Share your iTunes library between multiple computers

13 07 2007

For quite a long time, I was trying to manage two iTunes music libraries; one at work and one at home. I listen to music probably 7 out of 8 hours a day at work, but fairly rarely at home. But when I did listen at home, I didn’t have the same playlists I had at work, since many of them are dynamic, based on play counts and ratings.

I found a remedy a month or so ago, and now I can listen to the same library at work and at home. It works wonderfully.

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8 responses

15 05 2008

Wow thanks for this tutorial, i was trying to get the itunes music database shared over my local network because all my music is stored on a server. now my whole family can use the same playlists, and i can fully manage the music for them.

15 05 2008

Jimmy, this tutorial won’t allow you to share a library on a local network, since the library file can only be accessed by one computer at a time. For example, if Jimmy has iTunes open, Susie wouldn’t be able to write to the library file because Windows automatically locks open files. So Susie’s iTunes wouldn’t record play counts, playlist edits, changes to the song informations, or other things like that.

Unless you’re absolutely positive that no two people will ever listen to iTunes at the same time, this solution won’t work for you.

You can share the mp3s that are on your server between multiple machines, but each computer would have to have its own iTunes library.

Does that make sense?

29 05 2008

my itunes won’t open when i hold the shift key down, is this blog for Mac only?
please help, I’ve been looking for the answer to this for so long.

29 05 2008

@jo: No, this is for Windows. One thing I noticed when I do it… make sure you hold down Shift until the “Choose Library” window comes up. If you release the Shift key immediately after you click the shortcut, the “Choose Library” window will not come up, and it will launch directly into iTunes.

29 05 2008

well, i finally got the itunes “choose library” pop-up to appear, but that didn’t work.

Lemme fully explain what I was hoping to do. I have an IMAC at home. I keep my ITunes directory on an external HD so I can save IMAC hard drive space. I was hoping to take the external to work with me, where I use a PC , and use my home ITunes library on my work PC, since all the files are saved on my external HD.

So I renamed the MAC “ITunes Library.txt” to the PC “ITunes library.itl” and did the choose library thing you had posted, and it didn’t work.

Don’t know if you or anyone else have done this and could explain if and how it can be done. It seems that this would be a fairly common thing to do in 2008.

29 05 2008

Yeah, I can’t help you with that, unfortunately.


29 05 2008

Thank you for your help. Perhaps someday the answer will present itself. Thanks again.


10 09 2008
Tom Pham

this is a solution i’ve been looking for for a really long time. can’t wait to try it out.

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