Using NAS as Itunes storage

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by PXPrado, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2008
    Ok, I have been looking around the internet and here is what I want to do. I am getting a mac soon (Within the next month) and I want to transfer and backup my itunes library. I currently have a WIN XP MCE Rollup 2 and my itunes library sits on a 250GB External Hard drive taking up about 100 to 110 GB of space. What I am planning to do is buy someone elses pc swap out the hard drive with either two 500GB drives or a 1TB drive. I am going to install Freenas and use it as a NAS. Here is my question. I want to store a copy of the files I have on the nas and be able to access them from both a mac and a PC. How can I do this while still being able to add new stuff I download from either computer? I still plan to have a copy on an external hard drive as an emergency backup. Now second question. Is there a solution to do this with freenas or do I need to get a dedicated NAS box and what would you recomend?

    Also I know this may be the wrong topic, I couldn't find the correct one to place this in.
  2. macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
    Beloit, WI
    I'm not going to be too much help with the NAS, but I've accomplished a similar thing, simply by having my "music/video" hard drive as a network share on my vista machine. Then, the three macs in the house run a script at startup that has them connect as a smb share. This way, they can all share a central iTunes database, and if one computer purchases a song, they all know about it and can access it.
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2008
    I would like to get a copy of that script. I am somewhat proficient in programming and could alter the script to work on my network.
  4. macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Same. Could you post it?
  5. macrumors 65816


    Apr 9, 2008
    San Antonio, TX
    I have this setup between my iMac and my macbook, I use a 500gb Western Digital My Book World, when you download a new song you just put it with the others on the network hard drive and then add it to both libraries, at least that's what I do cause I have my music on each computer and then my videos on the network hard drive, when you try to play the video it should automatically connect to the network drive-at least mine does
  6. macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
    Beloit, WI
    Here's the script:

    tell application "Finder"
    mount volume "smb://computer/d" as user name "username" with password "password"
    end tell

    I created an application from this script, and then set it to run as a login item under accounts. I also put the "computer" name in my hosts file relating it back to its static ip on my local network. It didn't seem to use dns otherwise right away to find it and would error. I guess I could have put the ip address in for computer name, but didn't want the numbers showing up in Finder.

    I have my computers sharing an iTunes library, so that way I don't have to manually add songs to it for each computer. The idea being that if my other half purchased or added something to the library, I didn't want to have to go and add it to mine, I wanted it to automatically be there. The only downside is that only one of us can use the library at a time.
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2008
    That is pure freakin genius. Why didn't I think of that. Now how do you have it setup to auto add songs. Also will this work for video?
  8. macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2008
    I have all my music on a NAS (TeraStation Pro RAID 5). I have it split into 3 drives; M for music, P for photos and O for OurFiles!

    This is accessed from my PowerBook G5 and a PC (XP) via hardwire and another PC (also XP) wirelessly. I can access and play music using iTunes from all the machines.

    I have a script on my PowerBook at startup to connect and mount the NAS. However when I start iTunes on my PowerBook it does not always pick up the fact that M is the place for music to be imported (see Preferences, Advanced tab). I have to manually change it. When changing the location I am asked if I want to update the library, saying yes results in a 30 minute delay (22,000 songs!). Saying no has no immediate impact.

    At the moment the iTunes library is on the PowerBook. When importing new music using the PCs I have to select my library from the Shared tab. If I am away on business with my PowerBook none of the music is accessible from iTunes even though it is on the NAS. How do we get the iTunes library onto teh NAS?

    PS. I also run SONOS which allows me to play music all over the house. It is brill!
  9. macrumors 68000


    Sep 27, 2007
    3 earth minutes from your location....

    You lost me there but this is what I do:

    I swapped out the HD in my MPB 17'' and put in a 320 gig. I partitioned it where I have 50 gigs for system, 100 for Apps and the rest for iTunes and my Aperture library. In my iTunes lib, I only have music, audiobooks and a very small amount of vids (maybe 2 to 5 gigs max). My video lib sits on both a 500 gig external connected via F/W 800, and as back up on a 1TB connected to my AirPort Extreme Gig-E drive. To make the backup's as transparent as possible, I use: File Synchronization ( You can pick the direction to sync, how to sync and a few other filters. It is not fancy but it works. No drama.

    So in short, I keep my music with me on the MBP. I send in ---> to the external drives connected to my MBP and to the AirPort Extreme drive over the network in my home. I have triple insurance that all of my music, vids, audiobooks, etc... are backed up.

    My family can still access the music on the AirPort drive simply by pointing iTunes to it. If you are using iTunes, go to preferences (Mac), then to Advance. There you will see a box that says: Copy files to music library..... If this box is unchecked, when you add songs to iTunes, it will not automatically place them on your computer. You will have to do this manually. This way, iTunes will allow you to put the library anywhere and will simply "point" to it so as to find the lib. If however, you do not have your drives connected when you start iTunes, you will get a bunch of "!" because iTunes can not find the lib. Simply close iTunes, connect the drives and open iTunes again.

    Hope this helps.
  10. macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
    Beloit, WI
    I couldn't find any easy way to more an existing iTunes library, so I started with a fresh one. From a windows pc hold down the "shift" key while starting iTunes or the "Option" key on a mac. This will prompt for the "Select a library" dialog. (See here: ) From there, create a library on the NAS or where-ever you want it. I then set my preferences within each of the iTunes to save and move songs there, keeping everything in one location. Then on each of the other computers, do the same as above, but instead of creating a new library, click "Choose a library" and browse and select the one on the NAS. You'll have to add the .itl file extension to the iTunes Library file so that Windows can use it.

    One of the things I learned is that a library created by a Windows machine can't be used by a Mac, so create the library with a Mac. Also, I've been having problems using the same library on a PC. It will open the library, let me browse it, and open the library, but there seems to be a difference in the way that a Mac iTunes library knows the locations of files vs. a PC, cause it will always error saying it can't locate any of the files. (If anyone has a suggestion on this, I'm open cause its making me angry.)

    Essentially because all the Mac's share one iTunes library file, they all know where all the files are that another user might add.
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    I use a 500gb drive connected to an Airport Extreme for my iTunes server. I run 3 libraries and sync about 8 iPods from it, and any computer (except for the PC) can sync any iPod because of how I have it set up. Here is how I set it up.

    I plugged the drive directly into the computer with the original iTunes library. Then, I copied my entire iTunes folder over to the external drive. Next, I moved the drive to its permanent position attached to the Extreme. Last, I made a copy of the iTunes Library file with each computer's name before it so that they can all connect simultaneously because sometimes you can get an error if two or more computers are accessing the same iTunes Library file. Then, I opened each iTunes with the option or shift key pressed and pointed them to the appropriate iTunes library. Finally, I set all the preferences to keep iTunes folder organized and copy all music to the iTunes Music folder.

    Now that they can all access it, I make a copy of the main iTunes library file daily and overwrite each of the other library files.(If someone can help me by making a script that can do that for me, that would be great as I have no knowledge in that area) I also dragged the network volume to the login items in System Preferences for each user so it is automatically mounted when they log in. So far, I have had no problems, but I do need a bigger drive.:D
  12. macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2010
    San Francisco
    I am running a very similar system with a readynasnv+ drive, mac book pro and sonos. I have the same issue. I continue to have to manually change the location of the media folder in itunes each time i restart my computer in order to play music from the nas or import music to it. Did you ever find a solution?

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