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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

External HDD Sharing Q


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NAVET

 
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I recently switched from a Window$ machine to a Mac. My music library is pretty big and is on an External HDD that my wife and I share since we both had Window$ laptops. Now that I have made the switch to Mac (She still has a Wondow$ laptop), will I be able to access the music on the External HDD? It isn't an issue right now since all my music fits on my iPod but there may come a day when I will need to get to teh music for whatever reason. If I buy music off iTunes; can I put it on the external HDD and if so will she be able to access it?


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StMFA

 
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We need more info-
1)How are you sharing it? Is it through an internet share or are you physically hooking it up.
2)What is the format of the external?

To answer your last question- yes you can put it on an external (provided its formatted correctly) and she will be able to access it as long as itunes on her computer is authorized using the same Apple account (which I'm assuming it is).

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NAVET

 
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We connect to it via USB cable.
It is FAT32.

All the songs on the External HDD were copied off of CDs we have and there aren't any songs we downloaded through iTunes so I'm not sure about her computer being authorized or not.
This is what prompted the whole conversation. We want to be able to download songs through iTunes and put them in one place.

If needed, we can format the HDD and reformat it so we can both use it/access it. But I'd rather not.


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Ok. The fact that its formatted in FAT 32 and you will connect it via USB is perfect.
Just make sure you and your wife buy music from the same iTunes account and you will have no playback issues.

Some potential hassels you will run into though:
1) When you buy music off iTunes it is going to file it appropriately in the iTunes media folder. This means that in order to get it onto the external, you will need to copy it over from that directory and then manually add the files/folders to the other computer.

2) When you do this, you will then have two options:
a) delete the locally downloaded files from the computer you purchased them from and readd them from the external hdd copies
b) keep the originals stored on the computers hdd and risk running into the duplicate song issue depending on how you organize/add media to your iTunes library.

HTH

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If we decide to move it to our desktop and make it available wireless and leave it FAT32 will that change anything?


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StMFA

 
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In reality it doesn't really change much unless you can specify that external through iTunes as the default area to download music to. In which case, you'd just have to add the songs to the library once, no transfer of files needed. However, then that PC would need to be on in order to listen. (Note:if you can change the default directory then its really just a matter of adding it to the corresponding computer)

IMHO:
It sounds like this is more of a future proofing method more than anything at this point.
So in the spirit of that, would either you or your wife need to bring the external with you for listening to music on the go? Because if its just staying at home, then setting up one PC with all the music and using iTunes home sharing to stream the content to your other computers is the best/easiest route to go.

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iajohnston

 
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Go into iTunes and look under help for "Share your iTunes library" you can share with up to 5 systems
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