iTunes: How to share music and video
iTunes lets you share your iTunes library over your home network in different ways. Read this article to find how to set up either option and to understand the differences.
To use Music Sharing
- Open iTunes.
- Choose iTunes > Preferences (Mac) or choose Edit > Preferences (Windows).
- Click the Sharing tab.
- Select the “Share my library on my local network” checkbox.
- If desired, select the “Require password” checkbox and enter a password.
- Click OK.
On your Mac or PC, open iTunes. The shared iTunes library should appear under Shared with a Music note or a lock icon (if you chose 'Require password' and set a password).
Anyone on the same home network should be able to see and access your music. If you selected 'Require password', without the password, all that can be seen is your Library Name.
To set your Library Name, choose iTunes > Preferences (Mac) or choose Edit > Preferences (Windows). If you don't see shared libraries, make sure 'Shared libraries' is checked on the General tab.
- iTunes will not show your own shared iTunes library.
- iTunes must be open on your computer in order for other people to see your shared library and playlists.
- Sharing is intended for personal use only, and is possible only with computers in the same network subnet.
To use Home Sharing
- From the Advanced menu, choose Turn on Home Sharing.
- Enter the Apple ID and password you wish to use.
- Click Create Home Share.
- If your computer is not authorized with your Apple ID, iTunes may ask you if you want to authorize it now.
- Click 'Done'. Sharing will disappear unless it sees a shared iTunes Library on the network.
On your other Mac or PC, open iTunes. Repeat the steps above to turn on Home Sharing for up to 5 Mac or PC computers using iTunes on the home network.
Only other computers, iOS devices using iOS 4.3 or later, and Apple TV (2nd generation) with Home Sharing enabled using the same Apple ID on the home network will show the shared iTunes library.
Understanding the differences between Home Sharing and Music Sharing
- Music Sharing allows you to stream music with little to no setup. If you don't put a password on your shared iTunes library, anyone on your network can see your iTunes library and its contents. Everyone can see the library name.
- Home Sharing requires more setup, but allows you to transfer content to another computer or stream to other devices. It always requires your Apple ID and password to see the library and contents.
The icon for the shared library helps you know which option has been setup for you: a house for Home Sharing, a note for Music Sharing, and a lock for a password-protected library:
In addition, after the shared library loads, the disclosure triangle next to it will provide more options to see the content:
Note: Some content, such as Apps, will not show in Music Sharing or the main Home Sharing view.
For additional information, see: