iTunes NAS

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by bwfc0907, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. bwfc0907 macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2008
    Bolton, UK
    Is it possible to put all my iTunes music, movies, apps, etc on a NAS so I don't need to turn on my PC & stream from that? I do have music match so not sure if it's needed for music. I stream to an AppleTV.

    Would it be capable of streaming movies to 2 different AppleTV's at the same time?

    Need as cheap as possible if anybody could recommend one & this would work.
  2. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    May 1, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    You can if you jailbreak.
    Out of the box, the ATV can only stream from a computer running full-blown iTunes but once jailbroken there are apps like Plex and XBMC that can stream from an NAS.
    Streaming to two at once would depend on the NAS and your network but it should be doable.

    There is no jailbreak yet for the ATV3 but give it time.
  3. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    A used Mac mini.

  4. bwfc0907 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2008
    Bolton, UK
    Why a used mac mini. Does the AppleTV need to still be jailbroken?
  5. GTJ macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2005
    I Have a synology nas that works perfectly and i dont have wireless n network.

    I have two apple tvs in the house and havnt had a problem when running both.

    The atv needs to be jailbroken. Firecore is installed on both and i find the setup and navigation much easier than xbmc or plex. Both of those have a more polished view with the scraping of metadata for info and artwork but can be laggy and need to reboot every now and then. Also i find it annoying to have to come out of the programs to use other atv features.

    Pick up a synology 212+ or an older 211+ (what i have) on sale. The nas has a ton of useful features and a meadi server and torrent client built in.

    No problems playing back low bitrate 1080p or any 720p rip ive tried.

    Best part is that to use the atv you wont need any computer on and the nas has an auto on/off timer function built in.
  6. sapperjohn macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2009
    Build a Windows Home Server 2011 using an old pc or cobbled together components (needs to be a 64 bit processor ). Install iTunes and iHomeserver (runs iTunes as a service) and you can access your itunes library from any iOS device on your network with the added advantage that you are not reliant on jailbreaks being available.
  7. fred.bloggs macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2011
    No. I think the suggestion is that a mac mini will run full up iTunes and will act as a server. A used one will get you it a cheaply as possible.
  8. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    I've never understood why people are recommending used Mac mini's to use as an iTunes server. You could get a netbook, PC laptop or PC desktop for a lot less doing the exact same thing. In this case, Windows or OS X doesn't really matter.
  9. clamss macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2007
    But would that mean i need to leave the tv turned on right?
  10. lazer310 macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2010
    Same here. I got $150 in parts and put together a brand new PC tower that runs 24/7. The sole purpose of which is to serve a full on iTunes all the time, and also serves as my downloading machine. Hard drives are the expensive piece of the equation.
  11. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    Tiny physical footprint. Equally tiny power footprint. Zero hackage to get everything to work (although this is less important than the other 2 reasons since iTunes runs on Windows, as you point out).

    Edit: forgot to add - trivial to run it headless and remote administer via screen sharing from another Mac. Although again, you can do this on Windows too with RDC.
  12. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    Get an Acer Aspire One and your max power consumption will be pretty much at the most what a Mac Mini uses in idle mode, the physical footprint is smaller (a bit wider, but not as deep and not as high) and you have a screen/trackpad/keyboard which removes the need to remote control it. (I like being able to remote control a server, but not needing to do it.)

    As you say it's a bit trickier, but in no way is it difficult-difficult. As I said, I still can't see why a Mac Mini would be to prefer. Unless you're willing to pay the premium for the design, I'd rather have a Mac Mini visible than an Acer Aspire One ;)
  13. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    May 1, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Nothing needs to be turned on unless you're actually watching it.
  14. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    It's cheap. It's powerful. It's silent. It's guaranteed to be compatible with your Apple TV. It uses little power (15-20 watts at idle). It's expandable with USB and Firewire. Mac OS X will do RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 10 if you want redundancy.

    If you have an Airport Extreme base station, you can let the mini sleep and the AEBS will wake it for you automatically on demand when the Apple TV needs to talk to iTunes.

    You don't have to jailbreak anything, you don't have to deal with Windows (or the Windows version of iTunes which is reputed to be nowhere near as nice as iTunes for OS X).

  15. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    True: can you run the Aspire One with the lid shut though? If you can't, it could be more difficult to fit on a shelf/rack.

    Horses for courses really, either is a good alternative. Some might prefer to stay all-Windows or all-Mac which might push them one way or the other.
  16. androiphone macrumors 65816

    Dec 13, 2009
    yes why wouldn't you be able to?

    it really doesn't matter once you have iTunes installed apple Bonjour service does the rest, you literally just set up and go.

    @Alrescha, what of that can't be done on windows? plug in a couple of external hard drives all netbooks come with at least 2 USBs, WoL works perfectly, iTunes is, in my experience, exactly the same as on a mac,
    remember the computer in question doesn't need to be able to play the files only has to be able to push them over the network meaning 1080p stuff will work perfectly. no hacking/jailbreaking required.
  17. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    Yes, just tell Windows not to do anything when the lid closes.

    You used to be able to do this in OS X as well, don't really understand why they removed the option of keeping the laptop running in clamshell mode...

    Absolutely, I'm sorry if I came across as completely bashing the Mac Mini. I'm just curious to why Mac Mini "always" is the go to solution for an iTunes server according to most people (here on MR).

    As I see it, there would be three acceptable reasons: you can't be bothered with setting up remote desktop on a Windows machine and want to stick to OS X for simplicity, you really love the design and don't want to have your iTunes server tucked away in a closet or something, or you're a fanboy.

    That being said, if I'd get a server that's meant for more than just iTunes, I'd probably get a Mac Mini for simplicity...
  18. stikle, Mar 30, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012

    stikle macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2012
    You can run pretty much any Windows laptop with the lid closed. You just have to set the Windows behavior for when the lid is closed.

    On Windows 7 it's in Control Panel-> Power-> Choose what closing the lid does

    Set both Battery and Plugged in to "Do Nothing".

    Easy peasy.
  19. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    They didn't.

    You're kidding, right? You're on and you don't see why people might be a bit pro-Mac?

    You appear to be one of those folks who thinks that Windows is the preferred solution and one needs exceptional reasons to use a Mac. There is a large body of folks who think the opposite. Or you're a hater.

  20. sulliweb macrumors regular


    Mar 13, 2011
    I got an Acer Aspire Revo 3700... it's a nettop. It has the innards of a netbook in a Mac Mini sized PC. It runs iTunes like a champ, and for 300 bucks it was a lot less of an investment. I use a combo of SplashTop Remote and Windows Remote Desktop to control it without a monitor. Though, in all honesty, since it sits under my TV, I also got an HDMI cable. That way I can use it with my TV if I really need to.

    For my money that was the way to go. Add a NAS or an external hard drive for another little bit of money and you've got all you'll need if you're just looking for an iTunes Server.
  21. erpetao macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2011
    Also add to the list the "wake on network access" (the Mini sleeps when not in use, but wakes automatically via the Bonjour proxy when needed). I don't know if this can be done with a windows machine.
  22. Bill.the.Cat macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2011
    An eBay ATV1 with Leopard installed has all of the desirable features (runs OS X, runs iTunes, accessible via VNC, runs headless, 10~15W power) and costs a lot less.
  23. Revelation78 macrumors 68000


    Dec 18, 2008
    North Carolina
    You can also use a WD Mybook Live/Duo. It has an iTunes media server built in. So far mine has been working really well.
  24. orpheus1120 macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2008
    One important factor to consider is that running a NAS without iTunes running essentially means you cannot stream any DRMed media content (movies, TV shows etc) purchased from iTunes.

    For those who mainly get their content from iTunes, neither jailbreaking or an iTunes server is the answer.
  25. Bill.the.Cat macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2011
    This doesn't work for video. You need iTunes itself running, either under OS X or Windows.

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