Not really a duplicate to the specific question but related: Sharing music in the iTunes library with multiple accounts and iOS devices.

I got a 2011 13-inch MacBook Air for my upcoming college courses. This is my second Mac, I also have a 2010 Mac Mini. Part of the reason for the Air is it's lightweight and mobility. Part of this sacrifice is a somewhat small 128gb, means it just isn't reasonable to store my music library on the Air. I'd like to keep my verging on 40gb music collection on the Mini.

I also have an iPad and an iPod touch. I would like to sync my iPad and iPod to my Mini for music and my Air for documents, such as PDFs, school files, iCal and Address Book. Is this possible? Is there anything I have to do before I start syncing to the Air?

A Google check didn't bring up anything relevant to what I was attempting to do.

Yes, this is possible.

This was tested using an iPod touch 4th generation, a 2010 Mac Mini and a 2011 MacBook Air. iPod running iOS 4.3 and Macs running Lion

  1. Sync your iPod to the Mac storing your music library.
  2. Ensure to select 'Manually manage music' from your device's main screen in iTunes.
  3. Manually sync your music to your device. (This didn't take long as the iPod didn't delete the existing music before attempting to sync.)
  4. Sync the iPod to the 2nd Mac. At the iTunes prompts to replace music and photos select 'Cancel', optionally select 'Don't remind me again' as well to avoid the prompt.
  5. Manually sync other info to your device, such as iCal, Address Book and Mail Accounts.

This way you can have music/videos on a storage machine and your other important info on a daily user.

Of course...iCloud makes this a little obsolete. But, good to know for when you have limited Internet access.

  • This isn't an answer, but this situation may get more convenient when Apple releases iCloud in a couple months. We'll be keeping an eye on it until then.
    – Jamie
    Aug 11, 2011 at 13:59

3 Answers 3


There was a time when it "worked" to plug an iPod into separate computers with the same Apple ID. Have you tried just plugging them in? I think the key was that you need to manually manage music and videos on the iOS device. You probably don't want the computer syncing automatically either. There is a setting for that in iTunes preferences.

Syncing iPhones with multiple computers is a big bag of hurt. I don't think that this works at all.

Hopefully iCloud works perfectly and solves all these problems for us sometime this fall.


I had the same problem as you and I solved it by putting my iTunes library on an external hard drive (auto-powered via USB or FireWire). I set up the path to the library on each of my computer and now, I can use my iTunes library on every computer as long as my hard drive is connected.

This method allows me to sync my iDevices with any of my computer without any hacks. I used it flawlessly for a year.

It even works other's computer as I just need to adjust the path to the library by pressing when launching iTunes.

The only thing is to check you have the same version of iTunes everywhere. Many iTunes updates update the library and you probably don't want to mess with your library because you used an old version of iTunes.


This article is a useful start http://www.andrewgrant.org/2008/03/30/how-to-sync-an-iphone-with-two-or-more-computers.html

However, with the latest iTunes the hack no longer works, as-is. I'll save you the time of digging through the huge list of comments.

If you downgrade iTunes to version 9.0 you can apply the patches described in the article, and allow Software Update to upgrade iTunes once everything is working as you'd expect.

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