Good option for iTunes server

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bt22, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. bt22 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Alabama
    #1
    Hello,
    I would like to explain my situation and see if anyone can offer me a good solution to my problem. I am an avid Apple user and have the typical assortment of Apple products. 2 iPhone, Apple TV 1st Gen, MBP, iPad several Airport Extreme's and Expresses. I got interested in playing PC games and decided to build a Window's gaming computer. I had a Windows desktop prior to building the gaming computer that kept all my iTunes media. My gaming computer is loud and powerful and I don't want to keep it running all the time to serve my iTunes media to my Apple TV. I've asked this question before, but wanted to see if anyone has come up with a good server type option. I don't want to use my MBP due to wanting / liking it for mobility not tied to an external. I've thought about putting an external on my Airport Extreme, but that still requires iTunes to be open to stream my media. Has anyone come up with a good solution to this ...?

    Thanks as always...
    Happy Thanksgiving to all
     
  2. Yvan256 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    Running iTunes only as a server, with no need for local playback, you can go quite low on the specifications since all it needs is keep a database running and send files on your network. An old Mac mini G4 would be fine for that. I'm not sure about the software updates, however. Maybe you'll want to get a Mac with an Intel CPU. A Core Solo is probably more than enough too.
     
  3. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #3
    Yes, you can use a low-spec machine. A G4 is enough as an iTunes source for the 1st gen :apple:tv. However, if you plan to get the new/2nd-gen :apple:tv, avoid the G4. It can't handle Leopard, which is the minimum necessary for iTunes 10 that the 2nd-gen :apple:tv needs.

    Alternately, you could use an old low-spec Windows XP machine as an iTunes server. XP will run iTunes 10 for Windows, which will satisfy both flavors of :apple:tv.
     
  4. nOw2 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    #4
    Both Leopard and iTunes 10 work fine on a G4 887MHz+ Mac.
     
  5. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    England
    #5
    And both run very well on my 1.5GHz/1GB RAM G4 Mini which I have running headless serving iTunes (AAC and video), Squeezebox Server (FLACs) and iPhoto.
     
  6. bt22 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Alabama
    #6
    Thanks for all the replies. Ultimately I would like for whatever I choose to run headless and Windows does not seem a good option due to having to constantly run anti virus updates and other things such as defrag. I think the Mac Mini is the best choice but an expensive option needing something current.
     
  7. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #7
    Holy crap, you guys are right. Looks like I need to retake Mac OS Specs 101.
     
  8. tbertran macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    #8
    Kinda off-topic but do you care to elaborate how you set-up iPhoto to run on your server? How do you share the pictures with the clients?
    Also, are you just running iTunes on the G4 and sharing that library or do you have a more complex set-up?

    (looking to achieve that headless state without losing too many functionalities in the process)

    Thanks.

     
  9. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    England
    #9
    iPhoto is simply set to run at login and share the whole Library (iPhoto>Preferences>Sharing>Share my photos>Share entire library).

    AFAIK, iPhoto only "shares" Albums and Smart Albums, not Events or folders, so after importing I create an album to incorporate the new photos, or add them to an existing one.

    Then each "client" Mac simply opens iPhoto and find the Shared Library (iPhoto>Preferences>Sharing>Look for shared photos)

    Yep, iTunes again just runs at login on the same account and shares its Library (iTunes>Preferences>Sharing>Share my library on my local network).

    Squeezebox server could be easier because it runs as a service at boot rather than login, but because the above two need a user to be logged in then it doesn't make an advantage.

    Ripping CDs is done by Max, which rips the disc and then simultaneously encodes to FLAC for Squeezebox and AAC for iTunes and adds the latter to the iTunes library (I sync my iPod with the G4).

    The G4 is headless so I simply use Screen Sharing from another Mac to administer it. It's connected via ethernet (it sits underneath the wireless router) so Wake on LAN works if it's asleep.

    Feel free to come back with any queries if I've not covered what you need :)
     

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