Generally, we tend to keep our favorite songs and videos stored on the hard drive of our computers, rather than browsing for them online each time we wish to listen to a song or watch a movie. However, more and more people are starting to use mobile devices like iPhones or iPads to enjoy their favorite songs and movies. Thus, sharing the iTunes library of your Mac with iOS mobile devices might be a good idea to get instant access to your media library. If you wish to learn how to do it fast, read the guide below.
Moreover, as iTunes can be installed on Windows computers as well, you can also share the music and videos from your PC with other devices, like Apple TV, without ever transferring your files.
Use iTunes' "Home Sharing" feature
In case you didn't know, iTunes comes with a handy feature called "Home Sharing" that allows you to easily share and stream your video and music libraries to your Apple devices or other computers. In order to access the feature, first launch iTunes. Next, go to the "File" menu, scroll down to the "Home Sharing" option and click on the "Turn on Home Sharing" item.
After that you will be asked to type in your Apple ID. Simply provide your login credentials and wait for the logging process to end. And that's about all you need to do on your Mac in order to share your music or video libraries.
Now that you have shared your media libraries from your Mac, it is time to make it work on your iPhone or iPad. Before accessing the libraries on your mobile device, make sure your smartphone or tablet is connected to the same wireless network as you Mac, and check if you have logged into your Apple account using the same ID as the one used on your computer. Just in case you don't know how to do that on iPhone or iPad, go to the "Settings" app and tap on the "iTunes and App Store" menu item. There, you will see your ID. If it is not the same as the one used on your Mac, then simply tap the "Apple ID" link and change it accordingly.
Once you have checked the Apple ID, you might want to find out how to access the shared media libraries from your Apple device. Well, the process is quite simple, and all you need to do is open the Music or Video app on your iPhone or iPad and tap the "Shared" option to access the shared libraries. If you don't find the option straight away, then look for a "More" button (usually, represented by three (3) dots sign that can be found in the app's bottom menu bar) and tap it to bring out extra items.
After your have tapped on the "Shared" icon, you should be able to see all the media libraries you have shared on your Mac and, in order access them, simply tap on the corresponding library and wait for the pairing process to end (the synchronization time may vary, depending on the size of the shared library). Now you will be able to play all the shared music and video files on your Apple device, without transferring them to your device, which will save you a great deal of storage space.
It is also worth mentioning that you can use your Apple ID on five computers. This means that you can easily share all the music and video libraries from all the computers in your house with your Apple devices without any problems. All you have to do is repeat the steps you have previously seen for each of your systems.
Another fact that you might want to keep track of is that, when closing the Music or the Videos app on your iPhone or iPad, the "Home Sharing" connection will be disabled. So, if you want to continue listening to your shared music or watch your shared videos, then you will have to re-establish the connection by following the above mentioned steps. This can take some time, depending on the size of your shared libraries. Thus, if you deal with libraries that contain lots of big media files, you might want to leave your Music or Videos app opened and just pause the movie or song, if you plan to resume it in a short time.
As you have seen, sharing music and videos from your Mac or Windows PC to your iPhone or iPad is quite a simple process. Even though you have to keep your Apple device connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your computer and log in using the same Apple ID, it is a great way to enjoy media on your smartphone or tablet without having to actually copy or move the files onto your device.
If you have any questions, suggestions or if you know of a better way to share your media library with your Apple devices, then feel free to let us know in the comment section below.