>> Do you live in a house with one computer and multiple iPods? I'm Donald Bell and in today's Insider Secret I'm going to show you some tricks for keeping the peace in a multi-iPod home.
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>> So you've got one or more iPods or iPhones in your home synching to one computer. Sounds simple enough, but there's a few ways this scenario can cause big headaches. The first problem comes down the taste. Let's say you've got one iPod that prefers Metallica and the other iPod prefers to Tori Amos. And maybe there's a third iPod over here that can't stand Tori or Metallica, but loves 50 Cent. How do you keep them all happy? When you connect your iPod, your iPhone to your computer, click on the device on the left pane and you'll see the items offer some basic controls of personalization. You can chose exactly what photo library, music playlist, podcast, videos and contact data you want to automatically synch to your particular iPod, as well as what content you want to ignore. Unfortunately for Mr. Metallica, there's no check box in iTunes for only synch guy music. But you can make your own. To do this, first make a playlist of all the music in your families collection that you never want to hear again -- or at least never want to hear on your iPod. For mine, I'll create a list called Donald's don't list. Now let's make a second playlist, this time we're gonna make a smart playlist called Donald's iPod. This can be the playlist we synch to our iPod and we're gonna make it so that it excludes our don't list and it's also gonna excludes things like podcast and genres like children's music and let's say on this one folk music -- no offense. Viola! I have now got a list of music within a shared iTunes library that excludes the music I don't want to hear. The final step is to go on to my iPod window and tell my iPod to only synch music from the playlist Donald's iPod and then hit Apply. Now just get everybody in your house to make their own two playlists and you'll have a much happier home. Here's another iTunes marriage saver. Say you've got 1 PC at home and everybody signs in under a different user profiles with different iTunes libraries. This is a great way to keep your music tastes separate from one another, but if you and your wife want to share music in iTunes purchases or if you subscribe to many of the same podcast and don't feel like downloading them twice, having a single master library can be a good way to go. But how do you get different user accounts to access the same iTunes library? First off, let's assume that all the computer's users have profiles with administrative access that allows you see each others file and move them around. So, assuming you're both setup as admins, you can merge your libraries in just four steps. Step 1: Log in as a user with the smaller of the two iTunes libraries and back-up the library and your playlist to a CD or to an external hard drive then close iTunes. Step 2: Reopen iTunes with the shift button held down. This will prompt you to choose a library file you want iTunes to use. Look under the My Music folder of the user with the library you want acting as the master library. You should find the iTunes folder and within that folder you should find the iTunes library file. Select it, hit OK. Step 3: You should now be seeing your husband, wife, kid or roommate's music collection loading to your version iTunes and none of your music. We will fix that in a minute, but first open up iTunes preferences, check under the advanced tab and make sure that the music library path points to the new location you selected in step 2 -- it should. Also check off that box labeled copy files to iTunes music folder when adding to library. This will make sure that any new music you add will spill in to the new location. Step 4: Load up your old music library. You can do this by importing the music you backed up in Step 1 or by navigating to your My Music folder and dragging and dropping your collection back in iTunes. Finally, hit consolidate library in the file menu to ensure everything that's copied to the new location. You can use the same technique for any other user accounts you may have, but there is one catch. You can't have multiple users use the iTunes library at the same time or things can get hairy. Just be sure to close out the program before you log off. So, there you go. Those are my tips for iTunes bliss in the home for CNET.com I'm Donald Bell.
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