How to share your iTunes library

Your iTunes library has some convenient built-in features you can use to share your songs and playlists with other devices or users. Sharing your iTunes library means you can enjoy your music from multiple devices and help your friends and family members discover new songs.

Read this guide to learn how to enable Apple’s Home Sharing feature, why you might want to use Apple’s Family Sharing instead, and how to use third-party apps to share your iTunes library without a network.

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.

Note: Apple has discontinued iTunes in MacOS Catalina and so Catalina users may want to use this guide on how to share your Apple Music library instead.

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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