(How To) Tapping into iTunes on mac from 360 using WMC

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by aced411, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. aced411, Aug 21, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011

    macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2007
    I haven't seen anything out on the web like this, so I thought I would share it after I figured it out. We use our Apple TV's to watch movies/tv shows from our iTunes library (mac), but often use the xbox 360 for Hulu Plus and Netflix (more reliable in our case). I grew tired of switching back and forth all the time just to start a movie, wondering if there was a way to tap into my iTunes library from the 360. Most of our movies/shows were encoded using handbrake specifically for Apple TV (Some HD). Connect 360 didn't work for me, as the 360 was unable to play the videos. Here's how I pulled it off:

    • Installed Parallels 6 on my Mac that hosts iTunes
    • Installed Windows 7 Ultimate
    • Configured my iTunes drive as a shared drive through parallels (Read-Only)
    • Opened Windows Media Center and specified my shared iTunes drive as the video library
    • Connected my 360 to Windows Media Center
    • Installed Media Browser for WMC

    Works like a champ.....for the most part. There was some tweaking I did to improve the experience. I dedicated all 8 CPU threads to Parallels, moved the virtual to a dedicated drive, and dedicated 4GB of ram. I installed antipack to improve the video quality. I also made sure Parallels did not have write access to my shared iTunes drive, as I didn't want WMC screwing with it. I have the fortune of using a Mac Pro, so your experience may vary. Here are the only drawbacks I've found so far:

    • Expetedly, content purchased from iTunes does not work
    • Browing the library is slow. I have around 385 movies, so your experience may vary. I attribute this to using the shared drive through parallels.

    End result: I can use my 360 to watch movies from iTunes without disturbing the Apple TV/iTunes ecosystem! Before you ask "Why not ditch the Apple TV?", I will say we prefer the experience and performance of the Apple TV...and we have a fair amount of purchased iTunes content. For us, this approach was simply a convenience thing. If you happen to use Windows for your iTunes server, you're in a much better position to pull this off and will likely have much better results.
  2. macrumors 603

    Apr 24, 2010
    Newbury, UK
    Why use WMC, does the native 360 video library not work? As I use that to watch videos off my PC. Handles it better IMO
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Correct for whatever reason the 360 itself will not play my videos
  4. macrumors 603

    Apr 24, 2010
    Newbury, UK
    ahhh that sucks, as the native xbox video library is much better than WMC, since does all the work on the xbox rather than the PC.

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