I have a home network that contains computers with both Macs and PCs. I'd like to use the same iTunes library on all of the machines, so I moved the library folder and all of the media to a network drive.

I updated the library on a Windows machine, but when I access the song on my Mac, it says that the file cannot be found. This is because on Windows, the path was something like:


When my Mac asked me to locate the file, I checked the path and it reads something like:


I'm still pretty new to OSX, but I'm having a hard time finding a solution that allows me to use the same library on both my Mac and my PC.

I'd like to be able to update a library on any computer on the network and it updates the "shared" library, so I am able to sync my iDevice to any machine on the network.

How do I set up the network so the media file path can be the same on both my Windows and Mac machines?

Thank you.

  • In OSX if you go to /Volumes/ do you see Storage there? Sometimes if you reboot quickly it can confuse OSX and you'll see it as something like Storage 1. Just check that OSX thinks it's /Volumes/Storage/Music... and that actually exists. Do you mount your network volume under a different name on OSX?
    – Alex
    Nov 8, 2012 at 4:39

2 Answers 2


Basically using iTunes on a shared storage is really bad. Even if you get it running as you want now, you need to reconnect to the network storage before launching iTunes EACH time (and never open iTunes if not connected to the network) otherwise iTunes standard behaviour is to recreate a new iTunes library locally and then you're stuck there again.


Your current problem is most probably that you are using the same iTunes library file/database on both machines (residing on the network volume). There are two parts to your iTunes Library: The iTunes Library Database (.itl and .xml files) and the Media itself. You want the library database to stay in it's default location on your local drive and You Only want the Media folder to be on the NAS.

To achieve this you start up iTunes with a empty library (in the local Music folder) on EACH machine then import the music from the network folder. But before importing make sure you change the setting "Copy files to iTunes media folder when adding to library" to OFF! Otherwise your data is copied back to the local machine...

Then never start iTunes with your network storage disconnected and you will be fine.

  • Thanks, but that is how I have it set up currently, and the disadvantage is that there are multiple libraries. This causes me to have to update each library whenever I add new media to the NAS. I understand that iTunes needs to be closed and the network drive needs to be connected to, before opening. I plan on creating a shell or Automator script that automatically connects to the volume upon login and closes iTunes on logout.
    – jeffjenx
    Nov 8, 2012 at 13:58
  • @MrSlayer Then your error is very unlikely, as the path to the files are stored in each clients library, Mac paths would be correct if the library is created from the Mac client. Yes You are correct You need to update each library after adding new media. Please tell me if you find any workaround as I can think of no such...
    – jtheman
    Nov 8, 2012 at 15:42
  • 2
    You can hold option when you start iTunes to get it to prompt for which library it should use, if you accidentally create a local one. Then just point it back to your network copy.
    – Alex
    Nov 8, 2012 at 16:57
  • @Alex That is correct but has no influence if the library is local and the files remote. iTunes opens the library but cannot find the files.
    – jtheman
    Nov 8, 2012 at 21:04
  • This is very discouraged. I got a really bad performance even across two Macs. Storing media my AirPort Extreme results in very disappointing performance.
    – Shane Hsu
    May 9, 2013 at 14:32

Hmm, I do this and most often open the iTunes Library on Mac (networked to the PC where the iTunes folder, .itl file and the media are) but sometimes on PC directly. It does work well, (I chose using an old 3.0Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo PC rather than a NAS) so maybe I can help if anyone is still interested. I have the Music folder in a Media drive which is a separate volume on the PC. This is shared over the network and its network name is also Media. It may work because of something simple like making sure it is on a separate drive and you NAME the drive it is on on the PC the same as the SHARE name. Also I wouldn't do this unless you are using a Gigabit ethernet network. Wireless is not fast enough. Every time you open on PC after Mac and vice versa it needs to check the library which takes about 30 seconds. If you were using wireless this might take 10 or 20 minutes. I suspect what it is doing is remapping the media each time the change takes place.

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