Can I use the same music in 2 iTunes accounts and if yes then how?

macOS & Mac Apps

Hi. So, I have dropbox installed on my Mac and that's where all my iTunes music is. It's all music I manually added, not stuff I bought. Since the music is in my dropbox folder, I have iTunes set to not copy the music files to the iTunes folder when adding to the library. If I turned this setting on, then I would end up with my music stored on my computer in 2 places which I don't have room to do. This setup has been working fine for just me, but now I moved in with my cousin and she wants all my music synced to her iPod. She has her own user account on my Mac and I want to sync her iPod on her account so that we don't get each others apps and contacts and playlists and stuff. I am having big problems trying to manage her iPod and my iPhone all on my account. Like I said the Mac does not have enough space to store all the music twice, once in my account and once in hers. I also do not want to take my music out of dropbox. I also don't want her using my dropbox on her account, because she could mess with my files. So, is there any way I can share just the one folder in my dropbox that has my music to her account so she can put it on her iPod but only have viewing and not editing access to my files and also in a way that the music can be accessed from both accounts but only stored on the computer once? Or any other way of doing this? Thank you.



Submitted by Nicolai Svendsen on Saturday, May 9, 2015


This is perfectly possible. Most people would tell you to use the shared folder, or just put the information in her public folder, but that is not necessary. You will need to edit permissions, however.

Go to the folder you want to edit, such as your Dropbox folder. You will need to do this for Dropbox itself, since you can't do it for specific folders inside a folder. The permissions are inherent from the previous folder, and Finder doesn't seem to want to remove permissions for folders inside folders.
Press command-I on the Dropbox folder, then interact with the scroll area using VO-shift-down arrow.
Move right with VO-right arrow until you get to Sharing and Permissions.
Press VO-Space to expand the triangle if it is not already expanded.
Move to the "Add" button and press VO-Space.
Move to the second table with VO-right, then arrow down to the user you wish to add to the folder.
Press enter once your cousin's user is selected.
Once done, VO-right again in the scroll area to get to Sharing and Permissions, then in the "Privileges" table, verify that her user is added and that it says "Read only".

That is all! Now she has access to all of your Dropbox files. The reason that she needs access to them all is that otherwise, she can not view the Dropbox folder for the desired directory inside it. If you have sensitive data, you could go ahead and manually modify permissions for each directory. However, this is beyond the scope of the Info window you are using here, and in order to get more granular control like this, you will need to use the Terminal if you want to be very specific about which folders inside Dropbox she can read with the chmod command.

I hope this helps you.

Submitted by Jessica Brown on Sunday, May 10, 2015

So, Once I do this, where will she have to go to find my dropbox folder? Also, will iTunes have any problems or give errors when trying to work from this read only folder?

Submitted by Nicolai Svendsen on Sunday, May 10, 2015

In reply to by Jessica Brown


In order to find your Dropbox folder, she will need to go to /users by pressing Command-Shift-G in the Finder and typing it in. Then, she has to select your username from that directory, then your dropbox folder. What I would suggest doing is creating an alias to the Dropbox folder that she can place on her Desktop or elsewhere in her own account.

You can create an alias the following ways:

Highlight your Dropbox folder when you are logged into your cousin's account.
When the folder is highlighted, you can press Command-L to create an alias and the alias will appear.
Either drag the alias file to wherever she wants it, or press command-c on the alias file to copy it.
Open the directory where she wants the alias, and press command-option-v to permanently move it there.

That's it. She can just click the alias now and it will take her straight to the Dropbox folder.

Good luck!

Submitted by Nicolai Svendsen on Sunday, May 10, 2015


Simply perform the same steps without logging into her account at all. In this case, you can press Command-Shift-H from the Finder to go to your home folder, then just press Command-L on your Dropbox folder to create the alias file. After that, just move the file by pressing Command-C on it, then going to /users with the command-shift-G shortcut and locate her username in the folders. Put the file wherever you want to by pressing Command-Option-V to move it directly to it. You could use the Desktop folder in her home folder, for example.

Good luck!