iTunes 24/7 alternatives

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Otto J, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. Otto J macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2010
    So, I want to set up some kind of computer just to run iTunes, kind of an Airplay server if you will. I'm trying to figure out which hardware to use, and I'm not sure what if any drawbacks I will see from running on older hardware. I will be serving to an Apple TV and a couple of Airport Express's, and controlling from a couple of iPhones and an iPad 2.

    I am considering three different scenarios:

    Using an old laptop I have lying aroung (WinXP, 2 gig ram, 1.2 gHz Celeron, 80 gig HDD) together with my NAS server. Price: 0$

    Buying an old Powermac of some sort, throwing in a SATA controller and a couple of hard drives, and using this for running iTunes and replacing the NAS (?) Price: a few hundred bucks.

    Buying an intel Mac Mini (new or used), in this case I would probably use the NAS for backup, or a USB drive for my Airport Extreme.

    Given that I will just be using this setup for iTunes, are there any limitations to using a Windows or PowerPC based setup, as compared to a Lion driven Mac Mini?

  2. Subish macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2011
    I don't think you will have a problem with any of those set ups.

    Personally I would go with free but I'm sure you going to want a more permanent solution.

    The laptop and NAS = Free! The only thing I might be worried about is that your data path. NAS > laptop > whatever so streaming could be a problem depending how good your router is (this might be a moot point). The good thing is also support for itunes will be there for a long time.

    Power Mac with a bunch of drives = good but lacks on support since it can only go up to 10.5 never know when itunes support will really drop off. If you get a nice Power Mac G4 like a Sawtooth this could be around for a very long time.

    Mac Mini (intel) = Higher cost but lower power and support will last well into the future. If you use NAS for file dump for itunes well see Laptop comments. If you use external you should be a better off.

    I have my PowerMac G5 2.3 DP with 8gb Ram and two 320gb HDD (G-Wireless) serving all my itunes. I mostly it to stream movies that I ripped and I really don't have a problem at all. Oh, my wife and kid laptops have no problem serving their itunes since everything is hook up with Home-sharing.

    Like I said I like Free so I think you the laptop would do good till it dies.
  3. alexreich macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2011
    Just buy a PowerMac G4 off Craigslist for around $30-50, buy a PCI-SATA controller for $70, put in 1-2 1TB+ HDs, and jailbreak your AppleTV.

    Enable SMB sharing on the G4, and install XBMC media player on your jailbroken AppleTV. Media streaming solution completed.

    By the way, you'll want the file server plugged directly into your router via a Gigabit port for ideal performance. If your PowerMac G4 doesn't have a Gigabit port, you can get a Gigabit PCI card for about $7 on Amazon.

    Also, if you don't have a good quality Wireless-N router, or your AppleTV isn't close to your router, you'll want to have your AppleTV connected to your LAN via Ethernet for a good setup.

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