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Old Apr 10, 2008, 06:57 PM   #1
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Flexible Local and Non-Local Audio Storage Solution?


I have a couple of macs in the family/house. (3 with 3 more on the way.) One or two them (mine) will be an Air (with its inherent storage shortage problems).

Ideally, I am looking for a flexible solution to share music and video across these machines (possibly through some sort of itunes server, time machine or using the hard drive of an apple tv) in a way that lets me select what I want to store both on the server and locally, and what I want to store only on the server. The server should be accessible from all computers and I really would like to use contents from the server with ipods/(iphones?) I connect to any of the machines (regardless if the music is stored only on the server or also locally.) Is it even possible to sync an ipod if your music is not stored locally? I don't have an ipod yet so I don't know how syncing works. I will surely get one when I buy the Air as I will need all the extra storage space in my pocket I can get.

The real life situation is that my dad encodes his abundance of CDs religiously. And he wants to have it on his laptop. It would be nice to have access to that music but I do not want a local copy on my future air. (Maybe a few favorite songs, no more.) I also encode some music but with the storage problems of the Air I doubt I will want to store much of that locally. My dad might want to have access to what I encoded but probably would not want a local copy. (Or if he does, he wants to have that option.)

Is there a good way to accomplish this kind of a setup? As I said, I have more than enough apple hardware laying around. TIme Machine is on the way. Apple TV (or NAS) I am willing to buy any day. I have a mini that should go out of commission as soon as I buy the air (hand down the MBP to the dad, who than hands down the PB to the MOM who than will not need the mini.) So I can turn the mini into a server if need be.

Basically, I am willing to spend money on this. I just want a solution. I can't seem to find it.

Any advice for me?
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 09:24 PM   #2
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I'd think with your situation and the fact that your mini will go virtually unused would be to set that up to act as an iTunes server (with an external drive), that way you can rip all music on there and then set it up so all of the music would be there (on an external drive) and then if you want specific music on certain Macs then you could just transfer it to that Mac as well.

I'd avoid using a NAS since they can act kind of funny if more than one user is trying to use them at the same time.

As for the iPod sync solution, I'd go one of two ways 1) set the iPods to sync only with the mini, central location, all music is there and it would be easy or 2) after ripping "your" music to the mini, then transfer what you'd like on your Mac to it and sync the iPod there.
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Old Apr 11, 2008, 03:01 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info. A few clarifications. Would this require me to rip my music physically on the mini or could I rip to the mini from any of the laptops?

Also, would this mean that I have to physically use the mini to sync with the ipods? Or can I do this through one of the laptops (without locally storing the music). Option 2 will not work because what I want to avoid in the first place is storing music I have on my iPod on my laptop. (Think of a 32GB iPod and a 55GB Air hard drive (because that is what the 64GM is in reality). With the OS and basic software installed I would have more space in the iPod than the Air. That is unless I can achieve point 2 without local storage.

I am asking because I was hoping that if I have to set the mini up as a server I could just hide it somewhere with no monitor hooked to it. If I interpret the above correctly I am not sure this will be possible. (We have mac users in several different apartments in the complex. We are well wired up with a local network but we do not want to walk to another apartment to rip music or sync an ipod.

Also, when you say "then if you want specific music on certain Macs then you could just transfer it to that Mac as well" what does this really mean? (Sorry I am a total rookie when it comes to iTunes.) Could I do this by dragging these from one folder to the other? Or would I have to go into the network drive and drag the actual music files into the iTunes in my laptop?

I really think Mac needs to figure this out. I am absolutely sure I am not the only one who has a large music library, a few users in the household and limited space on their laptop to store the entire music library. But I don't see people asking similar questions so I am also feeling like I am totally missing something.

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Old Apr 11, 2008, 03:05 AM   #4
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Now that I think about all it would take is some option that would ask if I want to 1, store on server, 2, store locally, 3, store in both locations when I put new stuff in the itunes library. Why is this hard?
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