The incredible iTunes Syncing war... part 1

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Okay, so, first I will define the combatants in this battle, in the Red Corner we have Computer A, Powerbook G4, 1.5ghz, 2GB RAM, running 10.5.5. in the Blue Corner we have Computer B, a Powerbook G4 1.0ghz, 2GB RAM, running 10.4.11. In the Green Corner we have Computer C, a Mac Mini G4 1.42ghz, 1GB RAM, with a very critical 300GB External HD, running 10.4.11. In the Purple Corner we have an Airport Extreme with an external Time Machine Drive.

Now, for the battle.

I need to sync up all three computers iTunes libraries, and I want to store all the music files on the external hard drive on the Mac Mini. When a new music file is purchased on one computer, I need it accessible by ALL computers.

As of today, all machines are running iTunes 8.0

I have been fighting with this for weeks, trying to get the laptops to see the external HD on the Mac Mini in iTunes, and getting the purchased files to migrate over to that music folder. I have also been having a nightmare getting the itunes accounts to sync up automatically. I am forever having to go in and MANUALLY add the new music that gets added into the iTunes Music folders from the other machines.

This is a family computer setup, and we purchase/share music all the time, and we need to get this sorted out because it is a giant pain in the butt, and duplication of music files is bloating our computers.

Just to make things fun, this all needs to happen over a mixed network of wired and wireless machines. The laptops roam the house on the wifi, the Mini is connected to the Airport via ethernet.

Anyone have a solution?


  • Reply 1 of 4
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    As long as you only purchase or listen to music on the laptops while connected to the LAN, yeah. (Make a symbolic link on each laptop for the user's iTunes library folder to the folder on the Mac mini hard drive. When iTunes launches, the mini's volume *should* be automounted.) If you ever want to listen to music on the laptop outside the LAN, then not really. (Trying to run iTunes when it can't find the library on the volume leads to bad juju.)

    There are iTunes syncing utilities out there, but they seem to run around $20-30. It may be worth it for you though.
  • Reply 2 of 4
    None of my attempts to do that ( point itunes to the drive on the mac mini over the network ) have worked. It's very strange, I know it should easily point to the drive, but the drive never shows up.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    Are you saying that iTunes isn't automatically mounting the mini drive when iTunes starts? I don't know if iTunes can do that or not. What happens if you mount the drive before starting iTunes?
  • Reply 4 of 4
    I don't know if this was mentioned already, but have you tried independently making your external shared across the network? This might help. I stream from my Time capsule all the time since my MBP hasn't got the space for my music collection. I don't know if the issue can be solved the same way as mine since I only have 1 computer. I just add all the files to my library and make sure the library is in the right location and it just updates if it isnt. Once a single instance of each file is copied I stop iTunes from copying it to library (in your case the external) to prevent duplication of files.

    Maybe this helps. It's a bit of a pain to keep refreshing the library but it should only takes 2-3 minutes.
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