Packing two users/computers into one
March 9, 2007 9:41 AM   Subscribe

I'm consolidating two Mac computers with unique users onto one new machine. What's my best process for setting up the users so that they can share iTunes and iPhoto libraries?

Should I create the admin account and add the two users separately or let one of the users (the power user) be the admin account and add the non-power user as a non-admin? My primary concern is to make it easy to migrate their existing data over to the new machine and to consolidate their iTunes and iPhoto libraries so they can both use the same libraries for those apps.

Are there any issues with putting the iTunes library in a shared folder when it comes to permissions? They both have their own iPods and I want them to be able to purchase, add playlists, etc., off the shared library.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If the shortname and uid are the same, you may be able to share iTunes and iPhoto folders via NFS or AFP with no ill effects.

You can use chown, chgrp and Netinfo Manager to change user, group and shortname/uid assignments for consolidating the unique account information on both computers to something coherent.

Be advised these are major changes and if you're not handy with the command line, I would not attempt these changes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:59 AM on March 9, 2007

Best answer: It doesn't matter who has admin access, but it's generally a good idea not to give accounts admin access if they don't need it.

1. Log in as one of the two users. Take the iTunes folder that has the most music in it and copy it to the Shared folder on the new computer.

2. Get Info on that iTunes folder and set the Ownership & Permissions of all the categories to Read & Write. This will permit both users to modify the iTunes library.

3. Press Apply to enclosed items…

4. For bonus points, copy an alias of this shared iTunes folder to the current user's Music folder (option+command-drag). I don't think this is necessary, but this is the first place iTunes looks for music.

5. Hold down Option as you start iTunes. It will prompt you to choose a library. Select the iTunes Library in your shared iTunes folder.

6. In iTunes, go to Preferences > Advanced > General. Make sure that the iTunes Music folder location is set to Users:Shared:iTunes:iTunes Music. Make sure that Keep iTunes Music folder organized and Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library are checked.

7. Repeat steps 4-6 for each user.

8. Drag the remaining songs from the smaller user's iTunes library directly onto iTunes. iTunes will copy them to where they need to be.

This is how I have my computer set up, and it works fine. The only limitation is that both users can't be logged in and using iTunes at the same time.

You can do a similar trick with the iPhoto library, if you wish.
posted by designbot at 10:59 AM on March 9, 2007 [2 favorites]

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