Help on sharing iTunes, multiple Computers

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by lokipower, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. lokipower macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #1
    Happy New Year to all....


    I need some help. Here is the setup:

    2 iMacs, 1 MacBook Pro, several Expresses around the house for AirTunes, and 1 2TB WD drive attached to one of the iMac's via Firewire 800.

    I want to have a single source of music, movies, (everything for all iTunes on all Macs), on the WD external drive. I do not want to copy anything locally to any of the computers. I also do not want iTunes arranging any files, I have them structured the my PC world as well.

    Will anyone please give me a quick step by step on making sure I have this setup, and how to make sure new music is seen in all iTunes, (everytime I update a new album or folder, I keep getting duplicates and triplicates).

    Thanks to all...

    By the way, I have had these computers for about 2 months now, and am JUST NOW setting these up, ahh children!!!!
     
  2. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #2
    Suggest using the iMac that has the external HD as your base computer. This is where iTunes can see and modify your collection. Have this iMac share it's Playlists with the other Macs.

    This way you can control the library from one computer and the others can play via streaming using the Playlists. The other computers will only be able to play what is in the Playlist that you share.

    I think this will enable you to do what you want.

    On a side note, I would suggest letting iTunes arrange your music folder. You can tweak iTunes to do just about any way that you want and hence affect the arrangement to be just what you want it to be. It works very well.
     
  3. lokipower thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #3
    Is this to say that if I have a "master" iMac, that I have to arrange all of the music, movies, iTunes material for others to access? Can not each computer just view the external drive as their source iTunes folder?

    By the way, thanks for the quick response....
     
  4. RemarkabLee macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    #4
    Off the top of my head:

    On the host Mac
    1. Set iTunes to NOT organise your iTunes library and turn OFF copy files to my iTunes folder when adding to library (advanced) - this is probably the reason why you may have got duplicates. If in doubt, start with a new iTunes library (move the iTunes Library Files to a backup area after closing iTunes, then relaunch)
    2. Set iTunes to share your library (sharing)
    3. Turn on look for remote speakers with AirTunes (devices)

    On each client machine running iTunes
    1. Set iTunes to look for shared libraries (sharing)

    That should be all you need to do.
     
  5. RemarkabLee macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    #5
    Yes you could do this also, but each Mac would have to look after it's own library, but you'd lose control in a sense. Personally I'd prefer the single host/admin and multiple read only clients as Apple are hinting, but you could just allow the media to be shared simply as a file store - in which case just enable file sharing on the iMac and have the clients connect to the file store as a regular folder before importing the media into each clients library.
     
  6. lokipower thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #6
    How can I share everything without making playlists? What is the best way to share the files then, if I am going to have the "control" you mention? Bear in mind, I am talking music, videos, apps, etc.

    And Sushi, regarding letting iTunes mange my music, I did that once, and found it was easier to download MUCH of m music again than to get it back in order after letting iTunes have its way with my music. Basically I have all of my music in folders by genre, then artists, then album. I have not tagged all of my music yet, (one of my new year's resolutions), so perhaps that is the problem. I just can not seem to get the music right, I have started a fresh iTunes 4 times already. i know I need to tag the mp-3s, but man is that time consuming...
     
  7. i.shaun macrumors 6502a

    i.shaun

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #7
    Hmm.. multiple computers and one library...


    I would probably setup a good network, probably hooking the External to an airport router (unless you can easily access it from all computers where it is).



    Then on all Macs:

    -hold "option" as iTunes launches, and select "choose existing library". Locate the library on the network.

    -Hold "Shift" on all Windows machines and do the same.


    This should point all iTunes libraries to use the single library file, but I have never done this, so I don't know how it would work. You may have some type of conflicts when multiple iTunes libraries try to edit the files at once.


    I believe it would work if say you are a single user and want it to be accessible, and editable from any machine, however if multiple users on multiple machines attempt something, that's where I can see problems arising.

    There could also be a problem if it can't connect to the network server. It may just revert to the original local library which would be blank.
     
  8. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #8
    Actually, you can choose to share your whole library or selected playlists.

    Ability to play video will be affected by your network.

    I understand.

    I used to do the same, but then after a while of tinkering with iTunes, I managed to get things the way that I wanted them. So now I like iTunes manage my collection of music, video and TV shows.

    To your initial question, I suppose that if you set up your external drive to be shared, then all the computers you want can access it for the iTunes library. The problem will be open file conflicts. And it could corrupt files I would think. So IMHO, I would not do that and just have the library controlled by one computer and the rest access the library via sharing the library.
     
  9. ouwendibbes macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #9
    Hi there,

    I am trying a similar thing as lokipower. I have a macbook (which has limited hd space) and want an external server to manage my music. I also use the server as simplifymedia host, AFP, backup, storage and for downloading...all the handy things. Now, the server is a simple pc on which I have installed fedora and since there is no itunes for windows, I have installed a windows on the server using VMware. Sound complicated, but it does the job....almost. The only problem comes when I want to update my itunes library. Since the server is without screen etc I want to access it as little as possible, so best would be an auto-update function in itunes...unfortunately this does not exist several programs have been written to do this. I am using IdleTunes that is scheduled as a cron job in windows to automatically run every 20 minutes. It then checks selected folders for changes and adds new stuff or removes other things that are no longer there.

    USing the sharing option i can now play from the server. It took a while to find out all the nifty issues, but I am reasonably satisfied with how it works now. However, it would be nicer if i could access the library from the mac immediately through AFP and manipulate it manually....however this does not work because the file descriptors that windoze uses are different from the one that mac uses (i think)...so to sum up, i think it will be difficult to share one library between a mac and windows. Although I hope someone can tell me i am wrong and has some brilliant plan to let me manage the remote library.

    cheers

    tom
     
  10. lokipower thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #10
    What do you mean by video being affected by my network? Is gigabit not enough, (I do no run any sharing wireless, everything is wird). He only thing not wired is my MacBook, and it is wired when I need to do something like transfer pictures, etc.

    Thanks to all about hte heads up with the problems from having a single source vs sharing. I will opt to set my iMac, (the stronger of the two) up as the "master" and share the iTunes library. I am not sure exactly how, but I will work through it. I will post back with any problems, or at least to say success. Hope to get to it tonight.

    Its funny, because I have a Windows Home Server, and I know it has an iTunes server built in, but I have never been able to get it to work right, so I copy everything on my Windows Home Server to my external drive on the iMac, (after converting the videos for AppleTV), and now I have two sets of media files, interesting back up, one for Macs and another for PCs, hmmm... can't seem to drop the complicity.

    I thank everyone for there responses. It takes time to do so, and I appreciate it!!!
     
  11. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #11
    If you have a Giga network in your home, as in all things (router, switches, cables, etc.) are Giga, then no worries.

    If you have Fast Ethernet, then depending on the network load, you may have some dropouts/pauses -- especially if streaming to more than one computer.

    It's really pretty easy on the Mac side with iTunes.

    iTunes Preferences --> Sharing.

    Then check the box by "Share my library on my local network."

    And click on the radio button with "Share entire library."

    That should do it.

    Let us know how it goes.
     

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