I have a NAS system that I use to store music that is commonly accessed by a number of domestic PCs. We have also just bought a Mac using OS X Lion.

On the PCs I have mapped a drive letter to the NAS, so the music folder for all PC's is "Z/music" - and the various libraries in iTunes all use the network address with a the drive letter – so if I update the drive with new music from a PC and update that PC's Library file, I just copy that file to each of the other PC's and they are all updated too, since the music folder address is common.

However, although I can add the drive to the Mac and it can see the music file, it has its own network address and thus when I copy the new library file to the Mac – it does not understand the address. I know iTunes can do home sharing etc – but I really do not want to create a single iTunes account for the whole family – life is complicated enough with two teenagers and wife with their own Apple gadgets without trying to make them all conform to one apple account!

Any suggestions on how I could solve this?

  • I don't understand the "it has its own network address and thus when I copy the new library file to the Mac-it does not understand the address." Could you elaborate or re-word? – JoshP Aug 21 '12 at 12:19
  • @Josh Probably because there's no such thing as Z:\music on a Mac. – slhck Aug 21 '12 at 20:14
  • @slhck what is probably because...? – JoshP Aug 21 '12 at 23:14

If I understand correctly, your mac doesn't work the same as the PCs in that you can't just copy the same network mapped folder to the mac's ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/ folder.

Rather than "push" the library to the mac, I think you could just have the mac look for its library in a different (i.e., your NAS library) place.

With iTunes quit, hold down the Option key when starting up iTunes. It will prompt you to choose the location of your Library. You should be able to navigate to your NAS-stored iTunes music library and choose it. iTunes will look in the same spot from then on.


Maybe you could make a symlink/hardlink from the OS X iTunes Music folder to the network share. But as I pointed out a little bit here if you manage the file&folder structure yourself the files are considered as referenced instead of managed-by-itunes and iTunes cannot parse the backslashes from Windows ( \ ) instead of the slashes from OS X ( / ).

Further I suggest that you either move away from iTunes in your use-case or give up the idea of the shared music library for everyone. iTunes libraries are a personal thing; regarding the data iTunes collects and regarding the file management (the standard are music folders in a home directory).

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