ATV + Networked drive = ?

Morrius

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 23, 2007
95
0
I intend to purchase a USB hard drive and migrate my iTunes library onto it to free up some space on my laptop's SSD. The drive will be connected to my Airport Extreme, so it will be networked. How does this interact with Apple TV? Do I need to have iTunes running on my laptop to access the library on it?
 

mmomega

macrumors 68040
Dec 30, 2009
3,410
1,565
DFW, TX
As far as I know ..... and the only way I've had my aTV2 or 3 work, is...

to have your music/movies/etc loaded into iTunes on a computer
enable homesharing on iTunes on that computer
enable homesharing on the aTV
then you scroll over to the "computers" icon on aTV and all of your media will be populated
enjoy your media

iTunes will have to be open on a computer somewhere hosting the files.
ie: you can not receive files from an itunes server if itunes is not open

I have a Mac Mini server w/ a Thunderbolt drive serving all of my media and it works great.
Also keep in mind that videos should be in mp4 m4v format.
 

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Oct 31, 2010
6,498
9
Hamilton, Ontario
I intend to purchase a USB hard drive and migrate my iTunes library onto it to free up some space on my laptop's SSD. The drive will be connected to my Airport Extreme, so it will be networked. How does this interact with Apple TV? Do I need to have iTunes running on my laptop to access the library on it?
yes only a jailbroken ATV can see files on your network drive without iTunes
 

coolspot18

macrumors 65816
Aug 16, 2010
1,033
77
Canada
Get a Synology NAS, it has an iTunes server on it.

Yes, more expensive, but you can network enable your iTunes library.
 

boomhower

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2011
1,559
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Get a Synology NAS, it has an iTunes server on it.

Yes, more expensive, but you can network enable your iTunes library.
You'l still need iTunes running somewhere pointing to the server and connect the aTV to whatever is running iTunes. Yeah, I know it doesn't make sense but you can't connect the aTV directly to a NAS. What it boils down to is HomeSharing has to be available and as of yet no NAS has homesharing implemented that I am aware of. I ended up putting together a cheap windows PC as it's sole function is to run iTunes to serve the Apple TV. Eventually I'll use it as a more full featured router but for now that's all it does.
 
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boomhower

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2011
1,559
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Your right ... I guess I'll stick to my XBMC ... I only use the ATV for Airplay Mirroring.
Airplay does eliminate a lot of the need for a NAS for a lot of people. For me I still needed something due to space constraints of an SSD on a notebook. I don't see why Apple doesn't make a media server. They have everything to do it, just need to write an iOS simplified server OS to put on top.
 

GeekGuys

macrumors regular
Mar 13, 2009
146
5
QNAP do a NAS that has built in iTunes server. No need to run any computer to see all media on any Apple device.
 

boomhower

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2011
1,559
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QNAP do a NAS that has built in iTunes server. No need to run any computer to see all media on any Apple device.
So you are streaming video from the QNAP to an Apple TV with no computer running? I've yet to see anyone get that to work.(on a non-JB device) The Apple TV works off of homesharing and iTunes servers don't have that unless QNAP has recently added that ability. NAS's certainly will work just fine but you have to have a computer running itunes that links to that NAS. Then the aTV connects through the itunes running on the computer to see the library on the NAS.
 

CylonGlitch

macrumors 68030
Jul 7, 2009
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SoCal
QNAP do a NAS that has built in iTunes server. No need to run any computer to see all media on any Apple device.
NAS iTunes Servers in general these things are only good for streaming music and even that is flaky at best. Your best bet is to setup a network share and point iTunes to it and turn on home sharing. The iTunes servers that are built into the NAS themselves is not good enough.
 

tdhurst

macrumors 601
Dec 27, 2003
4,120
227
Phoenix, AZ
What I do

I have my iTunes videos on an external drive and they work fine with AppleTV3.

Don't see why a networked drive with the files playable through iTunes wouldn't work the same way, save for longer load times.
 

zhenya

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2005
6,456
2,930
I have my iTunes videos on an external drive and they work fine with AppleTV3.

Don't see why a networked drive with the files playable through iTunes wouldn't work the same way, save for longer load times.
That does work fine. However you still must have a computer on and running iTunes in order for Home Sharing to work. The OP'er has a laptop, and was hoping to be able to access his networked content with the laptop off. In order to do that, he must jailbreak his ATV.
 

tdhurst

macrumors 601
Dec 27, 2003
4,120
227
Phoenix, AZ
Yes!

That does work fine. However you still must have a computer on and running iTunes in order for Home Sharing to work. The OP'er has a laptop, and was hoping to be able to access his networked content with the laptop off. In order to do that, he must jailbreak his ATV.
You are correct.

Of you can get lucky and have someone give you a Mac Mini, like I did.
 

Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
4,989
192
Of you can get lucky and have someone give you a Mac Mini, like I did.
Now when there is a mini connected directly to your HDTV, one wouldn't need an ATV at all correct? because the mini already has an airplay receiver(?). Can I run netflix and a DVR on the mini (one hopes)?
 

tdhurst

macrumors 601
Dec 27, 2003
4,120
227
Phoenix, AZ
Sure...

Now when there is a mini connected directly to your HDTV, one wouldn't need an ATV at all correct? because the mini already has an airplay receiver(?).
Sure, but then you'd have a computer attached to your TV, which requires a mouse, cables and all the hard drives.

I'd much rather set all that up somewhere else and stream it to my AppleTV.

I have no idea what you mean by airplay receiver.
 

scottw324

macrumors 6502
Mar 5, 2012
452
1
I do the same, have my laptop running in my bedroom under the entertainment center with a 3TB external Seagate HDD attached to it. I leave the laptop running all the time with the HDD attached and stream the content to the three Apple TV2s that I have in the house along with 2 iPads. All my iTunes content resides on that 3TB HDD. I have another laptop and a netbook so I have plenty of computers to go around to use one as a media server.