I have a huge iTunes collection and have been researching this for a while but cannot seem to find an answer.

Basically I would like to leave my iTunes collection open so that people can select their own songs. My only concern is that they might accidentally delete or change info in the tracks.

Is there any way that I could have a read-only (or play-only) toggle for my iTunes library on OS X?

2 Answers 2


You can turn on Home Sharing in iTunes and allow other users to stream music from it to iOS devices or Apple TV and copy content to their own libraries. You can also prevent their playcounts from being updated in your library.

  • Open iTunes
  • Go to iTunes > Preferences
  • Go to the Sharing tab
  • Check Share my library on my local network
  • Choose entire library or specific playlists
  • Uncheck Home Sharing computers and devices update play counts if you do not want this to be updated

See Setting up Home Sharing on your computer for more information.

  • I will award you the Correct answer because there has been no better solution (in terms of locking iTunes) since this was posted and this has helped me just as much as locking iTunes, thanks.
    – OnkaPlonka
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 17:56

You can 'lock' your iTunes library by opening your library in Finder, selecting your iTunes Library.itl file and locking it (through the Get Info window).

This allows iTunes to view your library, but make no changes to it, even when requested to, effectively 'locking' the current state of the library.

  • I cannot find a '.itl' file anywhere @grgarside
    – OnkaPlonka
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 17:55
  • @OnkaPlonka In your iTunes Library folder, there should be an iTunes Library.itl file, since this is the file that iTunes uses to store library data. You should be able to use Finder since it is not a hidden file. Where are you looking?
    – grg
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 18:04

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