Apple TV3 & multiple HDD's

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by stevemgough, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. stevemgough macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2012
    Hi all I have problem which i can't seem to get my head around, Im looking at buying an ATV3 next weekend, I'm currently converting my whole movie library from MKV to m4v using handbrake.
    My problem is that i have a server running windows server 2003 which has all my media on, i have 1 HDD for music & photos and 2 x HDD's for movies.
    Within the movie HDD's the media is in sub folders, kid films, action, sic fi etc.
    If i understand it right i need to direct the ATV to my iMac which is where my iTunes library is then get the media from my server. only problem is i can only direct iTunes to one HDD at a time on the server is there any way i can have iTunes looking at multiple HDD's. Ive tried a mapped network drive with shortcut folders, but the mac won't open the shortcut saying that it can't open .ink files??
    I asked at my local Apple store and they mentioned setting up raid5 on my HDD's but i have no where to transfer my 6TB of media to so i can do this.
    I've only recently bought the iMac, I'm getting the ATV next weekend and the new iPhone when its released later this year so i don't really want to be spending any more money..
    Any help will be greatly appreciated..

    thanks Steve
  2. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    Yes. No matter which folder you have iTunes pointing to, you can do one of two things in order to have media spread across several hard drives.

    Option one is simply unchecking the copying of files to the library on adding them (Preferences > Advanced > uncheck the box) then add whatever you feel like into the library, no matter where it is located on the network.

    Option two is drag-and-drop (from Finder to iTunes) whilst holding the option (alt) key. This will override the automatic copying for those specific files.

    This is how you collect media that you have on several drives/locations into one iTunes library.

    And oh, you really should try using iVI or iFlicks for your converting needs. You might save hours _per film_.
  3. stevemgough thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2012
    will i be able to keep them in their folders i.e kids films or will iTunes/ATV organise them for me..
    im a complete noob to mac and i only really ever used iTunes to get music onto my phone..

    thanks for your quick reply
  4. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    If you disable automatic copying or drop them in holding the alt key, the movies will stay where they are. But in the ATV3 (and in iTunes) you will see them differently. So file location and browsing on the TV are completely separate.

    You can, however, browse the movies by genre. So if you grab all of your kids' films and tell iTunes that "hey, these are all in a genre I want to call 'Kids films'", then browse movies by genre in the ATV - hey presto, you will see a genre called "Kids films" that contains them all - no matter if they're in the same folder on a hard drive or spread out over ten hard drives.
  5. stevemgough thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2012
    thats brilliant.. thank you so much, I've been googling like mad trying to find a way around it and was almost certain i was going to need to buy new HDD's so i could setup raid..

    thank you again..
  6. OmegaRed1723 macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2009
    The Waste
    As an aside, I noticed you said you were converting your .mkv files to .m4v with handbrake. If your .mkv's were encoded using h.264 you don't need to use handbrake to re-encode. There are several software options (MKVTools and Subler come to mind) that allow you to simply remux your files into the .m4v container rather than re-encoding. This saves a lot of time, and there is no further degradation of image quality.
  7. stevemgough thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2012
    Yeah they are all h264, how long would it take to remux say a 8-10gb film, it currently takes about 2-3 hours with handbrake, anything that speeds it up will be brill.
    I have a few .ts and wmv files will handbrake or the other programs be able to convert these.

    Thanks Steve
  8. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    As I said before, you should check out iVI or iFlicks. iFlicks offers a two week trial. Download that, add a movie, use the iTunes preset, see how long it takes. If everything is iTunes compatible, the remux would be the time it takes to write a 10 GB file to your hard drive.
  9. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    If the Windows server is on all the time and you already use it for media, can't you just install iTunes on it and share that library in home sharing? Or is there not a version for it maybe.
  10. stevemgough thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2012
    I can't get iTunes working on the server.. Its not down as a supported platform either..would be ideal that way but although the ATV should still see it i think there would be less problems if it was talking to a mac.
  11. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    May 1, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    The ATV3 can't pull video from a server anyway -- only an iTunes library -- so the path you're on is the right one.
  12. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    Well, it's not unheard of to have iTunes installed on server...
  13. sulliweb macrumors regular


    Mar 13, 2011
    This. Server 2003 on is Windows on some serious steroids, but it's still Windows. Home versions of Windows are just a subset of features on server editions, if you want to look at it another way. The code bases are the same. I can't say that I've tried it on Server 2003, but I think I've had an install of iTunes running on Server 2008, possibly R2, can't remember...

    Anywho, if you're server is beefy enought to handle it, it should run on it just fine.

    What problems were you having getting it to run?
  14. OmegaRed1723 macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2009
    The Waste
    Remuxing takes about 5-7 minutes, and as I mentioned before, doesn't degrade quality from the original encode. If you were to take your.mkv and then re-encode it in handbrake it would be akin to making a photocopy of a photocopy; the end product is going to be slightly worse than what you started with.
  15. Aries326 macrumors 6502

    Dec 28, 2007
    I've been using MKV2M4V purchased through the App Store and it works great. Remuxing takes about 6-7 minutes. I then use iDentify to find all the film info and artwork before I transfer the file to iTunes. You must have quite a collection there! 6TB!!! That's a lot of movies. I'm glad you asked the same question, I was wondering myself. The setup I have right now has my iTunes folder in an external 2TB RAID 1 configuration connected to my MacMini Server.
  16. stevemgough thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2012
    It would install but wouldnt let me add any media it kept coming up with an error which I can't remember what it said but mentioned library something or other.


    I've been "collecting" films for many moons and I'm a bit of a snob and will only download HD films, but it's easy to run up mass amounts of TB's with the likes of the LOTR trilogy, Matrix, blade etc etc.

    I've started using MP4tools seems to be okay, I was going to ask about art work and metadata but I'll try iDentify first seeing as you've mentioned it.
  17. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    Not to be repetitive, but have you tried iFlicks yet? It's a drag-and-drop interface that gets you the meta data (info and poster), remuxes the video and can even add the video into iTunes and delete the original file for you. It's as automatic and simple as it gets.
  18. stevemgough thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2012
    No I haven't tried it yet, I'll have a gander later when I get home, does/can it add cover art aswell.


    Should read properly. Just noticed you said "posters".
  19. stevemgough thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2012
    I've been playing with it for a while and seems to be good, i have a couple of questions.. I keep getting a message saying in need to change to iTunes 32bit and then iFlick crashes, and i have to force quit, Ive been trying to find on google how to change to 32 bit but it seems like things have changed for 10.6, any ideas on how to change or if i even need to.
    I don't seem to be getting cover art in iTunes either it seems to be the first frame of the film, I'm going to carry on playing for a while cause I'm sure this will just be a setting i need to check or uncheck..

    any ideas or help will be great.
  20. stevemgough thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2012
    so I've been playing for a while with iflicks and i think its safe to say it was a waste of £15, it only adds a few cover arts, takes an absolute age to remux files, constantly crashes and stops working as soon as the screen saver kicks in and everything needs starting from scratch afterwards it won't just carry on working and the most annoying thing is it won't remix a file unless the destination folder is either the imovies or iflicks folder which is no good seeing as all my files are on the server, I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to use MP4tools to remix whats needed then use iflicks to add them to iTunes which i could have quite easily done myself but seeing as I've paid £15 for a crappy app i might swell use it..

    I would love for someone to tell me that I'm doing something wrong but I've tried so many different settings and the fact I've sent 12 bug reports to iflicks today makes me think its not me its the app..
  21. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    Why didn't you download the two week trial instead?

    It adds all the metadata that it finds, cover art is a part of this.

    Remuxing a file is the time it takes to write the file. So if you're doing it on a film located on a network drive basically it's going to be the time it takes to transfer that film back and forth on the network at the same time. It's like unpacking an archive, you just don't unpack an archive located on a network drive because it takes forever...

    Not for me.

    You must be missing something, there is no problem what so ever to choose any folder or drive you want, even have the files stay in the same folder, both for end destination and "cache folder".

    I've converted hundreds of videos over the past months, and the only time I really ran into problem it was solved by restarting iTunes.

    I'm sorry you're having so much problems with the app, but at least it seems like a few of your worries might be quite easy to fix by reading the user guide.
  22. jtara macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2009
    I don't use my ATV3 for viewing movies from my server. I use my Samsung TV, which can connect to a DLNA server, which I run on my Linux box.

    For me, ATV3 has limited use. I use it for Airplay, and also for Netflix, becuase it has a nicer Netflix UI than my TV, and perhaps (unclear) access to higher-definition streaming.

    I'm disappointed at Apple's rejection of industry standards, such as DLNA. I do understand that you can jailbreak (not ATV3 yet, though, but I guess coming soon) and add apps to stream from a DLNA server.

    Getting back to your problem - another way to handle it would be to use symbolic links. You could potentially link-in your remote hard drives whereever you'd like in your iTunes directory structure. Probably best to first research the implications of this - e.g. how this would interact with iTune's cataloging of your movies.
  23. stevemgough thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2012
    thanks steve
  24. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    So when you downloaded it, you couldn't use it at all without entering a code? Or maybe you bought it from the App store straight away? Oh well, no point in discussing it further I guess...

    Strange, never had that happening before.

    Yes, a lot quicker.

    Look at the pictures to see my setup. I use the "iTunes compatible" preset, I use an ad hoc folder to keep the "work in progress" (choose Other to choose your own catalogue), Add to iTunes and Delete original is set. Those are the only settings I've changed, and adding a film automatically adds the cover art, meta data and it's all visible in iTunes afterwards...

    I've had problems adding to iTunes before, but I restarted iTunes and the problem was gone. What does it say in the queue window? (If you can't see it, go to Window > Queue).

    I really thought I had read a user guide, but maybe it was just really well explained in one of the posts here...

    Attached Files:

  25. littlepooch21 macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2010
    yeah you must not be using the right setting in iFlicks. this is a great app and works great.

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