iTunes 9.0: Home Sharing Explained

Like most other Apple Geeks™ I watched today's Apple Event via twitter, live blogs, and Leo Laporte's TWiT Live broadcast, eagerly awaiting news about Apple's new products. When Steve reached the point in his presentation where he introduced the new iTunes 9.0 release, I was very happy to see both Home Sharing and the iPhone application organizer. The new iPhone application organizer is a no-brainer, as shown in the presentation video. Home Sharing at first seemed equally as easy to understand, but seeing as I was at work and I sync my iPhone at home, I was unable to immediately try it out. I finished my workday and quickly rushed home to try out iTunes 9.0. After a short download, installation and iPhone update to 3.1 I began playing around with the features. New iPhone content syncing options: check. iPhone app organizer: check. Home Sharing: Che....err wait. Where did it go? My fiance and I asked each other this question within minutes of one another. We had encountered a problem.

The Home Sharing side-menu item, which initially displayed, instructed us to enter our Apple ID info, had then promptly disappeared. Sharing was not working for us the way we saw other people reporting that it was working for them on twitter, forums and other Apple blogs across the net. At first, I hypothesized that perhaps I had misunderstood the point of Home Sharing and that it was only intended to use as a way to share content across multiple computers who all use the same iTunes account. I was disappointed that my fiance and I could not both use this feature after all, and I abandoned the idea in favor of making dinner and then watching Congressman Joe Wilson (R) of South Carolina declare this evening, in front of Congress, the American Public and the World, that he was a douchebag. My fiance went off to bed while I began watching the presentation video of the Apple event from earlier today. When Apple turned over the demo to one of the other Apple employees who demoed Home Sharing, he made it very apparent that the library he was sharing with was his wife's. Something didn't seem right to me. They never mentioned using the same Apple ID, and while he wasn't clear, his language implied it was between two different Apple ID accounts.

I started searching. I turned to several blogs,,,,, and finally of all places, cNET where I came across this gem of an article. Deep down in the comments of this article, I ran into two back-to-back comments that cleared the entire problem up. 

This is how to get Home Sharing to work between two different Macs who both primarily are used by two different people with two different Apple ID accounts. Turn on Home Sharing on Mac #1. Input the Apple ID login/pass within the Home Sharing screen for Mac #2 (on Mac#1). Then go to Mac #2 and on the Home Sharing screen input the Apple ID login/pass for Mac #1. It seems so simple, right? If only Apple had been a little more clear on their website how to get this to work (or better yet, on the Home Sharing screen instructions).