More and more homes have multiple iPods and just one computer. Which leads to the question: How do you manage multiple iPods on one computer?
There are a number of techniques for this; the more complex the technique you choose, the more control you'll have over syncing music and other content to your iPod. This article covers perhaps the easiest way to manage multiple iPods on one computer using the iPod management screen.
- Easy to configure and manage
- Allows all music to be stored in one library (simple)
- Possible to sync music you don't want
- Less control
- Allows all music to be stored in one library (potentially confusing)
Other Ways to Sync Multiple iPods With One Computer
- individual playlists for each iPod
- having multiple iTunes libraries on the same computer
- Multiple user accounts
The iPod Management Screen to Manage Multiple iPods on One Computer
While this is probably the easiest way to manage multiple iPods on one computer, it's not the most precise.
1. To start, plug in the first iPod (or iPhone or iPad) you want to manage to start it syncing. (If you're setting the iPod up for the first time, make sure to uncheck the "automatically sync songs to my iPod" box in step 7.)
2. At the top of the standard iPod management screen are a number of tabs. Find the one labeled "music" (where it is in the list will depend on what device you're syncing) and click it.
3. On that screen, there are options for selecting what music will be synced to the iPod. Check the following boxes: "Sync Music" and "Selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres." Make sure to leave the "Automatically fill free space with songs" box unchecked.
4. In each of the four boxes below--playlists, artists, albums, and genres--you'll be able to view the contents of the computer's iTunes library. Check the box next to the items you want synced to the iPod in each of the four areas.
(This is where the lack of control arises. For instance, if you only want a few songs from a given album, you can't do that; you have to sync the entire album. If you want only one album from a given artist, be sure to choose just that album in the Albums box, rather than everything from that artist in the Artists box. If you don't, someone might add other albums by that artist to the computer and you'd end up syncing them without meaning to. See how this can get complicated?)
5. When you've selected everything you want to sync to the iPod, click the Apply button at the bottom right corner of the iTunes window. This will save these settings and sync the content you chose.
6. Disconnect the iPod and the repeat the process for all the other iPods you want to use with this computer.