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Playing Music from Others' Libraries

Turning on sharing so that others can access your music is nice, but iTunes is much more fun when you can play other users' shared music libraries.

Shared libraries show up in an iTunes song list, so the person accessing the shared music can browse, search, and sort the songs, as well as view the full range of information associated with each song.

To view shared libraries:

  1. Look in your Source pane. Any shared libraries should already be visible. (The icon for a shared library is similar to that for your iTunes library and the Music Store except that it's blue.) If there's one shared library on your network, you'll see it listed in your Source pane ( Figure 3.47 ).
    03fig47.jpg

    Figure 3.47 A single shared library on your network appears like this.

    If multiple people on your network are sharing, you'll see a Shared Music entry in your Source pane, with the different libraries listed below that ( Figure 3.48 ).
    03fig48.jpg

    Figure 3.48 Multiple shared libraries on your network make your iTunes experience much more exciting.

  2. If you don't see any shared libraries, and you know there are people on your local network who are sharing, open the Preferences window, and on the Sharing tab, make sure that "Look for shared music" is checked ( Figure 3.49 ). (This is the default setting.)
    03fig49.jpg

    Figure 3.49 If you see no shared libraries, make sure that your Sharing preferences are set to "Look for shared music."

To connect to a shared library:

  1. Click the name of a shared library in the Source pane.
  2. If the owner of the shared library has required a password, you are prompted to enter it ( Figure 3.50 ). (Without the password you won't be able to get any further.)
    03fig50.jpg

    Figure 3.50 When you try to connect, you may be asked for a password. The owner of the shared library will give this to you if they want you to have access.

    After a second or so, the songs in the shared library appear in your Detail pane; you can play them as you play the songs in your own library. Assuming the shared library has playlists, a disclosure triangle appears to the left of the shared library entry ( Figure 3.51 ).
    03fig51.jpg

    Figure 3.51 A disclosure triangle indicates that you've connected to a library with playlists. (The songs listed in the song list are all those that the owner of the shared library wants to share and that are shareable.)

To access playlists in a shared library:

  1. Click the disclosure triangle next to a shared library entry in the Source pane to show the playlists in that library that are shared ( Figure 3.52 ).
    03fig52.jpg

    Figure 3.52 When you click the disclosure triangle, you see the playlists that the owner of the library has shared.

  2. Click a playlist name to see what's in that playlist.
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