Share media across your network
Save family buying their own copies of things
Your Mac is probably stuffed to the gills with all
sorts of media. A few easy steps is all it takes to make them available to other people.
Let’s start with iTunes. Open its preferences and click Sharing, then turn on ‘Share my library on my local network’ to allow streaming of all kinds of media to other computers running iTunes, optionally restricted with a password. Click the ellipsis then Edit at the top-left corner of iTunes, and turn on Shared Libraries. Switch libraries using the new icon there.
Home Sharing does the same job, but also allows media to be copied between the libraries of up to five PCs or Macs. This requires Home Sharing to be enabled on each computer: go to File > Home Sharing > Turn on Home Sharing and enter your Apple ID.
Another option for streaming music is to pay £21.99 for an annual subscription to iTunes Match, or at least £9.99 per month for Apple Music, then go to iTunes > Preferences and turn on iCloud Music Library. After your library is matched to Apple’s own, and tracks Apple lacks are uploaded, you’ll be able to enjoy your music on all of your devices. You’ll need an internet connection to stream, unless you pre-empt a lack of access by downloading things.
Share your purchases What if family members want to share your purchases but your Mac is unavailable? In System Preferences > iCloud, click Set Up Family and invite them to join. They can then click their name at the top of iTunes, followed by Family Purchases, or go to the Purchased tab and tap My Purchases in iTunes, iBooks or the App Store on their iOS device. Not all items are eligible to be shared this way, though.