What Does Merging Apple Music Libraries Mean?
Merging Apple Music libraries combines the musical content and settings from two separate Apple Music accounts into one single unified library. This allows you to bring together playlists, albums, artists, songs, preferences, downloaded content and more into one primary Apple Music profile.
Specifically, merging libraries would consolidate the playlists, albums, artists, songs, podcasts, music videos and stations from both accounts. It would also combine your likes, dislikes, play counts and other listening data to provide blended recommendations. Additionally, any downloads, preferences, account settings and other library information would be unified.
The end result is that the two Apple Music accounts effectively become one – all the musical content, data and settings are now managed under one Apple ID. This can help simplify using Apple Music if you previously had content split across multiple libraries.
Why Would You Want To Merge Libraries?
There are a few key reasons why someone may want to merge their Apple Music libraries:
Gaining access to all music if multiple family members use Apple Music – If you have family members with separate Apple Music accounts, merging libraries allows you to combine all of your purchased and downloaded content into one place. This gives everyone access to the full collection of music. As noted on Apple’s discussions forum, merging libraries helps when you have “music in two different Apple IDs that you want to consolidate.” (Source)
Combining content after a relationship ends and accounts change – Sometimes when a relationship ends, streaming service accounts get divided up. Merging Apple Music libraries provides a way to recombine your full music collection if it gets split across accounts. As one Reddit user described it, merging libraries is useful for “combining mine and my ex’s Apple Music libraries.” (Source)
Simplifying account management with one shared library – Maintaining separate Apple Music accounts for different family members can become cumbersome. Merging libraries helps simply management by consolidating all music under one account and library.
Requirements for Merging Apple Music Libraries
There are a few requirements that need to be met in order to successfully merge two Apple Music libraries:
Both Apple Music accounts that you want to merge need to have active Apple Music subscriptions. According to Apple’s support documentation, “You can merge your music library from two different Apple Music subscriptions into one if both subscriptions are active” (Source). If one or both accounts have lapsed subscriptions, you’ll need to renew them before merging.
After merging libraries, both accounts will need to use the same Apple ID. As Apple notes, “Your songs, playlists, and recommendations merge into one library under a single Apple ID” (Source). This means you’ll need to decide which Apple ID to use going forward and have one account adopt the other’s Apple ID.
If you use Family Sharing with your Apple Music subscription, the merged library will follow whichever Apple ID was designated as the primary account/organizer of the family group. Family members will then be able to access the merged library through Family Sharing. According to Apple, “If you merge your personal library with a family member’s, the merged library follows the family organizer’s Apple ID” (Source).
Step-by-Step Guide to Merging
Merging two Apple Music libraries requires carefully coordinating a few steps between the two accounts. Here is a step-by-step guide:
1. Decide which account will be the primary account going forward. The secondary account will be canceled once the libraries are merged.
2. On the secondary account, cancel the Apple Music subscription from the iTunes Store. This ensures no charges after merging. (source)
3. Sign out of the secondary account on all devices. Sign in to the primary account on all devices.
4. On the primary account, go to Settings > Music and turn on Sync Library. This enables library syncing across devices. (source)
5. On the secondary account, export the music library as an XML file. This captures playlists, play counts, ratings etc.
6. On the primary account, import the XML file from the secondary library via File > Library > Import Playlist. Say yes to adding the songs.
7. Check that everything imported correctly on the primary account across devices. Playlists, albums, artists should match the secondary account now.
8. Delete the secondary account and continue using the primary account with the combined library.
What Content Gets Merged?
When merging two Apple Music libraries, most of the content from both libraries will be combined into the new merged library. This includes playlists, albums, artists, and songs. So all of your playlists, albums, artists, and songs from both libraries will be merged together.
However, there are some exceptions when it comes to certain types of content merging. For example, any offline downloads or uploads from your computer will typically not carry over to the merged library. You would need to re-download those after the merge.
The merged library will also contain only one copy of any duplicate songs or albums. So if you have the same song or album saved in both libraries, the merged version will just contain it once. This prevents duplicate copies of songs from showing up.
Overall, the key content elements like your playlists, albums, and core song library will be combined from both sources into one new unified Apple Music collection. But users should be aware that offline content and duplicates may require some clean-up after the merge.
For more details see: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/252333835
What Settings Get Merged?
When you merge two Apple Music libraries, some key settings and preferences will also get combined:
- Playback preferences like autoplay, shuffle, and suggestions will get merged. The settings from the primary library will take precedence.
- Downloaded music settings will be combined. Any music downloaded for offline playback from both libraries will be accessible in the merged library.
- Family sharing settings will be merged. If either library was part of a Family Sharing plan, the merged library will retain that access.
However, some settings do not carry over when merging libraries:
- Playlists and library organization will remain separate unless manually merged.
- Liked songs, play counts, play history and other usage data will not transfer over.
- Account settings like region, billing details, username and password are unaffected.
Overall, merging will combine the core music libraries while preserving key playback and downloading preferences. But finer user data and account details remain distinct. Carefully review settings after merging libraries.
For more details, see this Apple support thread on merging playback settings: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/254896269
Troubleshooting Library Merge Issues
Occasionally there may be problems accessing shared content or syncing libraries after merging Apple Music accounts. Here are some potential fixes:
If you are unable to access playlists, albums or other content from the merged library, try turning Sync Library off and then on again on all devices connected to the account. This resets the library and often resolves sync problems according to this Apple discussions thread.
Playlists or albums that have gone missing after a library merge may be recoverable. You can try restoring from an iTunes or Apple Music backup by going to Account Settings > Restore Library. This should bring back any missing content according to tips on Apple discussions.
If you are still having trouble syncing libraries across devices like iPhone, iPad or Mac after a merge, check that all devices are updated to the latest OS version. Also ensure Sync Library is enabled in Music settings on each device. Refer to this thread for more sync troubleshooting steps.
As a last resort, you may need to sign out then back into Apple Music on all devices to refresh the library and subscriptions. Just be aware this could cause more missing content issues.
Alternatives to Merging Apple Music Libraries
While merging libraries can be convenient, there are other options for sharing music between Apple devices without fully combining libraries:
Using Family Sharing allows up to 6 family members to share purchases from the iTunes Store, App Store, and Apple Books without merging libraries. Family members can listen to each other’s music without downloading it to their own device.
Creating collaborative playlists is another way to share music. Multiple users can contribute to the same playlist while keeping their libraries separate.
Family members can also split the cost of an Apple Music family plan to share access to the full Apple Music catalog while maintaining separate libraries.
These alternatives allow some music sharing without fully combining Apple Music libraries.
Pros and Cons of Merging Apple Music Libraries
There are both advantages and potential drawbacks to merging Apple Music libraries that are worth considering before deciding if and how to combine your collections.
Pros of Merging
Some benefits of merging Apple Music libraries include:
- Having a single unified music collection across all your devices. This makes it easier to access all your music without having to switch between multiple libraries (https://discussions.apple.com/thread/251756686).
- Being able to share and collaborate on playlists with other family members using Family Sharing.
- Saving money by only needing a single Apple Music subscription to share across household members.
- Leveraging Apple’s large catalog of over 90 million songs so you can supplement your personal collection.
Cons of Merging
Some potential downsides of merging Apple Music libraries include:
- It can be complex to manage a large combined library with both owned and Apple Music streaming tracks.
- You may end up with multiple duplicate copies of songs.
- If you cancel Apple Music, you lose access to all the streamed tracks in your collection.
- You give up full control of your music collection and rely more on the cloud.
- Merged libraries count against your iCloud storage quota.
Key Takeaways on Apple Music Library Merging
Merging two Apple Music libraries combines all your music, playlists, settings, preferences, and other data into one unified library. This can be helpful if you have music across multiple devices or accounts that you want to consolidate.
The main use cases for merging libraries are when you have multiple devices linked to different Apple IDs, switched from an individual to family plan, or want to transfer everything to a new device. Merging brings everything together in one place.
Alternatives like manually re-adding music or using sync options may work for smaller libraries. But merging does the heavy lifting if you have years of playlists and listening history built up.
Overall the process is straightforward, though large libraries can take time. Check settings carry over smoothly and enable Sync Library on all devices. If issues come up, Apple forums can provide fixes.
Merging Apple Music takes some effort but unites everything in one place. Understanding the key steps and potential pitfalls allows for a smooth transition.