Jump to content

How to make multiple iTunes Libraries usable

Recommended Posts

Researching this topic, I concluded that the best way to maintain both full-res (for high end stereo) and low-res (for iPods) music would be to create two libraries. I would steer my family to the 'low res' library for their iPod management, and I would maintain the full-res for my music system.


I re-ripped all 600 disks into Apple Lossless, duplicated that in a second library and then did a "Convert to mp3" on everything. Now I have two identical libraries, just two different formats, as desired. Now, I just needed to make sure I ripped any new CDs twice. A pain, but I can handle it.


Putting this plan into action, I find that this will be a nightmare! The settings for iTunes do not follow the library, so import settings, location of music, etc., remains the same unless you change them every time you want to import a CD (twice!).


I thought switching libraries could be made easier by creating aliases on the desktop to point to different library files. Telling my family to select the correct one should be easy. But no! Selecting one of the library files simply launches iTunes with the last library used on the computer....same as just hitting iTunes on the dock.


Am I missing something major here, or is this just a waste of time? I can see the libraries getting out of synch at the first opportunity, with files getting intermixed, and ripped at the wrong resolution for the library.


Experts, help!


Link to comment

You don't say if you use a Mac or a PC...


If using a Mac...

try the iTunes Library Manager from Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes website. This program goes beyond the two libraries function you get with holding option/shift key as you start up as it stores preferences, etc. too.


If using a Mac OR a PC...

You can use two user accounts to create two iTunes libraries with different settings.






...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment



AAC is better than MP3, and the MP3 encoder within iTunes is merely adequate. Even at its best mode of 320 kbps, the resulting MP3s don't come close to an MP3 encoded with LAME. If it's not too late I would suggest that change.


And, as suggested earlier, the best way to work with 2 libraries is to have 2 profiles, or user accounts. We humans, being error prone, you know that someone will launch iTunes and forget to hold the shift key, and the mess will ensue.




Link to comment
  • 6 months later...

Has anyone figured out an easy way to use the dougscripts manager to create multiple libraries that have different settings for AIFF and ALAC? Is it possible to copy a CD and have the songs go into one library at AIFF and into another at ALAC? Reading this thread, I'd like to have a main AIFF library with all songs on my computer and then several ALAC libraries for different iPods, but it's confusing for an IBM user who just switched to Mac.


And can anyone recommend a good utility I can use to transfer my already copied music files from my iPods to my new Mac?


Link to comment

I'm tired of manually copying & converting.


A: Mac Mini => Peachtree Nova => LFD Integrated Zero Mk.III => Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 | Musical Fidelity X-CAN V-8 => AKG K 701

B: Airport Express = > Benchmark DAC1 => Rega Brio-R => B&W DM 601 S2

C: Airport Express => AudioEngine A2

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...