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I currently have a lot of music on an external drive and my iTunes set up from there. However, periodically, when the external drive isn't connected, iTunes will default back to the library location of my home directory user path.

I don't want to mess with an external drive, as my Mac's HD is large enough to house the music collection.

However, I have 4 family members – all with their own logins – using this same gob of music. I don't want four copies of the library, only one with all libraries referencing it.

So, what I want to do is:

  1. Move all music files to a shared directory at /Macintosh HD/users/music. I created this directory and adjusted permissions, so all four users can read and write to this directory.

  2. Get all four accounts to reference this library instead of the external or local home locations

I am hoping I can just check the box to keep library organized in my account, which is the admin and let iTunes move it all. Then delete current libraries for each account and re-add from the new shared location.

Will the iTunes organization process cause permissions issues either by setting permissions to all the files access to my account only or write permissions or any other 'gotcha'?

I am having a hard time coming up with a smooth solution that won't break everything and cause me to have mega duplicates or access issues.

I would prefer not to do any XML library file editing if possible.

Am I dreaming?

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Good question, but it's hard to answer — why not just try it? –  slhck Jun 18 '12 at 8:24

2 Answers 2

If all the music is on a computer that has iTunes on then try Home sharing. This shares the iTunes data from one machine onto anyother authorized machine running iTunes.

To set it up on the server machine go into ITunes preferences, choose the Sharing tab and choose the sharing options as shown herepref window

Then on the other machines look at the SHARED section on the left hand side the server machine should show up here.

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You can do this with symlinking.

The tricky issue is if you want to have iTunes auto-organize everything, and someone else doesn't. If that's the case, then you will need duplicates.

If everyone can handle the auto-organization, then put the music in one account (yours) and then:

change the permissions to match your group / etc (backup and) delete the music directory in each of the other accounts symlink them to your directory ln -s /Users/me/Music /Users/someone_else/Music

You should still be able to keep the music itself in any shared location on the network. I don't store my music on my computer, and so I have to be at home with all the shares in order to sync my phone's music. It's a pain, but the account portability makes it worth it.

Since your question, I may actually link the whole Music directory to the share, since I don't have the multi-user bit to worry about... and even if we did, I could still link their dirs to the remote so that they could swap out their laptops/etc and maintain one iTunes "setup" no matter the machine.

Thanks!

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