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Old Jun 6, 2010, 08:28 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2003
New to Apple TV

I am new to AppleTV as it first came out when I did not have a need for this sort of technology.

When AppleTv first came out we thought our computers, current entertainment hardware, and XBox could do everything we desired. We use the XBox for netflix streaming and have it hooked up to a projector set up.

Now, I have a preschooler and am out of school so the amount of movies (for her and for us) are increasing. I would love to have a way to just have a bunch of her movies on one item OR have access to them to go across several devices (MacBook, iPad). Is it possible to do this with AppleTV? I know I can download all the movies to the AppleTV but is it possible to share those movies with our other devices? If something happens to the AppleTV do we loose all of our movies?

In reading around the forum I saw that a cloud based system may be in the makes...that would be wonderful too.
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Old Jun 6, 2010, 05:18 PM   #2
Billy Boo Bob
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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Well, for the most part, no... you can't share out what's loaded on the ATV. It's basically a slave to iTunes, although you can switch between different iTunes libraries (machines) as a source. Too bad you can't combine more than one at a time to make up what's available on the ATV at any given time.

Sharing around is easiest done with iTunes. Make sure sharing is turned on in prefs of each machine you want to share out. I don't have an iPad yet (some day when I have the $$$), so I'm not sure what the options are there outside of the normal iTunes sync like an iPhone/iPod touch. I'm hoping with iPhone OS 4 that more doors will open for direct streaming to iPhone/iPad from iTunes libraries.

Keep in mind that anything that you actually sync to an ATV will be available to play on the ATV even with the matching iTunes not running. If you have one machine that's on all the time, with iTunes always on, then syncing isn't all that necessary.

Note: when you have your ATV linked to an iTunes library, and you're streaming everything (meaning not copying files over through sync), you still need to sync them together from time to time. Files added to the iTunes library will not be seen by the ATV until then, and the markers for watched/unwatched will not update until you sync.

However, if you hook up to a shared library through ATV's Settings:Computers:Add Shared iTunes Library you don't have to sync to keep things up to date, but you lose the ability to copy things over to the ATV for viewing without iTunes running somewhere.
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