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I have multiple machines with iTunes installed (mac and pc) and a Windows server with a file share hosting my music. I would like :

  • All machines to use one data repository but still have the metadata synced (play count, rating etc...).
  • All machines reflect changes when I buy a song on one machine or delete a song on one machine. (no broken references or missing entries)
  • The music repository to always be running (my Windows server always is).

Currently I have my machines pointed to a UNC path (\\server\music) which works to share a repository but iTunes Music Library.xml is stored on each machine and it gets out of sync. Update iTunes Library.itl may be the real library, and the XML is just a backup.

Are there any iTunes server apps out there that will do this? What about iTunes home sharing...? Someone wrote an app called iTunes library updater which I used to use to sync my libraries but its not being updated anymore.

EDIT - I should note, I also use iCloud and iTunes match.

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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The best way to go, in my opinion, for a flawless and easy experience would be iTunes Match. It doesn't only allow you to play your tunes on iOS devices, but also on other desktop computers running iTunes, and it Syncs everything via the cloud, including all your metadata, so basically you'd have your iTunes library wherever you have internet.

It costs 25 USD a year (plus extra storage, if you have more than 5GB of songs that are not in the iTunes Store), though if you can spare it you not only get the syncing, but also the upgrade of all your tunes to 256kbps ACC sound.

Home sharing also works, and does update your play counts if you enable it to under Preferences > Sharing, but it will pretty much just open a "read-only" version of your library on the rest of the computers; you cannot edit metadata, change rating, or even browse your library in any but the list view mode, plus of course, if the computer disconnects from the network it looses all access to the music, for Home Sharing makes no local copy in each machine.

Other methods should work, I believe, to share your music, but yeah, I remember I tried some time ago and I didn't manage to keep the iTunes Library file and thus data like play counts in sync.

Btw, I believe the file iTunes Library.itl is the main resource for the Library Database, and the iTunes Music Library.xml file is just a "backup" and a way for other applications to access data of the library if they need it, so you would need to keep in the .itl file in sync.

Good Luck!

Kevin

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I actually have iTunes match but didn't have it enabled on my other computers. Didn't know I had to enable it for each. I notice it doesn't put everything in the cloud though, like podcasts. –  Andy Arismendi Jan 22 '12 at 2:19
    
Indeed. iTunes match only works for music. Podcasts should be downloadable though to any machine that is subscribed to them directly from the store, but yeah, I'd be nice if more syncing functionality were added in future versions. Thanks for the up vote and glad it helped! :) –  kevin9794 Jan 22 '12 at 2:45
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I have been using SuperSync for synchronizing my Mac's iTunes library with my wife's Windows system, and it been worked quite well. This approach avoids storage fees, since everything is on your own disks.

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