Apple Says Multiple iTunes Libraries Are Not Supported in First Public Beta of macOS Catalina

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.


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.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina
Tag: iTunes


Top Rated Comments

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13 weeks 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.
Rating: 4 Votes
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13 weeks 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)
Rating: 4 Votes
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13 weeks 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.
Rating: 3 Votes
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13 weeks 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.
Rating: 3 Votes
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13 weeks 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.
Rating: 3 Votes
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13 weeks ago
iTunes was already, and remains the single reason I’ll continue running El Capitan. The allure continues to grow, but I won’t give up *freedom from the DRM limitations in my purchased media.

Edit: freedom from, not control over
Rating: 2 Votes
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13 weeks ago
Curious where Finder keeps the MobileSync backups, and if that’s configurable yet. Using precious (and expensive) space on the boot SSD to hold a backup of a 1TB iPad in the user library isn’t acceptable. I’ve worked around it in iTunes but hope they have a better answer in Catalina— or at least don’t screw up the work around.

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?

Same problem as the backup— I don’t want to store my library on my boot drive. I don’t keep multiple libraries (aside from a backup) but not being able to choose a library also sounds like it will be hard to move the library...
Rating: 2 Votes
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13 weeks ago

Must be fiction. No one would install an initial PB on a production machine and then actually lose anything they weren't COMPLETELY willing to lose to a factory reset. Beta 101.

Did I say I was filing a class action lawsuit for losing some album art? It's my personal laptop, not a SpaceX guidance computer.
Rating: 2 Votes
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13 weeks 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.
Rating: 2 Votes
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13 weeks ago
Good that they’ll support it in the future. Now if they can just fix the album view.
Rating: 2 Votes
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