iTunes on NAS: Symlinks or library files on NAS?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Russell Bell, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. Russell Bell macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    #1
    I recently got a new Mac and am starting over with iTunes. I previously had the library files on my computer and the media folder on my Synology NAS but I had problems where iTunes reset the media folder location to the default (on my computer) and couldn't find any files. I would have to change the media folder location and iTunes took 5+ minutes every time rescanning my library. Therefore, I'm looking for a better solution this time.

    What do you use and recommend?
     
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #2
    Which synology NAS do you have? Reason I ask is if it's able you could run an iTunes server on it and solve your issue
     
  3. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #3
    Was your NAS always on? If it wasn't, what was the start up sequence you were using? If it was on, did you have remote wake up on or some other power saving feature that may have been preventing it from waking up?

    The repeat creating of an iTunes library is because iTunes can't find the one you specified.
     
  4. Russell Bell thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 4, 2014
    #4
    I have a DS214play - I think I can run an iTunes Server on it - but that is not what I'm looking for. I want to use iTunes to manage my library and sync to my iPhone. I don't use iTunes that often - at home I use my Sonos to listen to my library on my NAS.

    The NAS was not always on - I have it set on a schedule to shutdown at night and wake in the morning. I knew the shutdown was causing the issue with not finding the library, I just don't want to run my NAS all night if I am not using it.
     
  5. rhett7660, Mar 1, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016

    rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #5
    When you have it shut down, do you also close the iTunes app or do you let it run? When you start up the iTunes is the NAS running?

    The sequence should be:

    Start up NAS
    Connect to NAS (SMB?)
    Start up iTunes

    You could probably create an automator scripts to do the above. Have it fire off at a time that is after the set time for the NAS to start back up. If you either A: start up iTunes without having the NAS drive on, or Start up iTunes and the NAS box is not connected. You will get the above errors of iTunes going back to the default location.

    You don't have to have the NAS box running 24/7 but you do need it running and connected before you fire up iTunes.
     
  6. Russell Bell thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 4, 2014
    #6
    I usually have iTunes closed, but sometimes I forget, or it is minimized and then I end up paying for it later. Also, I have sometimes had an issue with the NAS not remounting properly each morning (icon appears but when clicked I get the error "cannot be found" in Finder). I recently set it to automount each morning 5 minutes after the NAS starts up and so far that has been working out for me.Maybe I just need to be more carful about shutting down iTunes. Do you think library files on the Mac, media folder on the NAS is the best method?
     
  7. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #7
    I have my iTunes media on my Synology DS412+. iTunes almost always connects properly from my iMac.

    Would you consider have the Synology just sleep? I have mine set to go on standby after 30 minutes of inactivity. When I access it then via iTunes there is a lag, while it wakes up and spins up.
     
  8. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #8
    I have a Synology DS414 and run my iTunes off of it.
    All i did was change the library location to point to the remote folder - works flawlessly now I've moved the iTunes server over to a windows box. When i had iTunes on the Mac Mini i would get issues with the art randomly disappearing because the mini went to sleep or when it woke up, it simply wouldn't connect to the volume without a restart. I changed the power settings so the mini was on all the time but it would still throw the missing clip arts...

    I always use ethernet, rather than Wifi. I have to say the last 6 months have been fantastic.
     
  9. Russell Bell thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 4, 2014
    #9
    Do you have just your media on the NAS or the library files too?
     
  10. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #10
    I have a QNAP, but the I believe it applies. I have all of my media, artwork, and iTunes library located on my NAS box. The box will go in to power down mode after 30 minutes of inactivity like others have mentioned. It is a little slow when I fire something up that is using the data.

    I think it will be interesting to see how others are doing it, especially the placement of the actual iTunes library file.

    I have iTunes loaded up on a Mac Mini that does go into sleep mode. I have the wake on lan clicked on and I have had no issues with the itunes library losing connection.

    However I do not shut down or turn off any of the items they just go into power save mode.
     
  11. jeff051177 macrumors member

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    Nov 17, 2011
    #11
    The clip-art issue when using a NAS has been annoying me for ages - I've finally found a fix: running one of Doug's applescrips which saves the album/cover art as a separate file in each movie folder. It takes a while to load the first time, but after that it's pretty instant.
     
  12. Russell Bell thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
  13. jlc1978 macrumors 68000

    jlc1978

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  14. Russell Bell thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 4, 2014
    #14
    Does it matter if you leave your home network? Will my symlinks break if I take the computer out of the house and it cannot connect to the linked folder? I know the linked folder won't be accessible while I am away, I am just wondering if I will have any issues once I get back.
     
  15. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    #15
    I've been using a NetGear ReadyNAS to hold a large iTunes library for several years.

    First approach used an NFS mount that was kept alive by automount. That worked until an iTunes update resulted in random file access issues when iTunes reduced the timeout for I/O.
    Next scheme used symlinks, that ends up being a little brittle resulting in many broken references in the iTunes library.

    Current scheme (working for 5+ years) uses the NAS as an iSCSI server. The iSCSI volume is useful because to OS X it is just raw block I/O so I could put the iTunes Library on that volume in beside the content files if I ever want to. I can also resize the iSCSI volume when I periodically run out of space.

    The same approach works nicely for my Aperture libraries.
     
  16. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #16
    I have found over time a couple of things about music files (and other media files) stored on NAS. As mentioned, you need the NAS fully connected to the network and not "asleep." This means your drives should be spun up already before iTunes accesses the NAS.

    For me, most of my issues quickly went away when I created the default location for the media files on my local drive THEN went to preferences within iTunes it self and un-ticked the second option about copying files to the library etc. After this I merely did an "add to library" from Files. This translates to iTunes looking at the default library directory always AND the locations of the files found by using "add to library" which pointed to the NAS directories.

    The second thing one can do is use a simple script to wake up the NAS then open iTunes and the last - include the directories for media files on your NAS in the start up of your system. Ideally, you'll see a folder on your screen that represents the NAS directory. When in doubt, you can click it and see if it pops open and that is the "proof" you need that your system can access those media files.

    You might want to experiment with the above suggestions. For me, I simply use the first one and all is fine. If for some reason iTunes cannot find those files, they still exist in the library catalogue and I get a pop up warning.
     
  17. GIZBUG macrumors 65816

    GIZBUG

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    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #17
    Is Itunes Server worth running? I've heard a lot of complaints about it in the past.
    I also have all my music on my NAS (Synology 716+), and the library file seems to be in the default folder on my iMac.
    Not sure if this is the correct setup or not.
     
  18. jlc1978 macrumors 68000

    jlc1978

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    Aug 14, 2009
    #18
    Not sure about you specific model, but on my setup I have symlinks to the locations on the Synology NAS. Works fine.
     
  19. GIZBUG macrumors 65816

    GIZBUG

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    #19
    Can you elaborate on this symlinks (new term for me) and how you set it up?
     
  20. jlc1978 macrumors 68000

    jlc1978

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    Aug 14, 2009
    #20
    Symlinks are very similar to OSX' aliases, in that they create a "poster" to a file location and are not the original file or folder. This allows you to setup links to the original file in multiple locations, for example, and keep only 1 copy of the file. Symlinks are a bit more complex in that they operate at a lower level in the file structure than an alias. For the NAS, you want to create the symlinks on the NAS, and then drag them to your iTunes file location on the Mac.

    Here are two ways to do it:

    http://www.macworld.com/article/1144680/symboliclinker.html -> this is an old program and may not work

    http://osxdaily.com/2015/08/06/make-symbolic-links-command-line-mac-os-x/ -> directions to do via CLI

    You will need to rename the symlinks -> video , etc.
     
  21. GIZBUG macrumors 65816

    GIZBUG

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    #21
    Thanks,so you are able to create symlinks on the synology GUI?
     
  22. jlc1978 macrumors 68000

    jlc1978

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    Aug 14, 2009
    #22
    No, you need to do it on the Mac while the NAS folders are open in Finder.
     

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