Sync your iPod with two computers
Sync your iPod with two computers
4:47

Sync your iPod with two computers

Digital Audio Players
>> Dear Apple, I use more than one computer. In fact, a lot of people do and this thing where you won't let me sync my iPod or my iPhone with more than one machine is seriously driving me crazy. And I have seriously had it and I'm putting a stop to it right now. ^M00:00:14 [ Music ] ^M00:00:21 >> Hi, I'm Molly Wood and in this edition of Insider Secrets I'm gonna show you how to sync your iPod or iPhone with more than one computer. Let's do this. Now one weird and frustrating feature about the iPod products is this error message right here. When you try to either sync or even just manually move music or podcast on a computer that isn't the computer you normally use with your iPod, you get this message saying that the phone or iPod is already synced to another iTunes library and you can't proceed unless you want to erase the device and start all over. It usually happens with iPhones, iPod Touches or iPod Shuffles, but with all iPod models Apple makes it very hard to move songs off your iPod on to a second computer. Now, this is supposedly a feature that prevents piracy, but all it really does is drive you freaking crazy. Now, there are several software apps that let you copy and manage music across more than one computer. If you use Windows, Xplay does the trick. It cost about $30. On the Mac, you can use iPod.iTunes which also cost $30. Both of those programs are fine, but free is better and there's a simple hack that can free your iPod or iPhone for good. A huge thank you to Andrew Grant at andrewgrant.org for writing this tip up in such a helpful way. Okay, now there are a couple of ways to do this. First let's say you have a computer at home and you just installed the iTunes on the second machine. Maybe it's one at your home or work or a brand new computer, then this will be easy. See, iTunes stores your library information in two places, an XML file and a binary file. On the Mac those files are called iTunes Music Library.xml and iTunes music library. On the PC the binary file is called iTunes Music Library.itl. Now, if you just wanna copy your library settings and purchase history from one computer to another and then sync with both, just copy the XML file and the library file from the old computer to the new one. You'll still have to reimport all your music, but iTunes won't give you any trouble when you try the sync. It's no big deal, but it's only helpful if you're moving to a new computer or you don't mind having the same library on both machines. But let say you've got some music on the machine at home and some at work and you just wanna manage music on two computers, but you don't wanna overwrite the work computer with the home computer. In that case we need to edit the XML and the library files on the second computer, so that they match the first. This will make your iPod or your iPhone think that it's always syncing with the same machine, which is what we want. Now, this is going to involve editing a Hex file, so you'll need to download a Hex editor. On the PC Andrew recommends Ultra Edit, which you can get at Download.com. On the Mac you can use Hex Edit. You also need a text editor like Text Edit or even Notepad on Windows. Okay, now on computer 2, this is the one you wanna starts syncing with, find the iTunes music library.xml file and the iTunes music library or iTunes music library.itl file and back them up. You're gonna be messing with them and you wanna be able to restore them if necessary. Okay now on the machine you currently sync with, which I'm gonna call computer 1, open iTunes music library.xml in your Text Editor. Now, find the entry after Library persistent ID. You'll find it between the string tags. It should be a 16-character string of numbers and letters. Now, copy this ID to another file or a piece of paper, IM it to your self or something like that and close the file. Okay, now head over to computer 2. Open the XML file and find the Library persistent ID again. Use control C or the copy command to copy this ID to your clip board and then paste it into some sort of text editor 'cause you're gonna need that in a minute. Okay now go get the ID you copied from computer 1 and replace the ID on computer 2 with that one from computer 1. Okay, so now you're still on computer 2. Open your Hex editor and navigate to the iTunes music library or the iTunes music library.itl file and open that. Okay, now choose Find and Replace, find all of the old computer two IDs and replace them with the ones from computer 1. Make sure you have Hex matching selected, not as key and actually you should find only one match. Now, just save this file and close it and you should be good to go. Plug in your iPod or your iPhone to computer 2, select manually manage music and videos and you should be all set. Now, remember that if you're trying to maintain separate libraries on the two computers you should only auto-sync to one of them or ideally manually manage music on both. Good luck. For CNET TV, I'm Molly Wood and you're welcome. ^M00:04:44 [ Music ]

Up Next

Why you should buy an MP3 player
mp3playersstill.jpg

Up Next

Why you should buy an MP3 player

Astell & Kern AK Jr wears the big pants
astellkernjr.jpg

Astell & Kern AK Jr wears the big pants

The new Apple iPod Touch sticks iPhone hardware into a tiny package
first-look-01021200-still005.jpg

The new Apple iPod Touch sticks iPhone hardware into a tiny package

Sony's ZX2 is luxurious and pricey
sonyzx2.jpg

Sony's ZX2 is luxurious and pricey

Uh oh, it's PonoPlayer!
flponoplayer2.jpg

Uh oh, it's PonoPlayer!

Sony's newest Walkman is for audiophiles only
ces2015flsonywalkmanzx2.jpg

Sony's newest Walkman is for audiophiles only

RIP iPod
ait-ipod-holding-still.jpg

RIP iPod

Sony's new Walkman handles hi-res audio (hands-on)
sonya17walkmanholdingstill.jpg

Sony's new Walkman handles hi-res audio (hands-on)

Sony's new Walkman MP3 headphones add Bluetooth (hands-on)
sonywalkmanheadsetholdingstill.jpg

Sony's new Walkman MP3 headphones add Bluetooth (hands-on)

Tech Shows

The Apple Core
apple-core-w

The Apple Core

Alphabet City
alphabet-city-w

Alphabet City

CNET Top 5
cnet-top-5-w

CNET Top 5

The Daily Charge
dc-site-1color-logo.png

The Daily Charge

What the Future
what-the-future-w

What the Future

Tech Today
tech-today-w

Tech Today

Latest News All latest news

Cast Your Meta Quest Headset to a TV, Phone or Browser
cast-2

Cast Your Meta Quest Headset to a TV, Phone or Browser

Apple's VR Headset Event Will Be Different
apple-headset

Apple's VR Headset Event Will Be Different

Rad Power Bikes Addresses Gap in Micro-Mobility With the RadTrike
radtrike-00-01-12-05-still001

Rad Power Bikes Addresses Gap in Micro-Mobility With the RadTrike

Best Streaming Devices of 2022
best-streamers-2022-thumb

Best Streaming Devices of 2022

Forget the Kids. These Toys Make Great Adult Gifts
bridgetnerf

Forget the Kids. These Toys Make Great Adult Gifts

See Why the Semi May Be Tesla's Most Important Vehicle
tesla-semi-00-02-40-12-still001

See Why the Semi May Be Tesla's Most Important Vehicle

Most Popular All most popular

Apple's VR Headset Event Will Be Different
apple-headset

Apple's VR Headset Event Will Be Different

Forget the Kids. These Toys Make Great Adult Gifts
bridgetnerf

Forget the Kids. These Toys Make Great Adult Gifts

Best Streaming Devices of 2022
best-streamers-2022-thumb

Best Streaming Devices of 2022

Elon Musk Shows Latest Neuralink Demo of Monkey Typing with its Mind
neuralmonkey

Elon Musk Shows Latest Neuralink Demo of Monkey Typing with its Mind

Best Android Phones of 2022: Samsung, Google, OnePlus and More
1203459317449832-laz1jqjqlhclzhrpcncs-height640.png

Best Android Phones of 2022: Samsung, Google, OnePlus and More

Watch Elon Musk's Semi Event in 9 Minutes
tesla-sb-v1-00-00-02-01-still001.png

Watch Elon Musk's Semi Event in 9 Minutes

Latest Products All latest products

Rad Power Bikes Addresses Gap in Micro-Mobility With the RadTrike
radtrike-00-01-12-05-still001

Rad Power Bikes Addresses Gap in Micro-Mobility With the RadTrike

See Why the Semi May Be Tesla's Most Important Vehicle
tesla-semi-00-02-40-12-still001

See Why the Semi May Be Tesla's Most Important Vehicle

First Look at Archer's Midnight Air Taxi
midnight

First Look at Archer's Midnight Air Taxi

Holoride Hands-On: VR in the Car Is Like a Disney Ride
holoride-00-00-03-12-still003

Holoride Hands-On: VR in the Car Is Like a Disney Ride

Hands-on With All of Microsoft's New Surface Devices
surfacepro9-event-00-00-04-05-still004

Hands-on With All of Microsoft's New Surface Devices

Microsoft Introduces Surface Studio 2 Plus
surfacestudio

Microsoft Introduces Surface Studio 2 Plus

Latest How To All how to videos

Cast Your Meta Quest Headset to a TV, Phone or Browser
cast-2

Cast Your Meta Quest Headset to a TV, Phone or Browser

MacOS Ventura Continuity Camera Turns Your iPhone Into a Webcam
1203246975312353-pnmdl8bwygpxcjffhlcf-height640.png

MacOS Ventura Continuity Camera Turns Your iPhone Into a Webcam

How to Clean Your Keyboard's Sticky Keys
3keyboards

How to Clean Your Keyboard's Sticky Keys

How to Play Games from PlayStation Plus on PC
psstill

How to Play Games from PlayStation Plus on PC

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account
phoneonorange

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account

Fix Your iPhone Screen With Apple's Self-Service Repair Kit
dsc00641

Fix Your iPhone Screen With Apple's Self-Service Repair Kit