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iTunes 10 Essential Training takes an in-depth look into the popular music and media hub from Apple. Author Garrick Chow demonstrates how to perform the core functions in iTunes: playing, purchasing, sharing, and streaming content. The course also covers specialized features such as setting parental controls, syncing with iPods, subscribing to podcasts, listening to Internet radio, using the Genius feature, the Ping social network, and much more. Exercise files are included with the course.
Now let's look at a relatively new feature that was introduced in iTunes 9 called Home Sharing. Now Home Sharing is a little bit different than the Network Sharing feature we looked at previously, which we can turn on and off by going into your Preferences and looking under Sharing here. With this regular sort of Network Sharing, you can listen to and watch the music and video content from other iTunes libraries on your network, but you can't copy those files to your own computer. Home Sharing is similar in that you can still share the content from other computers on your network, but Home Sharing does allow you to copy not only music and videos, but all sorts of other content like purchased iPhone apps and podcasts from the other computer to your own.
Now the catch is that you can only do this on up to five computers on your network and you must turn on Home Sharing using the same iTunes Store account on each computer. I will get into the iTunes Store accounts in the chapter on the iTunes store, but basically your account is your unique ID for shopping on the store and Home Sharing uses this ID to confirm your identity on each computer. To turn on Home Sharing, go to the Advanced menu and choose Turn on Home Sharing. So I see the screen telling me what Home Sharing is, and how it tells me that iTunes can automatically copy new purchases or you can choose the items you want to copy from one computer to another over your network.
So this is the way I enter my iTunes account information. So I already have one. I will just enter it here, and then I'll click Create Home Sharing. Now in this case I am seeing this message telling me that Home Sharing is not activated because this computer is not authorized to use the account. Would I like to authorize now? I will say Yes. Now I see a message telling me that my computer authorization was successful, and in this case I have authorized my five computers, so I won't be able to authorize another computer on my network for Home Sharing, until I de-authorize one of the current computers that's currently Home Sharing.
I will click OK. Now before I click OK, keep your eye on Phil's iTunes Library here. That's one of the computers I have set up at the same iTunes account for Home Sharing. So when I click on OK, watch what happens to its icon. Notice that it becomes a house icon, indicating that this is a Home Sharing library,and you can see it says here, use the same account when turning on Home Sharing for your other computers. So basically any computer that I turn Home Sharing on using the same account, up to five, will all show up with the little home icon indicating that they're all Home Sharing. I will click Done, and now I'll select Phil's iTunes Library, and now I'm browsing through this library, and just like with regular Network Sharing, I can find songs that I want to listen to and double-click to play them.
(Music Playing) But the difference here is I can now copy these files to my own personal library in my copy of iTunes here. So if I find songs that I want, I just select them and drag them in. You can see that it's copying over and there it is. So Home Sharing is also a great way to keep the content on multiple computers synced. First of all I can choose to display only the items that are not in my library. You can see the Show menu here currently says All items, but I can choose items not in my library.
So now I am not only seeing songs that my Library and Phil's iTunes library don't have in common, which makes it much easier find songs that I might want to copy and that can prevent me from dragging over copies of songs or videos that I already have in my own copy of iTunes. Now if I click Settings over here, I can tell iTunes to automatically transfer new purchases from other users libraries to my copy of iTunes, and I can specify the type of content I want. For example, if both Phil and I watch the same TV show and he downloads the latest episode from the iTunes Store, I can be sure to get a copy on my computer by checking TV Shows.
Now of course, I could watch the TV show streaming over regular network sharing from his computer, but that requires his computer to be on and for iTunes to be running, and if he quits iTunes while I'm watching a video I won't be able to finish watching that video. So in this case I want to make sure that I have the shows copied over to my own computer, so I can watch them any time I like. So that's a pretty cool feature. Unfortunately this only works with content purchased from the iTunes Store. You can't automatically sync content from other sources, but you can drag files in, like we saw before, or you can select a bunch of files and drag them all at once, or click Import to do the same thing.
So it is still very nice to be able to physically copy content from one iTunes library to another, instead of just streaming over the network, and that's the Home Sharing feature of iTunes 10.
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