So you have an iPhone and know how to sync your music and movies via iTunes, but is it possible to connect your iPhone to two computers to sync music and movies? For example, can I sync music on my iPhone to both a home and work computer? The answer is yes, if you follow these few steps!
How to sync music from two or more computers to iPhone
While you can now sync data such as contacts and calendars from two computers to your iPhone, iTunes does not normally allow the iPhone to load music or movies from more than one computer. If you've tried to sync music from more than one computer to your iPhone, you're likely familiar with this warning:
The iPhone "xx" is synced with another iTunes library. Do you want to erase this iPhone and sync with this iTunes library?
However, there is an easy fix that will allow you to sync your iTunes music from two computers to your iPhone – just follow these simple steps.
- Backup your iTunes Music Library – both "iTunes Music Library.xml" and "iTunes Music Library" (Mac) or "Tunes Music Library.itl" (PC) – on each computer. Don't skip this step!
- On the machine you currently sync iPhone music with, right click the "iTunes Music Library.xml" file and open with a text editor such as Textedit or Notepad.
- Find the entry <key>Library Persistent ID<key> and write down on paper the exact 16-digit ID listed between the <string> values, making note of CAPITAL LETTERS. (For example, <string> 8C5D433F6DBCB74J) Keep this number handy – you will need it later!
- For this tutorial, we will call this the FOX ID NUMBER.
- Close the "iTunes Music Library.xml" file.
- On the second computer you want to sync the iPhone with, ensure that iTunes is *not* running, then right click the "iTunes Music Library.xml" file and open with a text editor such as Textedit or Notepad.
- Find the entry <key>Library Persistent ID<key> and write down on paper the 16-digit ID listed between the <string> values. (For example, <string> 8C5D433F6DBCB74J). If you are comfortable, you can also use the computer's COPY command to note this number after writing it down.
- For this tutorial, we will call this the RABBIT ID NUMBER.
- On the second computer, replace the current RABBIT ID NUMBER listed between the <string> values with the FOX ID NUMBER from the first computer, making careful note of capital letters.
- Save and close the "iTunes Music Library.xml" file.
- Launch your Hex Editor program and open "iTunes Music Library" (Tunes Music Library.itl on PC)
- From the EDIT menu, select FIND AND REPLACE.
- In the Find & Replace box, ensure that HEX is selected (not ASCII) and enter the RABBIT ID NUMBER you copied from this computer on the FIND line. In the REPLACE line, enter the FOX ID NUMBER you copied from your first computer. Choose "replace all". There should be just one instance found and replaced. Save the file and close your Hex Editor.
For the next steps, you will need a hex editor on your computer. I suggest you try the free HexEdit (MAC) or the free trial version of UltraEdit (PC), but any HEX editor will do just fine. You only need this software on the SECOND computer.
Start iTunes on your second computer and plug in your Iphone. You will now be able to manually sync music to your iPhone from your second computer without losing music from your first computer.
Trouble? Simply replace your modified iTunes Music Library.xml" and "iTunes Music Library" (Mac) or "Tunes Music Library.itl" (PC) with the backups from step one to undo these modifications.