Please help me be an iPod admin at home


I have four kids and they are getting older and two of them now have an iPod. My wife and I also have iPods. To complicate things we have multiple PCs around the home, the topology is something like:

PCs                OS          Users
Husband PC         Win7        Husband
Shared PC1         Win7        Wife, child1,2,3,4
Shared PC2         Mac OSX     Wife, child1,2,3,4
Child1 PC          Win7        Child1
Child2 PC          Win7        Child2
FileServer         Win2008R2   everyone (over the network)

Users with iPods: Husband, Wife, Child1, Child2

I'm not really sure how I am supposed to manage all this, it's doing my head in. I don't really care which music program I use (i'm getting a bit sick of iTunes), however I don't know of an alternative that syncs easily with iPods or can manage podcasts well.


  • Should I have a central music store on the File Server and then point each machine to it?
  • How would that work if music is purchased on
    iTunes/Amazon/Other – would all the
    libraries get updated?
  • Where do I put the libraries?
  • How would this work
    with multiple iPods?
  • What music
    program should I use?
  • Does each iPod
    need to be tethered to one machine?

Would streaming help? Something like Windows Home Server and then stream everything to the PCs? I'm not sure how this would work with iPod syncing though.



Best Answer

We have the same situation in our house, and for want of a better solution we just have a single machine that everyone uses for iTunes and ipod sync. All of the media is held on a file server, and is added to the iTunes PC's local itunes library.

Have tried to stream the media library from the file server, and while that works just fine for playing on the PC itself, it won't allow ipod sync.

We also use one common apple ID for purchasing media/apps. This way, anything that we buy can be used on any of the ipods.

Doesn't answer your question fully, but it is a relatively successful way to manage things, and you only need to install iTunes on one machine.