How to share your iTunes library

With MacOS Catalina, Apple has split iTunes into three apps: Music, TV, and Podcasts. If you’re wondering how to share your Apple Music library with others, we’ve written a guide just for that.

If you’re on an older version of MacOS though, or are using Windows (where iTunes lives on), this guide is for you. We’ll take you through the process of sharing a carefully curated iTunes library — after all, what’s the point of having such an impressive iTunes library if you can’t share it with others?

Further reading

There are a number of ways to share your iTunes library, but, in a broad sense, it can be done in two ways: Via Wi-Fi on your home network, or via Bluetooth to a person nearby.

Using Apple’s Home Sharing

Sharing your iTunes library on your home network (or any network for that matter) only takes a few easy steps and will allow library access to any device connected to the network. For this section, we’re assuming that you already have a wireless network in your home or office. If not, consult this guide to figure out how to set one up.

Step 1:Firstly, enable Home Sharing in iTunes. Make sure that you have signed in with your Apple ID, and that all the devices you want to share to are signed in with the same ID, so they can all be part of Home Sharing.

Turn on Home Sharing

Step 2: With iTunes open, head to the top left of your Mac screen and choose File. From here, select Home Sharing, and then select Turn on Home Sharing. Now, when you go to this section again, you should see your Apple ID here as a sign of what account you are using.

See iTunes Libraries

Step 3: Use another device on your local network and log in to iTunes. Click the Music icon in the upper right and you should see a drop-down list of various content. At the bottom, you’ll see the IDs for all available iTunes libraries on the network, allowing you to switch between them. You can share music, movies and TV shows this way, but only on up to five connected devices.

For more in-depth sharing and content organization, consider using Apple’s Family Sharing instead. You can share a wider range of content, including books and iCloud storage, and tailor your sharing options to your family needs.

Sharing without your network

Sharing your iTunes library between computers on your home network is one thing, but what if you just want to share a playlist with a friend during a long bus ride? Not to worry. There are a handful of iOS apps that allow you share your iTunes library over a Bluetooth connection. This means you can share iPhone music with an iPad, or vice versa. We won’t go into how to install each one of these but will instead point you in the direction of a few good options.

MyStream (free): A good Bluetooth streaming option with a few additional features.

PairShare ($0.99): A super easy and feature-rich app that streams your music.

Download and install any of these apps and you should be streaming tunes within minutes.

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