AppleTV for MUSIC ONLY?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by sotied, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. sotied macrumors regular

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    Apr 12, 2003
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    Boston
    #1
    My brother is exploring music options and doesn't know if he should grab an AppleTV for this solution.

    He will likely NOT buy/rent movies. He won't be buying iTunes music. But he does want a solution to manage his 250GB music library.

    He's got all the music on an external drive. He has an iMac at the office BUT no Mac at the house where he plans to use this.

    He wants to send this music through his stereo system either wired or wirelessly.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks,

    Jeff
     
  2. ayale99 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #2
    Well, he can sync 160gig worth of the 250gig at the office and take it home.

    or

    Upgrade the HD to a 250gig and sync.
     
  3. sotied thread starter macrumors regular

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    Boston
    #3
    External

    I believe he's willing to take the external home and just plug it into the AppleTV and designate that drive as the music library.

    Isn't that how it would work?

    Because he wants to keep his library in tact at the office (i.e. bring the drive back and forth with him).

    Jeff
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #4
    Apple's Airport Express will do this and the price is I think about $70.
    If you have one or more of these things then you get a pull down menue inside
    of iTunes where you get to select which "speaker" iTunes will play through.


    With this setup you need to open up iTunes to play music. With ATV the
    user interface is on the TV. Either way you can make it work. I have a large
    library of music in Apple Lossess format. maybe 1,000 CDs The sound quality
    of my setup is as good as a standard CD player The "Express" has both
    an analog output and an optical digital output.
     
  5. Diode macrumors 68020

    Diode

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    Apr 15, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #5
    I keep a few playlist of fav's that I sync to my ATV and the rest I just browse my imac remotely. No need to sync your entire collection to the ATV

    To answer the original posters question yes it will work. However you might be better off with a airport express as someone originally suggested.

    I however love my ATV and wouldn't give it up ... of course it's hacked to do various other things :) increasing it's utility greatly.
     
  6. sotied thread starter macrumors regular

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    Boston
    #6
    OK. Clarify?

    Are you saying that he can just use an Airport Express for this function?

    As I mentioned he DOES NOT have a Mac at the house and is only shuttling his music back and forth on an external drive.

    If I understand correctly, he will need iTunes (running on a Mac, a PC or AppleTV), an Airport Express (to manage the music streaming to different devices) and cables to hook in directly to his components.

    OR are you saying the AppleTV will do this if you just hook up the HD and sync the songs you want, as long as you hook up cables to your TV and stereo? (TV for using the menus to assign music)

    AND, can AppleTV use an external HD as the iTunes Library as a regular Mac can?

    Thanks,

    Jeff
     
  7. sJv macrumors regular

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    Jul 11, 2007
    Location:
    Sierra Foothills, CA
    #7
    Roku Soundbridge

    If he only needs to stream music, the Roku Soundbridge may do the trick. It connects to iTunes, Firefly servers, and uPNP servers for music. It doesn't require a TV to navigate. It can also connect to internet radio streams without requiring a computer connection. I ripped all my CD's to apple's Lossless format, put them on a NAS box, and then use a low power Linux system running firefly/mt-daapd to serve them up to the Soundbridge. Using an optical connection to my receiver, I get CD quality music.

    At another my other place I have my mp3's on a Simpleshare NAS disk, which I hacked to run mt-daapd so it can also serve up my music to another Soundbridge.

    Roku has been responsive to adding features, and have managed to keep up with Apple's ever changing DAAP protocol changes. These things work great.

    http://www.rokulabs.com/

    -steve (no - I don't work for Roku!)
     
  8. sandman42 macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

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    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #8
    No, not unless you hack the :apple:TV. The :apple:TV is not designed to connect to an external drive out of the box. The intent of the device is that it is a portal to the content stored on your computer (either on the computer's internal HD or an external HD connected to the computer). Without a computer (for stored content) or an internet connection (for ITMS content, such as purchases or rentals) the :apple:TV can't do much. The :apple:TV cannot directly access an external HD.
     
  9. Diode macrumors 68020

    Diode

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    #9
    You are correct he will need itunes running in order to use both the airport express AND the appletv. AppleTV uses itunes to sync it's hard drive.

    Sort of ... you CAN NOT hook the hard drive directly to the AppleTV. The ATV will not recognize it. If he keeps the itunes library on the external he could sync it when the drive is connected to the mac/pc. Or stream the music to the express when the HD is connected to the mac/pc.

    No it can not.

    No problem, I hope I didn't confuse you as I didn't realize his collection was being moved around. It seems the best solution would be the ATV in this case. Have him connect the drive to a pc/mac running itunes and sync his favorite songs to the ATV.

    That way at least his favorite stuff is always on the ATV and can be played at any time (No matter where his external HD is or if the pc/mac is turned off).

    If he wants to listen to something not on the ATV but in his collection then he would need to connect his HD to a mac/pc running itunes and browse the collection remotely on the ATV (or have him sync it to the ATV).
     
  10. ipedro macrumors 68040

    ipedro

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    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #10
    One of the big "fixes" that Take 2 brought is that music continues to play even when you switch menus.

    Previously, if you were listening to music and wanted to explore other menus, your music would abruptly turn off and when you'd return to music, it would be reset, you'd have to find the song again and play it again.

    Now, music only stops when you play another song or other media. This is how it should have been from the start, but better later than never.
     
  11. ayale99 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 6, 2007
    #11
    Ya, some people are not reading your thread correctly. Whats all this airport express talk all about? Airport Express would only work if he had a Mac at home. Like I said, sync at the office, take the AppleTV home and plug it in. Simple as that.

    But, if you want to bring the external HD home to plug in to the AppleTV, you have to do some hacking to get the USB drive on the back to work.

    Hope that helps.
     
  12. Diode macrumors 68020

    Diode

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    #12
    Airport Express will work on a PC as well ... you just need to be running itunes.

    But you are correct in other aspects.
     
  13. sotied thread starter macrumors regular

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    Boston
    #13
    Now it seems clearer

    THAT is the best idea. Take the ATV to the office. Sync it and then run it home. Perfect.

    I'll let him know.

    Thanks,

    Jeff
     
  14. barijazz macrumors 6502

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    Dec 29, 2007
    #14
    And it will work on macs and pcs.
     
  15. sandman42 macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

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    Seattle
    #15
    You know, since he's only going to use it for music he could do the same thing with an iPod (sync at office, then connect to system at home), and he could listen to it on the way to and from the office too (or anywhere else). Wouldn't be as slick when connected at home though. 160Gb :apple:TV would be cheaper than 160Gb iPod, too.
     
  16. ayale99 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 6, 2007
    #16
    You guys that are going on about airport express do realize that the thread starter is talking about two DIFFERENT locations right? He has music in the office that he wants to take home.

    Are you telling the guy that he can stream music from his Mac at his office to his house with an airport express? I didn't know it could do that. I guess one of the downsides to that is that he would have to drive back to the office to change the song!
     
  17. ayale99 macrumors 6502

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    #17
    True, and probably a better option, but not as cool to look at.
    Wow. I can't believe I overlooked the ipod option. I've got AppleTV on the brain.:eek:
     
  18. Passante macrumors 6502a

    Passante

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    #18
    Apple TV does not stream music to Airport Express

    A big limitation is that Apple TV will not stream music to Airport Express. So you are limited to playing music to locations that you have speakers wired connected to an amp. For me this limits me to my family room since I can't run wires to the rest of the house.

    If I were going to buy a mac music server I would choose a Mac Mini over Apple TV.
     
  19. FreeState macrumors 68000

    FreeState

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    San Diego, CA
    #19
    Thats not what people are implying - iTunes will not stream over the internet any longer (it allowed this in its early days as the way you described, but it was put to a quick death by the record companies.)

    With an external hard drive you can move the hard drive back and forth and point iTunes on either the Mac or PC to the library file on it to use the music on either OS. Then you could use one or more Airport Express' to stream the music to the speakers at any destination from either a PC or a Mac.

    see: http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/features/airtunes.html
     
  20. FreeState macrumors 68000

    FreeState

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    #20
    But you can stream music on your computer the multiple Airport Express' and your AppleTV at the same time - all the while controlling (next, back pause) from the AppleTV. So it does what you looking for - just in a different way.
     
  21. mwp98223 macrumors 6502

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    Arlington Washington
    #21
    The standard "out of the box" AppleTV will not play music files that reside on an external drive. You need itunes to be running somewhere. AppleTV would only be able to play music that has been synced to its internal drive for it to work without a computer streaming itunes content to it. I don't have an Airport express, but my understanding this is even more dependant on iTunes running on a computer somewhere within the home sending a signal to it.
     
  22. ayale99 macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Thats awesome. So how do you propose he use the AirportExpress at home with no computer? Your still missing the point.

    No computer at home = no use for Airport Express.
     
  23. FreeState macrumors 68000

    FreeState

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    #23
    Oh sorry I got confused somehow and thought he had a PC at home and a Mac at work... Yeah his best option is AppleTV then synced at the office to bring home.
     
  24. peeaanuut macrumors 65816

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    Southern California
    #24
    without reading the entire thread it sounds like he needs a 160gb iPod and a DLO homedock.
     
  25. powerbook911 macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

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    Mar 15, 2005
    #25
    I love Apple TV, for the music part. I'd say it's worth that alone, if you have a surround system and what music on it and a nice image on the screen.
     

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