Is it possible to stream to iTunes from a Time Machine backup?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by sunyatasattva, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. sunyatasattva macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2013
    I have recently bought a Time Machine-enabled NAS (WD My Book Live) and I configured a share to use it as my Time Machine backup. That share is also set up as a media server, and going to iTunes, it correctly shows under the Shared libraries section.

    The library it is, however, empty. I was wondering: is it possible to backup my iTunes music library using Time Machine and stream music from that same backup? It looks like that if I manually copy some music on the hard drive I can access it under iTunes, but I cannot see those same files if they were backed up with TM, although I can navigate to them in the finder.

    Anybody knows if this is possible?
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    No, you won't be able to use music files from inside a Time Machine backup set. You could put the iTunes library on the NAS then point iTunes to that drive to access the music.
  3. sunyatasattva thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2013
    Thanks. Then I shall use a separate backup system for my iTunes library I guess.
  4. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    A backup should be used a second, redundant copy of your files. You should not be "using" a backup as an iTunes Library: if you are, then the backup has become the source and your other copy is now the backup.

    Ask yourself what would happen to your data if any one device suddenly stopped working. If the answer is "I would lose some files", then you need to address that.
  5. sunyatasattva thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2013
    Well, I can see the conceptual difference; however, I fail to see the problem if what I was trying to do worked as I wished: I would add music to my main iTunes library, which would automatically be backed up on the NAS; my other devices in the house could then use the backed up library to stream (i.e. read-only) music.

    What if one device failed? No problem, because I have the other copy, that's the whole point of the backup.

    Now, however, to achieve this goal, I will have to manually back my library up in a non-Timemachine-y folder. This will make me slightly more prone to data-loss as I have to consciously remember to backup (which we all know, we mostly forget).
  6. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Any reason you can't just share the original iTunes library from the computer it is on to the rest of the network?
  7. sunyatasattva thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2013
    Yes, many reasons.

    First of all, the library is on a USB external HD: I may not want it wired all the time to my main computer (I might need the USB port for something else, etc.).

    Secondly, my main computer is a laptop: I could be away with my laptop, but I would still like the rest of my house to be able to stream the music from the library.

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