iTunes music available on different iOS devices

iTunes logoOne of the things people often complain about with iTunes and Apple products generally is the level of restriction on doing things that suit you rather than them. For example, only being able to use one Apple ID or profile on an iPad. It’s never truly a device for the whole family when it relies on one dominant user.

Another thing can be your music collection. In most circumstances your music collection will have grown organically over time. It won’t all have come from iTunes purchases and most of it will have been ripped to your computer from your CD collection. Those CDs might have gone to a car boot sale long ago, or they’re taking up cupboard space while you come to terms with never playing them again.

When Apple launched iTunes Match more than 2 years ago, it acknowledged that people have these broad collections and they wanted a way to make money from music that had been acquired elsewhere. It’s actually quite a nifty concept. Upload your entire music collection to the cloud, even stuff you’ve had from CDs and it can then be accessible via WiFi to all your Apple devices, or at least those which are signed in using your Apple ID. I’ll come back to that.

You benefit from any better quality versions they may have of your tracks and your annual charge for this equates to £1.83 a month. Not bad if you think of it solely as a backup facility. All my music is on my laptop and on an external hard drive. Having a cloud-based backup plan seems wise too.

However, this music is only available on my Apple devices. What about someone else in the house wanting the same music on their iOS device? Well, that’s easily overcome if you’re neat and tidy about the way you do things and your laptop has different user profiles for each person who uses it.

Choose the albums & folders you want, make sure you select the right user’s profile when you log in to your laptop and copy those albums into the iTunes music folder for that user. Then, when you open iTunes, you can use the Add Folder to Library option in the Music library view. Next time you connect your iPhone, get it to sync that music to your phone. It’s that easy. You’ve both now got access to the same music, without iTunes insisting that only one person has the right to make use of it.

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