tips for managing a library on multiple computers

Does anybody use a single library on multiple computers? I am looking for tips on how to make that process smoother. It pretty much works if I keep all my music files on an external drive, and then drag them from there into crates in engine prime, but it gets weird when it comes to playlists (if I create them in the main library I have to export them to the external drive and then I have duplicate files, if I create them on the external drive I have to recreate them in the main library too in order to export them to another drive like the internal one in my prime 4)

It seems like maybe the engine prime software is designed to be used on a single computer with the music files on that computers local drive only?

I use one external USB3 drive (2TB Samsung) for my music library, and I have a windows 10 pc and a Macbook. Then I export the music for playing on a Sandisk Ultra drive USB Sticks (got 4 of them) Using that one drive over USB never caused any issues between my computers.

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Thanks! So do you use playlists? When you create them do you create them directly on the external drive or do you create them in the library first and then export them?

I create playlists on the main drive or internal drive where my collection is and then export it to my usb’s.

I have all mine on an external SSD, and manage everything through iTunes; all my crates are in there first, and I simply replicate the crates in Prime (it doesn’t recreate the file of its already on the disk). I can then move this library around from device to device.

External drive for my main collection as well. It’s a thunderbolt drive. 4TB SSD.

Create everything on that drive, crates and playlists, grids, hotcues etc

Then export to a smaller drive for curated sets.

If I need to have everything I just plug the 4TB into the 5000/6000.

Thanks! That’s what I was doing but I was seeing some weirdness when I tried to export playlists. Specifically, I was trying to export a playlist on my main (external) drive to the internal drive on my prime 4 (so basically exporting a playlist from an external drive to another external drive). Not only could I not export it directly, I couldn’t even import it on to the local drive and then export it from there. I had to recreate the playlist on my local drive manually and then export that.

It sounds like a lot of people do it this way though, so I’ll jut have to play with it a little more I guess.

Plugging the external drive into the prime 4 directly would work also, of course, but I put an internal drive in it so now I feel like I have to use it :slight_smile:

When you try to export from main collection drive to Prime4 drive what happens.

I have a SSD in the 6000 and I can export to it easily from my main collection (which is also an external drive)

Are you using the sync manager?

Thanks so much for all your help on this! I’ll answer backwards.

I am using sync manager. If I don’t everything DOES work (because I’m basically duplicating my external drive into the internal one in the player), but it overwrites any streaming song scan data that is on the internal drive.

So, in sync manager, on the left side it shows the main collection, and on the right side is the external drive. The playlist that’s on the external drive doesn’t show up in the main collection, and I obviously can’t have two external drives open on the right at the same time to sync between.

I’ll also add that I am creating the playlist ON the external drive. What I mean is, in engine prime there are also two panes, main collection on the left and external drives on the right. If I make the playlist on the left side it doesn’t show up when I plug the drive into a different computer (I believe if you create a playlist in that left “main collection” pane, even if all the songs are stored on an external drive, it still stores the metedata in the database on your computers main hard drive.) If you create a playlist in the right pane that lists your external drives, it will show up on other computers, but in that right pane (coming back around to my issue). I created the playlists on my desktop, and then tried to use my laptop to copy the playlists onto the players internal drive.

What situation do you have where there is more than one master collection or computers?

I’m not trying to make that sound like a hostile question. I’m genuinely curious

@waaden you’re trying to use Engine Prime in a way that it was not intended to be used.

What you should be doing (see EP manual) is creating playlists in EP first (internal drive), then transferring them to your external device.

Sync Manager is extremely basic. It is incapable of things you’d expect it to be capable of. Better to use drag & drop between internal and external drives.

You could also just use your computer’s file browser to copy the EP database from one place to another, once created/edited.

I tested it and was able to recreate the issue.

I have reported it as bug and linked this thread in the report.

Annotation 2020-08-24 121139

I may also have found a workaround using SYNC MANAGER

Looks like the Sync Manager workaround is one way only. The playlists appear on the right panel and cant be synced back to the Left main collection panel. When i swapped computers i saw this.

So if i was planning to now export to another drive i wont be able to use the playlist.

What issue did you recreate, and what do the pictures mean? I’m not following what’s happening.

@waaden like myself uses an external drive to store his/her/it’s/their music because …(list reasons)

When i create a engine prime collection playlist with it, and plug the external into a second computer, the playlists are not there.

If i do the same with crates, they are available to use with a different computer

Amazing! Yes this is exactly the issue I am having. Glad someone was able to recreate it and understand what I meant.