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Sharing Photos and Music Between Computers

Sharing photos and music between computers on a home network is very easy thanks to Apple’s Bon Jour network feature. To share photos from your iPhoto library, simply select the Sharing tab in the iPhoto Preferences and select Share My Library on My Local Network. You can then choose to share your entire iPhoto library or just selected albums. You can also do the same thing with your iTunes library—select the Sharing tab in the iTunes Preferences and select Share My Library on My Local Network. Again, you can choose to share your entire library or just selected playlists.

After you do this, you can then use the Look for Share Libraries checkbox in the Sharing tab in either iPhoto or iTunes on other computers to make the shared libraries available to them. This makes any shared libraries available for viewing in iPhoto, iTunes, and Front Row. You can access the shared content by selecting Shared Photos or Shared Music when browsing through Front Row or by selecting the appropriate album or playlist in iPhoto or iTunes.

If you have music purchased from the iTunes Music Store, keep in mind that Apple’s Fair Play Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology allows you to play music on only five authorized computers. For most users, it won’t pose a problem, but if you do happen to have multiple computers in your home and one or more at work on which you play the same music files, you might find that iTunes will not let you play music on all of them.

Similarly, Apple has limited the number of connections to a shared iTunes library to five active connections, meaning that only five computers in your house can access a shared library at one time. This is a separate limit from the DRM limitation and it affects all content in your library regardless of whether it was purchased from the iTunes Music Store.

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