Dedicated Home Sharing Server

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by NewMacFan2011, May 22, 2012.

  1. NewMacFan2011 macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2012
    I have iTunes Match & was able to take all my music off my hard drive & store it in their cloud server for easy accessibility from any device. I would love to have the same option with my movies. I now have 30 movies sitting on my computer needing iTunes open to view them on my other devices around the house. I have been told to use NAS but I would still need to be hardwired for good speed.
    How is it that Apple hasn't developed an easy Time Capsule sized device that stores all your media for easy Home Sharing playback.
  2. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Not necessarily. I've used a NAS to host my iTunes library before and had no problem accessing it wirelessy. That was in the g-specs days of wifi.

    I would expect a Time Capsule, which runs at n-spec wifi, would have no p[roblem serving media access from wireless clients.

    Since your computer is running iTunes to serve to other devices, have you considered simply connecting an external hard drive to it to house the media files?
  3. NewMacFan2011 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2012
    Yes, I have done that in the past with my music files. Could a Time Capsule work the same way but wirelessly?
    Kind of like small square Mac mini with high storage, no display, plugged in to an outlet, that only had iTunes running on it.
    I think I could do it with a Mac mini but the cost for what I trying to accomplish is too much & I don't think a TC is accessible wirelessly without a computer. For example, my AppleTV could not run movies right from the Time Capsule it would have to Home Share them from the TC through my Macbook.
  4. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    I've been waiting for the AEBS/TC to get this feature ever since the rumors of an iOS based, A4 CPU AEBS/TC. I'd love to be able to hook up a HDD to the base station and have it act as the iTunes Home Sharing server. A dedicated mini is overkill.

    Right now, I just plug along with an old Dell P4 laptop connected to a SATA HDD with iTunes running. I sleep the screen to save on power. The nice thing about using a laptop is in the event of a power blip, the laptop will go to battery power and then back on the outlet power. A desktop will shutdown, unless connected to a UPS. My router will reboot itself, but a desktop typically won't. So using a laptop has that benefit.
  5. NewMacFan2011 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2012
  6. davidoloan Suspended

    Apr 28, 2009
    Apple are bound to have fully considered it. It is a such a simple product idea that they must have decided not to do it. Since they haven't done it already I don't think they will, especially as iCloud is becoming more important to their strategy. (I think HomeSharing was launched in approx Autumn 2009?)

    I would really like a simple iTunes server with 8 changeable hard drive slots that would plug into a network.

    iTunes Match is the direction they are moving in. I don't think it will be possible to upload 4TB of video any time soon.

    A Mac Mini plus loads of connected Hard Drives is expensive, overkill, a cable hassle and the lack of thunderbolt solutions doesn't help.
  7. NewMacFan2011 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2012
    Agreed iTunes Match for Video would be amazing but that doesn't seem like it will be coming any time soon. I guess now we can only hope for an at home solution. Perhaps they have developed it but the price point is too high. Everyone seems to want it but there is a cap that people would be willing to spend before they thought it wasn't worth it.
  8. duncyboy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 5, 2008
    I've been hoping for this kind of product for a couple of years now. If Apple don't do it simply allowing other companies to emulate an iTunes server for things like ATVs and iPads would be superb.

    If we're in the post-PC era why do we HAVE to have a PC or Mac running iTunes still?

    I'd love the simplicity of simply a NAS device for storage/streaming and an iPad.
  9. radiogoober macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2011
    I thought so too at first, but when I started running the numbers, a base Mac mini starts to stack up pretty well to other options, especially considering that it's a real computer that can do anything.


    There is a ton of ways that a iTunes server can already be done perfectly without any hassle. My Mac mini is currently my iTunes server. I have a pair of massive TB drives plugged in, and a third FW drive that is a second backup, so I have space available for 3TB worth of media, with double redundant backup. I leave my Mac mini on at all times, and the media is always accessible. Works perfectly.

    I don't see the merit to the argument that having to always leave a Mac mini on is a bad thing. Any server device would have to be left on at all times too, and I'd guess the power draw/yearly cost would be minimal in difference.

    So, those tons of ways I said one could set up a server, here are a few ideas:

    - Just use external disks, plug them in your Mac and leave the Mac on at all times.

    - Buy a mini (I saw for $570 brand new base model on Amazon), set it up, plug your external drives into that, and then plug it directly into your router. It is lightning fast and works perfectly. You can manage the mini perfectly fine with Screen Sharing (I just tested this out, it took about 30 seconds to configure, worked fine.) The "issue" with this setup is the hassle of managing the iTunes library on the networked mini. You can do it perfectly fine via Screen Sharing, and you can of course just share out the "Automatically add to iTunes" folder, and just drop new media onto that and it would be automatically added to the iTunes library. You could also do some neat automated things to make this a torrent slave, a media converter, or anythign else. Of course, when you add an extra computer (even if it was a dedicated itunes server) it adds another layer of complexity, etc.

    - If you don't want to have a dedicated Mac mini, then it's just as easy, and about the same total cost (including drives, etc), to buy a very nice networked attach storage unit like the Synology ones. You can simply host your iTunes library there (I do not mean use the built in useless iTunes server, I mean point iTunes to store the media on the Synology unit), but this does require leaving the Mac on at all times.

    Me? I'm fine right now with my multiple externals hidden behind my monitor, and leaving my Mac mini on at all times. My setup works flawlessly and I stream movies, etc, all over the house. I'm in the process of building a nice rack setup, so when the new Mac mini comes out I'll upgrade to that, and put my current one in the rack with the external hard drives, and just host my iTunes library on the network share.

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