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How to use multiple libraries in iTunes 7 Apps
I was excited to see that multiple libraries are supported in iTunes 7 over on Apple's iTunes 7 Overview web page. The only problem is that they don't mention how to do it, nor is it listed in the help docs that I could find.

After poking around in the prefs, menus, contextual menus, etc., it dawned on me that they are probably referring to multiple libraries iPhoto style -- i.e. you only get to use one library at a time, not have multiple libraries show up in the side bar. So I then restarted iTunes with the Option key down and voila -- it asked me to 'Choose iTunes Library' or create a new one.

It's my opionion that this is fairly useless. I still dream of a day when I can have multiple libraries that are spread across separate drives, and access them all from the sidebar. At the very least, it would be nice if we could select different locations for our music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and audiobooks in the prefs, so we can better manage how we want our hard drive space to be used.

[robg adds: Variations on this hint were submitted by five different people -- this was the first in the queue, so it's the one I used...]
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How to use multiple libraries in iTunes 7 | 14 comments | Create New Account
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How to use multiple libraries in iTunes 7
Authored by: jackb79 on Sep 13, '06 08:07:37AM

To get this hold option while starting iTunes up and you can get the multiple libraries option.



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How to use multiple libraries in iTunes 7
Authored by: Anonymous on Sep 13, '06 09:41:18PM

Very cool! Holding option while starting iTunes on Mac OS X, and Shift on XP.



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How to use multiple libraries in iTunes 7
Authored by: k.alexander on Sep 13, '06 08:12:47AM
Does anyone have a suggestion for my problem on this topic? I have an MBP essentially without any music in iTunes. I also have a Windows Media Center PC on the same network that has all my music and it's in iTunes. I don't have a problem playing that music on my MBP via iTunes' built-in library sharing, but what I'd like to do is be able to access MCE's library on my MBP so that I may edit the id3 tags of the songs on the MCE machine. Any idea of how I may do that maybe with this multiple library feature? I tried hold option and pointing iTunes to the library on the network shared MCE drive, but it wont accept it, probably because Windows iTunes library file is somehow different from the Mac OSX one. ANY IDEAS anyone? Thanks in advance.

---
"I read your email" :)

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How to use multiple libraries in iTunes 7
Authored by: elmimmo on Sep 13, '06 09:09:04AM

I have not tried it, but I guess that, as long as you have iTunes Advanced preferences not to "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library" you could mount the smb share and drag the "iTunes Music" folder to your library?

Whatever you set that preference to, you can temporarily force iTunes to do the opposite by option+dragging.



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How to use multiple libraries in iTunes 7
Authored by: hypert on Sep 13, '06 10:27:01AM

This is the only way I know how to accomplish what K. Alexander wants.



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How to use multiple libraries in iTunes 7
Authored by: k.alexander on Sep 13, '06 11:27:09AM
I started trying something along those lines last night (it was around 3am :). It looked like if I changed the id3 tags of the music dragged in the way you said, they would change on the host (MCE) machine. But sometimes they wouldn't. And then, if the file name or it's parent folders changed, the link to the file would get lost.

I started trying it with just one or two files, too afraid to screew up the rest of my library. I may give it another try tonight.

Guess I was just hoping that with multiple library support, I would just be able to mount the MCE library as an alternative library to temporarily mess with it.

---
"I read your email" :)

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Multiple locations easy but tedious
Authored by: chancer on Sep 13, '06 09:35:15AM

"At the very least, it would be nice if we could select different locations for our music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and audiobooks in the prefs"

I agree! Of course if you keep "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library" unchecked all the time, you can store stuff wherever you want. However, I usually like iTunes to organize and rename folders and files for me.

Here's how you can get that lovely organization but still store stuff where you want, if you don't mind spending the time:

1. Copy the media files you want to move from the iTunes Music folder to the desired new location.
2. In iTunes, delete those file listings. Tell iTunes to move the files to the trash.
3. Open iTunes Preferences, Advanced pane, General tab. Uncheck "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library."
4. Drag the files from their new location to the iTunes icon, or alternatively, from iTunes, go to File -> Open to add them to the library. The files will remain in their new, separate location, yet be listed in the iTunes library.
5. If desired, recheck "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library" in iTunes Preferences.
6. Every time you want to add new files to iTunes but store them outside the iTunes Music folder, you'll have to go through this tedious rigmarole again.

There you go. The partition where I was storing all my iTunes content was filling up. I now have most of my music on a separate partition on my main drive, my Christmas music on an external drive, and my movies and videos in my Movies folder. They are all listed in iTunes.

I still hope for true multiple libraries someday.



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Multiple locations easy but tedious
Authored by: xianman on Sep 13, '06 12:02:40PM
There you go. The partition where I was storing all my iTunes content was filling up. I now have most of my music on a separate partition on my main drive, my Christmas music on an external drive, and my movies and videos in my Movies folder. They are all listed in iTunes.
One of the main reasons I would like true multiple libraries is that if one of the hard drives that contain one of my libraries isn't mounted, its contents won't show up in iTunes. Basically I would like external hard drives to act like big iPods - plug one in that contains an iTunes library and it shows up in the sidebar as its own device.

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How to use multiple libraries in iTunes 7
Authored by: peterd on Sep 13, '06 10:15:34AM
There is a program called MusicPublisher that let's you access additional musiclibrary from the sidebar.
I don't know if it supports more than 1 or if it is compatable with iTunes7
http://projects.tynsoe.org/musicpublisher/http://projects.tynsoe.org/musicpublisher/

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How to use multiple libraries in iTunes 7
Authored by: chancer on Sep 13, '06 01:44:28PM

Looks interesting. I will definitely check this out.



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How to use multiple libraries in iTunes 7
Authored by: JadeNB on Sep 13, '06 05:30:50PM
How to use multiple libraries in iTunes 7
Authored by: donmoemu on Sep 14, '06 09:27:49AM

iTunes7 and the Audiobooks library.... How in the heck does one get their audiobooks in the aforementioned library? All of the Audiobooks that i purchased from iTMS is going in the correct libraries, but not the books that i've ripped. ...any ideas



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How to use multiple libraries in iTunes 7
Authored by: fil_dawg on Sep 14, '06 12:14:59PM
If I understand your question, it's really how to get audiobooks to appear in the audiobook portion of the sidebar?

I'll assume you're starting with *.mp3s.

I did the following:
1) Convert audiobook files to AAC (from the iTunes->Advanced menu)
2) At this point your audiobook files will be duplicated within iTunes. You can delete the original *.mp3s keeping the *.m4a files.
3) Select the AAC (*.m4a) files from within iTunes and run Doug Adams excellent script: Make Bookmarkable This will convert the *.m4a to *m4b files.
4) Delete from iTunes - * MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT DELETE THE FILES * --- Select *KEEP FILES* from dialog box.
5) Re-import the files into iTunes and they should appear in Audiobooks.

This process works for me - YMMV

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We were all wrong - it CAN do multiple locations now
Authored by: chancer on Sep 14, '06 07:52:47PM
Well, golly, look at this:

Multi-volume library
http://playlistmag.com/weblogs/ipodblog/2006/09/oddsandends/index.php?lsrc=mwrss

Looks like we can at least tell itunes to start storing music in a new location without it forgetting about the stuff in the old location. I would never have known that the way this preference works changed, except for the article I linked to.

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