How to manage iTunes library across network?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by MIKarlsen, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. MIKarlsen macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2011
    Hey everyone.

    Recently got myself a network harddrive and an Apple TV, since i decided to put all my physical copies of my shows and movies into the basement.

    But how on earth to you guys manage your iTunes library? It seems really hard to understand how iTunes manages and sorts the files across shared libraries.

    This i what i want to accomplish and my setup:

    [MacBook Pro] <----> [Network Drive] <----> [Apple TV] <----> [TV]

    I want the library to be stored ENTIRELY on the network drive. I don't need access to the files when I'm not at home. For now, i have found a way to store and copy the entire library onto the network drive. So far, so good.

    The problem i have now is sorting all the damn tv-shows and movies. I've been tagging them so i can genre/playlist-browse via the Apple TV, but once i open a file, iTunes automatically moves the actual file from the folder i made, into the "Home Videos" folder.

    This means, that if i open all the episodes and movies, i will just have 500 files in one big pile, which is pretty inefficient when i have to browse my network drive.

    Can't iTunes keep the files sorted in folders?

    How do you guys keep your libraries setup?

    Thanks in advance :)
  2. DustyLBottoms macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2009
    First: Make sure Home Sharing is enabled on all devices (don't bother with "share my iTunes Library", just use Home sharing).

    Second: once you import your file, right click on it and select "get info." you can then edit your meta-data from there, and the changes will be reflected across your devices.

    EDIT: Also make sure "let iTunes manage my library" is enabled!
  3. Cinephi1e macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2012
    Northwest Ohio
    OK, there are many issues to consider. If you are letting iTunes manage your library this is what will happen. You can go to iTunes preferences and switch it off so that you movie or show is not moved when opened in iTunes.

    However, the fact that iTunes is moving your show to the Home Videos folder suggests that it not tagged properly. If you tag it as a movie/TV show using iTunes, it is not a permanent tag. You need to do this with a dedicated tagging program. I strongly suggest Subler for this:

    To answer how we do our organizing, everyone will have a different approach. Personally, I very carefully tag everything and then let iTunes do the organizing. It is not ideal but it is adequate for me.
  4. slothrob macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2007
    If you uncheck the option to have iTunes organize your files, it will leave them in your file system.

    I would argue that this is not the best way to go, however, unless you have a need to keep files scattered over multiple disks. I would advise going into the Advanced settings and point your iTunes library to your network drive. Then, once the movies are tagged correctly, using an external program or the iTunes Get Info function, the Moves and TV Sjhows will be moved into a single folder, each.

    This breakdown of your file structure won't matter, though, because you'll manage and access the movies through the iTunes interface to that created database, which will allow you to see all your media at once, or just films in certain Genres, whenever you want. You'll rarely, if ever, need to go into the actual Media folders where iTunes does it's work, and really shouldn't be in there, unless something goes awry. There really isn't any need to fret about how iTunes decides to organize it's database.

    In addition, if you want to go looking for something in the iTunes Media folder, finding it will be easier because you can just search the single folder for the file name you are looking for. This is usually more efficient that poking around in a bunch of folders that you have called Action Movies and SciFi, trying to remember where you left that one film.

Share This Page