Just to confirm-- Siri search on atv4 does not include iTunes library content?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Obioban, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. Obioban macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2011
    I was going to buy one for Siri search, as I have a Netflix, HBO go, Amazon account... And a huge (legitimate, but not all purchased from Apple) iTunes library. Being able to search all the "free" (not really free so much as already paid for) content sources simultaneously was THE reason I was going to buy one of these.

    If not currently possible, is that coming? Or... are iTunes libraries not something they want available easily?

    ... And do we know if Amazon support is coming?
  2. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    Boston, MA
    No, siri cannot search Homesharing libraries unfortunately.
  3. Obioban thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2011
    Something they've announced they plan to add or just... not going to happen?
  4. Hog Milanese macrumors regular

    Hog Milanese

    Mar 19, 2012
    Pacific Northwest
  5. philipk macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2008
    Colossally dumb statement.

    Yes, I would like Siri to search my iTunes library, but how is that going to happen?

    You do realize that both Siri and the search is in the cloud somewhere. You must use data for it to work. It is not local.

    Even when you say "Siri, open Pages", the request goes to the cloud and returns a command to your phone. That is a VERY simple action. A query is very complex.

    So how is Apple going to Index everyones iTunes library to get it to work with personalized results?
  6. Marshall73 macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2015
    They could use voice recognition like they do on the iPhone if you disable Siri and want to voice dial a contact. It wouldn't be as accurate or as verbose as Siri but you could say play x movie from computers. And it's for this reason I think Apple omitted this feature as its not as clean as Siri. Would be nice to have the option though.
  7. gnipgnop macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2009
    I know for a fact that Siri search DOES WORK for titles of local shared movie libraries. However, the file names need to be exactly the same as what you say and not contain any special characters or combined words. For example, a ripped file named Iron Man 3.m4v will be searchable, but not one named Iron_Man_3.m4v or IRONMAN3.m4v. So if you're in your local library list and the file name literally matches what you say, Siri will find it and start playing the movie.
  8. shorn macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    Hmm, I'll have to try that. Siri search of local content was a major disappointment. I wonder why it would search on the filename rather than the meta title?
  9. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    Well if you know the title you are looking for you can say "movie name" and it will bring it up.

    For example, I own John wick via iTunes. I just hold the Siri button and say "John wick" and it brings it up. It does that for all of my content I own.

    What exactly would you trying to do?
  10. pedz macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
    I don't believe this is entirely accurate. In my experience so far on the apple tv this only works if the title is visible on the screen when you do it. When I bring up my long list of movies on home sharing and ask siri to play a title I can see on the screen it works, but if I scroll down the list so that same title is not visible on the screen it will not find it. It appears to search whatever is on the screen only. But if you got it working beyond that would be curious how.
  11. gnipgnop macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2009
    You're right...it only seems to work if the name is visible on screen when you're in the local library list. That's true for iTunes purchased content as well.
  12. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Dec 17, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    That's really weird...at that point the entire list is obviously loaded into the ATV, so it should be able to search for anything on your list of content.
  13. FiberRobot macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2015
    Short answer might be that Apple does not have an incentive to support a legacy iTunes library content since they focus on spotlighting new purchases/rentals or premier partner apps like HBO, Netflix etc.

    After playing with the Siri search it seems there is no incentive for Apple to change the "computer" app that is the interface to existing local iTunes libraries. The Computer app is essentially un changed and still does not even have text search or movie genre or alphabetical skipping through a long alphabetical list.

    All of the iTunes purchases are now in the Movies app so I do not see any reason for Apple to update the old Computer app. They can drive more rent/purchase movie and TV episode revenue by focusing Siri on their online iTunes offerings.

    While I would like Siri search of local iTunes libraries, the more likely work around might be an independent app that a developer could create (probably have to assume user will enable the library xml export). Also, many user created media libraries may not be tagged very well so search would only be as good as the quality of the user owned media meta data.
  14. darthbane2k macrumors 6502a

    Oct 22, 2009


    Your itunes library contains metadata. Just have it search that, the same way it works with iPad and iPhone.
  15. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Dec 17, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    That might be a pretty good opportunity for a tvOS app...

    The funny thing is that someone pointed out here that Siri search does work for content that is actually onscreen in your list of shared content, but not for the entire list- only stuff that is currently onscreen. Weird- perhaps that is some sort of assistive-interface feature. But if that's enabled, why wouldn't it be enabled for the entire list? That would at least be a nice feature to have for those with a lot of local content.
  16. norbinhouston macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2011
    Apple is more than capable of putting our iTunes library index into their "cloud", how do we know this, because they already give us that option. Genius Mix option in iTunes uploads your entire music library index and creates a mix based on a genre. So not so colossally dumb. Just colossally greedy?
  17. danmart macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2015
    Lancs, UK
    I can ask Siri to play an album in my library of over 1000 albums on my phone, so I can't see any reason why they shouldn't be able to search my library of video content?

    The ATV4 just gets more and more disappointing...
  18. Obioban thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2011
    I wonder if Siri will be able to search plex, ever. That could serve the same function, albeit less efficiently (since transcoding would be required every time, I believe).
  19. Mac... nificent macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2012
    Should happen around the beginning of the year, so around a month and a half. Same for Kodi and Infuse.
  20. Runt888 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 17, 2008
    I have over 1000 movies and 4000 TV episodes in my library. I've been using Home Sharing with an Apple TV for years. Now that Plex has come out with an Apple TV app I've been seriously thinking of switching over. It basically comes down to who implements Siri search first, Apple or Plex.
  21. aawil macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2008
    Same here, I setup up the plex server last night in anticipation of the apple tv arriving today. After playing with the interface I think I'll be sticking with plex from now on. A few my documentaries didn't add correctly but I can fix them later.
  22. Runt888 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 17, 2008
    If you don't mind, can you post more about your experience? Things like:

    1. Did you manually add all your content or did you import from iTunes?
    2. Does Plex use embedded metadata (i.e., artwork, artist, etc) or does it download it from its own sources?
    3. Are you going to get rid of iTunes completely for video content or keep both?
    4. Related to #2 - once imported, do you need to manually keep the Plex library up to date? Or can you add content to iTunes and have it show up automatically in Plex?
    5. How do you like the Plex Apple TV app? I'm assuming it can't get much worse than the Home Sharing interface...

  23. aawil macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2008
    My experience is quite limited, but here goes what I can answer now, 1. I manually added the content from an external drive. 2. In movies it seems to be using my covers, not sure about the descriptions I haven't compared them yet. TV shows are a different story. it uses the poster style instead of the square iTunes artwork. It pulls that but doesn't change the file thankfully. Most of these worked perfectly although I had a few that didn't work right. 3. Right now I will keep both updated. 4. Not sure because I didn't integrate anything with iTunes but I think flex can check the folder for new items automatically. 5. In my limited testing today I love it, very similar to native apple tv poster view, when it get's siri integration it'll be perfect I think. My advice is to set it up with a small amount of stuff just to give it a trial run.
  24. Runt888 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 17, 2008
    Thanks for this! I think I will take your advice and try a small number of movies and tv shows just to give it a trial run.
  25. jsalandro macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2017

    That is what I have found too. You can say the title name and it will play the movie only if it is visible on the screen. If you have a few hundred movies...scrolling is necessary.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 25, 2017 ---
    That is what I have found too. You can say the title name and it will play the movie only if it is visible on the screen. If you have a few hundred movies...scrolling is necessary.

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