Do you think iTunes will ever be a standalone server? (AppleTV)

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by KittyKatta, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. KittyKatta macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2011
    This is my current setup:

    Time Capsule + External Hard Drive for iTunes Files
    AppleTV (Wireless)
    2003 Garbage PC (Wired to Time Capsule)

    Yes, I use iTunes Match for streaming my music but this setup means when I want to watch a movie then data goes from PC, over ethernet to the Time Capsule to retrieve the file from the external hard drive which it sends wirelessly over to the AppleTV in the next room.

    Thats hardly convenient, fast or the "Apple Experience" that we love so much. So I'm curious what everyone thinks about Apple's plans for the future. Do you think they'll ever enable a solution that doesnt involve a PC? Maybe allow direct USB connection of media? Or Make the Time Capsule a standalone iTunes Server?
  2. spykthomas macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2012
    Personally I would have a Mac Mini, with either thunderbolt storage or upgrade the internal drive, attached to my main TV with home sharing to AppleTV on the second TV set.
  3. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    That's going backwards. Everything's moving to the cloud. You hit 'play' and it streams from the cloud. I presume your issue is with playing movies, you own physical copies of, on your Apple TV. Apple doesn't care about that scenario. Their answer would be to buy the movie through iTunes/Apple TV. Perhaps they could have a subscription based service like Netflix as well.
  4. Rushli0n macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2012
    I agree that is Apple's mentality, but they aren't guaranteeing that you will be able to watch the movies you buy in the cloud forever. So they are forcing user's hands to download the copy to your hard drive just in case they pull it from the cloud.

    If I could get a promise that all the movies I buy from iTunes will be available to me regardless of if they get pulled, then I am all in. But until then, Apple should make it easier to pull from your own library.
  5. KittyKatta thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2011
    Actually, I've warmed up to the idea of buying video on iTunes. But that still leaves a lot of problems:

    - Bandwidth/Bandwidth Caps. Excessive downloads get flagged by cable providers. Especially Cox where they charge me $35/mo for only 3Mbs and any time I download more than a gig then I get throttled
    - Sync to iPad. I have a smart playlist of certain shows/movies that kids watch so that its not always the same episode. Thats a lot of bandwidth for just rotating in shows for travel
    - Content. A lot of content just isnt available on iTunes. So not only do I save money by ripping my own blurays, I also have a better selection
    - DRM. As someone who lives almost exclusively in Apples ecosystem then itunes is great. But i also just picked up a Nexus 7 and now my purchased items cant play.

    Obviously its easy to give a list of reasons for "why" simplicity should extend into file storage, but I think you said it best already:

    "Apple doesn't care about that scenario"
  6. sulliweb macrumors regular


    Mar 13, 2011
    I think that's a standard thing with Apple. What they do, they do really great. The rest... Well, they just pretend there isn't actually anything else, and anyone who says otherwise is "one of those people". :eek:

    That said, my entire collection is digital using iTunes and AppleTV. I have a little Acer mini that runs great as an iTunes server for the money I paid for it.

    With regards to Apple's move towards the cloud, if I had a great broadband connection, streaming would be fine, but the best I can get is a 3Mbs U-Verse connection... Forget data caps, at those speeds, I'm hard pressed to hit the cap at all.

    As for streaming 1080p... Forget about it!
  7. KittyKatta thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2011
    I sold most of my Macs last year and so my iTunes was running off of my main MacBook Pro wirelessly connected to an external drive on my Time Capsule. Needless to say, it was a slow and impractical solution. So I dug up my old 2003 work computer (my golden parachute when they laid us off :D) and now run iTunes off there. Its ridiculously slow so I'm looking at cheap machines to use as an iTunes server but my fear with Windows is that iTunes 11 may not support Windows right away.

    I really feel the best solution is to make an update to the Time Capsule called "Time Server" which would double up as your backup solution and also a dedicated iTunes server. But then we havent even gotten that delayed iTunes 11 update so maybe Apple is showing us how little they care for "those people" like us. :eek:
  8. dgalvan123 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2008
    That would be great: basically allowing Time Capsules to work as true iTunes servers that can remain on when your computer is off and serve audio AND video to your Apple TV's, iphones, iPads. (My understanding is that current "iTunes Server" protocols exist that allow a NAS storage system to serve iTunes music, but not video, through DLNA.)

    Apple could market the product easily: "your music, your video, your photos (maybe?), anywhere any time." It would be an updated capsule that serves as your router, you computer backup, and your iTunes Server. This would dovetail nicely with their efforts to keep going thinner and more minimalist with computers (macbook air, new iMac). With smaller desktop units that go heavily to flash storage, why not just have a second, non-mobile unit like time capsule that can hold those big iPhoto, iMovie, and iTunes libraries, and serve them to all your macs, ipads, and iphones? No "synching" required. Not only do I think this is a good idea, I think there is some likelihood apple will eventually do it. .. .

    . . .UNLESS they decide to go completely cloud-based. In which case they may eventually discontinue time capsule altogether and instead offer an "iCloud" service to backup your mac.


    You've clearly laid out the reasons I only rarely use iTunes Store for movie purchases. (Sure I use iTunes Store for music, but that's all DRM-free now.)

    Instead, if there's a movie I want to own I do the following:

    I'll buy the Blu-ray or DVD on amazon, then rip the disc using HandBrake and import it to iTunes. The Disc itself serves as my backup, and the rip is accessible on my Apple TVs and idevices. No restrictions for usage.

    For TV Shows, I don't usually want to own them, just watch them once through. For those (in order of best to last resort)

    -Either I record it from the broadcast (OTA Antenna --> HD Homerun --> EyeTV software on mac --> export to iTunes)
    -stream from netflix, Hulu, or website (Free Cable plugin on jailbroken ATV2)
    -Purchase on iTunes. (I only do this for a few shows that aren't available any other way and for which I want to stay current, for example Breaking Bad. I don't have cable and that show is not up-to-date on the websites or hulu/netflix.)

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