I have two iTunes installation on PC.

  • First one is on Windows 7 which is my main iTunes for music podcast etc.
  • Second iTunes is installed in a VMware powered Windows 7

I connected first iTunes folder as network drive set this location for second iTunes library. I hope this does not sound confusing.

These two iTunes are now downloading podcasts individually, yes they download to same location but they don't recognise what is already downloaded. What am I doing wrong? or missing?

1 Answer 1


If you use one remote library location for iTunes on two machines [real or virtual] then even though the data location is shared, no other information is.

Each iTunes believes it is fully in charge of the library.
It is unaware that any other iTunes is changing data in the library & won't spot that a file already exists which it doesn't already have in its database.

In essence, iTunes is a write-only structure, it doesn't read the info from the library itself, only from its own Library.xml & .itl files. Dropping a new file into the Library by any method, including from another copy of iTunes, won't make the other iTunes notice it's there.

One workaround - which I'm not sure I'd actually recommend testing without solid backups - could be to symlink the .xml & .itl files together, across both machines.
There's a guide on symbolic links on HowToGeek
Essentially, linking the two sets of library files as one single structure, which either iTunes could read/write to.

Obvious downsides would be
a) there would be no lockfile protection, were both iTunes attempting to write at the same time.
b) the file hierarchies would have to be identical on each machine, as iTunes file references are absolute, not relative.

  • 1
    Thanks for the headsup this was very informative. I made up my mind to go with single iTunes installation. Whole point of this was to be able to use iTunes within Linux and sync with my iPad incase I needed. Whether I am on linux or windows I can access same iTunes thanks to VMware and with networked drive I dont have to worry about VM's disk usage.
    – emrecnl
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 9:05
  • Another approach, the one I use, may be to adopt a Master/Slave system, which requires periodic manual sync. It's not ideal but can work for some circumstances. See apple.stackexchange.com/questions/163594/… and apple.stackexchange.com/questions/204618/… for some of my musings on that method.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 9:11

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