PDA

View Full Version : [Resolved] Home Sharing with iTunes - connections inconsistent




apockalipse
Mar 10, 2011, 01:27 PM
The Home Sharing feature in iTunes on my home network seems to be very hit or miss. This includes Home Sharing from computer to computer, iPhone Apple Remote App, Computer to ATV2, and computer to iPhone. Sometimes, it all works fine and sometimes nothing will connect and the libraries can not be found. One second everything is fine, then I will do something like go to use the Remote App and it will not find the library that it was just connected to a minute ago.

I'm wondering if this could all be related to DHCP assigned IP addresses. If I set up static IP addresses for everything will they have less trouble communicating and be more consistent in maintaining connections? Before I go thru all the trouble of setting up static IP's on everything, I was hoping someone with a bit more network knowledge than me might know if this would likely help.

The following devices are on my home network regularly:
Macbook Pro
ATV2
Roku
XBOX 360
2 iPhone 4
iPhone 3G
Airport Express
4 PC's that only get occasional use

Like I said, sometimes everything works fine, but then sometimes it will just suddenly stop connecting. Then sometimes it seems to just fix itself without me doing anything. Othertimes, I go thru steps like closing and reopening iTunes, logging off the network with the various devices involved and then logging back on, etc. and am able to get my connections back. I'm wondering if these issues are cause when any given device goes to "sleep" and disconnects from wifi and then rejoins the network with a different IP. Would this explain what is occurring?



fortunecookie
Mar 10, 2011, 01:32 PM
Try checking bonjour service. In my windows machine, I always have to restart bonjour to make everything work.

apockalipse
Mar 11, 2011, 10:29 AM
If anyone is interested, it looks like static IP's have done the trick. Last night I put a static IP on my MBP and the 3 iPhones, since these were the most frequently used device experiencing the connection problems with iTunes Home Sharing and Remote Apps.

I also forwarded the iTunes port on my router.

I didn't experience a single connection issue last night or today after doing this. The devices recognized each other immediately, everytime they were awoken up or powered on/off. Although it may just be my imagination, it seems that they are all connecting and finding each other faster than before as well. I was switching back and forth from different iPhones' remote apps without a hitch. This never happened before. Inevitably, one would end up losing its connection at some point.

I will be assigning static IP's to everything else on my home network over the weekend as well as forwarding a few additional ports like XBox Live and Netflix on my router. While these concepts may seem a bit too involved or complex to many people, it really isn't too tough. I know very little of networking, but was able to work through it all pretty easily with a little reading and research.

If you don't know anything about networking (or even if you know some basics) portforward.com (http://portforward.com) is a great resource for learning about setting up Static IP's and Port Forwarding. They sell some programs that will do a lot of the work for you, but I don't think that these are really needed because they also offer step by step instructions (with pictures) for configuring just about every router and program you can think of.

Hopefully this info will help someone else that is experiencing similar issues. Good luck!

djsound
Mar 11, 2011, 11:28 AM
mine just doesnt work sometimes too...how do you forward the port for itunes..

apockalipse
Mar 11, 2011, 11:41 AM
It's different on every router. Click on the link in my post above for the Port Forwarding website. Look up your router model there and then look for iTunes in the application list. It should provide detailed instructions if your router model supports port forwarding.

The port for iTunes is 3689 but it should say that in the instructions anyway.

Before you can forward any ports, you will have to set up the computer with iTunes with a Static IP. The website above has instructions for that as well. The Static IP's are set up directly on the device themselves through their networking preferences/settings.

djsound
Mar 11, 2011, 11:47 AM
hmmm...I thought my IP was always static. Shows what I know..

apockalipse
Mar 11, 2011, 12:00 PM
hmmm...I thought my IP was always static. Shows what I know..

There are 2 different "levels" of IP addresses at work when you set up a home network. You get an IP address for your network's external connection to the internet but then you also go an internal IP address assigned to your devices as they connect to your local network. I think the external IP to the internet might be static as that is how they can uniquely identify and track down people doing illegal activies online but for the purposes of home networking, setting up Static IPs, and port forwarding, this external IP doesn't really matter.

Unless you, or whoever set up your network, specifically set it up your devices (computers, phones, printers, etc.) with a static IP, they normally default to a Dynamic IP assigned by your router each time they join the network.

Again, I'm not an expert by any means, so I am probably butchering terminology and missing some details, but I think I have a decent handle on the overall gist of this now.

djsound
Mar 11, 2011, 12:19 PM
AH ok makes sense....

Configure IPv4: Manually
IP Address: 192.168.1.1 (or desired static IP address)
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Router: 192.168.1.254 (or whatever your router IP is)
DNS Servers: 192.168.1.254 (same as router IP)

?

I'll try this =)

If I make one computer static do I have to make all computers on my network static so they dont conflict?

apockalipse
Mar 11, 2011, 12:51 PM
I think you're on the right trail. I'm at work using a PC so I can't specifically recall the exact menu option on my Mac at the moment.

Once you're in the Network options under system preferences. I believe there was a tab for IP. There will also be a tab for DNS which you will need at some point as well.

Under the IP tab you should see a listing of several numbers like your IP address and Subnet Mask. These numbers are formatted like this 192.168.1.1

The numbers between each decimal can go from 1 - 255 so yours may be different. The static IP will pretty much be the same as the dynamic IP that was automatically assigned except that the last number will change. So if your dynamic IP is 192.168.1.8 you could set your static IP to 192.168.1.52
For me, IP address was the only number I had to change. The other numbers like Subnet Mask, I just made the same as they were with the dynamic IP.

There should be a dropdown on this page that probably says DHCP. This is the Dynamic IP selection. Switch it to manual and then you will have to fill in all the numbers yourself.

Once you add a manual IP address you will have to add your DNS servers under that tab. To find your DNS servers either call your internet provider or go into the Terminal and type this: cat /etc/resolv.conf

You should get 2 DNS addresses that are formatted just like IP addresses. Add these to the DNS tab by clicking the + sign at the bottom

Your best bet is probably to just google "setting a static IP on a mac"

apockalipse
Mar 11, 2011, 12:53 PM
AH ok makes sense....

Configure IPv4: Manually
IP Address: 192.168.1.1 (or desired static IP address)
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Router: 192.168.1.254 (or whatever your router IP is)
DNS Servers: 192.168.1.254 (same as router IP)

?

I'll try this =)

You're very close! The only thing you will have to do is enter the DNS servers on the DNS tab. See my last post for obtaining those from the terminal.

Good Luck!

apockalipse
Mar 11, 2011, 01:44 PM
If I make one computer static do I have to make all computers on my network static so they dont conflict?

You don't have to, but make sure when you pick the static IP's you use numbers that are on the higher side of the 0-255 range because I think your router will dynamically assign lower numbers to new network devices. I think your router documentation will list the range of numbers it uses for DHCP. All my devices had a dynamic IP address ending with anywhere from 2-15, so when I picked my static addresses, the first one I assigned was 101. Then I did one at 111 and so on. That way, you avoid the risk of having your router assign an address to a new device that you reserved for your computer. Worse that would happen is that you get an error message that the IP address is already in use.

djsound
Mar 11, 2011, 01:57 PM
Cool. Thanks again for the info. Maybe I can get itunes sharing nicely downstairs tonight before I pop open a beer. :D

apockalipse
Mar 11, 2011, 02:14 PM
No problem...but may I offer one last suggestion?

Pop the beer first!