In a new support document, Apple has indicated that the first public beta release of macOS Catalina does not support switching between multiple iTunes libraries. This also applies to the first two developer betas of macOS Catalina.

macos catalina apple music
Initial betas of macOS Catalina can only open the previously selected iTunes library on your Mac prior to updating, according to Apple. Before you install the macOS Catalina beta, choose the iTunes library that you want to use by fully closing iTunes and reopening it while holding down the Option key.

Apple split iTunes into three apps on macOS Catalina: Music, TV, and Podcasts. The iTunes library that you choose will be the one that opens in the beta versions of Music, TV, and Podcasts on macOS Catalina. Your other music files, media, and additional iTunes libraries will remain wherever you have saved them.

Apple's support document suggests that multiple iTunes libraries will be supported in the general release of macOS Catalina this fall.

iTunes has long allowed users to have multiple libraries. Borrowing Apple's examples, you could have a library of holiday music that would not appear in iTunes the rest of the year, or you could keep your music in a library on your computer and your movies in a library on an external storage device.

Tag: iTunes
Related Forums: macOS Catalina, Mac Apps

Top Rated Comments

bilibug Avatar
30 months ago
Cool, I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to switch my library unless there was a file that was corrupted. However awesome that they are including this functionality again. Seems like something that a number of people use.

I’m curious though, what are some people’s use cases for this?
25K+ music files that I don't necessarily want cluttering up my Apple Music account on my phone.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nvmls Avatar
30 months ago
Hopefully the new Music app will not follow in the trajectory of Final Cut X in terms of implementation of important features that were present on the app it replaced.
Sadly that seems to be the pattern with Apple (aperture, disk utility, etc)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hagar Avatar
30 months ago
Save yourself a lot of aggravation and don't install the Catalina beta.
Who would be stupid enough to install a beta on their production machine? And then complain if things fall apart? No one ever.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BootsWalking Avatar
30 months ago
Hopefully the new Music app will not follow in the trajectory of Final Cut X in terms of implementation of important features that were present on the app it replaced.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DeathBecomesMe Avatar
30 months ago
So does it still use the same iTunes library file for all three apps? I have my library on a network drive and access it on Windows and Mac, so wondering if that will still work.
Save yourself a lot of aggravation and don't install the Catalina beta.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TMRJIJ Avatar
30 months ago
I had a blast losing all my album art yesterday.
I thought I lost mine in DP1. Turns out it was resyncing my entire library along with the rest of iCloud. Took quite a while for them to reappear.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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