Apple TV with external drive

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by tschnell, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. tschnell macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2008
    I just got my apple TV recently and now I want to use an external hard drive. I am thinking about getting a 500gb external Hard drive and then hook it up to my imac with some movies and TV shows on there. Will my apple TV recognize it?

    Also I was thinking about getting the 500gb or the 1tb time capsule instead of an external hard drive, can I put videos and songs on there and have my apple TV stream over the air that way?

    What is the best way to go?
  2. tom1971 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2007
    I would patch the ATV, enable USB and just attach a USB drive to your ATV. No streaming, no linking, no issues ;-)
  3. kornyboy macrumors 68000

    Sep 27, 2004
    Knoxville, TN (USA)
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A102 Safari/419.3)

    You can use the external drive fairly easily. You'll need to tell iTunes not to copy items to the library inside of the preferences. iTunes will then read your media from wherever you store it. I've done mine this way and it works great. Good luck!
  4. adrianseto macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2008
    Newbie question -

    I want to move some tv shows from my Mac to an external hard drive. Where do I find the actual files?

    And once that is done I have to set up itunes preferences not to copy the files back to itunes but to pull from the HD, right?

    Adrian (newbie)
  5. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    This question comes up a lot - there should be a FAQ :)

    An un-hacked Apple TV doesn't read or know about any disk drive except for the one that's in it. Period. Everything else it gets from iTunes.

    Now, there are lots of discussions on how to best use an external drive with iTunes and there are a few options, but this has absolutely nothing to do with the Apple TV. As long as iTunes can see it, you are good to go.

    I keep my entire iTunes library on an external drive. I went into iTunes preferences/advanced and changed the location of my library. I left everything else alone. iTunes manages my library and automatically copies all the files I add to the external drive. I recommend it.

    If you use a laptop, and want to play music when you're not home, you may want to use some of the other suggestions. If you move your entire library onto the external drive, it won't be there when you're sitting on the bus/at Starbucks/etc.

    Hope that helps,

  6. northy124 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2007
    Yes if you hook it up to the iMac
  7. adrianseto macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2008
    This helps thanks! But I have to first move my itunes library to the external drive right? Not just copy?
  8. toddngina macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2008
    Negative, you don't have to move your whole library. For instance, I keep all my music and TV shows on my computer's drive, while all my ripped movies are on an external HDD. Just pick a place on your HDD where you want to keep your video content, dig into your itunes library under "tv shows" or "movies", or however you have it managed, and drag them over to your external HDD. In iTunes, you will have to deselect the option to have Itunes manage your library for you, because then it will transfer everything back to your ITunes folder on your computer by default. Once that's done, you just go into iTunes, and select "add to Library", and point it towards your new folder on your External HDD where your content is and it will be added. You may now have duplicates showing up in iTunes, but you can just remove the links to the ones that were on your computer's internal drive.
  9. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    You *can*. You don't have to. I did - I'm using a Mac Mini so there is no point in splitting my Library with some things on the external drive and some things on the internal (not to mention that it's a bit of a hassle).

    If you want to move everything, go into iTunes preferences/advanced and changed the location of your library to the external drive. Close the preferences window and in the menu go to Advanced, and click on Consolidate Library. iTunes will move everything from you old location to your new location. If you have a lot of stuff, it will take a while.

    If you want to have a split library (you have a laptop and always want to have some content with you) then other people have posted instructions on how to do that already.


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