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iTunes 4.5 plays nice with Fast User Switching Apps
This is a bit of an "un-hint." There have been many hints here on using iTunes with Fast User Switching. In versions of iTunes before 4.5, you could only run one instance of iTunes on a given machine, so some hints involved stopping iTunes when switching accounts or from another account. Other hints involved sharing an iTunes library between accounts.

Apple quietly introduced support for Fast User Switching in iTunes 4.5. You can now have iTunes running in multiple accounts simultaneously. If the iTunes/Sharing preferences in each account are set to share music and to look for shared music, then the library of one account will be accessible within iTunes on the other account. A couple of caveats on sharing libraries:

  • iTunes must be running in the account whose library is being shared, otherwise the other accounts cannot see the shared library.
  • The sharing is just like that between multiple computers on the local network -- a user in one account cannot modify the library in another account except by following one of the old hints.
One other interesting feature of the Fast User Switching support is that the instances of iTunes running in different accounts keep playing even when you switch accounts. This means that you can have multiple songs playing simultaneously, one from each account. I'm not immediately sure why that would be useful, but it is nice that I can switch to my wife's account to do some system maintenance without having my music stop.
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iTunes 4.5 plays nice with Fast User Switching | 10 comments | Create New Account
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iTunes 4.5 plays nice with Fast User Switching
Authored by: Fofer on Apr 30, '04 11:34:38AM

Oh, and by the way, now you can also switch users while you're ripping a CD:
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=93419



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iTunes 4.5 plays nice with Fast User Switching
Authored by: sjk on May 01, '04 03:13:38AM

That's interesting because I successfully ripped a couple dozen CDs with iTunes 4.2 running on my wife's account while switched to my account. Glad that's officially supported now, plus I can keep iTunes running on my account at the same time which wasn't possible before.



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what about using this for mixing?
Authored by: sickandwrong on Apr 30, '04 06:22:00PM

i wonder if i'm using a Griffin iMic and an external mixer, and i have the sound preferences of one User set to Built-In Audio and the preferences for the other User set to iMic, if i can manually crossfade between iTunes, as if each User's iTunes was acting as a separate CD player running through the mixer... Does anyone want to try it out for me as I'm at work without my iMic?

additionally, will both User's instances of iTunes recognize the same iPod, and, if so, can i crossfade as described above with tracks from my iPod? this is going to require extensive testing...



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Different sound outputs worked for me
Authored by: jb8748 on May 03, '04 04:35:18PM

It seemed to work for me. I found out about it by accident after switching Users to do something and changing the sound out for the second user. The music continued to play through the iMic for User 1 but from the Built In speakers for user 2. How reliably this works I don't know.

James



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iTunes 4.5 plays nice with Fast User Switching
Authored by: zane on Apr 30, '04 11:44:14PM
Finally! Thanks for posting this unhint, it annoyed me to no end when I'd have to switch for-what-ever-reason to my girlfriends account just to have the music die... and an empty library on the other side of the cube ;)

Note that the volume also changes with the switch too; if your second account has the volume down, the song currently playing will of course drop in volume accordingly.

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iTunes 4.5 plays nice with Fast User Switching
Authored by: carbnkid on May 10, '05 01:46:42PM

EXCEPT....this seems to no longer work in Tiger. When you switch, iTunes actually keeps playing but you can't hear it anymore like you could in Panther (and I made sure I wasn't on mute, etc.) Any suggestions??



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iTunes 4.5 plays nice with Fast User Switching
Authored by: dfbills on May 02, '04 09:57:33PM

This is actually quite annoying when you insert a cd and itunes starts playing in two user accounts (or more) and you have to FUS to each account to stop it. urg



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iTunes 4.5 plays nice with Fast User Switching
Authored by: pwinn on Jun 27, '05 03:03:41PM

I did a clean install of Tiger (OSX 10.4.1) and then updated to iTunes 4.8 on the same day, so I'm not sure which is responsible, but this no longer works the same way. When I switch users, iTunes doesn't pause, but the sound is muted, so I can't hear songs playing from the other account. I think Tiger is to blame. It's horrible!



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iTunes 4.5 plays nice with Fast User Switching
Authored by: zeigerpuppy on Feb 11, '06 07:26:58AM

Having the same problem here with OS X 10.4.2.
Anybody have any idea how to override the muting?



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iTunes 4.5 plays nice with Fast User Switching
Authored by: emailboy on Dec 05, '10 05:53:25PM

I know this hint is a few years old, but does anyone have a solution? Is there a way to enable audio to keep playing when fast user switching to another user? (In my case it isn't iTunes that I care about but rather VMware Fusion.)



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