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Topic: How do I combine two libraries on one iPod?

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Old 04-14-2007, 02:14 PM
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JCH
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How do I combine two libraries on one iPod?

I consider myself modestly computer literate, but I'm baffled by this one.

I have two PC computers. Let us call them PC 1 and PC 2. (PC 2 being my laptop.)

I love downloading music and audio books, so I installed iTunes on both of my computers so that I could add to my library any time. Thus I have assembled two separate libraries on two computers with the same iTunes account.

Naively, I assumed that since both iTunes installations were registered to one account (mine) and I had paid for all of the tracks downloaded to either computer, installing music from both computers on my new iPod would be simple.

It is not. At some basic level, iTunes will permit me to have all of the music from PC 1 on my iPod, or all of the music from PC 2 on my iPod, but it will not allow all of the music from PC 1 AND PC 2 on my iPod.

Right, says I---I'll just copy the music from one computer to the other, then synch the iPod to that library. Well, this is clumsy. It only works intermittently when I drag music onto a thumb drive and carry it to the other computer. Most of the time I get errors that suggest I'm not allowed to do this. Obviously there are deep layers of security at work, meant to prevent me from copying music with my thumb drive from a friend's computer. Fair enough.

But I'm not stealing music from a friend---I've paid for the music on both PC 1 and PC 2 with the same iTunes account. I've been doing online research for weeks and I have failed to understand how to make it work. It seems like a simple permutation---one user, one account, one iPod, two computers---for which Apple should have a work-around. Yet I can't make it work.

In my research I've found that there's aftermarket software meant to help you collate music from varying sources into one iTunes library. Reviews of the software expressed concern about their ease of use, and reported glitchy results---data lost, etc. I'm literate but not a computer geek, so I'm apprehensive. Some of the failure modes include loss of music I've paid for, or the track listing for audio books being thrown into disarray. (The latter happened in some of my thumb drive experiments and makes it impossible to listen to the book.)

So: one iTunes account, one iPod, two computers, two libraries. How do I get all of the music onto one iPod?

Thanks in advance for your cogent and easy-to-follow instructions. John
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Old 04-14-2007, 02:52 PM
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If your iPod is set to auto sync when trying to add files from both computers then this is what's causing the problem. Set the iPod to 'manually manage music' and you will be able to add files from both computers. I use both Mac & PC and this is how I manage having more than one library & adding files to my iPods.

You are allowed to copy music from one computer to another so the problem is caused by something else if your getting errors when trying to do this. I use my 3g iPod as an external HD to transfer music from Mac to PC and don't have a problem doing so. You need to post the error message your getting.

Any downloads need to be burned to a data disk so if you have any problems you won't lose your purchases. Get in habit of doing this.
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Old 04-14-2007, 04:10 PM
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JCH
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Thanks for the response. I've tried clicking "Manually manage music and videos." But when I plug my iPod into PC 2, the only option I'm offered is to erase everything that's on the iPod (music loaded from PC 1) and replace it with the music that's on PC 2. I'm unable to find an option where I can "drag and drop" selected music into the library that's already loaded onto the iPod.

Am I to erase everything on the iPod in the process of using it as a portable drive? All iTunes keeps telling me is that the iPod "may only be synched to one computer at a time."

As for using drives, it's not an error message---80% of the time the music just never appears in the iTunes library after I've dragged-and-dropped it into the appropriate iTunes folders. So far I've only tried it with a 1gig thumb drive; perhaps that particular drive has some sort of dysfunction. I'll try a removeable hard drive.

It's my belief that I'm missing something simple and perhaps fundamental, but I'm sure I don't know what it is.
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Old 04-14-2007, 06:22 PM
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Did you click "Apply" after selecting manual mode? The first box that pops up does not actually apply the manual mode, it just tells you that now you'll have to "Eject" the iPod before you can safely disconnect it. Pressing "OK" here just means that you've read and understood this message, you still have to click "Apply" in the main window to apply the change to manual mode. Your manual/sync settings are native to the iPod, so they ought to go where it goes and when you plug it into the other computer it should still be on manual.



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Old 04-14-2007, 07:02 PM
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Thanks for the response. I've tried clicking "Manually manage music and videos." But when I plug my iPod into PC 2, the only option I'm offered is to erase everything that's on the iPod (music loaded from PC 1) and replace it with the music that's on PC

When you connect the iPod to the PC under the summary tab check 'manual' box then click 'Apply'. Once it's set to manual it will keep those settings when connected to either computer until you change it. You don't have to set it to manual on each computer.

The HD - use the iPod as a HD to transfer items from one computer to another. Just go to my computer and open the iPod then drag the items onto the HD. It needs to be set to disk mode or set on manual to use it as a hard drive.
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Old 04-16-2007, 11:09 AM
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JCH
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Many thanks for the responses. I adjusted settings as advised and used my iPod as a HD to transfer music between computers.

One mystifying quirk---I have to manually import every track individually. This is time consuming. I'd think if you dragged the music into the iTunes folders, iTunes would detect the presence of these files and update the library accordingly. The only way I could actually get PC2's tracks to appear in PC1's library was to import one track at a time---clicking on each track and then "import."

Glad to have a resolution---now all of the music from my two iTunes libraries is in one place and I can move it onto my iPod. From now on I'll only download on one computer!
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