Over time, it’s not uncommon to build up a large library of music and media on your Mac. If you want to share that content with other people so that, for example, your family members can listen to your music library, it’s a fairly simple process on Apple’s devices.
You can do that through Apple’s Home Sharing feature, or by sharing playlists you’ve created in Apple Music. In this article, we’ll outline both methods for you so that you can get started straight away.
Speaking of Apple’s Music app, in MacOS Catalina the company split up iTunes into three distinct apps — Music, TV, and Podcasts. If you’re looking to share an iTunes library, you’ll find that’s no longer possible on your Mac. On Windows, however, iTunes lives on. If you want to know how to share a music library in iTunes, we’ve got a guide for you on that topic as well.
Set up Home Sharing
Apple devices have a feature called Home Sharing that’s designed to let you share, stream, and import various media files from up to five devices — be they Mac, PC, iOS or Apple TV devices — that are connected to your Wi-Fi network.
Step 1: Make sure any device you want to share with is signed in using the same Apple ID and has been authorized to play purchased items on that Apple ID.
Step 2: On your Mac, open System Preferences by clicking the Apple icon, then click System Preferences.
Step 3: Click Sharing, then click Media Sharing in the left-hand sidebar.
Step 4: Tick the checkbox next to Home Sharing, then enter your Apple ID username and password and click Turn On Home Sharing. You’ll now see a dialog box telling you Home Sharing has been enabled.
Use Home Sharing on a Mac
Now that Home Sharing has been enabled, you’ll want to start sharing your content in Apple Music.
Step 1: Make sure that any device that wants to access or share an Apple Music library is turned on, is not asleep and is running Apple Music.
Step 2: Open the Music app and sign in with your Apple ID (if you aren’t already).
Step 3: Click the down arrow next to Library in the left-hand sidebar.
Step 4: You’ll see a list of libraries that have been shared with you. Click the one you want to access and you’ll see it loaded into Apple Music. Any playlists that have been created in the shared library will also be shown in the left-hand sidebar.
Use Home Sharing on iOS
Home Sharing can also be accessed from your iOS or iPadOS device. Here’s how.
Step 1: Open the Settings app on iOS and scroll down to Music; tap it.
Step 2: At the bottom of the window under Home Sharing, tap Sign In if you aren’t already signed in with your Apple ID. If you are signed in, you’ll see your Apple ID’s email address displayed on your screen.
Step 3: Open the Music app, then tap Library in the bottom toolbar, then Home Sharing.
Step 4: Choose a library and wait for Music to download it to your device. Once that’s done, you can play the shared content.
Share your media with guests
What if you want to share your music library with someone else who has a different Apple ID? Fear not, as that’s just as easy to do.
Step 1: Open System Preferences on your Mac, click Sharing, then click Media Sharing in the left-hand sidebar.
Step 2: At the bottom of the window, tick the checkbox next to Share media with guests.
Step 3: Click Options… on the right-hand side.
Step 4: To require a password when people try to access your media library, tick the checkbox next to Require Password, then enter a password in the adjacent box.
Step 5: You can choose to either share all your media items or only selected things. For the latter option, click Selected playlists, then choose exactly what media types you want to share.
Share an Apple Music playlist
If you would rather just share a single Apple Music playlist rather than your entire library, that is straightforward to do as well.
However, note that both you and the person you want to share the playlist to must have an active Apple Music subscription.
Step 1: On iOS or iPadOS, find the playlist you want to share, tap the three dots icon under its name, then tap Share. You’ll get a variety of sharing options, including AirDrop, Messages, Mail, Facebook and more.
Step 2: On a Mac, find the playlist, then click the three dots icon like the one in step 1. From here, click Share Playlist.