Share One iTunes Library on Multiple PCs Over a Network

Update (2013-06-16): A while ago I signed up for iTunes Match, and I have found it to be a great solution for viewing my iTunes library on multiple PCs, whether they are on my home network or not (I have my entire library available on my MacBook at work as well as my PCs at home and my iPhone). The solution below should still work if you don’t want to sign up for iTunes Match, but I no longer use the solution below.

A few years ago I built a PC to function as a semi-dedicated file server. It’s running Windows 7, so it’s still a fully-functional PC, but it’s not my primary workstation. Among other things, I use it to store all of my music, photos, videos, and documents in a central location that is backed up regularly. My primary desktop, my HTPC, and my laptop can access all of these files over the network via a Windows Homegroup.

Until recently the only copy of iTunes I used was on the server PC to sync my iPod classic. On my primary desktop I preferred to use MediaMonkey for music playback because of its speed and excellent library organization features. The only downside was that my play counts and ratings in MediaMonkey didn’t sync with my iTunes library on the server. It was a limitation I’d been content to live with up to this point. (more…)

Windows 7 Homegroups

I’ve been using Windows 7 since April 2009 when it was available as a public beta. I am currently using the release candidate (build 7100). For the most part I have not encountered many issues; most of my programs runs perfectly and the improved features in Windows 7 are fantastic! However, I have had some issues with the Homegroups feature. Hopefully these issues will be fixed in the final release version, but for those of you like me who can’t pass up a free OS for a few months, read on for a few tips.

Homegroups – The Basics

Homegroups are a new feature in Windows 7 that allow users to easily share files, folders, and libraries over a home network (libraries are a new feature in Windows 7 as well). The idea is that one computer on your home network creates a homegroup, then all of the other computers join the homegroup to share files more easily.


Homegroups have several requirements that many users may not be aware of. I have listed the requirements that I am aware of below.

  • Only Windows 7 computers can join or create homegroups
  • Homegroups can only be created on Home networks; Work and Public networks can not have homegroups
  • Homegroups require IPv6 to be enabled
  • Network discovery and file and printer sharing must be on

If any of the above requirements are not met, homegroups will not work.