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Serato + iTunes tip of the week. Consolidate your iTunes Libraries from 2 (or more) computers to 1 Portable iTunes Playlist.

If you are like most DJs, you manage your music through iTunes, then import the new music into your DJ program of choice, in this case Serato. But what if you use two computers? Usually you would have to use only one for your file management. Maybe you produce music on one computer (say an iMac/Tower) and use your laptop to DJ with. Or maybe you have a computer at work that you wish you could manage your music in some downtime. Either way, I bet you wish you could use one iTunes Library, right? Well you can, and here is how to do it, after the jump...

Universal iTunes Library

First, lets start with the basics. I hope you are already managing your files on a portable drive. If not, here is the the link to get you started on that: How to: Make Your Music Library Truly Portable. Once you have gone through it, then we can start managing your iTunes Library.

Lets discuss some terms:
Your Main Computer: This is the computer that you are currently managing your main DJ Library, the one that is saving to the portable drive and you use your DJ program from.
Your Other Computer: This is the one or more computers that you use a different library on. They are not currently associated with the  portable drive.

Lets get started...

Step 1: Back everything up on all computers

Step 2: Move all your music/video files to the Main Computer:
This is the hardest step. If you dont care about the music on the other computers, then you can skip this. If you need the music, then continue.

Take all your music and videos from your other computer's itunes libraries and import them to the Main Computer. Put them on a separate drive to transfer them. Then import those files by dropping them into your Main Computers iTunes. Once you have done this, you may want to re-create your other compute's playlists. They will be gone once we are done. The playlists on the main computer will be the only ones once we are done.

Once you have imported the files, check to make sure all your files are located on the portable drive . A quick way is to just randomly select a file and hit command+I. Under the summary tab, make sure the location is in the right place, your portable drive. Do this with some of the newly imported tracks and videos. Its just to check it went to the right place.

Step 3: Clean your other computer's iTunes
This maintenence step will ensure no confusion between computers once you are done. On your other computer's iTunes, select all media and delete it. To do that, go to the Music tab, select all (command + a) and delete the files (command + delete). It will sak you to keep the files or Move to Trash. Select "Move to Trash". Repeat this under the movies tab. Then Select all of your playlists (while still on the other computers) and delete them all.

Step 4: Point your other computers to the Portable Library
This is the big step that makes the magic happen. But first, on your main computer, make a back-up of the iTunes Library. In iTunes, flick on File, then Library, and Export Library. Give it a name with the date, like "Library_backup_9-4-2012".  This is just a precaution.

Now, from your main computer, quit iTunes and eject your portable drive. Go to your other computer, make sure iTunes is closed, and plug in your portable hard drive. Once it mounts its time to launch iTunes, but hold down the Option key when you launch the program. Click "Choose Library" and point it to your portable hard drive's iTunes. It should be "Portable drive > Music > iTunes6: iTunes Library.xml".

Once you have done this, your iTunes on your other computer will populate all your playlists. Repeat this on all of your other computers that you have been working on.

You are done! You can now use your portable drive on your other computers to manage your iTunes. If you forget to plug in your drive, it will prompt you to find the playlist. Just simply quit iTunes and plug in your drive.  You can add files and manage your iTunes from all of your computers, when you add a playlist one one computer, you will see it on the other. Finally! Not to mention, you can still manage your Serato files from all these computers too.

Any questions, ask them below.

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