Set up multiple ‘i’ device users on one iTunes account

Michael O’Keefe and Brian Bornstein
30 June, 2011
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Necessity is the mother of invention; Apple, in their wisdom have made the functionality, we just needed to work out the process. I will use my example of our family to illustrate what we did in setting up and using multipule folders & the one account.

The beauty of this is the each individual can have their own music on their ‘i’ devices and edit, add to, without affecting anyone elses and just useing the one iTunes account. What I found in the past was that when I connected my device to the Mac I would get what ever pictures and app’s  and set up from the previous user when I synced my device.

So the answer to this is one account, multipule users. I have all my iTunes files on a seperate HDD so this is where the user files need to reside. They share the iTunes library, you just need to copy what files you want to have to each individuals folder. To set this up follow the steps below:,

1. Locate where your iTunes library is using Spotlight or in Finder.

2. Add your individual folders into the ‘Music’ folder, I named my folders with the prefix ‘iTunes’, see below there are four folders Ally, Georgia, Lias and Mick. Now these folders are empty, to add your music from iTunes there are two ways, you can copy them direct from the music folder, then you can add your podcasts movies etc. You can import the lot from iTunes. I prefered to import from iTunes.

3. To access your individual library within iTunes you will need to open iTunes in the following manner, hold down the option key and click on the iTunes icon, you will see the following:

4. Choose library, tab

5. Highlight your individual folder and choose. iTunes will now be open in this folder only (see below), import your music, podcasts and app’s into your individual folder. You can also sync your ‘i’ device and import your music directly into your folder.

When you close iTunes, it will open back up into the last folder that it was closed on. Also when you buy / download music, podcasts, movies, app’s etc they will download directly into your folder, and the same for the other individuals using this system.

If you want to share your music with the other folders / individuals it’s easy, just import the file to your library, or copy from finder. That goes for apps as well; they are located in ‘Mobile Applications’. This way you can be selective in which apps etc you have on your ‘i’ device.

The pitfall when updating iOS is you have to do each one individually, painfulli know. If your folder is open, iTunes is running and your 16-year-old daughter with a bubble gum music collection syncs her ‘i’ device to your folder. Guess what you get? All her music, apps and everything else. Educate them on the opening up the folder procedure and you will have no issues.

We have one credit card for purchases using iTunes and four users, this system is great and it work.

One Comment

One person was compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Michael O'Keefe says:

    That’s a great idea! There are some smart people out there….

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