iTunes media server?

Evangelion

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 10, 2005
3,314
5
I currently have around 6GB of music in my iTunes-library. And as I'm moving my DVD's in there as well and downloading podcasts (both video and audio), the amount of HD-space that my content consumes is going up. And I might at some point get an AppleTV for that content as well. So I have been thinking about using my old 1.25Ghz Mac Mini + external hard-drives as a media-server, so I wouldn't have to use my laptop with the ATV and I could save hard-drive space on the laptop as well. Now, how would I go about doing this?

Of course it's easy to share a iTunes-library over the network, so that's not a problem. But that's only half the picture. Is it possible to sync that shared library to an iPod that is connected to the client-machine and not the server? Also, what happens if I rip new music on my laptop? I mean, they will end up on the laptop, and not on the server, right? Any idea how to go around that?

Also, since all my content would be on the server, what should I do if I wanted to take some of it with me on the laptop? Could I create a playlist on the laptop, and move songs from the shared library (that is on the server) to the local playlist?

And a third thing: I have been thinking about using OS X Server on the Mini (so I could learn the ins and outs of it as well), does that change my plans in any way? Would it enable more robust options for me, as opposed to simply sharing an iTunes-library over the network?
 

Richard Richard

macrumors member
Jun 27, 2007
32
0
London
mac mini + External Drives ie 1TB + with iTunes lib running from them - another drive maybe added for backup of main drive.


i'm thinking of picking up a cheap G4 Mac Mini to do just this very soon:)
 

pengu

macrumors 6502a
Mar 20, 2005
576
0
Diddily Daddily...
with OSX Server, in theory you could have network user account(s) and auto-mounts, "mobile" user account for the lappy etc.

however. if you want to just share itunes, i imagine the simplest way is simply to run OSX client, with itunes, and use the iTunes sharing. use Sharepoints to make an AFP/SMB/NFS (choose your poison really) share on the Mini, so you can open the library from your "normal" machine, to import new CDs, Movies etc(iTunes sharing is still Read-Only, right?).... only issue then is getting itunes on the Mini to close and re-open when you mount/unmount the share.. not sure on that one, sorry!

While slightly different, I'm planning something simmilar with my G5 (dual 2ghz powermac) after I get a MBP. if it works well, i might just get me a mini to reduce the noise/power consumption/heat/space/etc.. i'd be keen to know how you go with your plan :)
 

Evangelion

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 10, 2005
3,314
5
however. if you want to just share itunes, i imagine the simplest way is simply to run OSX client, with itunes, and use the iTunes sharing. use Sharepoints to make an AFP/SMB/NFS (choose your poison really) share on the Mini, so you can open the library from your "normal" machine, to import new CDs, Movies etc(iTunes sharing is still Read-Only, right?).... only issue then is getting itunes on the Mini to close and re-open when you mount/unmount the share.. not sure on that one, sorry!
OK, I need to look in to that one. Does anyone else have any suggestions? I basically need this:

- A server-located iTunes-library that I could access on a client-machine (MacBook Pro). Reason for that is to save space on the client-machine. While sharing the library does provide this, it does not offer the second requirement:

- A server-based library that can be managed from the client-machine. That is: adding and deleting content and syncing it on an iPod

- And furthermore, the library should be streamable to a AppleTV, which means that the server must have iTunes running.
 

robPOD

macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2006
411
3
NZ
ok dont know if somebody has said this but what i do is i just point my remote pc's itunes libary music adder to all the files shared on the server and then add them to the libary giving me acess even if itunes isnt on.
 

eldino

macrumors member
Mar 8, 2007
65
0
Italy
Would it enable more robust options for me, as opposed to simply sharing an iTunes-library over the network?
I talk about possible iTunes Media Server solutions on some posts on my blog.
well, they are intended for library much bigger than 6GBs but they could be useful :)

http://eldino.wordpress.com/2007/07/16/en-firefly-media-server-how-does-it-act-with-a-big-music-collection/
http://eldino.wordpress.com/2007/07/05/enit-daap-party-diagram-diagramma-per-un-daap-party/
http://eldino.wordpress.com/2007/06/25/en-do-you-want-to-promote-some-creative-commons-music-organize-a-nice-daap-party/
http://eldino.wordpress.com/2007/06/25/enit-daap-dawhat-daap-dache-cosa/

Ah they involve the usage of -only- open source & multiplatform software :)
Ah, check macosxhints.com as well..there are several script-based solutions for syncing music and stuff like that.
Cheers.
 

Evangelion

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 10, 2005
3,314
5
I talk about possible iTunes Media Server solutions on some posts on my blog.
well, they are intended for library much bigger than 6GBs but they could be useful :)
Well, the 6GB I mentioned only covers my music, it does not cover my DVD-collection that I'm moving to iTunes, nor does it cover the podcasts I subscribe to, both audio and video. I think that pretty soon my library will be pushing north of 50GB with no end in sight. That's why I want to move the library out of my laptop.

That said: I need to take a look at your links, thanks :)

Ah they involve the usage of -only- open source & multiplatform software :)
That's always a big plus in my book :).
 

Evangelion

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 10, 2005
3,314
5
Well, the 6GB I mentioned only covers my music, it does not cover my DVD-collection that I'm moving to iTunes, nor does it cover the podcasts I subscribe to, both audio and video.
That reminds me: does iTunes-sharing cover movies and podcasts as well, or just music?
 

Cromulent

macrumors 603
Oct 2, 2006
6,034
35
The Land of Hope and Glory
is this the only way to go about something like that?
No, Apple just put a pretty interface on standard Unix tools. If you had FreeBSD or even Linux running on a cheapo £50 PC box you could achieve the same thing with a little work.

Evangelion said:
That reminds me: does iTunes-sharing cover movies and podcasts as well, or just music?
It covers everything, except that it just puts it all into one long list when you go to browse someone's share so you would need to hunt around a bit or know what to search for.
 

Superman07

macrumors 6502a
Aug 28, 2007
699
1
Bump.

OP - did you get this figured out?

I've read that the ReadyNAS product link has a built in iTunes server. What does this mean?

Perhaps the above is the solution, but is it possible to have a NAS unit run something so that iTunes clients and ATV can pull from the NAS? For example, it is my understanding that ATV needs to have a native iTunes client running on a computer. Will the NAS, with appropriate software (?), allow this to change? Or will the NAS simply act as network storage and still require the PC to be running iTunes whenever at ATV wishes to access something?
 

c-Row

macrumors 65816
Jan 10, 2006
1,194
1
Germany
- A server-based library that can be managed from the client-machine. That is: adding and deleting content and syncing it on an iPod
Not the most elegant solution, but I think you could do this with Leopard's remote access feature. At least that's what I am planning to do once I got my Mini - logging on to the "server" whenever I need to do some maintenance.
 

Avatar74

macrumors 65816
Feb 5, 2007
1,389
67
I currently have around 6GB of music in my iTunes-library. And as I'm moving my DVD's in there as well and downloading podcasts (both video and audio), the amount of HD-space that my content consumes is going up. And I might at some point get an AppleTV for that content as well. So I have been thinking about using my old 1.25Ghz Mac Mini + external hard-drives as a media-server, so I wouldn't have to use my laptop with the ATV and I could save hard-drive space on the laptop as well. Now, how would I go about doing this?

Of course it's easy to share a iTunes-library over the network, so that's not a problem. But that's only half the picture. Is it possible to sync that shared library to an iPod that is connected to the client-machine and not the server? Also, what happens if I rip new music on my laptop? I mean, they will end up on the laptop, and not on the server, right? Any idea how to go around that?

Also, since all my content would be on the server, what should I do if I wanted to take some of it with me on the laptop? Could I create a playlist on the laptop, and move songs from the shared library (that is on the server) to the local playlist?

And a third thing: I have been thinking about using OS X Server on the Mini (so I could learn the ins and outs of it as well), does that change my plans in any way? Would it enable more robust options for me, as opposed to simply sharing an iTunes-library over the network?
What you're looking for is more of an AppleTV solution here, ultimately, because of what you want to do with synching content from a client machine to the iPod, etc. If you're using a Mac Mini as the media server hub, then you're synching not between iPod and client, but between "media server" and iPod.

It's your prerogative to do what you like but with a Mac Mini there are going to be workarounds including the fact that the Mini has no native HDMI or component video out with the proper color gamut. Also, the Mini can provide you a menuing system but not a dedicated processor that won't be taxed by operations other than bridging your content with your TV/stereo.
 

c-Row

macrumors 65816
Jan 10, 2006
1,194
1
Germany
What you're looking for is more of an AppleTV solution here, ultimately, because of what you want to do with synching content from a client machine to the iPod, etc.
But wouldn't that mean that there has to be at least one other machine that carries all the "original" files which are synchronized to the AppleTV so they won't be deleted from the AppleTV once you do another sync without them being present in the source library? With a 400GB media library, this somehow defies the purpose in my opinion. Well, at least in my case.


[edit] What if I want to burn a CD for my car stereo? I guess you can't stream them back from the ATV to your Mac and into iTunes for buring, can you?
 

pilotError

macrumors 68020
Apr 12, 2006
2,238
4
Long Island
Bump.

OP - did you get this figured out?

I've read that the ReadyNAS product link has a built in iTunes server. What does this mean?

Perhaps the above is the solution, but is it possible to have a NAS unit run something so that iTunes clients and ATV can pull from the NAS? For example, it is my understanding that ATV needs to have a native iTunes client running on a computer. Will the NAS, with appropriate software (?), allow this to change? Or will the NAS simply act as network storage and still require the PC to be running iTunes whenever at ATV wishes to access something?
I have a readyNAS and all the PC's / Mac's in my house can use the Library EXCEPT for my Apple TV. When ATV goes to use the shared library, it tells you to enter the authorization string, which obviously you can't, because the ReadyNAS is just running a Linux Daemon.

What is nice about the ReadyNAS is that I can use uPnP to share the same library to my PS3 and other devices. It's still a little quirky but it works.

Your only option with ATV would be a Mac of some sort. You could use an NAS drive for your library and let the Mac be the iTunes Server.

I haven't read the above posters site, but I'm sure others have done this. Check out avsforum.com. One of their sub-forums is an HTPC area where you can ask others who have done it.

Currently my library is in the 300GB range (music and movies).

Mike...
 

dwright1974

macrumors 6502
Aug 13, 2007
380
88
UK
How about this?

http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=509

It's a home NAS enclosure that can act as an iTunes server.

There's a 10-page review on SmallNetBuilder.com, but the link below takes you straight to Page 4 which talks about the iTunes Server functionality:

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/29671/75/1/4

You have to add your own drives but that means you can buy a single SATA drive and expand as your library grows.

I've just ordered one as I was running a trial version of Windows Home Server (sorry!), which has now expired, and it's made me realise that, while it's great to have centrally located files, having a computer running 24/7 is a bit overkill for what I need.

HTH

- D
 

flir67

macrumors 6502
Jun 23, 2005
256
0
mac mini + External Drives ie 1TB + with iTunes lib running from them - another drive maybe added for backup of main drive.


i'm thinking of picking up a cheap G4 Mac Mini to do just this very soon:)
I'm doing this right now but with a 250 external drive for my movies+music+etc. using on intel mini 1gen.

works great
 

eldino

macrumors member
Mar 8, 2007
65
0
Italy
I wrote a iTunes-oriented review about Lacie Ethernet Disk Mini NAS.
it's titled "Is Lacie Ethernet Disk Mini the ultimate DAAP server?" and you can read it here:
http://eldino.wordpress.com/2008/07/11/en-is-lacie-ethernet-disk-mini-the-ultimate-daap-server/



If you are planning to buy a nas for your streaming needs and you have a big music collection, please read my experience first, you could save some money and spend em better ;)

m gonna buy a microatx computer with 1tb on it to do the trick instead of this NAS, I hope i will get enough power to achieve my goal using a complete but compact pc ;)

Regards,
eldino

Ps. for every question about this NAS, just reply here ;) I will try to answer you the best i can ;)
 

eldino

macrumors member
Mar 8, 2007
65
0
Italy
I upgraded my NAS...

In July I upgraded my iTunes-server needs assembling a media-center pc!
Amazing step :)

I ended up buying a dedicated computer and i spent ca. 400 euros.

Here the specs of my baby:

- Motherboard Asus P5KPL-WM - (43 €);
- CPU Intel Pentium Dual Core E2180 2.0 Ghz - (56 €);
- Case HTPC Antec NSK2480 with 80Plus 380w PSU included - (89 €);
- RAM 2×2gb Kingston KVR800D2N5/2G 800mhz DDR2 - (60 €);
- Hard Disk Western Digital WD10EACS Green Power SATA2 1Tb - (139 €);
- DVD-burner Asus DRW2014S1T SATA Silver - (22 €);
- Hard disk Seagate PATA 500Gb - (0 €).

Here the pic:



iTunes manages my 90000+ tracks library easily with all this horsepower and im very happy and proud of this baby :) The case is really well designed, robust and aesthetically great (im a Mac user, the design of the tech stuff I buy is important!)..

I finally solved all my problems with my gargantuan music collection ;)

More pics and details here:
http://eldino.wordpress.com/2008/07/31/it-eldinos-mp3server-ecco-a-voi-il-mio-nuovo-bambino/