How to setup my media library?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Gjwilly, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    May 1, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I've got a Mac Mini with a 4gb thunderbolt drive.
    I want to leave this on 24/7 and use it as my main iTunes repository and use it for streaming to an Apple TV and also use it for Plex streaming to iPads/iPhones.
    Pretty sure that that's pretty straight forward.
    Set the location of the iTunes media library to the thunderbolt drive and tell it to keep the library organized. All media stays on the thunderbolt drive and none of it stays on the Mac mini itself.
    Meanwhile I install Plex server and tell it to monitor that same thunderbolt drive.
    The part I'm not so sure about is that I also want to have iTunes on my MacBook and I want it to use that same thunderbolt drive for its media.
    Again all media on the thunderbolt drive and none on the MacBook.
    Is that possible?

    I want this so that I can sync media from my MacBook to my iPhone/iPad.
    I do this now with a NAS by mounting the NAS on my MacBook.

    Can I share that same thunderbolt drive from the Mini and mount it on my MacBook or will I run into problems since iTunes will be running 24/7 on the Mini?
    I don't use playlists and I don't care about play counts.

    Home Sharing is out (I think) because that would just let me copy from the thunderbolt to the MacBook which isn't what I want.

    Any tips?
  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Home sharing allows you to playback directly from the itunes server. You don't have to copy the files to the macbook. We use homesharing from our media server all the time to playback music from our macbooks.
  3. iGobbleoff macrumors regular


    May 2, 2011
    This is what I do

    I have 4 users on my MBP

    User1 is Me, my own account, my own iTunes library etc
    User2 is Movies
    User3 is TVShows
    User4 is Music

    They all have a library on NAS, all with their own iTunes open, all day every day.

    All are on with Home Sharing, so when I go to my TV, I can see the above four libraries. My own library is really only there for syncing my iPhone and iPad.

    I wouldn't bother with Plex, the iPad and iPhone can stream from the libraries anyway, my iPad streams anything from the above libraries, or I can copy to the iDevice.

    You won't be able to have two logins connect to the one iTunes library. You'll get a read/write issue, if one user has it open, the second user won't be able to add to the library.
  4. gpspad macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2014
    What apple id do you use for the Music, TV, and Movies users?

    Also how do keep them going without them turning off?
  5. iGobbleoff macrumors regular


    May 2, 2011
    I use the same ID for all four. I use the same ID so I can use Home Share to copy between libraries if I need to.
    And I keep all four users on at the same time. I just switch them, so on my own MBP library, I can see the other three libraries and share between if need be.
  6. Gjwilly thread starter macrumors 68030

    May 1, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Playback yes, but can you sync an item from someone else's library to your iPhone without first putting it in your library?
  7. Gjwilly thread starter macrumors 68030

    May 1, 2011
    SF Bay Area

    So you've got three separate folders on your NAS for users 2-4 with none of the actual media files being duplicated?
    What about user 1's folder?
    Aren't those media files duplicates of the items in folders 2-4?
  8. iGobbleoff macrumors regular


    May 2, 2011
    Correct. So on my NAS I have


    (Under each of those folders is the rest of the iTunes library files, folders etc)

    I have the option "Copy media files to library" set to On, so what happens is that I have the media on my own MBP library, then I User Switch to the Movies User for example, then in *that* iTunes session I switch to the MBP Library via Home Sharing, then I copy the movies from the MBP Library to the Movies Library, and it copies from wherever to the NAS folder. I then User Switch back to my MBP Library and delete the original file.

    My own MBP Library is really only the songs that I listen to most. Yes they might be replicated on my NAS but I can delete the songs I don't listen to often on my MBP and I still have a master copy on the NAS. Same goes for when I travel, I open iTunes on my own User session, 'look' at the other libraries via Home Sharing, copy them to my Library, sync my iPad then I can view whatever movies on the plane etc. When I get home, or even on the road, if I've watched it, I just delete it from the MBP Library, and my main master library (on the NAS, via another Username) isn't affected.

    Again, you might have *two* copies of the file, but the small library I use to sync is just a temp library so to speak

    Your case is pretty much the same, the Mini will be your Master iTunes library, with four users (You, Music, TVShows and Movies) and that machine will be on 24/7 server to the ATV's on the house.

    Your MBP, like me, will be your temporary library that you use on the road, so you would use Home Sharing to copy files to the MBP from your Master Libraries, then when you're done with them on the MBP, delete them. The MBP Library is the one you sync to your iDevices.

    I have literally just bought a Mini yesterday, its on its way. I use the MBP to do all of this while I am at home, its a 2011 17" and its suffering from the dreaded video card glitch, so I'm not sure how much longer its going to last, so I will be making my Mini do the same, and my MBP will end up as a temp machine until it dies properly. I was going to get a MBAir, but with the 12" around the corner possibly, and I find my iPad does everything I need on the road.

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7 January 24, 2015