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How do I share a single iTunes library amongst multiple Windows accounts on the same PC?

How do I share a single iTunes library amongst multiple Windows accounts on the same PC?

I use different user accounts on my laptop to segregate out my work, so I can keep personal use separate from work and hobby stuff. I have a single iTunes account and three Windows user accounts, and I'd like to be able to simply open iTunes when logged into any of my three Windows user profiles and view the exact same library and playlists. I know I can log into each one individually to get the iTunes store to be the same (wishlists, etc) but I want the local Music and Video libraries and playlists to all be the same as well. And I'd like to be able to buy something while logged into any of those Windows user accounts on a whim, and it will still show up when logged into the other Windows user accounts as well.

Asked by: Guest | Views: 141
Total answers/comments: 2
bert [Entry]

"iTunes has two things:

iTunes Library (music files)
iTunes database (playlists, ratings, etc)

To move both of these:

Copy your whole ~/Music/iTunes to a shared location (for example C:\iTunes)
Open iTunes
Go to Preferences > Advanced and change the library location (choose something like C:\iTunes\Music)
Close iTunes
Hold down SHIFT and double click on the iTunes shortcut
A dialog box opens up to move the iTunes database. Choose 'Choose Library' and choose where you copied the database to (for example C:\iTunes)
Open iTunes, and it should be back to normal

This should make the current user use the shared library and database. Log into your other Windows user, and see if iTunes there opens the shared folder. If not, use the SHIFT+open trick to switch that iTunes to the shared folder as well."
bert [Entry]

"I use iTunes on two different Windows machines as follows:

The iTunes Library (the artist/album folders and the mp3 files) is located at C:/iTunes/iTunes Music/ rather than ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music. This is set within the iTunes preferences, and is done to get the username out of the path to the mp3 files.
(I did a search and replace in the iTunes Music Library.xml file in ~/My Music/iTunes to get iTunes to recognise the move.)

The files in ~/My Music/iTunes (the database files) are synchronised between the two computers using Microsoft's SyncToy (as are the updated mp3 files and folders).

This works well for me and could form the basis of a solution for you, copying the database files back and forth from one folder as you log in and out of Windows but keeping the music files in one folder. I think that the copy commands could be done as scheduled tasks, but there may be a better way (Group Policy perhaps?).

A better solution, which I haven't tried so I don't know if it will actually work, would be to use Hard Links or Junctions from the files in ~/My Music/iTunes (or the folder itself) to one central version of this folder."