How can I load up my iPod from my wife's computer without disrupting her iTunes?
January 7, 2008 7:13 PM   Subscribe

How can I load up my iPod from my wife's computer without disrupting her iTunes?

I've got an iPod, and there are songs on it. My computer is currently out of commission, and I'm doing all my day-to-day online business on my wife's computer instead. We're going out of town on Friday, and I want to make sure my iPod is nice and loaded for the trip. The trouble is that my wife also has an iPod, and uses iTunes very heavily. How can I use her computer to load up my iPod, while being absolutely certain that her iPod and her iTunes directories will not be in any way disrupted? I don't care if my iPod gets wiped in the process; I can always refill it. It's her stuff I'm worried about. We're dealing with Windows XP.
posted by Faint of Butt to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: 1. Connect iPod to your wifes computer.
2. Open iTunes.
3. Select iPod in the Source pane.
4. On the Summary tab select “Manually manage music and videos” and click Apply.

When manual management is enabled, you can still sync some content automatically. Select any content tab such as Movies or TV Shows to enable automatic syncing for that type of content.

Once your computer is back up and running, you can untick manually manage music in iTunes on your wifes computer (if she likes it to auto-sunc, that is).
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:25 PM on January 7, 2008

Best answer: iTunes libraries are profile-specific. If you log on as a different windows user, you will be able to manage your own iTunes library/account/device. I think her user account should be logged off.
posted by tdischino at 7:45 PM on January 7, 2008

Effigy's suggestion is the way to go, just know that iTunes will probably start up when the iPod's connected and ask if you want it to manage the iPod for you. The answer is 'no'. THEN you can make the 'manual' selection.
posted by pupdog at 8:21 PM on January 7, 2008

Just to add, the other suggestions would be easier but for a couple reasons I couldn't do it that way and instead just created a new Windows user with a separate version of iTunes and put all my music in there, separate from all my bfs music. But that would be a last resort,
posted by heavenstobetsy at 8:27 PM on January 7, 2008

If the mp3s are nicely organized on the hard drive (e.g. you're not letting iTunes run its obfuscating nonsense on them), you can just install Winamp and use its iPod support to copy the mp3s over.

Be careful if your computer is set up to automatically load iTunes when you plug in the iPod, though.
posted by neckro23 at 9:10 PM on January 7, 2008

neckro23 writes "obfuscating nonsense"

What do you mean by "obfusticating nonsense"? iTunes manages my library, and doesn't do anything strange with the music. I use Winamp or VLC to play the tunes, by selecting from the music directory on my home system or laptop. All the names are human-readable. Only place iTunes does the name obfustication is on the iPod itself.

Also, iTunes keeps iPod settings separately for each device. If you plug yours in, and tell it to sync manually, it won't change the settings on your wife's iPod. Our computer knows to sync everything to my 5G iPod but only specific playlists to my wife's Nano. The only thing you'll risk changing is the play count, or star ratings if you set or change any ratings on songs. We don't much care about play count and don't bother rating anything (did we need stars to remember which albums we liked before iPods? No, so why do I need them now?) so this isn't an issue in our home.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:03 AM on January 8, 2008

There's a simpler way that my husband and I adopted. You can use two different iTunes libraries on the same computer and login. My husband created a library for his iPod, and I have a library for mine. When you start iTunes and need to change it over to your library, hold down SHIFT (on Windows, not sure of the key on OS X) until you see a dialog asking you to choose a library.

Note that iTunes will by default start up with the last selected library, so you will need to either restart it to her library before you leave or she will also need to know how to change the library. For us, we created shortcuts in each other's iTunes directories to the other's directory so that we could quickly jump back and forth between libraries for the choose library step.

Using this method, too, you can use the same music files for both of you (assuming no DRM...with DRM, it's a little more complex but not by much, assuming you share an iTunes account).
posted by TsuKata at 3:49 PM on January 8, 2008

Response by poster: It worked! I just logged in under my profile, installed iTunes, told it not to do anything automatically and went about my business. Thanks, everybody.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:50 AM on January 9, 2008

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