My Daughter has many GB of music on my Sony Portable Hard Disc where itunes plays and catalogues it successfully.

Can I now put 20 GB of MY MUSIC on that same portable HD and get MY MUSIC catalogued by itunes SEPARATE to hers?
MY MUSIC is .wma files, played by Windows MediaPlayer11

Windows XP

Many thanks

I read this several times before I parsed your question correctly. To make sure I understand: you just want to know if you can keep your files separate on the same hard disk. The short answer is: yes, you can. The library function has options to restrain it to only those directories you choose to catalog.

To automatically add files from specified location(s) in Windows Media Player11 under WinXP: Tools > Options > Library > Monitor Folders
To choose the location to store the files you are ripping: Tools > Options > Rip Music

In general, when sharing a portable or other outboard hard drive, it's good to set some ground rules for keeping multiple users files separate, such as just a couple main directories [ex: MyFiles, Your Files, OurFiles] then structure your own files/folders as you like within.

Many thanks for your help.

The problem lies in the word "library*
As usual we are left to find out by trial and error what this word means.

I-tunes and Windows MediaPlayer seem to use "library" when meaning a card index or catalog of the "books". The "books" are the music files.

Trial and error shows that MediaPlayer INSISTS that its catalog (library) can ONLY be kept and maintained on hard drive C.
And "synching" (another new-meaning-undefined word) does NOT help you keep an up-to-date catalog on the remote, portable, storage device where the books (music files) are.
Neither can the program that writes the catalog be on the remote device.

I use Windows MediaPlayer on XP.
My daughter uses itunes.
Why can't we do this all on our portable Sony HD or on a GB thumbdrive?
If i-tunes works better let it catalog my .wma music as well as my daughter's itune music in two separate catalogs.

If you want to use iTunes from now on for both of your music, just create a separate folder for your music and your daughter's on the external drive. Find where WMP keeps your music on your C: drive, and drop it into your folder on the external. (Get rid of WMP, it's really decrepit compared to iTunes.) You will need v. 4.5 or higher of iTunes to convert your wma files for import into iTunes, which creates .aac files. Then you can create separate profiles once you plug a different device into that computer with the iTunes on it.

The "library" is simply a small piece of xml or similar that tells the program where to look for the music, and that library file is always kept locally, as you discovered. The trick is to tell the library where to look for the music. If you know code, you can manipulate this, but it's not worth it. Just switch to the Apple software, which has set the benchmark for these kinds of applications, anyway.

I hope this helped. This is just from my own, similar experience.

Yes you can actually and it stay on a portable device. Just create your library and then be sure to save it. It will be separate and then also have it for almost any portable device.

Many thanks to each of you!

Hmm. Seems difficult. Partially because iTunes doesn't like WMA files (like Windows Media Player) and will convert them to another format (Which Windows Media Player may not like). Best thing to do (for future) is have your music in a mutual format for both players and not worry about compatibility issues.
As for using iTunes for both your libraries: I see the best solution is for you to both have a folder for music on the external drive, and then make sure that you each have a separate profile on the (shared?) computer with the library pointing to your specific folder. If you log in with your unique password then iTunes should be set up to use your library only.
Otherwise, if you're using different computers, it is just as easy - your iTunes will be looking for whatever folder you specified on each computer.
Hope this helps.
PS: This implies you convert to iTunes :-) If you want to remain using Windows Media Player, then do so. You do not have to use C:...My Music. You can either delete your library and start again, having it look for the new location, or someone suggested you can right-click the songs and burn them to the new location (haven't tried this sounds crazy).

Many thanks Jay

I like .wma !!? (Variable bit rate)

What I do at the moment is tell WMP to put the music into c:My Music
From there I copy them onto a portable HD or flashdrive BEFORE playing them: I leave c:My Music empty (Otherwise they get indexed by WMP and it can't find them!)

I do without the WMA index as I save the files under each artist's name.
The only thing I lose, this way, is the little pictures of the album artwork.
XP lets me now play ANY song (provided I can remember a fragment of its title)

I also have a few awesome apps to convert by batch if you want to know what they are & have them. Let me know.

Thanks Bskills

To me variable bit rate .wma makes a lot of sense (I assume it looks ahead and decides, continually, what bit rate to use)
Maybe my ears are not up to appreciating the virtue of Itunes.

Logically, EVERY conversion of format degrades the music - so once you are in .wma it may be best to stay there (with 30 GB to convert)

Thats the least best sound actually. Can always do at your own pace. No rush really or like when you add one do it then.. Or best way as i do is even convert anyways and dump the others so dont have double copies of everything. All tho i do do that when comes to videos. I have everything set to convert auto to my choice have set then that way also always have in MP4 and FLV formats. ;)
[well thats videos speaking but get my point]

Sorry. Looks like until someone (probably not Apple) creates an app that will work with iTunes and decode WMA on the fly, you're just going to have to have your files duplicated so you both can listen to the same music.
Apparently, licensing issues prevent Apple from using Microsoft's file format (or Apple is just stubborn and prevents you from using it) so a fix is probably not coming any time soon.
Might be cheaper for you to both have your own external drives and have your daughter go through the arduous task of converting all the songs to mp3 or aac (whatever).
Sad, but life ;-)

Thanks for all your ideas.
At present we (daughter and I) have no difficulty listening to our music.
My music is .wma and I play it using WMP.
Her music is played in itunes.
All our music is stored on portable devices (Sony HD or thumb drives)

The ONLY problem remaining (thanks to all your kind advice) is this:-
WMP used to catalog the music (in a thing idiotically called "Library")
This ONLY works when ewverything is on the c: drive

How do we get WMP catalog (library) to work when the music is on a portable drive that is plugged into the PC.
Alternatively get WMP to work when WMP is on a portable drive
many thanks

Does WMP catalog and play shortcuts? If it does, you could create shortcuts to the portable drive's files on C: where WMP can find them. Just an idea...

Create multiple libraries
The problem with I-Tunes is it will covert your mp3 to mp4 format, and it does not support
multiple libraries. With the help of a small program - LIBRA- you can keep your daughters
library and yours separate on I-Tunes. The program offers a free trial, but is worth the
$10.00 purchase fee, can be found by a Google search. Or try the link --

Thank you tsja

I will give it a try!

Man - I just lost everything that I wrote :-/

In a nutshell: I'm confused, seems others are able to use a 'watch folder' to catalog files on a remote drive.

I just checked my WMP(ver 12) and I can use Organize-->Manage Library-->Music and the Click Add, and I can have WMP catalog an external drive.

Do you not have this functionality? What version of WMP do you have?

I might be missing the point here - most bases are covered ?

Yes you are exactly on the right track

I have WMP ver 12 under Windows XP - but no "organise"

What does "use a watch folder" mesn.

On my WMP I can find
Monitor folders

But I dare not hit that button and the reason is simple:-
It has already catalogued ANOTHER set of music files which ARE on the c: drive.
I do not want to lose them and as usual Bill makes all as clear as mud

Many thanks for your help

Can we get the catalogue function to work when OFF the c: drive?

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