iTunes, mapping network resources, paths and so on

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by kimjohnsson, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. kimjohnsson macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    #1
    Hi there!

    I have only recently moved from PC/Windows to Mac. Now I want to achieve the same music setup as I had in Windows.

    I have all my music on a network drive. On Windows, I can map this location to my M-drive on each computer/user on my network. Having done the mapping, I can import songs to libraries, make playlists and so on in such a way that as far as the music playing software is concerned, the songs are located on the M-drive. The libraries themselves may or may not be stored under M.

    On my iMac I have now done the following:

    - created a directory /Volumes/NetVolume01
    - mapped my music location //NetVolume01/Data (a Time Capsule) to /Volumes/NetVolume01
    - created a directory /Users/Kim/Music/Media
    - created a symbolic link /Users/Kim/Music/Media/Network (not an alias) pointing to /Volumes/NetVolume01

    So now when I import /Users/Kim/Music/Media/Network into iTunes, I would very much like iTunes to interpret the songs as being stored locally under that directory as opposed to on a network location. Then I could do the same procedure on my MacMini and my MacBook Air, and either use the same physical iTunes libraries, or local copies of them and always know that there's a song file at the other end of the file reference.

    So if I were to decide to instead move my library to an external USB disc connected to my Mac Mini, I would just mount that new directory to /Volumes/Network01, and everything would be fine and dandy.

    However, this is what the iTunes library file contains for a song:

    <key>Location</key><string>file://localhost/Volumes/NetVolume01/Media/Music....mp3</string>

    So apparently iTunes incorporates the full (local) file path of each song into its library, so this is a no-can-do. Or am I just not doing it right?

    However, I can probably live with this, as then it just becomes a matter of things being relative to /Volumes/XXX as opposed to /Users/.../Network, but then there's another matter: my wife's account on my iMac can't read /Volumes/NetVolume01 no matter how I've tried to chmod it. How can I make it accessible to her?

    Any other things I need to consider in order to get a smooth, working and flexible structure?

    Cheers,

    Kim
     
  2. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #2
  3. kimjohnsson thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    #3
    Hi!

    Just a quick comment before reading what's behind that link.

    I tried having the library on a network drive a few days ago, but I could only get it to work one user at a time. Opening it with another user, while open at another machine, I got an error message saying that the file is locked or I don't have permission to use it. This might be solved by setting permissions, but I think there's a potential problem using it like that. On Windows I used it like that for a while, but apparently iTunes writes the library to disk when exiting. So if two users have the same library open at the same time, and both make changes to it, the one who closes his iTunes later overwrites the changes made by the one who closes it earlier. Don't want that.

    Of course, this might have changed since I tried it last time.

    Cheers,

    Kim
     
  4. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #4
    What you don't realize is about the Apple document Understanding Home Sharing.
     
  5. kimjohnsson thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    #5
    Hi!

    Just saw this reply, thanks. I'll look into that.

    Cheers,

    Kim
     
  6. kimjohnsson thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    #6
    Hi!

    I do know about Home sharing, and I can use it (at least some), and it is really handy, but it does not quite apply to this particular problem. Or I’m just doing something wrong.

    I want sharing which leads to no or minimal redundancy. All song files in one location, changes in one library propagate to all others, and so on. I want a set-and-forget -kind of scenario.

    Home sharing requires the iTunes server to be on. I have a MacMini in my basement, which is always on and always streaming music. It has its own iTunes library. I can use my iOS-device to control it and hear music in my living room or in the kitchen (unless iTunes drops the AirPlay connection, which happens annoyingly often). This is all fine and dandy. This is exactly as I want, the basement setup is precisely the set-and-forget -kind of thing I’m looking for.

    However, I manage my library on my primary desktop computer, the iMac. So in that sense, the “master” library is the one that the iMac connects to, and I want the basement Mac’s iTunes library to have the same content with minimum hassle. Easiest would be that the physical library file is the same (same physical library files on a shared network resource), but that comes with some problems, so I’m not really sure that even is a feasible solution. My basement Mac could of course play the iMac library over Home sharing, but then my iMac would always need to be on, and, furthermore, iTunes would need to be on. My wife also uses the iMac, and her instance of iTunes, which may or may not add to the confusion. Also, having iTunes open on the iMac makes the basement Mac/iTunes/Home sharing scenario pointless, as I could then stream to the living room and kitchen from the iMac instead. This is of course an option, but it’s a bit less set-and-forget.

    Then there’s the MacBook Air. With that I can probably use Home sharing, connecting to the basement Mac.

    My wife has an iPod which is connected to her own iTunes library. In that library she has songs that she has bought, but not my music. Occasionally she would like to move some of my music to her iPod, but the songs would need to be in her library. She would then need to import my music to her library (no biggie, I guess), as I don’t think it’s possible to move songs to an iPod from another Home sharing iTunes library. Also, on the iMac, she would probably only see the basement Mac’s library, and not the iTunes library on my account on that same iMac she’s using. So for all practical purposes, from my wife's point of view, the current setup works.

    I will look into Home sharing a bit more to see if I find a way to use it the way I want.

    Still, Home sharing is an iTunes thing. I want the same kind of solution for iPhoto. Meaning the picture files are in one place, one centralised library so that not all 30000 faces have to be identified once for each library. When my wife, under her own user account, imports photos from our camera, I want them to end up in the same iPhoto library and the same location on a shared drive as they would if I would import them from my user account.

    What I haven’t done is look into iCloud and Photo Stream. It may or may not solve my problem on the iPhoto side, but my photos take up more room than I’m willing to pay for (unless photos don’t consume iCloud space, which I suspect they do).

    Maybe I’m being a bit old-fashioned here. I just think a computer should do exactly what I want and how I want. And if it doesn't, then I obviously still need to find a solution that works for me.

    I’m still a Mac newbie, so please have patience with me :)

    Cheers,

    Kim
     
  7. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #7

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