iTunes Media Server

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MadDoc, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. MadDoc macrumors 6502

    MadDoc

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I'm looking for people's opinions.

    I have 3 Macs (MBP and MB) and an Intel iMac. I also have a 40GB AppleTV and a 500GB Time Capsule.

    All of my music (25GB) is currently stored on the HDD of the MBP. All of my movies / TV shows (900GB) is stored on an external USB 2.0 HDD. Everything is managed by iTunes.

    Now I won't say that money is no object but I am looking for the best / most future-proof solution to storage / sharing.

    Essentially, I want all computers to have access to all media and I want to be able to stream content to the AppleTV (bear in mind that I may add a second AppleTV in the future).

    What are my options? I have been looking at Drobo but I'm not sure if this will be fast enough to stream video to the AppleTV (as using my external HDD as an AirDisk is painfully slow). Do I need an Xserve?

    Any and all thoughts are appreciated.

    Thanks,

    MadDoc
     
  2. saperlot macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    #2
    Small Home Server

    Hi
    I think a product from Synology is the right thing.

    Here is an overview of the specs.: http://www.synology.com/enu/products/features/index.php

    you have an itunes server, upnp media server, ftp server, webserver, etc...

    Those products are awesome and not expensive at all.

    greets
     
  3. pilotError macrumors 68020

    pilotError

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island
    #3
    Your probably better off using a Mac Mini and the NAS as an external storage unit.

    The NAS solutions have iTunes servers, and the PC's / Mac's in the network can use it. You ATV won't be able to though, unless they've changed something. Your ATV registers the iTunes server and hands out a 4 digit code to enter. I haven't seen an NAS that can take that code yet.

    I have a similar setup, ReadNAS NV+ and all my devices can see it except for my ATV.

    If you network is fast enough, you won't have an issue. I've streamed non-hd movies to my PS3 just fine without stutter.
     
  4. mpshay macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    #4
    I'm looking at some of the same options and was considering an itunes server running on a NAS. Never even considered how I would enter the code from my :apple:TV. Thanks for pointing that out
     
  5. MadDoc thread starter macrumors 6502

    MadDoc

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Hmm,

    The lack of AppleTV support with the NAS approach is a bit of a deal breaker for me.

    What about attaching a high-capacity Drobo to a Mac Mini to host the iTunes media folder and sharing that drive with all the other Macs? Could the AppleTV just be synced to stream from the Mini in that case?
     
  6. tkidBOSTON macrumors 6502a

    tkidBOSTON

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2005
    Location:
    The Hub of the Universe
    #6
    Yes.

    I'm actually in the same situation as you are and am very interested in the results of whatever solution you decide on. Please keep us informed.
     
  7. MadDoc thread starter macrumors 6502

    MadDoc

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Will do.

    I'm leaning more towards the Drobo / Mac Mini setup (using the Firefly DroboApp).

    MadDoc,
     
  8. tkidBOSTON macrumors 6502a

    tkidBOSTON

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2005
    Location:
    The Hub of the Universe
    #8
    I'm confused- if you're hooking it up to a mini with itunes, what's the advantage to using firefly?
     
  9. MadDoc thread starter macrumors 6502

    MadDoc

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    I think I'm getting confused.

    If I purely use Mini + Drobo to share iTunes then I don't think any of the iTunes clients sharing the library will be able to edit the library (i.e. read-only access).

    Using Firefly (I think) will enable all clients to alter the library.
     
  10. mpshay macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    #10
    Doesn't the firefly require using the droboshare vice direct connection to a computer?
     
  11. macbookairapple macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    #11
    Is there a way to have all my movies and songs on an NAS device and be able to have access to that content while I'm away from home on my laptop or iphone/ipod touch? Will I need mobileme or some other services?
     
  12. paduck macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    #12
    This is a problem I refer to as "the storage problem." You end up having a lot of devices that you desire to put your iTunes managed content on:

    iPod (30GB, 8GB, whatever)
    iPhone (8GB)
    AppleTV (250GB - see below...)
    iMac (250GB)
    MacBook (160GB)
    etc.

    The current Apple paradigm is that the central point is a computer's hard drive - usually the biggest storage device you have. What would be most convenient though is a centralized home server system (home media server?) that all the devices could hook up to. The problem today is that many NAS devices will give you a shared iTunes server, but it can't serve to the Apple TV. That is really too bad on the video content front. I think a lot of people would like to have the single iTunes Library that resides at home and then the option to load various things to their various storage devices.

    I imagine that Apple has studied this and not found a huge market. It would be a natural extension of TimeCapsule - backup and/or centralized iTunes server. Or a nice use for the AppleTV which is on all the time anyway. Then you just add RAID for redundancy and you are set.
     
  13. soLoredd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #13
    My setup is rather poor but I use a Mini with an external attached housing all my movies/TV shows. I keep music on my MBP. I share the library from the Mini so that any device on my network can stream from it (my MBP, ATV, wife's MB). For my needs this works great. I use an N-only wireless network for everything but the iPhone, which connects with a G router, but I only need that so I can use it as a remote. I keep the Mini in my office at the front of the house and it's connected via ethernet to an AEBS which is extended to my front room using an AX. Surprisingly, the network holds up pretty well if my wife is watching a movie and I'm watching a different movie. This will come in handy when the baby gets older.

    If I was smarter I probably would have just gone with the Mini connected to my TV lol. But that's too easy.
     
  14. pilotError macrumors 68020

    pilotError

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island
    #14
    I'm pretty sure it had to do with the Movie industry licensing more than the ability to do it.

    It sucks, because even my Windows machines can use the shared iTunes library. I wish they would do away with the code to register the ATV to the iTunes Server. I guess they may do this just in case you connect to your neighbors wireless and try and use their iTunes share.

    If they had some Ummm "Home Movies" that could be embarassing! LOL

    But you don't have the same restriction in iTunes, so I'm not really sure what the point was with that. Do they still restrict HD rentals to ATV only?
     
  15. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    i(am in the)cloud
    #15
    Couldn't this just be done through system software and an apple app? Is there any way of just having some kind of program for a hard disk or soemthing?
     
  16. rick6502 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    #16
    My solution to the iTunes Media Server is...

    an iTunes Media server.

    PMG4 933 + 1 GB RAM, SuperDrive, and 320 GB HD. ($200 or so. I had most of this laying around.)
    10.4 and iTunes. (I already had it and Free!)
    4x1 TB Seagate internal hard drives. ($400)
    RAID PCI card. ($125)
    It is wired through Cat5/Ethernet into the back of my Airport Extreme.

    I configured this as RAID1-0. So I have a 2 TB drive mirrored to another 2 TB drive. I enable remote Apple Remote Desktop, so I have no monitor on it. It is shoved into a closet in my basement. I tried this with a PM 733, and it was a little too slow with 2 AppleTV's.

    I used to have everything on 2 external hard drives and they both crashed within a month of each other. I was able to recover all of my music from one drive, but none of my video from the other. I decided that I hated not having everything on one drive and the amount of time I spent rebuilding the video drive from scratch was more expensive than the cost of redundancy.

    This setup works great with my Two AppleTV's with no problem.
     

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