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iansilv
Aug 8, 2013, 08:21 PM
That sits in your living room, plugged in, sipping power, waiting for someone to access the media with their Apple TVs scattered around the house? I mean, why is this not a product?

I know you can get any Apple computer, store your media there, and it will all stream from there, but that is a full computer- why can't apple do this with a low-power server appliance that simply "turns on" and is administered with an iOS app, downloads your subscriptions to itunes media in the background, and lets any iphone or ipad access and stream media from it, same with Apple Tv clients.

Call it the iCube or something, I don't know- I just find myself extremely frustrated that I have to buy a server to store all of my media and I still cannot get a seamless user experience.



ZeRoLiMiT
Aug 8, 2013, 09:18 PM
that would be amazing!

iansilv
Aug 8, 2013, 09:58 PM
that would be amazing!

And it would be innovative!

tdhurst
Aug 8, 2013, 11:35 PM
Apple TV with iTunes Match doesn't do that?

iansilv
Aug 8, 2013, 11:59 PM
Apple TV with iTunes Match doesn't do that?

I'm talking about local storage for a movie library. A server could store a huge collection.

Darby67
Aug 9, 2013, 05:42 AM
Plex does that exact thing for me

Julien
Aug 9, 2013, 05:45 AM
...I know you can get any Apple computer, store your media there, and it will all stream from there, but that is a full computer- why can't apple do this with a low-power server appliance that simply "turns on" and is administered with an iOS app, downloads your subscriptions to itunes media in the background, and lets any iphone or ipad access and stream media from it, same with Apple Tv clients...

....so you want to replace the truck?:D

http://photos.imageevent.com/williamjulien/eastbayshirt/large/ku-xlarge.jpg

Che Castro
Aug 9, 2013, 05:54 AM
How would you add movies to the hardrive in it ?

HobeSoundDarryl
Aug 9, 2013, 07:35 AM
You can already tell iTunes to store it's actual media anywhere (internally or externally). So you could have iTunes detect the presence of this concept as a new device in the home and offer to transfer the whole library to it. After that, it simply accesses media from it transparently.

We can do what the OP is asking for now for the most part. We can buy external or network storage and store our media on it. We can have iTunes look to that external storage for it's media.

What the OP is actually looking for though is- essentially- a "cut the cord" dependency on some computer running iTunes separately from this central store. Instead, this device would be the media hub (all computers could be turned off) and devices like :apple:TV could see it and access the media directly. There's many benefits to this idea and it's been dreamed about for a very long time. Why Apple won't develop it is a mystery. I agree in thinking it would sell well.

To get close to it now involves buying some big storage and a dedicated computer that can run iTunes. Store them wherever this dream device might be stored and let them be the central hub for all household media. :apple:TV's can connect to that. Computers and iDevices around the house can connect to that too. It's not as "pretty" as what an Apple device would likely be but it would cover most of this base.

Relative to just :apple:TV itself, the first generation had some local storage. With a hack, external storage up to at least 2TB could be attached so that large collections of media could be stored on board. For the :apple:TV experience (all computers off), this was close to the target desired here. Each :apple:TV since has included a USB port which could have at least offered the OPTION of individuals attaching local storage of whatever size they desire and storing on-demand media there for their :apple:TV but Apple doesn't seem to want to include that option. While not as good as what is being dreamed up in this (and many prior) threads, that 1st gen utility lost in subsequent generations was very nice for :apple:TV users.

PDFierro
Aug 9, 2013, 08:37 AM
I'm talking about local storage for a movie library. A server could store a huge collection.

So you're not even talking about streaming? You just want a couple terabytes of storage?

Lord Hamsa
Aug 9, 2013, 09:03 AM
What this really boils down to is: why doesn't Apple include an iTunes client in ATV?

Because an iTunes client, pointing to a library stored on an external drive or NAS, running on an ATV would do pretty much exactly what the OP suggests.

whooleytoo
Aug 9, 2013, 09:23 AM
I think Apple has decided to go the route of having your media in the cloud, not in local storage. That way, you can have it 'on the go', plus they can charge you for it.

scaredpoet
Aug 9, 2013, 09:50 AM
What this really boils down to is: why doesn't Apple include an iTunes client in ATV?


Early versions of Apple TV did this, just with a smaller hard drive. At the time though, it just didn't sell, so Apple went the cloud route instead (or right before that, the pull-media-from-nearby-Macs approach).

As far as it having to be iOS based: the OP is really splitting hairs here. Once you start adding an expressed file system, and file storage/sharing features, the platform starts to look a lot like OS X again.

priitv8
Aug 9, 2013, 12:57 PM
That should simply be a configurable feature of any TimeCapsule.

arbogast777
Aug 9, 2013, 01:05 PM
Having media stored locally is the biggest issue I have with Apple at the moment.

I would love to be able to have any media purchased available on something like you describe, so that I can 1) have a backup file in case a movie is removed from iCloud, and 2) so I can stream without an Internet connection.

Granted you can do it with a full blown computer, but this is supposed to be the post PC era, so we need the ability to make backups with one. Currently all I need is an iPad, but I have a MacBook Air I am unable to sell because I need it to make iTunes backups. I should need a $1200 computer for just that. I mean the first thing your told to do when purchasing a movie is to back it up, but it's impossible with an iPad.

The irony of course is an Apple TV with local storage is exactly how they started out!

HobeSoundDarryl
Aug 9, 2013, 02:18 PM
I think Apple has decided to go the route of having your media in the cloud, not in local storage. That way, you can have it 'on the go', plus they can charge you for it.

PLUS, the "cloud" stream also makes the partners like AT&T, Verizon, etc happy, which is VERY IMPORTANT to Apple since so much of their revenue is paid by those few partners in the subsidies.

I see very little consumer benefit to the "cloud." The concept of it is good and the spin can sound fantastic but then you have the tollmasters that have their hands out between us and our data (if stored in the cloud). When the caretaking of our personal data is handed off to others, there are plenty or risks and plenty of opportunity for middlemen to seek revenues.

Apple could easily offer both. Normalize that USB port on :apple:TV and allow those us that want local storage to attach whatever we want. Do it in the software and allow a time capsule or any NAS to be the central store of our media. Etc. I miss that feature from generation 1 :apple:TV.

However, what the OP is wanting is bigger than just that feature. He's wanting the much wanted iTunes media central NAS, where all devices in the home could have ready access to all of the media in the home. Space eating duplicates of libraries on multiple machines could be reclaimed. Devices like :apple:TV could access all of the media whether any computer is turned on. Etc. In short, he's wanting a personal, home edition of iCloud- one with all of the spun benefits without any room for AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, etc to inject themselves between him and his media... a "just works" NAS from Apple without any complication of hooking it up and/or getting iTunes synched up with it. I agree in thinking that such a device would sell well.

Cinephi1e
Aug 10, 2013, 10:23 AM
Different people have different needs. I for one did not find the Apple TV1 approach convenient. I quickly used up the onboard storage and I realized that installing a larger hard drive would still not be enough. I purchased a Mac Mini and made it the dedicated media server and that was and continues to be the perfect solution for me. I guess Apple could make an iOS version of the Mac Mini, but I prefer the approach of a simple Apple TV which can be attached to each TV and a single media server that serves all other devices.

d21mike
Aug 10, 2013, 03:41 PM
I also want my local movies and music to be under the proper heading instead under the computer like it was with Atv 1. You would think apple would like this as well. Currently you have to download your movies multiple times per device without a local server. The time capsule should act like cache for all of your downloads. If not there they download else serve from there. You also can get them from the internet like back to my Mac.

boomhower
Aug 10, 2013, 06:49 PM
I'd buy one in an instant. I've wanted this exact product for a while. Since they refuse to make one the AppleTV is not even my main media player, my WD media box is because it will stream from a NAS. I don't want my media in the cloud. I want it in my house on my machine. They could have $100 in parts and sell it for $500. It'd be an easy money maker.

brentsg
Aug 10, 2013, 07:15 PM
The market for this would be miniscule.

brand
Aug 11, 2013, 12:42 AM
And it would be innovative!

I'm thinking you don't know what innovative means. There is nothing innovative about an iOS based content server.

NMF
Aug 11, 2013, 01:04 AM
http://www.apple.com/mac-mini/

MikeVarney
Aug 11, 2013, 06:01 AM
http://www.apple.com/mac-mini/

Exactly what I was thinking. The Mac Mini has all those features (storage, sips power, etc).

macs4nw
Aug 11, 2013, 06:12 AM
That sits in your living room, plugged in, sipping power, waiting for someone to access the media with their Apple TVs scattered around the house? I mean, why is this not a product?

I know you can get any Apple computer, store your media there, and it will all stream from there, but that is a full computer- why can't apple do this with a low-power server appliance that simply "turns on" and is administered with an iOS app, downloads your subscriptions to itunes media in the background, and lets any iphone or ipad access and stream media from it, same with Apple Tv clients.

Call it the iCube or something, I don't know- I just find myself extremely frustrated that I have to buy a server to store all of my media and I still cannot get a seamless user experience.

I like that idea; simplified NAS for the masses, it just works! Where do I order?

arbogast777
Aug 11, 2013, 08:31 AM
How do you use Mac Mini for this purpose though?

(Keeping in mind I'm a computer novice so please don't throw things)

You would have to have it hooked up to a monitor, right? It's not like it could just be hiding behind a TV like a router because at some point you're going to need to see iTunes

I'm assuming you would also have to keep it hooked up to an external HD, as its internal one would fill up pretty fast.

Also, from a usability stand point - if the Apple TV would require iTunes to be on somewhere to access files, do you have to get up and flip a switch on the thing or does it just remain on?

ftaok
Aug 11, 2013, 08:43 AM
For me ... this would be a good first step. However, I really want more than this, and in the end, I might end up with an OS X Server.

Here's what I'm looking for.

1. iTunes server. Right now, I'm using a an old Dell WinXP laptop running iTunes 11. I have a external eSATA HDD hooked up to it and it houses all of my movies and Digital Copies.

2. iPhoto server. We currently have a few Macs in the house and none of the iPhoto libraries are exactly the same. I manually download the photo from my SLR to both Macs, but we each download our iPhones to our individual Macs. A central server that houses every photo from every attached iPhoto library would be great. Put in an archive feature in iPhoto so that older events could be removed from the Macs and retrieved from the server as needed.

3. iMovie server. This one would be a nice to have if it's feasible. Same idea as the iPhoto server, with the exception that current projects would be on the local Mac and older projects would be archived on the server.

4. Mac/iOS app server. This is a minor want. It would be nice to download an app once, and distribute to all iOS devices in the house.

5. Time Machine backups. This is probably the easiest feature. In fact, isn't this built-in already in OS X Server?

ft

Cinephi1e
Aug 11, 2013, 10:35 AM
How do you use Mac Mini for this purpose though?

(Keeping in mind I'm a computer novice so please don't throw things)

You would have to have it hooked up to a monitor, right? It's not like it could just be hiding behind a TV like a router because at some point you're going to need to see iTunes

I'm assuming you would also have to keep it hooked up to an external HD, as its internal one would fill up pretty fast.

Also, from a usability stand point - if the Apple TV would require iTunes to be on somewhere to access files, do you have to get up and flip a switch on the thing or does it just remain on?

The Mac Mini is very small and is easy to hide behind a TV. Mine sits right next to one of my Apple TV's. You do not need a monitor as it can be controlled using screen sharing from your Macbook Air. I have also attached it to my TV so I can use the TV as the monitor if needed.

Yes, you need to attach external drive(s) to it. It is designed for this and comes with multiple USB ports and Firewire/Thunderbolt. I have a very large Firewire RAID array attached to mine and also some hard drives with USB.

Yes, the primary purpose of the Mac Mini is to act as a server for media and so iTunes is always on. It has laptop components so it sips power when idle, but you can also set it to sleep when idle. It will be woken up when prompted by the Apple TV.

carr1on
Aug 11, 2013, 01:09 PM
The Mac Mini is very small and is easy to hide behind a TV. Mine sits right next to one of my Apple TV's. You do not need a monitor as it can be controlled using screen sharing from your Macbook Air. I have also attached it to my TV so I can use the TV as the monitor if needed.

Yes, you need to attach external drive(s) to it. It is designed for this and comes with multiple USB ports and Firewire/Thunderbolt. I have a very large Firewire RAID array attached to mine and also some hard drives with USB.

Yes, the primary purpose of the Mac Mini is to act as a server for media and so iTunes is always on. It has laptop components so it sips power when idle, but you can also set it to sleep when idle. It will be woken up when prompted by the Apple TV.

I was seriously considering going this way too. However, I'm holding out for IOS7 and it's ability to use ATV as a real monitor, not just for AirPlay compatible application.
In this scenario, when I carry my MacBook Air into the living room, I can attach to the ATV (and connected big-screen TV) and then play my local movies in whatever format I choose (ie. MKV, AVI).

boomhower
Aug 11, 2013, 03:16 PM
http://www.apple.com/mac-mini/

Exactly what I was thinking. The Mac Mini has all those features (storage, sips power, etc).

It's $600 and not designed for the purpose. This doesn't need a powerful CPU and graphics. While the mini is very power conservative it uses more than a NAS would.

What this needs is a NAS designed case that will accept ~4 HD's. A couple thunderbolt ports to add more. No monitor should be needed. All configuration is done via an app or via a browser on your network.

Essentially Windows Home Server done right by Apple. WHS actually did pretty darn well until Microsoft nerfed the best features of it with the rebuild.

I really believe there is a decent sized market for this. The key is making it at the right price and marketing well. One thing that Apple does better than anyone else is making the whole ecosystem work together.

Regardless I don't think it'll happen as Apple would rather you just buy eveything from iTunes.

linds15
Aug 11, 2013, 03:17 PM
Mac mini approach is the best as it stands, in my humble opinion. I use mine as my home desktop, and always leave it on, but if I didn't I would still by one, stick it behind my tv with an external hard drive, and let it stream to all the TVs in the house with their ATVs connected. At ~500 the base model is adequate enough to handle the task. Worst case if I need to control it I use my ipad with a desktop viewer or absolute worst case it's hooked up to the TV for troubleshooting.

Otago Lad
Aug 11, 2013, 06:13 PM
Essentially Windows Home Server done right by Apple. WHS actually did pretty darn well until Microsoft nerfed the best features of it with the rebuild.

I'm using Windows HomeServer 2011 and running Stablebit Drive Pool on it to handle duplication and I think its fantastic. You can even run iTunes directly on it (some people say you can't but you can :)) meaning you don't have to keep any laptops or PC's on to still be able to access it.

I currently have 3 aTV's which all access directly from the server and so do my iPad's and iPhones together with a Boxee Box, PS3 a desktop PC and a laptop. Have had no issues and all the info we have as a family is accessible across the network.

The only downside is power usage, however given that I currently have space for 40TB of data and have used approx 30TB there was always going to be a small downside somewhere but I can live with that.

theusualsuspect
Aug 11, 2013, 06:39 PM
That's why I went the Plex /HTPC route - it does what Apple TV can't right now.

I built a cheap HTPC style hackintosh ($300) with room for a few TB's of storage, plugged into my TV.

Itunes server, iphoto server, Time Machine Backups, VPN, all my ios devices sync to it.

On the front end, Plex makes all my local files look pretty (and plays everything), and the ios app streams them to my iPad when I'm out of the home.

It's always on, it just works, and it was a fairly minimal investment.

NMF
Aug 11, 2013, 07:35 PM
What this needs is a NAS designed case that will accept ~4 HD's.

NAS boxes aren't as reliable though. I have consolidated Time Machine back-ups for every Mac in my home, fast and easy iTunes streaming to every device in the house, backups and syncing for every iOS device, master family Aperture library, VPN, etc. I have it stashed in the closet with one of these (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003X26VV4/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Currently have 6 TB of storage at my disposal with an additional 2 HDD bays available. Obviously I have the USB for 3 more boxes. Potentially 48 TB if I stick with 3 TB HDD's, and that's without bringing Thunderbolt into the equation at all. Everything sleeps when not being used and wakes on demand since I'm using an AirPort network. Minuscule power bill footprint. Can't beat that.

With NAS boxes you'll end up paying about the same for far less reliability. Your Time Machine backups might work... for a while. Nothing will ever be as convenient and easy and a Mac mini running OS X Server. Especially if you have multiple Macs and iOS devices in your home. It's just amazing. My friends are always in awe of how well all my stuff works with the server, they think I'm some kind of IT genius. Heh. I know absolutely nothing about networking.

Thanks Mac mini! :D

d21mike
Aug 11, 2013, 08:43 PM
I agree with NWF about using the Mac Mini. I use three of them at my office running VMWARE so I can consolidate a bunch of servers. Half of which are windows servers.

However, I only use MAC OSX 10.8 Destop Edition. I have no need for the Server Version. I assume you don't either. Just more things to deal with if not needed.

boomhower
Aug 11, 2013, 11:11 PM
I'm using Windows HomeServer 2011 and running Stablebit Drive Pool on it to handle duplication and I think its fantastic. You can even run iTunes directly on it (some people say you can't but you can :)) meaning you don't have to keep any laptops or PC's on to still be able to access it.

I currently have 3 aTV's which all access directly from the server and so do my iPad's and iPhones together with a Boxee Box, PS3 a desktop PC and a laptop. Have had no issues and all the info we have as a family is accessible across the network.

The only downside is power usage, however given that I currently have space for 40TB of data and have used approx 30TB there was always going to be a small downside somewhere but I can live with that.

Drive pool is what they nerfed out of it. I had a couple of WHS boxes and drivepool was absolutely genius. It's the perfect form of RAID. You have redundancy without the need to match hard drives. I had one with 500GB, 1TB, 1.5TB, and 2TB drives. When one failed I replaced with a newer larger drive. It worked great. To this day I have yet to find something that worked as well.

NAS boxes aren't as reliable though. I have consolidated Time Machine back-ups for every Mac in my home, fast and easy iTunes streaming to every device in the house, backups and syncing for every iOS device, master family Aperture library, VPN, etc. I have it stashed in the closet with one of these (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003X26VV4/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Currently have 6 TB of storage at my disposal with an additional 2 HDD bays available. Obviously I have the USB for 3 more boxes. Potentially 48 TB if I stick with 3 TB HDD's, and that's without bringing Thunderbolt into the equation at all. Everything sleeps when not being used and wakes on demand since I'm using an AirPort network. Minuscule power bill footprint. Can't beat that.

With NAS boxes you'll end up paying about the same for far less reliability. Your Time Machine backups might work... for a while. Nothing will ever be as convenient and easy and a Mac mini running OS X Server. Especially if you have multiple Macs and iOS devices in your home. It's just amazing. My friends are always in awe of how well all my stuff works with the server, they think I'm some kind of IT genius. Heh. I know absolutely nothing about networking.

Thanks Mac mini! :D

What is running that enclosure?

NAS boxes can be reliable, it just depends on what you buy. Spend the money and high end RAID with darn near fool proof redundancy is possible. It just matters how much you want to spend. It can take several drives and cost you a lot of that drive space for the redundancy.

Implement something like MS's drivepool method and it can be done cheaply with spare drives or what you can find on sale. But again, this isn't Apple thinking. Budget they are not. They are about max profit, not necessarily what's in the best interest of consumers. Making a device where you can buy a season of a show for $10 on sale and load it simply compared to buying it on iTunes for 2-3x the price isn't their style. Not hating, I'm in whole hog from beginning to end as you can see in my sig. I just desperately want this device as I don't believe in the cloud for media as you can get the media for much cheaper (legitimately) outside of iTunes.

Otago Lad
Aug 12, 2013, 12:30 AM
Drive pool is what they nerfed out of it. I had a couple of WHS boxes and drivepool was absolutely genius. It's the perfect form of RAID. You have redundancy without the need to match hard drives. I had one with 500GB, 1TB, 1.5TB, and 2TB drives. When one failed I replaced with a newer larger drive. It worked great. To this day I have yet to find something that worked as well.

That's why Stablebit's Drive Pool is so good - they've taken all the good stuff from WHSv1 duplication and made it even better, and it can be used with WHS 2011, Server 2012 and Windows 8.

haze
Aug 12, 2013, 12:31 AM
I'd buy a simple elegant Apple media server solution. I was using a HP MediaSmart server with WHS for this as it was the simplest solution. It died and they discontinued the product. Now the only option seems to be to build my own. So, I will have to build a computer and install Ubuntu with Amahi. Such a pain!!! I haven't built a computer since my Windows days in college. I wish Apple would just make something easy.

Michael CM1
Aug 12, 2013, 01:31 AM
Making an assumption that you bought EVERYTHING in your iTunes library from iTunes or you use iTunes Match for music and bought your video from iTunes, Apple TV does exactly that in the cloud. I'm guessing you're like and have a bunch of iTunes stuff and a bunch of ripped stuff, so you'll probably just have to stick with using a computer. But if you buy stuff from iTunes, you can access it on Apple TV from anywhere.

Che Castro
Aug 12, 2013, 02:27 AM
Making an assumption that you bought EVERYTHING in your iTunes library from iTunes or you use iTunes Match for music and bought your video from iTunes, Apple TV does exactly that in the cloud. I'm guessing you're like and have a bunch of iTunes stuff and a bunch of ripped stuff, so you'll probably just have to stick with using a computer. But if you buy stuff from iTunes, you can access it on Apple TV from anywhere.

Maybe apple should have something like iTunes music match but with movies

wzz
Aug 12, 2013, 08:02 AM
In the past few posts, it was "implied" that mini consumes more than an NAS.
I'm just wondering, where is the basis of that statement?

One could just literally put the mini into sleep and be able to use it as a (iTunes/etc) server.

mini 2012:
sleep: ~1W
idle: ~11W
max: ~85W

NAS? [unfamiliar with NAS - but a simple google search gives me something like 35W]
idle: ? [10/20/70]

+ additional wattage due to extra components added to the system

cxc273
Aug 12, 2013, 11:14 AM
I'd love to see something from Apple on this front, but I think Apple sees such a device as a niche product.

Most people don't have big TV and movie libraries that necessitate a standalone server-type device with attached local storage. Unlike CDs, ripping DVDs and Blu-rays are a bit more involved.

The people who tend to do this often use a Mac Mini or some other machine to be the media server. Although Apple doesn't offer a works-out-of-the-box solution, it does give people the opportunity to create a method that's customized to their needs.

The trend appears to be moving toward streaming, whether it's through a service like Netflix or Hulu or through Apple's iTunes.

Personally, I prefer having a Mac Mini as my media server and having my TV shows and movies locally, but that's just me.

Michael CM1
Aug 13, 2013, 01:06 AM
Maybe apple should have something like iTunes music match but with movies

It'll never happen. With music, ripping was built in to iTunes. With DVDs and BDs, you had to jump through hoops with third-party software. Therefore to the studios it doesn't exist and is like armageddon.

I wish that would happen, but it won't.

BeachChair
Aug 14, 2013, 10:52 AM
The market for this would be miniscule.

How big is the market for the Mac Mini or the Time Capsule?

It doesn't matter that the market for this device isn't in the billions like iPhones. What matters is that it will make the Mac OS X devices and iOS devices much stronger.

tdhurst
Aug 14, 2013, 10:54 AM
1) I think, because of licensing, Apple is looking to move most everything to the cloud. Media providers don't want us downloading stuff because they can't track and serve us ads.

2) An older Mac Mini, paired with an AppleTV, works perfectly for this.

brentsg
Aug 14, 2013, 02:29 PM
How big is the market for the Mac Mini or the Time Capsule?

It doesn't matter that the market for this device isn't in the billions like iPhones. What matters is that it will make the Mac OS X devices and iOS devices much stronger.

The point is that this concept adds nothing new. I know plenty of people with Mini's but nobody that would buy this.

Apple is focused on the cloud, not helping us find new ways to horde digital media.

kiranmk2
Aug 14, 2013, 04:28 PM
Agreed - Apple isn't going to provide what we want. I wrote about this before - an iTunes / iPhoto server that is headless (configured via app on iOS or OS X) that swallows up all your media, streams to iTunes and iOS devices and syncs your iOS devices. As has been pointed out Apple would much rather you buy your content from them and store them in the cloud. In their eyes the days of user-stored media are numbered so why bring out a device geared towards that now?

As an aside I guess a way to set up a makeshift iTunes server is to combine a NAS with a low power computer. People have mentioned old Mac Mini's which would be ideal if if weren't for the costs involved, but an alternative might be an old Atom-powered netbook or nettop. It should be possible to set up the system so it is woken by network requests. Ripped or downloaded media is copied into a folder that is 'watched' by the netbook which then adds the media to iTunes and syncs (if needed) to the various iOS devices as they enter wifi range. The computer can also be controlled via remote desktop if needed. Not as ideal as an Apple-built server but might do the job.

talmy
Aug 14, 2013, 04:49 PM
For 3 1/2 years I've been running a Mac mini server. It has 8TB of drives and consumes 41 watts at idle. It runs 24/7.

Looking just at entertainment server functions (it does much more than that here):

1. It runs Plex Media Server which handles all video (homemade, ripped from DVDs, or recorded off of TV, no Apple media). It also serves images and music directly from iPhoto and iTunes databases stored on the server.

2. I used to run iTunes to serve converted media to our ATV, but now I run a script that allows the ATV to access the Plex Media Server.

By using Plex instead of iTunes I also get around the five computer "home sharing" limitation imposed by iTunes even for media that isn't DRMed.

If I had to start over, I'd do exactly the same thing!

Cinephi1e
Aug 14, 2013, 08:50 PM
I will say this again, Apple already makes such a server and it is called a Mac Mini. I don't understand why Apple should make another server when they have the Mini. It will do everything that people are asking and more.

d21mike
Aug 14, 2013, 08:53 PM
I will say this again, Apple already makes such a server and it is called a Mac Mini. I don't understand why Apple should make another server when they have the Mini. It will do everything that people are asking and more.I would like to see an ATV UI on the Mac Mini. Like the old Front Row but using the ATV UI. That would be a good starting point.

kage207
Aug 14, 2013, 09:30 PM
I just built myself a Ubuntu server and use Plex. Airplay to any aTV in my apartment. The cool thing is I can stream my media anywhere. If I wanted, I could also use it for my Photos but I don't really take many pictures.

It does have 18TB in it. :D
Only 6TB filled. :D:D

iansilv
Aug 15, 2013, 06:59 PM
This:


You can already tell iTunes to store it's actual media anywhere (internally or externally). So you could have iTunes detect the presence of this concept as a new device in the home and offer to transfer the whole library to it. After that, it simply accesses media from it transparently.

We can do what the OP is asking for now for the most part. We can buy external or network storage and store our media on it. We can have iTunes look to that external storage for it's media.

What the OP is actually looking for though is- essentially- a "cut the cord" dependency on some computer running iTunes separately from this central store. Instead, this device would be the media hub (all computers could be turned off) and devices like :apple:TV could see it and access the media directly. There's many benefits to this idea and it's been dreamed about for a very long time. Why Apple won't develop it is a mystery. I agree in thinking it would sell well.

To get close to it now involves buying some big storage and a dedicated computer that can run iTunes. Store them wherever this dream device might be stored and let them be the central hub for all household media. :apple:TV's can connect to that. Computers and iDevices around the house can connect to that too. It's not as "pretty" as what an Apple device would likely be but it would cover most of this base.

Relative to just :apple:TV itself, the first generation had some local storage. With a hack, external storage up to at least 2TB could be attached so that large collections of media could be stored on board. For the :apple:TV experience (all computers off), this was close to the target desired here. Each :apple:TV since has included a USB port which could have at least offered the OPTION of individuals attaching local storage of whatever size they desire and storing on-demand media there for their :apple:TV but Apple doesn't seem to want to include that option. While not as good as what is being dreamed up in this (and many prior) threads, that 1st gen utility lost in subsequent generations was very nice for :apple:TV users.

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This too:

That should simply be a configurable feature of any TimeCapsule.

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This guys is also on to something:

It's $600 and not designed for the purpose. This doesn't need a powerful CPU and graphics. While the mini is very power conservative it uses more than a NAS would.

What this needs is a NAS designed case that will accept ~4 HD's. A couple thunderbolt ports to add more. No monitor should be needed. All configuration is done via an app or via a browser on your network.

Essentially Windows Home Server done right by Apple. WHS actually did pretty darn well until Microsoft nerfed the best features of it with the rebuild.

I really believe there is a decent sized market for this. The key is making it at the right price and marketing well. One thing that Apple does better than anyone else is making the whole ecosystem work together.

Regardless I don't think it'll happen as Apple would rather you just buy eveything from iTunes.

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And what I want Apple to do is the iTunes equivalent of this:

http://www.kaleidescape.com

The whole "stream from the cloud" concept is not practical for serious media consumption for the obvious reasons of stream stuttering or connection problems.

carr1on
Aug 15, 2013, 08:20 PM
I really think that IOS 7 is going to meet the requirements of a lot of people. Simply carry your MacBook Air into the room with an ATV-attached TV, and attach the TV as a second monitor. Once you've done that, you can use your favorite movie player to watch any movie you want.

I know that some players are AirPlay enabled today, which is cool. But once IOS 7 comes out, all apps will be able to be displayed on your TV.

iansilv
Aug 15, 2013, 10:37 PM
I really think that IOS 7 is going to meet the requirements of a lot of people. Simply carry your MacBook Air into the room with an ATV-attached TV, and attach the TV as a second monitor. Once you've done that, you can use your favorite movie player to watch any movie you want.

I know that some players are AirPlay enabled today, which is cool. But once IOS 7 comes out, all apps will be able to be displayed on your TV.

I agree- i just want to eliminate the carry your air part.

d21mike
Aug 16, 2013, 08:33 AM
Why is this about IOS 7. Are we talking about MAC OS 10.9 Maverick for the ATV second screen?

talmy
Aug 16, 2013, 09:08 AM
Why is this about IOS 7. Are we talking about MAC OS 10.9 Maverick for the ATV second screen?

It took me a while to figure it out. What he is saying is that an iOS 7 device will be able to AirPlay to an ATV and that would meet some/most of the demand for an iOS based server as posed by the OP. The post has nothing to do with Mavericks. You've been the only person to mention "Mavericks" in this thread.

d21mike
Aug 16, 2013, 09:17 AM
It took me a while to figure it out. What he is saying is that an iOS 7 device will be able to AirPlay to an ATV and that would meet some/most of the demand for an iOS based server as posed by the OP. The post has nothing to do with Mavericks. You've been the only person to mention "Mavericks" in this thread.
My reply could have been more directed. I understand exactly what the op is asking for. See my other post. But with the comments about iOS 7 I decided to chime in. To add to that you do not need iOS 7 to airplay from your iPhone to ATV. iOS 6 can do that. So was thinking he was talking about the new feature in the new OS which allows the ATV to be a second screen to your desktop. Differnet then current AirPlay.

talmy
Aug 16, 2013, 09:50 AM
So was thinking he was talking about the new feature in the new OS which allows the ATV to be a second screen to your desktop. Differnet then current AirPlay.

AH yes! I forgot about that one.