Introduction: Save Space: Sync Multiple IPods to One ITunes Library

Music can take up a large amount of space on a computer, especially on a computer with multiple users. Multiple users, each with their music libraries can take its toll on a computer.

For example, my parents' computer houses my mom's music library, my dad's music library, and my younger brother's music library. However, my parents have a very similar music taste except for my dad's Willie Nelson collection. In fact they have duplicates, mom's library contains many of the same songs as my dad's library.

There is a solution! Multiple iPods can be synced easily with one library. Say good bye to duplicates and say hello to a new cleaner library with a greater variety of music and a computer with a lighter load to carry.

Materials you will need:

* 2 (or more) iPods
* Sync Cable

Remember - this is not a Mac dependent Instructable

Step 1: Preparing the IPods: IPod A

To begin, open your iTunes application. The latest version is iTunes 10. The icon changes quite a bit from the familiar CD and blue music note to the now black music now held in a blue circle. I've included the pictures of the icons to help you figure which version you are using.

Another way to find out is to view "About iTunes" in the menu.
*On the Mac, select iTunes in the top navigation bar and select "About iTunes".
*On the PC, select Help in the iTunes navigation and select "About iTunes."

Once the application is open, connect the Sync cable's wide end and connect it to iPod A.

Step 2: Preparing the IPods: IPod a Settings

In iTunes select iPod A's Summary. In the Summary you will be able to see a picture of your iPod, the Version of iPod software that is currently installed and the ability to update your iPod.

Below that are the Options available for your iPod. To sync multiple iPods to one iTunes account, select Manually manage music and videos.

By manually managing music and videos, iTunes will not automatically sync your iPod when attached via the Sync cable.

Click Apply to apply the settings to iPod A.

Step 3: Preparing the IPods: IPod B

Some of the iPods may have previously been synced with other iTunes accounts. iPod B will illustrate the extra steps needed to be prepared.

Once iPod B is connected to iTunes, a Warning dialog box will appear when A) your iTunes is selected to automatically connect and Sync or B) you select Sync for the first time for iPod B.

If there is purchased music, select "Transfer Purchases" - your purchased music will then be transferred to iTunes and saved. 

Then you can select Cancel - we're not ready to Sync iPod B yet. 

Step 4: Preparing the IPods: IPod B Settings

For iPod B followed the same steps as iPod A.

Connect the iPod via Sync cable, under Devices in the left pane select iPod B. The iPod summary will appear once more to the right in the main frame.

Under Options, select "Manually music and videos".

Now that both iPods are set, let's get them synced with music. From now on, you will never have to set these options again unless a new iPod is brought in.

Step 5: Preparing the Music

The easiest way to get my parents set up for syncing their iPods to one library was by having them consolidate their libraries together and then creating playlists that would contain all the music they would want on their individual iPods.

Since my iPod doesn't contain a lot of space, I use this same technique to manage my music as it allows me to switch my music up easily.

Create multiple sub playlists, in the picture I have a playlist for my American/English music, my Korean music, my Spanish music and my car mix, "Zoomi the Squirtle". The individual playlists are the playlists I want present on my iPod.

Step 6: Bringing Everything Together

In this step we are going to bring everything together and sync the iPod with our playlists.

Select your iPod under the Devices menu and select the Music tab in the iPod summary. There are a few more settings that need to be selected, but this is also a one time step for each iPod synced to this library.

Click "Selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres" so that it will only sync the playlists you created.

Scroll down to "Playlists", select the playlists you want to be synced with your iPod. Even though some of my playlists may have the same song, the songs will not appear twice on your iPod.

Step 7: Sync, Disconnect, and Enjoy

For the final step, sync your iPod by selecting "Sync" in the lower right hand corner. Once the sync is complete, disconnect your iPod and enjoy.

Once your iPods have the correct settings, the only steps that will need to be repeated will be the selection of the music that will be synced to your iPod. By creating playlist, music is now easily mix and matched to bring new varieties from every user's library.