Previously, my wife and I shared a single iTunes store account and had iTunes match. If I added music to my library from outside iTunes, she could see it in her library and download it to her phone.

Now we have switched to Family Sharing, an Apple Music family plan, and iCloud Music Library (since our collection(s) are far larger than could fit on our phones). She signs into Apple Music with her Apple ID, I sign in with mine, and everything is great. Our customizations in Apple Music don't affect one another. We still use the shared iTunes account on our Apple TV for kind of joint music access.

From time to time, though, either she or I acquires music from outside the iTunes store, for example directly from an artist or at bandcamp.com or what have you. Does anybody know an easy way for us to share new music additions with one another or the original joint account? The only way I have found so far is for me to AirDrop or Dropbox a folder of music files from my Mac to hers… but that requires tracking what we've downloaded, what we've shared, and for us to be in "let's do computer busywork together" mode at the same time. Even worse, since neither of us is signed into that original iTunes account, to update that library I have to sign out of iTunes on my Mac, sign in with the joint account, and add the music, then switch back, and then I have to go through the whole process of iTunes tagging my music for iCloud Music Library and waiting a long time to sync the library.

  • I'm not sure I'm really following... So you have 3 accounts, only 2 of which are in Family Sharing? There's not a lot you can do with music obtained from outside the Apple structure, but the rest should be sharable, if all the accounts are in sharing.
    – Tetsujin
    May 20, 2016 at 11:58
  • No, three accounts in a Family Sharing plan. Person A buys music. iTunes uploads it to his iCloud music library. How do I get it into Person B or Person C's library, especially if there are only two computers?
    – samh
    May 20, 2016 at 12:22
  • All accounts should be able to access the Purchased list of all the others, without having to sign in with the Master account. Music from outside the Purchase structure is going have to be copied manually, though. The part I'm less certain about is the iCloud Music Library, as I've never done it that way.
    – Tetsujin
    May 20, 2016 at 12:52
  • 1
    Yes, with iCloud music and Family Sharing, anything that was already in the Library is accessible to all three accounts. As is anything any account buys from iTunes. But I just bought an EP from an indie artist not in iTunes…but for my wife to listen, I have to copy the tracks to her computer and add them. To listen on Apple TV, I have to sign out on my Mac, sign in as the Apple TV user, and upload the music… When I sign back into iTunes as me, then it resets iCloud Music Library and has to re-sync everything. It's a nightmare. Surely there must be an easier way?
    – samh
    May 20, 2016 at 15:24
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    This is a good question. If you rip a CD to your computer, how do you get it to show up in a family member's iTunes without either re-ripping it on their computer, or doing the above finagling? When one first enables iCloud library, all the privately-owned MP3s magically show up, so new stuff should in theory be able to do the same, right?
    – Demis
    Jan 14, 2018 at 15:13

2 Answers 2


I understand the issue and simply, the answer is no.

Apple's Family Sharing is limited to iTunes purchases (music, movies, TV, books). What it does not provide is access to the main account's full iCloud Music Library. While the main account can add, access, and delete non-iTunes media to the iCloud Music Library, it cannot share that content, even with those in Family Sharing. I think it stinks and cripples the value this service.

I can only imagine this is Apple (and thusly, music industry) trying to thwart major music peer-sharing in constantly shared "Family" libraries.


If your wife goes to the purchased section on iTunes on her computer and looks under family member (your) purchases, does she see the music you added? Then she would tap on it to download onto her computer/device.

  • Unfortunately, this doesn't address the core issue raised by the OP because they're talking about music added from outside of iTunes.
    – Monomeeth
    Jan 15, 2018 at 5:58
  • Agreed, ripped CD's/MP3's don't show up under "purchased", only stuff bought online thru the iTunes Store.
    – Demis
    Jan 16, 2018 at 6:02
  • @Monomeeth, did you ever find out, or is what David Nine said this last February still stand? Sounds like that is the case... I am a heavy user of the upload feature (I am an amateur taper and get music from nugs, livephish, etree, archive, etc) and am trying to help out a friend in the same scenario but who shares his library and tastes with his wife. Thank you for your or anyone's help... Jan 8, 2019 at 0:47

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