Sharing iTunes Libraries Over IP; It’s Not Just For Rendezvous

| Tips

Yesterday, Apple released an update to itis iTunes music software which introduced a new feature: the sharing of your music library and playlists. While this usually is done via Rendezvous over a local network, it can also be done over IP from anywhere in the world. How can you do this? Weive constructed a little tutorial to help you get your music shared easily over IP via iTunes 4.

Note: There are several things that you need to keep in mind when using this feature. First of all, please realize that sharing this music requires a great deal of bandwidth (as it is essentially streamed to the listener) and thus could drop in and out depending on connection speed and network congestion. Secondly, remember that this feature is for personal use only. This should be easy to remember, because iTunes reminds you when you first enable sharing.

In order to setup your copy of iTunes to share libraries and playlists, you must open the iTunes preferences and navigate to the "Sharing" tab. Select the check box that says "Share my music" and then select whether you want to share all music or just specific playlists. You can then enter the name of your share (what people logging into your library will see it as) and whether or not it requires a password to be accessed. When you have completed this, close the preferences window.

If you do not have a firewall turned on, you are done with the setup. If you do have a firewall enabled, you need to open up a particular port for individuals to access your library through. With Mac OS Xis built in firewall, simply go to the "Sharing" portion of the system preferences and navigate to the "Firewall" tab. Click on the "New..." button to add an additional port to the list. In the "Port Name" drop-down box, pull down to other and enter something like "iTunes". For the port number, enter "3689". This will now allow people to connect to your machine and access your library.

To access an iTunes library shared over IP, simply pull down from the "Advanced" menu in iTunes and select "Connect to Shared Music...". In the resulting dialog enter "daap://" followed by the IP address you are trying to connect to and then completed with a ":3689" (all without quotes). Hereis are some examples: daap://192.168.1.1:3689 or daap://www.yourmachine.com:3689. If the machine you are trying to access is available via Rendezvous, you will not need to perform this step.

Once connected, you will see a blue library icon and the name of the share you are connected to appear in the playlist/library column of iTunes. You can now browse the library and playlists like you would your own library. To play a song, simply double-click on itis name in the list as you normally would do. Music purchased via the iTunes Music Store will prompt you to enter the password for the Apple ID corresponding to that purchase in order to play the file. This will link that particular copy of iTunes as one of the three Macs for music downloaded via that ID. Files that did not originate from the iTunes Music Store will not prompt for a password.

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