iTunes media hub

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by stefk, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. stefk macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2008
    Basically, I just want a wireless media hub to hold my bloated media folder due to limited laptop space. I seem to remember that before my Lacie USB drive packed in I was able to get itunes to access and play music from the external drive. Any ideas if this is possible direct from a wirelessly mounted drive?

    From looking elsewhere it would appear that it is possible to achieve this by attaching a NAS HDD to a wireless router and pointing iTunes at that instead.

    So basically my questions are:

    1) with the NAS and wireless router option would I need to be using an AEBS or Airport Express?
    2) With TC coming out is it possible to achieve the same result but with effetively an all in one unit?
    3) Which of the two options is likely to be better? simplicity would suggest TC but I am often wrong!
    4) With either of these options, how easy is it to setup such that others can share the media hub? I imagine there would need to be some sort of authentication so that it wouldn't be open to everyone. I guessit might be alright with some sort of WEP security...?

    My initial thoughts would that this would be one of the benefits of TC, but then I started wondering if this caused too much of a cross over with :apple:TV and we all know how much :apple: like you to buy as many products as possible!

    My system: Powerbook G4, airport express

    Thanks in advance!
  2. pilotError macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2006
    Long Island

    Its not really an easy question to answer.

    If your just using a big hard drive hanging off an AEBS, it is essentially an external hard drive. The iTunes server is still your Powerbook.

    Time Capsule won't change that, its just a convenience package.

    NAS Drives (True NAS drives) are small pc's running an O/S, typically Linux of some flavor. You do the same thing as you would with Time Capsule, point your iTunes library to it and maintain it that way.

    The difference is, that there are media streaming services on the NAS itself that allow you to share the iTunes library to other devices. Think PS3 or Xbox 360, basically anything that can use say uPnP or even an iTunes server. The limitation here is that an Apple TV can't use the streaming service, because it uses authentication and no media server that I'm aware of can do the authentication. Other than that limitation, it works pretty well.

    This means you won't have to have your powerbook running in order to use the library. All PC's in the house will be able to see it, depending on what services your streaming.

    I don't know if all the so called NAS drives (2 disk solutions like MyBooks) contain an NAS solution other than serving up disk.

    Look at something like ReadyNAS or Buffalo Terrastation (and others) to see what they offer.

    If your just looking for Hard Disk Space, Time capsule will work, but in terms of cost, its cheaper to just get an external hard drive. If you want to use the streaming services, its going to cost you...

    It all depends on what it is your looking to do...
  3. stefk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2008
    Thanks for the reply, great help!

    As for what I'm wanting it to do, my primary use would just be to clear some space on my PB. I guess what I would be looking for would be to have a "super library" on the external HDD / :apple:TC and then maybe have a "local library" on the PB.

    If the "super library" could then be accessed by others and used as a shared library that would be a bonus but not essential.

    Is it likely that :apple:TC would be able to do this?
  4. stefk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2008
    Also as an afterthought, having the powerbook on to access the external HDD/ :apple:TC isn't a problem as I guess I would be wanting to use the laptop to choose tunes etc.

    What would be really neat would be if I could then use my PB to then "stream" to my airport express which is hooked up to the hifi. My rudimentary understanding of wireless makes me think that the laptop can't handle two wireless streams. Is this right?



    Where ~~~ is wireless, and
    where ----- is wired

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