Help with iTunes no longer recognizing AppleTV - I have tried just about everything

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by medgirl2001, May 30, 2010.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #1
    I know this is something a lot of people have experienced, but I feel like I have tried just about everything I can think of, without any success.

    Over the past few weeks, my AppleTV have been losing its connection with iTunes. After working fine for a few days, iTunes will no longer show the in the Devices list on the sidebar or list it under AppleTV in preferences. The only thing that seems to make it work again is to factory restore or set up the iTunes library again, both of which require re-syncing many gigabytes of data, which takes hours.

    These are the things I have tried:
    1. Factory restored AppleTV.
    2. Set up as a new iTunes library instead of complete restore.
    3. Rebooted AppleTV.
    4. Reset router.
    5. Set up AppleTV to connect to network via Ethernet instead of WiFi.
    6. Turned off/unplugged/removed the cordless phone that was near my iMac, thinking maybe there was some kind of wireless interference causing this.
    7. Set up iMac to connect to network via Ethernet instead of WiFi.
    8. Factory reset router and set up network all over again from scratch.
    9. Exchanged AppleTV for a new (well, refurbed) AppleTV at Apple Store after discussing this several times on the phone with Apple support.
    10. Uninstalled iTunes, including all preferences and everything except for content and reinstalled.

    After each step, factory restoring the AppleTV will let iTunes detect it once more for a period of time - sometimes hours, sometimes days. But eventually iTunes stops finding the AppleTV. I can't find rhyme or reason as to why this happens. This actually happened to me a few months ago, but a single factory restore fixed it and it's been fine ever since until the past couple of weeks. I am out of ideas. I didn't really think it was a hardware problem with the AppleTV, but I exchanged it because I have no other way of reformatting/reinstalling an AppleTV. But of course, that didn't fix this either.

    My setup is an AppleTV running the latest firmware, a late 2009 21" iMac running Snow Leopard 10.6.3 (all updates installed), and an AirPort Extreme as my router.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #2
    I used to have this problem regularly. I always found that I could reconnect to my WiFi net to restore it.

    It started happening more often. I took a good luck at my setup and realized that I probably didn't have a great line of sight between my wireless router and the ATV (it was going through multiple walls, including one where it was at a big angle, meaning it had to go through multiple studs) plus some furniture. I repositioned it so the signal had a better angle through the one wall and wouldn't have to travel through any furniture and the problem has pretty much gone away.

    So, I would suggest trying to do what you can to improve the signal path between your router and the ATV. Also, make sure the ATV is not sitting on anything metal (like a DVD player). I've heard of that causing reception problems.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Thanks for the suggestion, but my ATV and iMac are both connected by Ethernet to take wireless issues out of the equation, but unfortunately to no avail.
     
  4. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #4
    This is quite frequently caused by either a software firewall, or having IPv6 enabled on the host computer.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    I just have the standard firewall that comes with OS X. I have tried disabling it, but it hasn't helped.

    This is what my AirPort Extreme says for IPv6 - Link-local only. I think that means that IPv6 is not enabled. The other choices are Host, Tunnel, and Router.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    munkees

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2005
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    #6
    X2 I used to have this problem all the time.

    OP on your iTunes computer, check to see in System Preferences, Network, Device (ethernet/air/etc) that under the TCP/IP that the ipV6 the off selection is selected.

    This is what cured it for me.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Mine says "Automatically" under that setting - so you're saying I don't need IPV6 and can turn it off? What is it for?
     
  8. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #8
    No, turn it off.

    It's there to enable compatibility with the the internet protocol layer that will replace the current standard (IPv4).

    IPv6 offers a much larger addressable space, to accommodate the crazy growth that we've seen.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    munkees

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2005
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    #9
    manually turn it off, it is know to effect syncing with :apple:TV.

    what this he/she says
     
  10. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    Okay, I've turned off IPv6 and re-synced the AppleTV. I will let you all know if it works!
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Location:
    Essex UK
    #11
    I had the exact same problem. Went through all OP's steps except for replacing the ATV. In the end the solution for me was to change my router. I had an old BT one (in the UK) which I replaced with a new BT one (which feeds an Airport Extreme for Wi-Fi).

    Possibly this resolved the IPv6 issue (without me knowing it)

    Really keen to hear OP's result as maybe I could have changed the IPv6 setting instead of changing the router.
     
  12. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    #12
    One solution

    Hello,

    Having about the same conf and the same problem, the only way I found to make it works everytime is not very cool(on the Mac with SL):
    you must choose 'make service inactive' in the network panel in order to have ONLY THE ONE used by ATV... so if you use Ethernet, inactive Airport and vice-versa.

    I found this tip 2 years ago in an Apple forum about Leopard and ATV. When I switched to SL, I forgot about it and all my networks were active with ATV sync working :p
    But after some time (don't know why, maybe from 10.6.1 upd), I had to use it again :(

    What I do is to inactive other networks BEFORE manually syncinc the ATV in ITunes then AFTER quitting ITunes 're-active' the needed networks.

    The problem seems to be that OSX is mixing networks and is unable to remember the right one for the ATV or something like that :confused:
    For me this solution is the only one reliable, all the others one have failed.

    Hope it can help and sorry for my poor English from France.
     

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  13. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    Let me see if I am understanding - are you saying that if I am using ethernet for the computer I use to sync with the AppleTV, then I should make sure WiFi is off? If that is the case, I am already doing that. I have had WiFi off on my iMac since connecting the AppleTV by ethernet.
     
  14. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    #14
    Network inactive

    Not exactly, WIFI off is not enough: I said INACTIVE, you must not have more than one Network ACTIVE, the one you use for ATV, i.e Ethernet as in the screen copy.

    For me it works each time and I can reproduce it.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Okay, I have already synced the AppleTV after making the IPv6 switch, so it may be too late to inactivate it now, but I will try.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    Update

    Well, I turned off IPv6 and inactivated AirPort on my iMac (keeping just ethernet active), and all was well for a couple of days, but again iTunes won't detect the AppleTV. I am out of ideas.
     
  17. macrumors 68020

    toolbox

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #17
    Why is your ethernet lan disabled?

    Can you ping the Apple TV's ip address?

    Do you have another mac? See if the apple tv can see that?
     
  18. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    Ethernet is not disabled. Per an earlier post in this thread, someone suggesting making whatever the computer/AppleTV were not using "inactive" in network settings. They both use ethernet to connect to the network, so I made AirPort inactive. It didn't seem to make a difference.

    Yes.

    I do. When the connection is lost like this, both can see the AppleTV as AirTunes speakers to stream music to, but neither can see it for syncing (does not appear under Devices on the sidebar and nothing shows up under AppleTV in Preferences). They both, however, can still see eachothers' libraries.
     
  19. macrumors 68020

    toolbox

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #19
    OK so you have replaced the unit? and done a factory restore on it? and still nothing. To me that would indicate a problem with the macs.

    Are syncing over ethernet / wireless? Long shot but do you know someone else with a mac that could see he the could sync? Another thing to try long shot too but i did this a few times when ipod touch was connected and itunes froze

    I went here

    /users/username/library

    I deleted the itunes folder from here. Then tried the rsync = worked ok. Just bear in mind that deleting this folder will remove any updates / restore images you have for ipod / iphone.

    Failing that worst case, back one mac up restore it and see what happens - All the critical updates are done? Have you verifed disk permissions / disk?
     
  20. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    I have done all of those things. It is a strange problem, because it will always work for a day or two following a restore or setting up the library again and re-syncing everything. But then it inevitably stops detecting it. That kind of unpredictable and quirky behavior makes me think it's something funny about how iTunes and the network interact. I would think if it were a problem with the computer or the AppleTV, it would never work, not work for a while and then quit.

    It was wireless initially and then I hooked everything up by ethernet.

    I could try with my laptop, but the laptop will have to be wireless. I'm not hooking it up to ethernet. I feel that I may end up having the same problem, since it doesn't see the AppleTV under AppleTV in preferences either.

    Everything is updated. I've run the disk utility from the OS X disk to verify disk/permissions. No problems there.

    It's very frustrating. I'm kind of hoping an iTunes update addresses this, but there are so many other people that have been having the same problem for a couple of years that it seems unlikely. I do plan to call Apple back and just let them know about it. I don't think there's much they can do to help at this point, though. The other problem is that with any change I make, it takes about 2-3 days to know if it worked or not.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    Well, I called Apple again to see if they had any other ideas. They suggested reinstalling OS X, which I did. This time syncing lasted for only a couple of hours, and now I'm back to iTunes not being able to detect the AppleTV.
     
  22. macrumors 601

    MagnusVonMagnum

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    #22
    Have you tried using wireless instead of Ethernet? I've heard of people having endless problems with ATV and Ethernet connections (which seems counter intuitive, I know). I've never used Ethernet on either of my two Apple TV units and they both work fine.

    Once in awhile I'll have a problem where either the unit won't respond in iTunes despite it still appearing there or it might disappear, but quitting iTunes and restarting it almost always brings it back. Once in awhile my NetGear router stops responding to wireless channels for some odd reason (usually about once a month or two) and it needs reset, but that one is obvious because Apple TV itself says it cannot find the Internet or it automatically switches to my secondary router (Airport Express) I use for "G" devices mostly (even though it's also N, but it simply doesn't have as good of range or speed connections as the Netgear even though they are in the same room).

    Now I WAS having a LOT of problems with disconnects in the past but it seemed to be due to network interference. Changing channels pretty much solved that (and it could be monitored what kind of connection speeds I was getting from Airport Utility, which also seemed to apply to the Netgear model as well. When I first set these up, there was maybe 2 other networks around my house showing up. Now there is like 6 at any given time so I imagine interference is a lot worse now. But none of this applies to Ethernet. I'm also running Leopard on my machine that runs my massive iTunes library (whole house audio/video/photo setup) and it's PPC so Leopard is as far as it goes.

    I do know that OSX has some screwy network issues, though. My MBP is running Snow Leopard and despite a number of people telling me that if you set a network order of preference by putting Ethernet on top of the list and the order or priority list it will always choose Ethernet over WiFi, I've found this isn't always the case. I moved my MBP into my den and connected it to its docking setup with Gigabit Ethernet so my giant movie files I had encoded would transfer over faster for MetaX labeling (which never worked right for me in Windows and screws up the file half the time on my PPC machine, but seems to work reliably on my Intel MBP). It's very slow over 802.11N by comparison (like 14 minutes instead of 2 minutes from the other end of the house and 8 minutes versus 2 minutes in the same room as the router). I plugged it in and started the transfer and it said 8 minutes. I checked iStat Pro to see which network it was using and sure enough it was using WiFi despite my network ordering it to use Ethernet first. I shut off WiFi and it started using Ethernet automatically and the time went down to under 2 minutes to transfer the file.

    I've also had problems With Leopard's firewall (which sometimes conflicts with its secondary firewall or some other bug and asks EVERY TIME whether I want such and such program to connect to the Internet despite it being set in preferences and in the case of iTunes, I had to re-install it to get it stop doing that. I never had any such problems in Tiger. Basically, I think there are many bugs still not squashed even in Snow Leopard in regards to networking and that may ultimately be the cause of your Ethernet based setup with Apple TV. ATV runs Tiger internally so there may even be some kind of odd conflict there as well.

    I even used to have a problem where sometimes (not a consistent bug but happened often enough over the past few years that I saw a pattern) if I connected a new device (say an iPod Touch) to my Netgear router, it would sometimes disconnect my Ethernet based PowerMac and even assigned the new device the same router address (sometimes not and same result) despite having my router set up to reserve specific addresses for specific devices. Once I got the new device set up to always use a specific address, the problem would go away until I added a new device. Are you using a reserved address for Apple TV or is it changing addresses every time it resets or somehow loses its connection (I realize it's not wireless but clearly something is going on). iTunes might not like a sudden change of address if it's somehow getting reassigned by the router. I know that one sounds a bit crazy, but something weird is going on in your setup. I have NEVER had to restore my system for a connection reason (rebooting at most was required).
     
  23. thread starter macrumors regular

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    USA
    #23
    It was wireless to start with, both the iMac and the ATV and worked fine for months. When all of this started, I tried ethernet as a lot of people (including Apple) suggested it as a solution. Ethernet didn't fix the syncing problem (though it is a lot faster when it does sync).

    With my situation, the ATV has never lost connection to the internet itself. You Tube, iTunes trailers, etc., always work fine. It just can't see iTunes anymore.

    That's interesting. Maybe that's why the other poster in this thread had success inactivating AirPort altogether? I haven't personally noticed that problem, though.

    Actually, my ATV seems to hold on to its IP address. In fact, when this happens, it is still holding on to the same IP address. iTunes from both computers can stream to the speakers through the ATV; they just can't sync. Rebooting the ATV definitely doesn't work. Factory restoring is probably not necessary, as I can reconnect it by setting the library up again, but I have been factory restoring with most of the things I've tried just to remove that as a possibility. The problem, though, is that setting it up as a new library still requires syncing the whole gazillion gigabytes again.
     
  24. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    #24
    I managed to fix mine

    Out of the box it all worked fine and then i upgraded to version 3.x and i could no longer see the Apple TV in iTunes. my MBP and ATV are connected via wireless (8011g). I started a Bonjour browser and could only see my own library on the MBP.

    Solution:
    I recalled reading somewhere that someone had called Apple and the support person asked about the wireless security type. so I changed my router (BTHomeHub 1) to use WPA-PSK instead of WEP and hay presto as soon as i reconnected the MBP i could see more of my own services (AirTunes etc) in the Bonjour browser and then when i restarted the ATV it appeared in iTunes.

    I hope this helps somebody

    Eric
     
  25. macrumors 601

    MagnusVonMagnum

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    #25
    Yeah, I use WPA2, not WEP, although that wouldn't explain the problems people are having with Ethernet connections since those security settings are for wireless only.
     

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