Advice Needed - Setting Up A Media Server

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Heart Break Kid, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. Heart Break Kid macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto
    #1
    Ok ladies and gentlemen of the Macrumors community. Yall have solved many of my mac problems before, and I put forth one more to be tackled. I want to set up a media server.

    What I mean is, I want all my music / home movies / photos on a centralized server that all the macs in my house can access off the home network. What I'd love to see is for example, when I launch iTunes there would be a shared library called "Home" with all the music listed.

    This would free up significant space off all the computers in my house.

    Is this possible? What hardware do I need to buy?

    I would like it to be affordable and scalable, so incase I need more space I can add it. Currently 300 - 500 GB would be more than enough space for my needs.
     
  2. super_kev macrumors 6502

    super_kev

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Location:
    USofA
    #2
    Sure it's possible. I'd buy an older G4 (1Ghz or faster) or a low end 1.6Ghz or single 1.8Ghz G5 tower, and then stuff it with a ATA card (if needed) and several 250GB Seagate HDs (check dealmac.com). Throw a copy of OS X on it (the newer the better) load iPhoto and iTunes, turn on sharing, and away you go. For movies, I'd put them in a folder in the "Public" folder of the server (or put an alias to the movie folder in "Public") and then turn on personal file sharing. :cool:

    Edit: I forgot to mention Center Stage, which is an open sourced app that does practically everything and was designed to be a media/home theater center. I'm not sure if it does sharing, so it might not work for what you need, but I'd check it out.
     
  3. Heart Break Kid thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto
    #3

    I was hoping that I could use some sort of network storage drive and have all computers running iTunes or iPhoto recognize that drive as their iTunes Library / iPhoto Library.

    What I was hoping for is something like the following - 1 500 GB network attatched storage drive hooked into my wireless network. It has all my mp3s on it. The three computers in my home see that drive as an external. So lets say I add 1 song to my itunes library on the computer in my room, it copies it into the appropriate folder in the network drive so that when iTunes runs on any other computer, it sees that mp3. This probably means that I would have to have the iTunes library synced for all computers in the house.

    Is that possible?

    If it is, I'm assuming the same is possible for iPhoto
     
  4. super_kev macrumors 6502

    super_kev

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Location:
    USofA
    #4
    No, that wouldn't work. You'd need iTunes and iPhoto running on the server, and a NAS is just a big plain networkable hard drive w/o an operating system. The way I would set it up is to add songs and photos to the server, and then the rest of the computers can see them.
     
  5. Heart Break Kid thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto
    #5
    Dang. Ok I will look about for that. Thank you for the help :)
     
  6. super_kev macrumors 6502

    super_kev

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Location:
    USofA
    #6
    No problem. Post back if you have any more questions.
     
  7. Lunja macrumors 6502

    Lunja

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    #7
    Hi

    I was reading the January edition of Stuff UK magazine and they had a piece about home media centres. They suggest using something from showshifter.com or xlobby.com. I must admit I haven't had a look at these sites yet, but I thought I'd mention them incase you decide to build your own system.

    Lunja.
     
  8. mrjamin macrumors 65816

    mrjamin

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2003
    Location:
    Strongbadia
    #8
    Easier than you might think...

    I have a very similar set up in my house - what I'd do is:

    1) get hold of an old(ish) piece of junk PC, and stick in a couple of big harddisks, or better yet, get an SATA RAID controller and go the SATA route
    2) Download and install Fedora Core 4 (a Linux distribution).
    3) Download and install DAAPd (http://www.deleet.de/projekte/daap/daapd/ - an Open Source, reverse-engineered implimentation of the streaming that Apple uses for iTunes/iPhoto)
    4) Configure all of the above appropriately
    5) Create an NFS/AFP mount on the linux box containing shared Movies

    The reason I suggest Fedora over other Distributions is that its quite easy to use, comes with a Ton of pre-built RPMs on the CD, and more importantly, has mDNSResponder (the zeroconf part of Bonjour/Rendezvous) preinstalled by default.

    Obviously, the above requires some Linux knowledge, but there are some superb forums out there (linuxquestions.org) where people will guide you through it, as long as you obey the laws-of-the-land! You'd be surprised how quickly you can get your head around Linux if you give yourself the time and space to learn.

    I'm currently in the process of stepping this up a gear and turning my Linux box (cobbled out of a few old bits from various computers and a few new bits too) into a full blown PVR/HTPC/Media Server - MythTV is a wonderful, WONDERFUL thing!
     

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