Trying to consolidate media and make a server

So I have a laptop with my entire music library on it, and a desktop with part of my music library on it.
My ipod is synced to my laptop, but what I've found lately is I'll hear a song on my desktop, either add it to a list to download to my laptop later, or download it and use one of many various inefficient means to get it to my laptop and onto my ipod.

So I'm just going to tell you my goals and see if there is a decent way to go about doing this:
1) Consolidate all my music/video/picture media from both computers into one place, with a folder for music, video, and pictures
2) create a way so that, when I download a song, it is reflected on the other computer

I've looked at VNC and FTP services but I can never get them running just right or figure out the combination of things to do to get it to do what I want. I consider myself pretty technically inclined (I am tech support for my whole family) but this just boggles my mind.

Please help! :)

ps sorry for the long post

Edit: I also searched high and low for solutions to this problem before posting

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