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Me and my partner have a Mac Pro in our house, each with our own user account. We both use iTunes, have iPhones, our own Apple IDs, and each have a subscription to iTunes Match.

However, for some unknown but frustrating reason, Apple only allows any one device to be connected to only one iTunes Match account, and in this case a device includes Macs. It simply won't let us enable iTunes Match on a second user account!

We both want to use iTunes Match, but I don't know how to make it work. Purchasing a second Mac for one of us to use isn't an option -- even ignoring the cost we only want one desktop computer. However, I do have a headless Mac Mini that I use as an always-on server, which might help.

Is there anyway I can set things up so that we can both use iTunes Match?

My current thoughts:

  1. Use some kind of method or software to automatically keep two copies of my music library in sync: one on my Mac Pro, the other on the Mac Mini server. Have the Mac Mini's iTunes Library be tied to my iTunes Match account. My partner can keep using the Mac Pro. Note that for this to work the two synced iTunes libraries would need to share music, playlists, and (if possible) even statistics. Any change that happens on one would have to be transferred over to the other in manner that works with iTunes Match and allows it to upload the changes.

  2. Figure out some way to combine our two libraries together (we have the same music collection anyway), use one iTunes Match account, but set it up so that we can access our music collection on both user accounts. Note that we'd still need to continue using our individual Apple IDs for most things on the phone, including for Contacts, Notes, Reminders, etc. Furthermore, we each have our own playlists and statistics so I'm not really leaning towards trying this.

  3. Maybe there's a third option I haven't thought of...?

I haven't undertaken any of these yet, because I honestly don't know if any of them are possible, which one is the path of least resistance and pain, or if there's a better option I don't know about.

Any solutions or guidance anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated!

  • Have you explored family sharing? I don't know how iTunes Match works with family sharing tho... – Tyson Feb 16 '15 at 2:30
  • I did look into that, actually. It seems family sharing does not include iTunes Match, so unfortunately it's no help here. – GuyGizmo Feb 16 '15 at 3:26
  • iTunes Match is tied to your iTunes Store account, so if you don't mind sharing purchases from the iTunes Store (which includes the App Store), you could sign-in to the same account on each device for iTunes Store. You would retain separate logins for iCloud, which syncs Contacts, Notes, Reminders, and so on. – tubedogg Feb 16 '15 at 5:19
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There's a kind of easy way to solve this as I found out recently. All it involves is using the same credit/debit card details on both iTunes accounts. Yes, a little bit of a nuisance and there's no logic at all as why it would be this way but it solved it for me with my Macbook that I share with my daughter. 2 separate Apple ID's and 2 separate iTunes match accounts on the same Mac but she just pays me in cash if she buys something...

  • Wow! It worked! How arbitrary... I wonder why Apple made things work this way? It's a total pain, but thank goodness you posted this answer. Otherwise I would have made some totally convoluted script or something to try to sync my iTunes library on to another computer and have it automatically update or something ridiculous like that, and it probably would've taken hours and hours and wouldn't have ever worked anyway. Thanks! :-) – GuyGizmo Apr 27 '15 at 0:57
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If you're willing to go the two Macs route you might want to look into using Rsync and either cron or the new lauchd.

First I'd suggest doing a

man rsync

Rsync will allow computers to mirror the iTunes libraries-- even deleting old files.

Cron is outdated, but, it allowed you to schedule a task at a time.

Lauchd is a .plist file -- which can run a script either periodically or in response to changes in a directory.

  • I've thought about this, but iTunes needs to stay open in order to have iTunes match run in the background and upload any new music. I don't think iTunes can handle live updates to the music library. I could have it periodically quit and relaunch iTunes when the libraries get synced, but that interrupts the iTunes Match process, and for whatever reason, it takes forever for it to fully match any new music. Sometimes as long as a couple of days. – GuyGizmo Feb 17 '15 at 4:22

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