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In a previous movie we looked at how to extend your library into another hard drive to give iTunes more room to manage all your content, without losing management of the content that was on your original drive. Now there may also be times when you want to keep some of your iTunes content completely separate from other iTunes content. For example, maybe you work with audio or video files for work all the time. Maybe you transcribe interviews or speaker notes, maybe you create sound effects or background music, whatever it is, you know you want to use iTunes to manage your content, but you also don't want this content intermingling with your personal iTunes library.
One solution might be to create an additional account on your computer, which would give you a clean empty iTunes library when you run iTunes. But that requires switching back and forth between user accounts, which can get tedious if we've to do it multiple times throughout the day. Instead, a better solution would be to just create a second iTunes library. Now this is different than extending your library like we saw in a previous movie, which allows you to continue managing the content in your old library location as well as the new one. What I'm talking about here is a completely new iTunes library that's also completely independent of any other library on your computer.
To create a new iTunes library, first make sure you quit iTunes. Then while holding down the option key on a Mac or the shift key on Windows, startup iTunes again. iTunes will prompt you to choose a library and from here you can choose an existing library or create a new one. I'll choose Create Library, and I'm just going to save this to my desktop, and I'll call it iTunes work, for my work library. You can call yours whatever you like. I'll click Save.
So now iTunes opens. Notice the photos that have been created on my desktop. Your folder will appear in whatever location you've selected. But also notice, this is a completely empty copy of iTunes. There is no music, movies, TV shows or any other content in here right now. This is the default appearance of iTunes when you first run a new installation. So now I'm free to drag in any content I like and that will be the only content that shows up in this iTunes library. Now you might never have to use this ability. But if you find yourself in a situation where you want to use iTunes to manage content that you want to keep completely separate from your other iTunes content, just hold down Option or Shift as you startup iTunes to create a new library.
Now when you want to switch back to your original library, just quit iTunes again, and then hold down option or Shift depending on if your Mac or Windows, and then start up iTunes, and when the choose library dialog box appears, click Choose Library and then select your original iTunes library folder, which is in this case in the Mac is just Music and then iTunes. And now I have my original iTunes library back in action. So that's how you can manage multiple libraries in iTunes 10.
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