noticed is that it doesn't seem to generate the extra copies in my iTunes lists, but presumably instead makes 'invisible' ones that I don't see, just for the iPhone sync (or perhaps converts whenever a  song is synced?) Neat!

  • Jim VanLeeuwen Level 6 Level 6

    Of course I forgot to mention another obvioius solution.  You can rip your CDs as Apple Lossless and let iTunes convert them to 256 kbps AAC during the sync process to your iPhone.  Connect your iPhone, select it from the iTunes "Devices" list and go to the Summary pane.  Check the option to"Convert higher bit rate songs to 256 AAC".  The conversion takes place during sync and doesn't delete the original file or leave an extra copy in your library.  The converted file goes to your iPhone.  This greatly increases the time required for the sync procress, but may be the best alternative for you.