ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Technology»
  • Consumer Electronics & Personal Gadgets»
  • Portable Electronics»
  • MP3 Players»
  • iPod

How to Manage Multiple iTunes Libraries on One Computer

Updated on December 16, 2017

I can think of two main reasons why you might want to manage multiple iTunes libraries on one personal computer:

1. You wish to manage the content of several i-Devices:

  • Family members each have their own iPod, but you only have one computer.
  • You want to manage the iPod content for a child or a technology-challenged adult.

2. You wish to periodically change the content of your iPod(s):

  • You want to change the content of an iPod depending on the season or your mood. You can load your iPod with Christmas music, or beach music, etc., without having to add or remove individual songs.



Simple to do, but undocumented.

Switching between iTunes libraries should be a simple menu choice. That's the way I would have designed the software. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Try as you might, you won't find a way to start a new library or switch to an old one within the software itself. It must be done at the operating system level. Luckily, this is a very simple task.

Note: These instructions and screen-shots are for Windows-based computers. You can also use them to perform this function on a Mac, but the screen-shots shown won't reflect what you will see.

Start iTunes while keeping the Shift key depressed. (Click to enlarge)
Start iTunes while keeping the Shift key depressed. (Click to enlarge)

The Magic Shift Key

For Windows-based computers, It turns out that the key (literally) to solving this problem is the Shift key.

  1. Make sure that iTunes is not running.
  2. Hold down the Shift key throughout the following steps.
  3. Click the Start Button or Windows Logo (Windows 7) on the lower left of your screen.
  4. Click "All Programs"
  5. Click "iTunes" folder
  6. Click "iTunes" program
  7. Continue to hold the Shift-key down until the iTunes Library dialog appears.

Note: On a Mac, use the Option key instead of the Shift Key



iTunes Library dialog box. (Click to enlarge)
iTunes Library dialog box. (Click to enlarge)

The choice is yours

Once the dialog box is displayed, you can release the Shift key and create a new iTunes library or select one that you've already created. The library that you create or select now will become the default library. This means that going forward, this is the library you will see if you don't go through the steps outlined above. To return to a previous library, you must close iTunes and follow those same steps.

This adds a lot of flexibility to your iPod management. You can load up your iPod with music for a road trip without worrying about having to make room for the new songs. You can easily manage another person's iPod without having to impose your taste on them, and vice versa.

Other related articles:

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)