Daring FireballAll of our music is on one server, regardless of whether my wife bought it or a I bought it. Some predates our marriage, most does not. NBC doesn't like this. They want only one person to have rights to any media.
This just shows how moronic these NBC clowns are. You don’t have to be a nerd or obsessive to see how these restrictions suck — they’re obvious. No mixing means you and your spouse can’t both buy material for each other’s use.
DF doesn't mention, however, that while iTunes does not forbid mixing, neither does Apple encourage it. Many iTunes related features don't work if two people sync to one repository. Most people don't notice this when they use an iPod, but wait until both use an iPhone. They'll discover that they need to be in their own user account when they sync, and that means they won't have easy access to a shared music library any more. Apple is not so much virtuous as subtle. NBC is merely stupid. From my post of November 2005 ...
... How best to understand this? Think of the secret and forbidden lust of the media companies -- the (patent pending 2040) BrainLock™ (Palladium Inside!™). The BrainLock™ prevents any access to DRMd material by control of visual, auditory, tactile, and olfactory inputs. BrainLock Enhanced™ (mandatory upgrade 2045) makes it impossible to consider any action that would circumvent the workings of the BrainLock™ (thereby ending the trickle of death sentences related to violations of the DMCA amendment of 2043).
Really, the idea of "shared property" is a legacy of ancient law related to the fading practice of marriage. The media companies abhore this idea. Each person should own their own BrainLocked™ media (ok, just biometric locked until the advantages of BrainLock™ associated enhancements become irresistible). If you and your multiple spouses and myriad children want to listen to music, you each need your own music stream. Joint access is discouraged, though it will not be effectively blocked for some time.
The bottom line is that Apple's media partners really don't want multiple users accessing a single iTunes repository. They can't do anything about multiple iPods for now (after all, a single user might have an iPod and a Nano!), but they accept that grudgingly. They won't allow anything to encourage multiple iPods with multiple users, and that means this "design problem" isn't going to get fixed -- because it's working as designed.