iTunes Home Sharing – How To

As I discussed in my Apple Powered Family article, Home Sharing is a feature of iTunes that allows you to easily share your music and movies in iTunes with up to five computers in your house, as well as iOS devices like iPads and iPhones and Apple TV. Home sharing is easy to set up, and I am going to walk you through the entire process.

First, there are a few things you need: a computer running the latest version of iTunes, an Apple ID, an additional computer or iOS device with iOS 4.3 or later to share your media . You will also need some sort of network in your home. Setting up your home network is not part of this tutorial; however, at a minimum you should have a wireless router to create your home network. Once you have all these requirements covered we can get started.

  1. In iTunes click in the top left hand corner and click iTunes Store. Click Sign In if you are not already signed in.
  2. Click again and this time select preferences.
  3. Select the sharing icon at the top of the preferences window and check the box at the bottom of the window that says ‘Home Sharing computers and devices update play counts‘.
  4. Click OK.
  5. For Home Sharing to work, iTunes must be open on the computer that is sharing the media.

Next we will turn on Home Sharing on an iOS device so you can listen to your music on your iPad anywhere in your house.

  1. Touch the Settings app .
  2. Touch either the Music or Video app
  3. At the bottom of the screen enter the same Apple ID and password you use for iTunes.

  4. Exit the Settings app

In order to access the shared media from your iOS device, open the Music and touch . You will see in the list. Touch Shared and then select the library that shows up. Once the connection is made, you will see the name of the shared library at the top of your screen. The Videos app is very similar, except that the button to select the shared library is located at the top of the main screen.

That’s it. You can now watch the movies and listen to the music saved in your computer on your iOS device anywhere in your home. You can also stream music and video to an Apple TV or another computer. Now you may run in to some problems when setting this up on devices running iOS 6. Lately, some users have reported that when running the latest iOS they are unable to connect to the home shares. In my testing, this only seems to be happening when there are a large number of media files being shared. I expect Apple to have a fix for this issue on iOS devices soon.

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