Just found your site, and it looks incredibly useful. Here's a question for you.
Our family music library sits on my wife's Macbook Pro. Additionally, we each have an iPhone, and have been syncing on the MBP. We also have an iMac. I think I'd prefer to use the iMac for syncing my iPhone, to keep the contacts and apps clean, but more than that, to let her have her machine without me asking to connect to it. I don't want to duplicate nor lose access to our music, though, and having tried the Home Sharing option in iTunes, it didn't seem to support creating playlists on the iMac of songs on the MBP.
What is the sanest, simplest way to accomodate these desires? I know I can point iTunes on the iMac to my wife's computer, essentially as a network drive, and use the library that way. I wonder, though, if there's a smarter way.
This is actually a fairly tough nut to crack: having full control over an iTunes library from more than 1 computer. You’d think it shouldn’t be that hard, right? It seems like various methods leave out something important (like the ability to create playlists, sync with an iPhone etc).
It all comes down to one thing: The iTunes Library file. It’s a database that keeps track of all of your music. Thing is, it was never meant to be opened by more than one user at a time. So, even though you could have the entire library (including database file) on a shared location, the first person that opens their iTunes up will lock the database file. What will happen is that the second person will get a warning when iTunes is opened on their computer and won’t be able to go further.
I went through this for awhile myself as I wanted all of the Macs in the house to be pointed to one library on the server in the basement (we’re talking 4 machines here, including a Linux box). The other issue that I ran into is that you’d have other people’s stuff in “your” library.
We ended up splitting out the music to our own machines again after the headache and I just made sure everyone was backing up to the networked Time Machine.
Wish I had a better answer for you. Perhaps one of the other readers has an idea I haven’t thought of.