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At home we have two iTunes accounts. We do not wish to share our purchases as, for example, we have very different tastes in music.

We are looking to purchase an AppleTV that we can both use to stream our content from iTunes.

I've already read on another question that the standard way to handle this situation is to set up home sharing using one of our Apple IDs for all of the devices.

However, I've also read that setting up Home Sharing will cause any purchases on the other account to be added into the library of the home sharing account, and thus copied onto all linked devices. Is there a way to prevent this?

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3 Answers 3

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I've got this same situation going at home; two computers with separate iTunes Store accounts, an AppleTV that pulls content from both of them, and iTunes Home Sharing turned on.

The automatic syncing behavior is optional and, I believe, opt-in. When you turn on Home Sharing and select it in iTunes, you'll see this down in the bottom right corner:

Settings button for home sharing

When you click the "Settings" button, you'll see this window:

Automatic transfer options for home sharing

As you can see, you have plenty of options. Simply uncheck the things you don't want automatically synced, and you're good to go.

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Home Sharing is done under a different Apple ID than the one the computer is authorized for. I have my computer registered under my ID (with automatic downloads on!), and Home Sharing set up under a family ID.

To do this correctly:

  1. Make sure you are signed in to your ID under the Store menu.
  2. Log in to the shared ID with the appropriate command under the Advanced menu.
  3. Voilà!

Alternatively, you don't even need to use Home Sharing. You can play tracks without enabling it, as long as sharing is enabled under iTunes > Preferences > Sharing > Share my library on my local network. Enabling Home Sharing will let you copy files to the local library, whereas this option will not.

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I get the first part of your answer - my question was specifically about disabling the auto-copying of purchases, which it seems that the Sharing > Share on local network solution will do. Will this work with AppleTV though? I thought that AppleTV required you to use Home Sharing for iTunes access. –  Samuel Walker Mar 22 '12 at 0:40
    
In regards to the non-"Home" Sharing: I don't see how that could possibly be the case—A) your computer isn't authorized and B) the whole difference between Home and non-Home is whether you can copy files. Make sure, though, that you don't change the Apple ID your computer is authorized for. –  timothymh Mar 22 '12 at 0:47
    
But that's largely irrelevant as it sounds like you will need to enable HS. :) –  timothymh Mar 22 '12 at 0:47
    
Looks like I'll need Home Sharing enabled for it to work, hmm your comment about neither PC being authorised is interesting. I wonder if it would copy content that you aren't authorised to play... goes off to Google If not, then that's good enough. –  Samuel Walker Mar 22 '12 at 0:55
    
It won't. Considering how tight Apple is with its DRM restrictions, they would not let something like that get through unnoticed. –  timothymh Mar 22 '12 at 1:02

Home Sharing works between devices using the same Apple ID. Devices using the second ID will be left out of your Home Sharing setup.

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I get that for Home Sharing, all devices must be set up with the same Apple ID in home sharing. But this isn't necessarily the same ID as iTunes purchases (in fact, the solution in the linked question relies on that). If I set up the computer1 with id1@example.com and computer2 with id2@example.com; then set up Home Sharing between those two computers + AppleTV with id1, then I've read that purchases made on id2 will be shared into id1's library. –  Samuel Walker Mar 22 '12 at 0:38

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