Before I make a total mess of things, help please.

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mic j, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. mic j macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    Currently I have a MBP housing my iTunes library with only my audio files on the internal HDD. Video files are stored on a USB HD connected to an AEBS. This also is the source of iTunes for the aTV and airplay for my home stereo (using an AE).

    Recently I acquired a very old (2005?) MB. I've got it updated to the latest Snow Leopard (the last OS it will support) and the latest version of iTunes. I figure about the only thing it would be good for is as an iTunes server. So I have connected it, using ethernet, to the AEBS. I have also copied all of the audio files onto it's HDD and it is also connected to the USB HD through the AEBS. Home Sharing is turned on. So basically at this point it is a duplicate of my MBP but hard wired to the AEBS instead of using wifi (as the MBP does).

    So how do I manage all of this? Do I delete the iTunes library from the MBP and make the MB have the only library, then share it with iTunes on the MBP? Can I have both going for a awhile until I am comfortable the MB is going to work out? (I am a little concerned about lag using sharing to feed the MBP, but that may be an unfounded concern.) Then I assume I can go to the aTV and point it to the MB iTunes?

    I would appreciate any guidance on how to implement using the old MB without totally mucking up my currently well performing system.

  2. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    I think if you try to have both machines share the remote drive over the long term, the two iTunes Library files are going to get out of sync pretty fast. Then you'll have to get them caught up by using 'Add to Library'. That will work until you forget, then they'll be out of sync again, ad infinitum.

    Sharing the MB library via iTunes sharing should work very will, the only caveat being that if your library is large, it can take a minute to get loaded. The Apple TVs will not care where their data comes from.

    I currently use an old Mac mini as my iTunes server with locally attached disks. I share the 'Automatically Add to iTunes' folder so I can drag and drop music or movies from any of my other machines. If I need to make any changes I use Screen Sharing to talk to the server (some years it has a display and keyboard, but usually not). I also log into the server once in a while to download iTunes purchases so I always have a copy there.

  3. mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    Thanks for your insights. My ultimate goal is to use the MB (located in my basement with the aTV, AEBS, and HD's) as the sole iTunes source and let the MBP (which resides upstairs). Just a little hesitant to just move everything in one fell swoop only to find out it doesn't work well and have to recreate the way it was before.
  4. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    I do not see why it would not work just fine - certainly you can test it without committing yourself.

    The only sub-optimal item that I see is the use of a network drive for iTunes content. That means when you play a movie on a device, the movie travels over the network from the drive to iTunes, than back over the network (bumping into itself on the way) to the end device. I would recommend plugging the drive directly into the Macbook, but I don't know what else you might keep on the drive so that might not work for you.

    That said, you are already doing this with your current setup and it seems to work, so it is not a crisis.

  5. mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    Originally, I had anticipated connecting the USB HD (which only contains movie/tv/show files) directly to the MB. But then, I started thinking the if everything worked ok in it's current configuration (networked), there might be some advantage to having access to a networked drive. I still may go the route of plugging it in directly to the MB

    I just tried "sharing" the music library with my MBP upstairs and their was no noticeable lag (but the music is on the MB HD). Loading movies into the MB library now and will see how responsive the aTV is. It's always been a little slow to add cover art and if it's no worse, I may stick with using the drive networked. However, once I assess that, I may give a direct connection a try to see if it speeds anything up.

    Thanks again. Starting to feel more confident about doing this.

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