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Summary:

My future brother-in-law now has, thanks to Christmas, two new iPods where he had none before. One is a 512 meg Shuffle and the other is a 20 gig 4th generation HP iPod, and he needs to manage them both from the same computer (currently an […]

My future brother-in-law now has, thanks to Christmas, two new iPods where he had none before. One is a 512 meg Shuffle and the other is a 20 gig 4th generation HP iPod, and he needs to manage them both from the same computer (currently an HP PC running Windows.) Since the two are radically different in terms of capacities and capabilities, having iTunes set to treat them both the same seemed to me to be a non-starter last night when I was helping him to get them set up. The solution I arrived at was this:

1. Set up two playlists, one for each iPod
2. Set the iPod preferences in iTunes so that the iPods are manually managed.
3. When he plugs in the Shuffle, go back into Edit: Preferences: iPod and change the settings there so that it’s automatically updating from the Shuffle’s playlist. Then update. Then set it back to manual management in the iPod preferences in iTunes.
4. For the 20 gig, same thing except that iTunes is updating from the 20 gig’s playlist.

He’s a professional workout coach and personal trainer, so he really wants to keep both as both are great for different things (the Shuffle for while he’s working out, the 20 gig for while he’s in the car, etc.) but there has to be an easier way to manage this. Has anyone worked out a better way, on either the Mac or the PC (he’s a potential switcher)? If so, let me know in the comments.

Update: Apparently, iTunes is capable of handling multiple iPods automatically. Thanks to MC Brown and Sam Pullara for letting me know about this, it’ll be a big help! Sam even provided a screenshot of this in action: http://homepage.mac.com/spullara/managingtwoipods.png

  1. You dont need to ‘manage’ anything – iTunes automatically supports multiple iPods. You can even have multiple iPods plugged in at the same time. iTunes manages a completely set of preferences, and, if you’ve configured them as such, separately manage the individual play lists that are copied across.

    You certainly don’t need to go through the hoops you suggest…

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    1. hey can you have ithouch and iphone but can you tranfer the apps to onoter new divise? can you have the same apps in the same divise and in the same itunes?

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  2. I agree with the previous commenter. I manage a 60G iPod and a 4G iPod Nano from the same iTunes. One is set to copy everything, the Nano is set to copy a small subset. It shows up as a drop down in the options:

    http://homepage.mac.com/spullara/managingtwoipods.png

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  3. yeah i have a 4 year-old 10GB firewire iPod, a Shuffle, and as of this Christmas, a new 60GB iPod video. I haven’t plugged them all at the same time though.

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  4. Which version of itunes supports the multiple ipods ?

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  5. i tunes 6 will support 5 ipods hooked up to the computer at once

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  6. Hi! Thanks to all that have posted and I am a goof it seems, because I am lost. Thanks to Christmas I too have two iPods, ona 30GB and one a 60GB both 5th generation I am told. I want to program one for my son and give it to him, but mange it on my work PC (yes, i do guage what the little one downloads and watches :o)). Anyway, again, I amlost as it seems i have a hard time managing even one. First, does it have to update every song every time they are plugged in??? I mean, the other day I went in and ‘unclicked’ everything except my new items that I had just added through iTunes, and sure enough, when i unhooked it, it only had the new stuff :o). So, in a nutshell, if someone could help, i’d be very grateful and will pass on the ‘niceness’ as I am just a nice person :o). Good karma for all involved – lol! Okay, i would ike to have some of the same songs and videos on the two, but mostly different stuff. And, I am wondering if it needs to update the stuff each time. Thanks!!!! Signed: CLueless.

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  7. my son and i both have ipod nanos and my daughter has one on our other computer.How can me and my son have both ipods on the same coumputer??

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  8. Cheryl,

    If you’re using Mac OS X, set up different user accounts for you and your son. That way, your iPod syncs up with the music collection on your account, and your son’s will sync up with his.

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  9. ok so i just got a new iPod and my son has already had an iPod, when I downloaded it they put all of his songs onto mine and basically deleted his account… how do i create a new account??

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  10. the computer will not read the other i-pod. it just days that there is no i-pod connected

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