PDA

View Full Version : Looking for a NAS solution that I can use iTunes and Apple TV with for HD movies.




StaticLNX
Jun 6, 2013, 02:28 AM
Looking for a NAS solution that I can use itunes and apple TV with for HD movies.
The NAS I like are made by QNAP however they are linux solutions that I read will only work with music... I have a HUGE itunes library that I would like to be able to acess from other PC's/apple TV's and have just the NAS do this... right now I would imagine it might work if I map/mount the NAS onto the computers but I'm also unsure if it would work with apple TV.
The goal is to have a media server that the other devices can use for its library so I don't need to download the entire 2 TB Music, pictures, 1080p movies and home movie library on every desktop, laptop and apple tv "I'm unsure how apple tv works because I dont have one yet"

I was looking for at apple TV as well so they could also watch youtube, netflix, etc but I know really nothing about apple tv.... I assume its like google TV but it can play licensed content?:cool:



Panch0
Jun 6, 2013, 07:44 AM
When a NAS has "iTunes Server" built in, it will appear in iTunes as a Shared Library. It is not really a server in the way that you (and everyone else) want it to be. AppleTV requires Home Sharing to stream your local content. Home Sharing requires a computer on the network (Mac or Windows) with iTunes running.

You can load your content onto a NAS, mount the NAS on your computer and the media files will be available to iTunes (many threads on this), but the NAS by itself will not be able to replace the need for a computer running iTunes.

Personally, I ran my iTunes library on a NAS for about a year before deciding it was to much of a nuisance and converting back to direct attached storage (FW800).

I have a Synology NAS, and really like it as a NAS - just not for iTunes. Many NAS vendors have their own iOS Apps that can play content directly from their devices. Some of these will allow you to AirPlay the content from iPhone/iPad/iPod to AppleTV. None of those would be able to play your iTunes purchased content though. On the other hand - almost all of the content I have purchased through iTunes is available to stream directly from the iTunes Store, without downloading locally first. Even for movies & shows that I have downloaded into my local library, I usually end up streaming them from the iTunes store on AppleTV, because that's the easiest part of the menu for me to get to. So, if your NAS provides a solution for your non iTunes stuff, you may not need to be able to get the iTunes stuff locally.

marzer
Jun 10, 2013, 10:48 AM
Looking for a NAS solution that I can use itunes and apple TV with for HD movies.
The NAS I like are made by QNAP however they are linux solutions that I read will only work with music... I have a HUGE itunes library that I would like to be able to acess from other PC's/apple TV's and have just the NAS do this... right now I would imagine it might work if I map/mount the NAS onto the computers but I'm also unsure if it would work with apple TV.
The goal is to have a media server that the other devices can use for its library so I don't need to download the entire 2 TB Music, pictures, 1080p movies and home movie library on every desktop, laptop and apple tv "I'm unsure how apple tv works because I dont have one yet"

I was looking for at apple TV as well so they could also watch youtube, netflix, etc but I know really nothing about apple tv.... I assume its like google TV but it can play licensed content?:cool:

If you have such a large iTunes library, the most convenient approach is to use iTunes as your server software. The server that comes in a NAS is only DLNA and will not perform Home Sharing or serve to Apple TVs.

I would recommend you select a computer in the house to be the primary iTunes server, to always be on and serving out to the other computers or Apple TVs. In my case I set up a headless Mac mini in my storage closet to perform this task.

Then decide how you want to house the data. If you go NAS as you indicated, you will still need your host computer on and running iTunes which is pointed to the NAS. That can be tricky though, esp. if you experience drops in the network share mapping. I did this for a while years ago but it became tedious to maintain and backup.

Connecting external drives directly to the host computer will be the most convenient (for maintenance) and fastest (esp. USB3 or TB) method of housing the library. And its easy to backup, in my case I bought identical external devices, primary and backup Thunderbolt drives. And with enough external storage you can even designate the host computer as a Time Machine host for the other computers in the house.

Now if you truly want to run your media library (not iTunes) from a NAS without a host computer, there are many solutions out there you can build. I'm not experienced with those, so maybe someone who is will chime in.

drsox
Jun 10, 2013, 01:15 PM
I have a Sonos system that looks at my NAS units to play the 400GB of Audio that I have collected. I use iTunes to manage the Audio but that's all. iTunes handles the input and tagging into Apple Lossless.

The NAS is on 18hours a day (my choice) and is accessed by 6 Sonos units simultaneously. I have 4 units linked together in one long room that are all in synch so I can walk up and down the room without missing a beat.

I also have 7TB of video in the NAS that is accessed by 3 Netgear NeoTV550 units that sit beneath the 3 TVs in the house. If I chose I can also play the video's audio track through the Sonos units.

Is any of this helpful ?

sofian
Jun 11, 2013, 01:44 AM
Well I personally would suggest to buy a network media player and a NAS if most of your media contents will be downloaded from the Internet. Because Apple TV only supports streaming multimedia contents via Home Sharing, that means, even if you stored all the contents on the NAS, you still need to leave your Mac/Windows (with iTunes installed) on while playing it, because so far only the iTunes application from Apple supports Home Sharing.

I have been using my QNAP NAS as the downloader and file server, and also got a Boxee Box as the media player to play my HD movies on the TV, and they really work well. Besides, most network media players now suport YouTube, Netfilx and some other online streaming services, you just need to check the tech spec and see if that's what you are looking for.

Sparky9292
Jun 11, 2013, 11:29 PM
Looking for a NAS solution that I can use itunes and apple TV with for HD movies.
The NAS I like are made by QNAP however they are linux solutions that I read will only work with music... I have a HUGE itunes library that I would like to be able to acess from other PC's/apple TV's and have just the NAS do this... right now I would imagine it might work if I map/mount the NAS onto the computers but I'm also unsure if it would work with apple TV.
The goal is to have a media server that the other devices can use for its library so I don't need to download the entire 2 TB Music, pictures, 1080p movies and home movie library on every desktop, laptop and apple tv "I'm unsure how apple tv works because I dont have one yet"

I was looking for at apple TV as well so they could also watch youtube, netflix, etc but I know really nothing about apple tv.... I assume its like google TV but it can play licensed content?:cool:

Good news about AppleTV:

Put all of your stuff on one computer in your house.
Add all of your content to iTunes
You can then stream to any AppleTV in your house.


The bad news about AppleTV

AppleTV will not directly communicate with a NAS share -- it only communicates with iTunes. You'd have to set the iTunes library to connect to the NAS share. That's not too hard to do but.....
AppleTV only understands mp4, m4v formats.
AppleTV does not understand AVI nor MKV formats
AppleTV doesn't doesn't understand video with mp3 audio.
AppleTV requires a decoder for AC3 audio
If you don't have a decoder, then you have to transcode all audio tracks to 2Ch AAC using Handbrake, MP4Tools etc


You see, Apple really just wants you to purchase every show and movie through the iTunes store. They don't want you using other formats like MKV or AVI. So if you have content like that, you'll have to transcode and tag them. Or buy a Roku, or a Boxee, or some other AppleTV clone.

satcomer
Jun 12, 2013, 10:03 AM
The import thing is make sure your network is truly using it's full bandwidth. Don't reply on your router's port for local network sped. Buy an external Gigabyte Switch (r_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1371049224&sr=8-2&keywords=d-link+gigabit+switch) (it doesn't have to be D-Link but get a good home switch) and use only CAT 6 cable (http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10232). This way you know your internal network is using the fastest Ethernet possible today, unless you want to go fiber cable everywhere.

Nightarchaon
Jun 12, 2013, 10:10 AM
i have a Drobo, connected to the back of a Time Capsule, and a 1st gen apple TV modded to decode h.264 (at the loss of its wifi card),

Apple TV plugs into TC by Ethernet, TC gives Apple TV access to internet, and the library on the Drobo.

Not an elegant solution, but one that works.. Going forward i think ill be purchasing a new puck Apple TV , but that will mean i will need to look at sharing my library out permanently via a Mac or PC running iTunes to share my library back to it, its a shame the Time Capsules don't act as iTunes library management devices...

Lance-AR
Jun 12, 2013, 02:51 PM
I use a Mac Mini as an iTunes home link server. It uses direct attached storage to house the iTunes media. I use MakeMKV to rip discs to MKV which I convert to M4V using Handbrake. Then I tag using iDentify and import into iTunes. Then I can watch the disc from an AppleTV. It's a full time job.

ahughes03
Jun 12, 2013, 06:48 PM
The goal is to have a media server that the other devices can use for its library so I don't need to download the entire 2 TB Music, pictures, 1080p movies and home movie library on every desktop, laptop and apple tv

If you have a router capable of hosting a hard drive (like an Airport Extreme), plug an external drive into the back, and map your iTunes library there (along with all the media). Have all of your computers use that mapped library, and viola, you have one library, accessible by all your computers, that will always be updated! One caveat, you can only have the library open on one computer at a time. I've got this set up at my house, and it allows me to rip my CDs to iTunes via my upstairs iMac, and then play the stuff using the Mac mini (Home Theater) downstairs.

You might also want to look into Plex. Put the server app on one computer, the client app on the other computers/devices, and you're good to go.

whiteatom
Jun 12, 2013, 07:58 PM
The dedicated media server approach is the right one. You don't need a mac though. I would suggest you move beyond your stock Apple TV and install Plex. It has a media server software that will run on any system (winblows, osx, linux) and a client player that runs on anything (googleTV, Roku, mac, PC), the player runs great on an Apple TV if you don't mind JBing it.

I'm running Plex Media Server on a unRaid media server, and then Plex on a mac mini in the living room (1080, 7.1), and on an Apple TV in the bedroom and the kids play room. Never been happier with a media system.

Plex will change your life.. I promise you.

http://plexapp.com

whiteatom

PS the plex media server indexes your content and gets all the posters, reviews, theme music etc just like iTunes.

ZeRoLiMiT
Feb 26, 2014, 11:36 PM
Plex is a nice system and you can setup your Apple TV so use plex! only problem is you have to pay for plex a month!

2010mini
Feb 27, 2014, 12:03 AM
Get a synology ds214play. You can load all your content on it and airplay direct to the Apple TV.

westrock2000
Feb 27, 2014, 12:54 AM
Get a synology ds214play. You can load all your content on it and airplay direct to the Apple TV.

But don't you loose the AppleTV's menu capabilities at that point? Or rather you have to use some other program for the browsing?

2010mini
Feb 27, 2014, 07:16 AM
But don't you loose the AppleTV's menu capabilities at that point? Or rather you have to use some other program for the browsing?

Yes. But until apple allows the ATV to connect directly to external drives/NAS, the options are limited.

jmerrilljr
Feb 27, 2014, 07:56 AM
Plex is a nice system and you can setup your Apple TV so use plex! only problem is you have to pay for plex a month!

Not true -- it's free. You need to pay for "PlexPass" features which are experimental alpha or beta versions.

ZeRoLiMiT
Feb 27, 2014, 08:59 AM
Your right! Plex Plass is required for ChromeCast to work! sorry! If you are building a HTC i would recomend XBMC that is a lot better and it supports NAS. It would be better if we could jailbreak the appletv 3 :)

rlu929s
Feb 27, 2014, 09:14 AM
I personally have a 2TB internal drive on my Win 7 64bit system dedicated for iTunes media. I have a 3TB External dedicated for backup of that media. Everything is connected via Ethernet now and is great.

I've got about 500 GB Free, so a little time before I have to change again. Will probably get a 3TB internal or 4TB if easily available.

ZeRoLiMiT
Feb 27, 2014, 09:24 AM
I have the same setup. Would be nice if itunes accepted nas drives that way we dont have to have a computer up and running all the time :)

rhett7660
Feb 27, 2014, 09:34 AM
The dedicated media server approach is the right one. You don't need a mac though. I would suggest you move beyond your stock Apple TV and install Plex. It has a media server software that will run on any system (winblows, osx, linux) and a client player that runs on anything (googleTV, Roku, mac, PC), the player runs great on an Apple TV if you don't mind JBing it.

I'm running Plex Media Server on a unRaid media server, and then Plex on a mac mini in the living room (1080, 7.1), and on an Apple TV in the bedroom and the kids play room. Never been happier with a media system.

Plex will change your life.. I promise you.

http://plexapp.com

whiteatom

PS the plex media server indexes your content and gets all the posters, reviews, theme music etc just like iTunes.

Not to change this into an unRaid conversation, but if you don't mind, did you purchase it already built or did you build it yourself? Can you tell me, either here or via pm your unRaid setup? I am really looking into this right now.

ZeRoLiMiT
Feb 27, 2014, 09:39 AM
Does plex work on AppleTV 3 without a jailbreak?

2010mini
Feb 27, 2014, 11:42 AM
Does plex work on AppleTV 3 without a jailbreak?

Yes.

melbri
Feb 27, 2014, 11:50 AM
I use a DNS-345 attached to the network. I directed itunes to keep all my media on the DNS. Works perfectly to my ATV3, wirelessly. I don't use the itunes server.

powaking
Feb 27, 2014, 12:13 PM
What about installing PlexConnect on the AppleTV and find a NAS that is able to run Plex server. That would cut out the computer portion of the equation.

oneMadRssn
Feb 27, 2014, 03:55 PM
Not to change this into an unRaid conversation, but if you don't mind, did you purchase it already built or did you build it yourself? Can you tell me, either here or via pm your unRaid setup? I am really looking into this right now.


I'm running Plex Media Server on a unRaid media server,


I too am interested to know what your setup is.

Otago Lad
Feb 27, 2014, 06:25 PM
If you're OK with using a windows OS then I suggest you use Windows Home Server 2011.

To explain - my system is a deicated WHS 2011 sytem with 42TB of storage and I run iTunes on the server itself. This means my destop PC/laptop do not always need to be on - don't listen to people who say you can't run iTunes directly on the server beacuse you can and it causes no issues whatsoever.

I built my own WHS 2011 server using an old HP PC that I lying around but there are plenty of two stop solutions (1- buy server and 2 - install WHS 2011) you can buy.

The advantages of using a WHS 2011 server are:

1. It's a server so you can turn everything else off and just have the server on.

2. It's a server so you can share all your media and files to multiple parties inside your LAN and externally when you're away from home.

3. It's a server :D so you can host all sorts of services on it such as a website/blog if that interests you.

4. By running iTunes directly on the server that instance of iTunes forms part of your "iTunes Homesharing" network.

5. You can also run Plex or XMBC concurrently with iTunes if you want - I also use Plex as I have a Roku 3 that I use for Amazon Prime and a couple of other things.

6. Tonnes of other reasons which I won't bore you with.

Best thing I ever did was move to the server option as trying to work out how to store all the DVD/Blu-ray rips I wanted to make and also a growing amount of music and photo's was doing my head in.

westrock2000
Feb 27, 2014, 08:40 PM
I have the same setup. Would be nice if itunes accepted nas drives that way we dont have to have a computer up and running all the time :)

You could have itunes run on a very low power computer such as an Intel NUC or Gigabyte Brix. Then have it feed data from the NAS. But a direct access would be nice. But doesn't mesh well with the way itunes is used.

priitv8
Feb 28, 2014, 12:28 AM
But a direct access would be nice. But doesn't mesh well with the way itunes is used.The only problem I see here is the Home Sharing authentication. Which means, Apple should open the spec to 3rd parties.

matrix07
Mar 4, 2014, 08:15 AM
And with enough external storage you can even designate the host computer as a Time Machine host for the other computers in the house.

May I ask how?

marzer
Mar 4, 2014, 08:47 AM
May I ask how?

I use OS X Server to establish the computer as a Time Machine host.

matrix07
Mar 4, 2014, 09:37 AM
I use OS X Server to establish the computer as a Time Machine host.

Oh, I don't have Server one. Thanks anyway.

JohnnyComeLatly
Mar 4, 2014, 12:39 PM
I can't agree with this because Cat5E is capable of running 10Gbit up to 350 feet. Also, you only mention cabling. If you're running Cat6, you need to upgrade your wall plate ports and any structured wiring to Cat6 plugs as well. I have been searching for a trade journal I read a couple years ago, but the gist of it was that co-mingling Cat6 within a Cat5E system created an electrical interference issue that actually slowed the performance below 5E levels. So, all 5E would be faster than a Cat 6 cable between two 5E ports.

I have streamed two HD movies, surfed internet, and started a Skype call via Wifi N, which is no where maxing a 1GB Ethernet router, and had no performance issues. Hence, putting an external switch within a router is huge overkill. Now, if you need to expand your home router, sure. But it's not a good reason to do it because you want to stream 1-2 HD movies within your house.

I will caveat this with: I'm talking about current, 3rd party routers. I was at a friends who used the DSL router from AT&T and their routers are HORRIBLE. A single low def video from a NAS to MacBook Pro stuttered excessively. This was the same NAS that streamed to two macs just fine with a $40 chinese knock off router (TP-Link?).

The import thing is make sure your network is truly using it's full bandwidth. Don't reply on your router's port for local network sped. Buy an external Gigabyte Switch (r_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1371049224&sr=8-2&keywords=d-link+gigabit+switch) (it doesn't have to be D-Link but get a good home switch) and use only CAT 6 cable (http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10232). This way you know your internal network is using the fastest Ethernet possible today, unless you want to go fiber cable everywhere.

satcomer
Mar 4, 2014, 04:05 PM
I can't agree with this because Cat5E is capable of running 10Gbit up to 350 feet. Also, you only mention cabling. If you're running Cat6, you need to upgrade your wall plate ports and any structured wiring to Cat6 plugs as well. I have been searching for a trade journal I read a couple years ago, but the gist of it was that co-mingling Cat6 within a Cat5E system created an electrical interference issue that actually slowed the performance below 5E levels. So, all 5E would be faster than a Cat 6 cable between two 5E ports.
r (TP-Link?).

CAT 5E was a stop gap from a while back! Plus hogwash, one Ethernet cable can't give off electric (unless is powered CAT6 cable)interference. The only thing that could affect Ethernet cable is electrical. That is why there us CAT 5 or 6 Shielded cable (that have a aluminum covering the inside small wires). The unshielded cable is called UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair).

Plus should one just future Proof there networks whenever possible since most Ethernet CAT 6 cable is really cheap (http://www.monoprice.com/Category?c_id=105&cp_id=10232) these days. Plus when 10G Ethernet come down the line only CAT6A and above will be able to get true speeds.

jammybastard
Mar 23, 2014, 07:25 PM
thanks to all who contributed to this thread.
I've got a similar issue.

Just moved my iTunes library to a Seagate 3TB GoFlex using the drive's USB2.0 port into my Airport Extreme USB slot.
Pointed iTunes to the GoFlex once I got it to show up on my network.
Now I can stream my m4v encoded video files to the AppleTV without
taking up space on my MBP boot drive.
Playing files is great. No issues.

But...

Is there anyway to improve the network performance of the GoFlex when transferring or updating file info?
Operations grind to a standstill when I transfer a file or even modify file information from my MBP to the iTunes library on the GoFlex.
iTunes Match updates routinely fail, I'm assuming due to the connection with Apple's servers timing out.

Is it because USB2.0 connection creates a bottleneck and doesn't handle traffic/multiple operations very well?
Is it an OSX/iTunes issue?
How do I fix this?

Any help is appreciated.

Panch0
Mar 24, 2014, 08:19 AM
thanks to all who contributed to this thread.
I've got a similar issue.

Just moved my iTunes library to a Seagate 3TB GoFlex using the drive's USB2.0 port into my Airport Extreme USB slot.
Pointed iTunes to the GoFlex once I got it to show up on my network.
Now I can stream my m4v encoded video files to the AppleTV without
taking up space on my MBP boot drive.
Playing files is great. No issues.

But...

Is there anyway to improve the network performance of the GoFlex when transferring or updating file info?
Operations grind to a standstill when I transfer a file or even modify file information from my MBP to the iTunes library on the GoFlex.
iTunes Match updates routinely fail, I'm assuming due to the connection with Apple's servers timing out.

Is it because USB2.0 connection creates a bottleneck and doesn't handle traffic/multiple operations very well?
Is it an OSX/iTunes issue?
How do I fix this?

Any help is appreciated.

Massive Writes are bad in this setup. I managed to overheat my Airport Extreme to the point where the USB port just gave up and decided the drive wasn't attached anymore. That was done by trying to rip DVDs from two Macs directly to the attached device. Just too much for the Airport to handle.

I would guess that your issues with iTunes Match may be due to having your Library file on the attached disc. A better setup is to leave the Library ( a sort of XML index of your content) on the local disc, but put the actual media files on the attached disc. This lets iTunes know the content of your library from the local, while playing media from the remote drive.

Any NAS solution (which is effectively what you have ) is a pain with iTunes. It can work, but Direct Attached Storage is just much easier to deal with.

jammybastard
Mar 24, 2014, 08:25 AM
Any NAS solution (which is effectively what you have ) is a pain with iTunes. It can work, but Direct Attached Storage is just much easier to deal with.

Thanks. I was afraid of that.