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View Full Version : External HD via USB to Airport Extreme to PowerBook, iMac, AppleTV, iPhone, iPod,nano




Mpalmieri1203
Jul 4, 2007, 03:45 PM
I've been trying to research this all day but I can't find specific answers. And since I've been a reader here for awhile I figured I'd make my first post.

I just purcahsed an AppleTv and the Seagate FreeAgent 500GB External HD. I wanted to know if I could transfer my iTunes library to my external drive over Airport Extreme if the Seagate is attached via USB Hub?

I was also wondering if I did this would my library will be recognized by my Powerbook and AppleTV. Also when I sync iPods, iPhones and the like to my powerbook will they sync from the Seagate attached to the extreme?

I also plan on adding an iMac in October. Will it also be able to access the library from the Airport Extrene base station?

Thank you so much and I do apologize if these many questions have been answered before. I tried looking things up but I was only getting bits and pieces. I'm looking for the WHOLE answer:)



matticus008
Jul 5, 2007, 04:38 AM
No, unfortunately the Airport Extreme lacks any sort of filesystem which would allow it to host files on your network. A hard drive requires at least a minimal OS in order to control access and read/write to the drive. Routers lack this ability.

What you can do is connect the external drive to your computer that is most likely to be on all the time, store your iTunes library on it, and share it over the network. It can be a bit tricky, but you can have all of your computers share that single "master" library if you set everything up right. However, I would recommend just using iTunes' built-in sharing and allowing each computer to have its own, local library. There are fewer headaches this way.

russell.h
Jul 10, 2007, 02:50 PM
No, unfortunately the Airport Extreme lacks any sort of filesystem which would allow it to host files on your network. A hard drive requires at least a minimal OS in order to control access and read/write to the drive. Routers lack this ability.

What you can do is connect the external drive to your computer that is most likely to be on all the time, store your iTunes library on it, and share it over the network. It can be a bit tricky, but you can have all of your computers share that single "master" library if you set everything up right. However, I would recommend just using iTunes' built-in sharing and allowing each computer to have its own, local library. There are fewer headaches this way.

No, the new Airport Extreme (the one that looks like a short mac mini) can make external USB drives available over the network.

I have no idea whether you could put your itunes library on it, although I don't see why not. As for whether your Apple TV would be able to access it, I would think that if itunes can access it then your Apple TV should be able to get at it through iTunes.

From what I have read though transfer speeds to a drive plugged in to an Airport Express are very low (for some reason lower than either the transfer speed of the drive or the speed of the network - no idea why). So if you do try this just be aware that syncing a movie to the Apple TV could take quite a while.

aristobrat
Jul 10, 2007, 02:57 PM
I just purcahsed an AppleTv and the Seagate FreeAgent 500GB External HD. I wanted to know if I could transfer my iTunes library to my external drive over Airport Extreme if the Seagate is attached via USB Hub?

I was also wondering if I did this would my library will be recognized by my Powerbook and AppleTV. Also when I sync iPods, iPhones and the like to my powerbook will they sync from the Seagate attached to the extreme?
Yes, you can transfer your iTunes library to the external drive that your Airport Extreme is sharing out.

If you hold down the Option key when you launch iTunes, you can point it to a different library location (i.e. your library that's on the Seagate).

Although you can point both your Powerbook and iMac to the same shared location (and each computer should see the same songs, etc), I'm not sure how well it'd work if you had iTunes running on both computers at the same time. That'd be a good 2nd question to post? :)

Remember that the AppleTV is like an iPod -- you need a computer running iTunes that pushes stuff to it, so it won't see your external shared library like your iMac and PowerBook can. No big deal. As long as whichever of those two computers you setup to sync with the AppleTV can see the shared external library, you're good to go!

And russell's right -- the speed of sharing over the Airport Extreme is a bit slow. I mean, it'll work, but if you're syncing a 3GB file (like a movie), remember that it has to copy it from the external drive to your iTunes and then copy it from iTunes to the AppleTV. It won't be quick but it should work OK. :)

MacDonaldsd
Jul 10, 2007, 04:01 PM
It will work, even if its a bit slow. I have my iTunes library on a external hard drive attached to my airport extreme and it works perfectly.

I dont think apple tv recognises it though, doesnt it have to stream it form a computer ?, I don't have one mind.

matticus008
Jul 11, 2007, 10:34 PM
No, the new Airport Extreme (the one that looks like a short mac mini) can make external USB drives available over the network.
Oh, right you are. I forgot about that feature addition. The slow speed is not surprising. It actually takes a considerable amount of processing power to run USB mass storage devices. Much more than is available in your typical router, in fact. That's part of the reason the hardware to do it is more expensive. It's not clear what exactly is in the new AE base stations, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's just not capable of keeping up.

aristobrat
Jul 12, 2007, 07:35 PM
It's not clear what exactly is in the new AE base stations, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's just not capable of keeping up.
Wonder if that's why they also didn't include gigabit ports? :confused:

matticus008
Jul 12, 2007, 07:52 PM
Wonder if that's why they also didn't include gigabit ports? :confused:
I'd imagine that has a lot more to do with the price than anything else. Gigabit routers from other manufacturers tend to be over $100. Apple's AE base station has always been priced "a cut above" (to put it mildly)--often double the price of comparable Linksys and Netgear devices. Putting in the USB support, the 802.11n support, and gigabit would have required beefier hardware and therefore a higher price.

Keep in mind this is a consumer device intended primarily for wireless local file/print/Internet sharing. Gigabit would be next to pointless. A dedicated, wired gigabit switch is clearly superior for those in professional environments needing those speeds. A home network can't push data anywhere near 1 Gbps.

Bunchie3174
Oct 30, 2008, 05:10 PM
Following the instructions I made it work. I had my iTunes library on a USB external connected to my Airport Extreme Base Station but although it could connect to my iMac, I couldn't get my MacBookPro to load the library.
I hadn't got the iTunes Library file included in the folder. Once copied over it loaded fine.
It takes a second or two to load from startup but it isn't a big issue. :apple: