1. Welcome to the new MacRumors forums. See our announcement and read our FAQ

AppleTV 1: Leopard iTunes server?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by ipedro, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. macrumors 68020


    I'm planning to eventually get the new AppleTV but my home is completely laptop based and I don't want to have to keep my MacBookPro open with iTunes running just to operate my TV (I use tv exclusively, don't have cable).

    My solution to this, without having to buy a Mac Mini just for this purpose is to convert the AppleTV into a very low powered Mac with just one purpose: to run iTunes and stream to the new AppleTV's that I'll scatter around my home.

    1 - Is it possible to install a functioning OSX Leopard?
    2 - Would it run efficiently, given it wouldn't be used for any other purpose?
  2. macrumors P6


    With only 256Mb of ram the 1G Apple TV would be very tight for Leopard. I think it'll work but some things like the sound out won't.
  3. macrumors 68020


    Will iTunes 10 run on Tiger? I really don't care about the OS because I won't be seeing it. I just need it to run the latest iTunes so it can stream content to the new tv.
  4. macrumors P6


    iTunes 10 cannot run on Tiger.
  5. macrumors 68020


    I know you wrote you don't want a Mac Mini.... but that with Server running would be perfect for an aTV as well as sharing all kinds of stuff.

    Does anyone know if FreeNAS on an old/cheap computer would work?
  6. macrumors 6502


    I was myself thinking of doing this, but with an old G4 Cube, fanless and all. Could be leaved on all the time.
  7. ipedro, Jan 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012

    macrumors 68020


    I'm reviving this as I've now found the steps to do this. I've disassembled my AppleTV and found that the HDD is IDE, not SATA so I'll have to go find an old IDE to USB cable or enclosure. These are becoming scarce and 2.5" IDE hard driver are hard to find.

    Nonetheless, the final result will be a quiet, slim and Apple branded device containing my entire iTunes library. iTunes Match will allow me to delete my library from my Mac and play back via iCloud on my MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone and AppleTV2 with the only hard copy being on the new iTunes server.

    I can't wait to get started!
  8. macrumors 6502


    I've done the same thing, but have yet to buy another :apple:tv. I use it for downloading stuff, works fine unless you try to run more than one application at a time due to low RAM. Hopefully it will be able to cope with a large iTunes library. Apparently you can also install Leopard via a USB stick, but I pulled out the hard drive and used a IDE to USB cable.
  9. macrumors 68020


    Thanks for your feedback. I plan to turn off apps, books, podcasts, ping, genius, and other functions other than Music, Movies and TV Shows to get iTunes to consume as little memory as possible.

    Because I have iTunes Match, essentially, it'll be a physical backup of my library. I'll be playing most of my content from iCloud on an iPad, iPhone and AppleTV 2. So really, the iTunes server won't be doing much other than sitting there, and downloading any new content that I purchase on the other devices.

    The only time it'll do any heavy lifting will be when I play movies via AppleTV and that'll probably change once Apple brings iTunes in the cloud to movies.

    Back to the process of changing the AppleTV into an iTunes server. I just purchased this: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2477926&CatId=3770

    Once it arrives, I'll be copying an image of an optimized Leopard DMG and then reinstalling it in the AppleTV. I'll run it via screen sharing from my Mac.
  10. macrumors P6


    Note: The Apple TV cannot run an unmodified Leopard OS. It needs a kernel patch to at least boot and some extension changes to work correctly.
  11. macrumors 65816


    Good luck mate! I installed Leopard on my old AppleTV a while back, and while it doesn't run anywhere near acceptably for a daily use machine, it makes a great light-duty, set-it-and-forget-it server. With 802.11b/g/n wifi and gigabit ethernet, you should be able to get all of your media anywhere you need it in a heartbeat.
  12. macrumors P6


    The Apple TV only has 100 megabit Ethernet.
  13. macrumors 603


    I inherited an AppleTV 1 and put 10.5 on it. Pretty lame, it can run about one thing at a time and not very well. I wouldn't get too excited about your idea, it just isn't very fast hardware.
  14. macrumors 68020


    I'm done!

    Here's the setup:



    AppleTV 1 fits perfectly below a Time Capsule, with AppleTV 2 beside them both.

    With AppleTV 2 serving as the UI, under Computers, I see my iTunes server (an AppleTV 1 in its former life) and my MacBookPro.

    The AppleTV 1 isn't connected to the TV (for now) as I have no use for it to be. I manage everything via Screen Sharing from my MacBookPro. If I connected it to the TV, I could also access my media with FrontRow.

    While the 256MB limits the options of using the AppleTV 1 as a full computer, it certainly has enough to run iTunes. I've turned off Podcasts, Apps, Books, and Ping since I won't be actively using iTunes as a front end UI. Instead, I will do all my music, TV and movie purchases on my iPhone, iPad and AppleTV 2 with iCloud taking care of downloading it to my iTunes server for safe keeping and the occasional sync and/or organizing.

    I've turned OSX into a very basic OS with nearly everything turned off to allow iTunes to run unhindered. It is a pitty that Apple decided to use such a small amount of RAM. With its capable 1Ghz processor and 1GB of RAM, this could have been quite a nice little multi purpose Mac. Nonetheless, it serves the purpose I intended for it very capably.

    In the future, I'm going to look into the possibility of connecting my EyeTV. Right now, I'm happy to be purchasing my TV shows, renting my Movies and using Netflix for occasional tv watching but sometimes the odd tv event happens that isn't available on any of those platforms so a PVR will come in handy.
  15. macrumors 68010

    Aren't you afraid that ATV might burn down the house?
  16. macrumors 68020


    Ironically, it ran much hotter when it was an AppleTV with what looks like a much more basic OS. It's warm right now, but nowhere near any cause for concern. I was worried about putting the TimeCapsule on top of the AppleTV but the rubber gives them enough insulation between each other that there doesn't appear that there will ever be a problem.

    The one issue --unrelated to heat-- that I've found is that even though I've disabled infrared remotes in the Security preference menu, my AppleTV2 remote is still turning on FrontRow on the AppleTV1. I might have to open up the AppleTV again to pull the wire for the infrared receiver.
  17. macrumors 68030


    I converted my ATV1 to an ATV1-Server about 6 to 8 months ago. Works great! Not a speed demon by a long shot but it work and works well. I have 700 or so movies, 500 TV shows, and 20,000+ songs. It doesn't scroll through them super fast, but it does do it. iTunes runs fine on it as well. This is the main feed to everything in my house.

    Now I'm still considering a MacMini as the main server; I'd like to bring it in-house and do all my email and website hosting . . . but that's a different issue. I'll get this setup once my company is off the ground.
  18. macrumors P6


    I speak from experience when I say the Apple TV doesn't have enough power to run an EyeTV.
  19. macrumors 68010

    I had some free time and decided to turn my ATV1 into iTunes server instead of buying a dedicated Mac Mini.

    As it turns out, I only needed about 15 - 20 minutes to have it up and running. Easy as pie!
  20. macrumors 68010

    However, it seems that ATV doesn't like to mount my external hard drive, anyone with similar issue?

    I got it to mount a few times, but it's on and off. The drive is fine, and it is AC-powered.
  21. macrumors 6502


    You can use the TV remote programmed to the AppleTV and put away the Apple remote?
  22. macrumors 68030


    I could not get it to mount if there was a hub in the path; but if I plugged the drive in directly I had no problems. Not a huge problem (for me) . . . yet.


    I believe the modulation is completely different. I just disabled the remote control on the laptop. I've never used it so didn't feel like I lost anything.
  23. macrumors 68020


    Remotes don't seem to want to pair with Leopard on AppleTV. I also disabled it in the Security preferences menu but the remote still worked. I did find a Terminal command that turns off the IR pref file and that seems to have worked.

    With regards to mounting external drives, I've had no issue with that at all. I have a 1TB WesternDigital plugged in all the time as my iTunes Library. The 160GB in the AppleTV didn't cut it and IDE 2.5" drives are way too expensive for what I'm using it for. If only the AppleTV were SATA...
  24. macrumors P6


    The native Apple TV OS (both 1 and 2) can learn a new remote. But full Mac OS X cannot. If you have a learning remote, it can learn the Apple Remote commands and reproduce them.
  25. macrumors 68010

    I am connected without a hub.

Share This Page