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I would like to use my iTunes library on two different computers, whose OS versions are different and would like to know to which extent it is possible to use the same iTunes library on two different versions of iTunes.

More precisely, here is my situation :

  • On my Mac #1, the OS is 10.6.8 with iTunes 10.6 (40)
  • On my Max #2, the OS is 10.5.8 with iTunes 10.6.3 (25)

Currently, I am able to use both iTunes with the same library.

I would like to know if I can install on Mac #1 the last version of iTunes (namely, iTunes 11) and still be able to open/play/edit my music on Mac #2.

  • How do you share the library currently, via a NAS or via Home Sharing (with an Apple ID)? And just to avoid surprises: I'll try to edit your question to make it easier to understand, feel free to rollback the edits if you don't agree with them. – nohillside Mar 12 '13 at 12:55
  • The library is on an external hard drive that I move when I want to read the library on a different computer. – Colas Mar 12 '13 at 16:33
  • I wouldn't recommend this with different iTunes version. But check out Home Sharing below, this will work (as long as both Macs are running and in the same local network). – nohillside Mar 12 '13 at 16:41
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Sharing a physical library between iTunes instances won't work due to various reasons (e.g. incompatible library formats, conflicting access) but you won't need to do that. Home Sharing in included iTunes for exactly this reason and allows you to access the library of Mac #1 from Mac #2 (or vice versa, depending on where your library is actually stored).

There are actually two options here:

  1. Open iTunes Preferences on the Mac were the library is stored, go to Sharing and make your library available to the local network. You should now see the library in the sidebar of the other Mac

  2. Create an Apple ID if you don't have one already and use it to enable Home Sharing via File > Devices > "Turn On Home Sharing" on all involved computers. The benefit of this approach is that it also works with iOS devices and Apple TV. For details see Understanding home sharing and Setting up Home Sharing on your computer.

  • What do you recommend now, Home Sharing or NAS? If you think NAS won't work, why not just recommend Home Sharing and describe how to set it up and use it on both computers? – nohillside Mar 12 '13 at 14:03
  • you are absolutely right! – Macmaniman Mar 12 '13 at 14:09
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    Can I edit the library from both iTunes ? I would like to have the library on the oldest Mac. Thank you. – Colas Mar 12 '13 at 16:44
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    So, here is my situtation : I would like the library to be on Mac #1 but to edit it from Mac #2 (and maybe from Mac #1). Can you see any solution ? – Colas Mar 12 '13 at 17:35
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    the absolutly best solution would be iTunes Match... however, if you want to use it as you discribe, a shared folder might do the trick, however, the bad thing is that the first comp has to be on in order for this to work! Or itunes- settings- advanced, and turn copy to iTunes options off and try a remote library. im not shure how well this will work however! – Macmaniman Mar 12 '13 at 18:59

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