I have my iTunes library that lives under my account. There's about 20 Gigs of music and I sync the music to my own iPod.

My wife now has her own iPod. She wants to log in under her own account, see the iTunes library and customize it for herself; for example, make her own playlists, set her own star ratings to her favorite songs, and so on.

Is this possible?


1 Answer 1


It is a tiny bit ugly - but there are formal steps to accomplish exactly what you wish. Home Sharing doesn't work so well when both accounts have completely separate libraries - each in the usual home folder - so that's not a good thing to try.

The best workaround is to agree to store the media in a shared folder. It's more work to add the same music to both libraries - but you both have totally independent backups, playlists, play counts, ratings and apps.

This works really well and you can easily recombine later or split her or your account to another mac or PC any time you choose by taking a copy of the reference files as well as the library organization files.

  • I tried what you suggested but it didn't work. I move the "iTunes Media" folder to a public folder. Sign in as the second user and point iTunes to the "iTunes Media" folder that is in the public folder, but iTunes doesn't seem to see it. It just shows me the standard welcome/setup page, and does not list the songs. Am I doing something wrong? Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 18:16
  • I did leave out the step by step how to. Let's see if this works - you can edit the question to add the steps that work for you (or I'll do it later) Once both accounts point to the same shared folder, you will have to import the songs you want into the "empty" library. Dragging the folder will do for all the songs. Then you could export the playlists and import them. Can you find the support articles for those steps?
    – bmike
    Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 18:18
  • Ok. So it sounds like the list of songs iTunes displays is not actually the list of files in the iTunes Media folder, but a separate list of songs that iTunes keeps somewhere else (like an XML file or something, I'll call it the "directory")? I point user2's iTunes to the shared "iTunes Media" folder, then I drag that folder to iTunes, iTunes will "import" the songs, but what this means is it will add them to user2's "directory" but not actually copy the files since they're already in the "iTunes Media" folder. No duplicates will result. Is that correct? Commented Aug 3, 2011 at 19:14
  • Precisely - each user has a separate database file that points to the songs it cares about. As long as both libraries have the same "rename/organize" settings, either iTunes will store the same track in the same place. You'll want "copy to the shared folder" to keep all the media in the desired shared folder.
    – bmike
    Commented Aug 3, 2011 at 19:42

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .