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whsbuss
Sep 3, 2013, 06:55 AM
I need some guidance on how to best setup iTunes with the library on a NAS. I have a Win7 desktop in my home office connected ethernet that I want to use just for iTunes home sharing to my Apple TVs.

I've ripped my entire DVD/Bluray library and converted them all w/Handbrake and added all the metadata/art work. They are under a shared folder on the NAS called "Videos".

I understand the advanced settings in iTunes for "Keep iTunes folder organized" and "Copy files to iTunes Media Library" but what I want is to keep the NAS folder layout in tact.

For example, under the "Videos" NAS folder there are folders for Movies, TV Shows, Home Videos. I don't want that changed nor do I want iTunes to rename or copy the files.

I'd appreciate any feedback on how to best accomplish this.



Lord Hamsa
Sep 3, 2013, 07:39 AM
You've already kind of hit on the answer - uncheck the "keep library organized" option and tell it to not copy files. It will then preserve the file locations from where they exist when you add things to the library. It's gets a little weirder when you start adding new content through iTunes (such as store purchases) because then it puts those files in its standard iTunes organization under the iTunes root directory.

As far as I know, there is no good way to have complete control over managing where your iTunes files are located and to maintain that control going forward other than never using that particular account to purchase from the iTunes store but manually moving files from another device and then adding to library... but then we get back to "no good way".

Edited to add: If someone does have a good way for triggering an event on an iTunes Store purchase (or other library add) that could be used to fire off another script/application to manage fiel storage, I'd love to hear about it!

whsbuss
Sep 3, 2013, 08:44 AM
Good point Hamsa.

I use my macbook pro for the purchased media on iTunes. The windows desktop is strictly for streaming videos to my apple TV.

FlatlinerG
Sep 3, 2013, 08:58 AM
Just move your entire iTunes library folder onto the network drive and follow this Apple article:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1589?locale=en_CA&viewlocale=en_CA

Then just click "Choose Library" and navigate to the folder you moved to the network drive and inside it there should be an "iTunes Library.itl" file. Choose that file and voila.

Should work like a charm.

Gjwilly
Sep 3, 2013, 09:32 AM
I'm doing the same thing, also on Win7, and what makes it easier for me is that I never buy from iTunes.
:D

I copy stuff to the NAS manually and then manually enter it into iTunes.
Maybe there's an easier way but this works for me.

I also just started trying Plex and I'm very impressed with how well it works.
Just install the server on the Win7 machine, install the Plex app on all the idevices, and forget about iTunes Home sharing.
If you want to watch on the Apple TV just AirPlay from the Plex app on the iDevice.
It really works great.

whsbuss
Sep 3, 2013, 09:53 AM
Just move your entire iTunes library folder onto the network drive and follow this Apple article:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1589?locale=en_CA&viewlocale=en_CA

Then just click "Choose Library" and navigate to the folder you moved to the network drive and inside it there should be an "iTunes Library.itl" file. Choose that file and voila.

Should work like a charm.

That would work, however my local iTunes library is bare on the Win7. I put all my media in a folder on the NAS.

FlatlinerG
Sep 3, 2013, 10:03 AM
That would work, however my local iTunes library is bare on the Win7. I put all my media in a folder on the NAS.

Still, move the iTunes folder onto the NAS, follow the article to open the empty iTunes library that you just moved, then add the songs to iTunes. If done correctly, iTunes should always open the iTunes Library.itl file from the NAS which would then point directly to the music you've added that is on the NAS.

This is what the iTunes Library.itl file does:

This file is a database of the songs in your library and the playlists you've created. Some song-specific data is saved in this file. If you delete the file, iTunes creates a new, empty copy when you open the application, but any playlists, song ratings, comments, or other information you created is lost. The iTunes Library file is only used by iTunes, and is the only one backed up by Time Machine on OS X.

Source (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1660)

Essentially, the file just keeps a record of what songs you have in your iTunes library and where they are stored. So each song you add, it would keep record of C:/.....etc, or in your case, the path to the NAS.

Once you get a handle on the iTunes Library.itl file and what it does, managing your iTunes media gets even easier than it already is.

priitv8
Sep 3, 2013, 10:46 AM
I keep my iTunes library file (ie database) on a local drive, just the media folder is moved to NAS. You can change it in Advanced settings:
http://km.support.apple.com/library/APPLE/APPLECARE_ALLGEOS/HT1391/en_US/HT1391_01-iTunes-advanced_pref_location-002-en.png
PS I personally have both checkboxes ticked, because I don't really care where in the filesystem my media is. Because I use iTunes to access, manage and sort it.
Also, in my opinion, iTunes does a very good job in organising the media into subdirectories, so anytime I need to dig into the media folder tree, it has a very logical structure and is easily navigatable. See: Understanding iTunes Media Organization (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3847)

Gjwilly
Sep 3, 2013, 11:42 AM
It doesn't matter where he puts his iTunes library (well it does.....) but he still can't make iTunes respect the folder setup he's already used.
It's still going to organize purchased media along the standard iTunes rules.
Either he changes his own folder setup to mimic the iTunes method or else he keeps manually moving purchased media into his folders and then re-locating the moved files in iTunes.
Or he lives with the mismatched folders (which in real life matters very little).

FlatlinerG
Sep 3, 2013, 01:26 PM
It doesn't matter where he puts his iTunes library (well it does.....) but he still can't make iTunes respect the folder setup he's already used.
It's still going to organize purchased media along the standard iTunes rules.
Either he changes his own folder setup to mimic the iTunes method or else he keeps manually moving purchased media into his folders and then re-locating the moved files in iTunes.
Or he lives with the mismatched folders (which in real life matters very little).

True, I've just always been a fan of putting the iTunes Library in it's entirety in other locations. This way, different computers can all use the same library :)

priitv8
Sep 3, 2013, 02:02 PM
It doesn't matter where he puts his iTunes library (well it does.....) but he still can't make iTunes respect the folder setup he's already used.I can understand this, but how one's personal library setup is better than iTunes' organized, remains obscure to me.
Personally, I am with Apple's philosophy, that user shouldn't care about the internal organisation of data within a file system. I organise my media in iTunes, not my files. PS this philosophy has been adopted in iOS without much fuss.

whsbuss
Sep 3, 2013, 02:21 PM
True, I've just always been a fan of putting the iTunes Library in it's entirety in other locations. This way, different computers can all use the same library :)

Yep I agree with this. Let me better explain my situation. First I am only building a video library with this Win7 computer... no audio/pictures will be managed by it. No other mac/pc will be using this library..... my macbook pro handles all my iDevices for syncing/purchases, etc.

On my NAS I have a folder (Videos) which contains all my videos. No subfolders like iTunes builds. The reason for this is the NAS serves DLNA to other TVs in the home.

So what I'm seeking is for iTunes to home share this library to my Apple TVs. I understand the .xml and library database file iTunes uses can be placed in this Video folder, but I don't want the managed subfolders to appear.

Lord Hamsa
Sep 3, 2013, 02:33 PM
Yep I agree with this. Let me better explain my situation. First I am only building a video library with this Win7 computer... no audio/pictures will be managed by it. No other mac/pc will be using this library..... my macbook pro handles all my iDevices for syncing/purchases, etc.

On my NAS I have a folder (Videos) which contains all my videos. No subfolders like iTunes builds. The reason for this is the NAS serves DLNA to other TVs in the home.

So what I'm seeking is for iTunes to home share this library to my Apple TVs. I understand the .xml and library database file iTunes uses can be placed in this Video folder, but I don't want the managed subfolders to appear.

I'm not up to speed on all that can be done with Automator actions (for example: can Automator monitor a directory on a remote filesystem like an NAS?) but it sounds like a solution for your use might be to let iTunes manage the library, but use Automator to detect video files added to the iTunes folders and create a symbolic link to them in the NAS's /Video folder (and similarly, removing the symbolic link for files that are deleted). That way, your iTunes library stays organized and you still get the "flat" listing you need for DLNA.

priitv8
Sep 3, 2013, 04:06 PM
So what I'm seeking is for iTunes to home share this library to my Apple TVs. I understand the .xml and library database file iTunes uses can be placed in this Video folder, but I don't want the managed subfolders to appear.Is it already organised like this on current Windows machine?
Then just move the folder over to NAS and point iTunes to the new library location. Leave the "Keep..." and "Copy..." checkboxes unchecked.
That should do it.

whsbuss
Sep 3, 2013, 04:25 PM
Is it already organised like this on current Windows machine?
Then just move the folder over to NAS and point iTunes to the new library location. Leave the "Keep..." and "Copy..." checkboxes unchecked.
That should do it.

No. As mentioned in my earlier post I have an empty iTunes library (default on Windows). Maybe its best to (alt-hold key) start iTunes and choose Create Library and point it to the NAS folder?

priitv8
Sep 4, 2013, 04:12 AM
No. As mentioned in my earlier post I have an empty iTunes library (default on Windows). Maybe its best to (alt-hold key) start iTunes and choose Create Library and point it to the NAS folder?Doesn't matter, how you create the library. Once it is done, just set Media folder to your NAS, uncheck both boxes and drag-drop the library folder onto iTunes to import it.
That way you will simply orphan the original media folder structure iTunes created along it's library database.
PS I really meant if your current media folder is already structured the way you like it?
See also:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1604387
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1604162