I had read a bit about the new iTunes 9’s home feature. Unfortunately, trying to use it is a different matter. First off, using it requires you to log into your iTunes account. I’m assuming this is so you can transfer your old non-iTunes plus DRM laden music. It doesn’t make sense to me as I’m using only ripped MP3 and the newer iTunes Plus, but its Apple. Only problem is, doing so burns an authorized computer license.
My daughter and I did this and, guess what, nothing changed! Seems for Home to work, you have to use the same account on both machines! Okay, fixed. Oh, but that is when we realized it burned an authorization -- which by the time I was done I’d used up all five! Well, one was on my dead laptop, I’ll reclaim it later. You will get a cryptic message though to authorize your account, just say yes!
At this point both computers should be good to go. If you were already sharing folders, the icon changes to a little house. Now when you browse each others share, you can hit the Import button and pull tracks into your library. There is also a settings button to auto-sync purchased files. Yes, no luck automatically syncing your ripped CD’s. I’m assuming this is a concession to the RIAA so dorms don’t set up some sort of happy go luck file share system. Considering how easy it is to do this with plug-ins, it seems hardly worth it. I only plan to manually import anyway. With luck, Apple will extend the functionality in the future to all songs. That way I could use it to sync my laptop and media server.
Once I figured out the “use the same account” problem, I found iTunes’ home feature pretty easy to use. The family quickly figured out how it worked and spent the better part of the evening listening and importing songs that one member had but not the other. It was a much easier than copying the files between file shares and importing it that way. Kudos to Apple for a useful feature that makes iTunes a little easier to enjoy.