Accessing Admin's Music from a Limited Account
November 27, 2008 7:31 AM   Subscribe

MacFilter: How can I set up a user account that has access to my music on iTunes but nothing else?

My family has asked me to bring my laptop and speakers to Thanksgiving dinner tonight. I'd like to set up my MacBook in a "kiosk-like" mode that allows iTunes to run (with access to my music folder) but nothing else. I have the first part of it set up: I created an account that is limited to use of iTunes. But when I launch it there's no music because that user's home folder doesn't have my files. How can I share that across users so I can let my relatives criticize my taste in music?
posted by sjuhawk31 to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You can do one of two things. Either, move your iTunes library folder into the shared folder in your Home folder (I think it's called 'Public') and then tell both instances of iTunes to look for it there, or copy the whole thing to the new account's Home folder (not recommended if you don't have an enormous hard drive).

This Apple Knowledge Base article will talk you through the process.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:01 AM on November 27, 2008

Apple is really great about letting you share music between machines but really stupid about sharing on one machine. You'll need to (1) tell each account's iTunes not to "copy music to itunes folder", (2) move /User/[AdminUser]/Music elsewhere like /Music replacing it a symbolic link to /Music, (3) make /Music recursively world readable & executable, (4) add all the iTunes music to each account. You must repeat (4) every time time you add more music. I also use make /Music available to guests via Share Points, meaning friends can leach your music easily.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:04 AM on November 27, 2008

Is it possible to leave iTunes running on your usual account with it sharing the music and fast-user-switch to the other kiosk account and play the music 'over the network', only streaming it off the same machine? With a password on your usual account people won't be able to switch back from the kiosk one.
posted by edd at 8:08 AM on November 27, 2008

Happy Dave and jeffburges both have the same solution described differently, and I can endorse that its the technically correct one. Moving /Music (and /Movies) from my home directory to shared is one of the first things I do every time I set up a new system. iTunes should really have that option as a preference.
posted by rokusan at 12:52 PM on November 27, 2008

Do you have Apple's Front Row? and Leopard with Spaces? You can set up a space with front row running.It can be a full-screen media player. Not totally secure, but it would take some doing to get into your stuff.
posted by Gungho at 7:02 AM on November 28, 2008

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