iTunes Server without a screen and Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Drecca, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. Drecca macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    #1
    I'm going the mac mini route and using it to be the itunes server. It'll be downstairs and won't have a screen attached to it once setup.

    I've been using Plex but find it kind of unreliable on Roku's so going back to AppleTV and itunes

    With Plex, I can just share my drive, drag and drop and the content will show up. With itunes, i actually need to go into it and import the data, right?

    How do I do that without having to remote screen/vnc all the time? Is there a script that can do this automatically?
     
  2. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia
    #2
    iTunes will have a folder named "Automatically Add to iTunes". drop there and iTunes will import it. You have to have the files in iTunes friendly format.

    If you buy content from iTunes store via the apple TV, iTunes will automatically download it if you set your preferences correctly. You are going to need to vmc to get things set up but once done you should be OK.
     
  3. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #3
    There should be a folder in your media library called "Automatically Add To iTunes" and you can just place items there. I have just setup a system like this myself. I'm not sure if you can add the metadata like artwork without going into iTunes however.
     
  4. Drecca thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    #4
    I just tried this out. Any movie I add gets created as a "home video".

    Any way to sort that out without having to go into itunes?

    great tip on the folder by the way, thanks guys!!
     
  5. Menel macrumors 603

    Menel

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    ATL
    #5
    Licensed movies from the iTunes store go in the Movies folder.

    'Movies' from other sources, go into Home Video.
     
  6. priitv8 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Location:
    Estonia
    #6
    I personally use Subler to change the Media Kind in movie metadata into Movie, then iTunes will sort it into the right place.
    PS Obviously you can do it post-import in iTunes as well, but setting metadata to correct values before import is the best way for automated imports via mentioned folder.
     
  7. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #7
    That was the issue I mentioned above. You need to set the metadata to "movie" using get info in iTunes (or maybe some other program that can modify the iTunes library?).

    [edit]thanks priitv8 - I will have to look at Subler, I would prefer to have all the data embedded in the file so I don't need to do anything on the server.
     
  8. westrock2000 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #8
    The "Automatically Add To iTunes" folder is fantastic.

    1. You can have it set up as a network folder on another computer and just drop files in it and the Mac will take care of the rest.

    The one caveat to this is that if your network connection is slow for some reason (like less then 10MB/s), the file system will have some hiccups if you're importing several songs at once.

    There is also a very handy folder called "Not Added" that gets made in case you added something that can't be added to iTunes.

    2. If you disabled "Keep iTunes Media Folder Organized" and "Copy Files to iTunes Folder", it ignores them.

    I have lost too many songs/podcasts/movies over the years letting iTunes "manage" everything. The last time I tried it iTunes deleted ALL my hundreds of Podcasts from my hard drive when I restored my phone. I try to give it a shot every couple major versions but for some reason when you have a large library, things randomly disappear.

    So what's nice about this is that you can plop individual songs or videos into that folder and iTunes will automatically create all the appropriate sub folders to put that file in your library. But any subsequent changes after that will not move or delete the file.

    ----------

    Oh also, you can use something like VNC (locally) or TeamViewer (works on all devices) to remotely access the desktop. I have organized files in iTunes on my home server from my phone while at work several times. Its a little daunting trying to type and mouse click and stuff on a cell phone screen, but it works. It's a lot better on an iPad, laptop or desktop.
     
  9. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #9
    Finally had a chance to try this and I agree, it's very cool. Instead of subler, I got the app IDentify and used it to find the metadata for a DVD I just ripped. It even lets you choose from a long list of different cover art.

    Using filesharing on the mini, I dropped the file into the "automatic" folder from my MBA. I had the iTunes movie screen open via home sharing on the MBA, and when the file copy completed, the screen refreshed and displayed the new movie along with all the correct metadata. Very cool. :cool:

    I'm very happy with the way the mini is working out as an iTunes server, much faster and more robust than using a network drive for the iTunes library. And filesharing performance is better than I expected on the mini - blackmagic says about 90MB/s write and over 100MB/s read over gigabit ethernet. That number seems better than any of the inexpensive NAS units I've seen reviewed.
     

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