Keeping movies on AppleTV and NOT on my MacBook

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by massiveimages, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. massiveimages macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2010
    Hi there. I'm wondering how I can store/keep movies I've downloaded from iTunes on my AppleTV, without having to keep them stored on my MacBook as well?!

    Obviously the ones I buy on AppleTV stay there..but I like to buy them on my laptop so I can also put them on my kids' iPod Touch(s)...but after awhile I end up with 100Gb of kids movies on my laptop?!

    I'll typically move them to an external hard drive for future access...but then once they're off my laptop and AppleTV starts to sync....they're all gone from AppleTV too?! I want to be able to sync from iTunes on my laptop to ADD new movies without removing all the others?!

    I'm normally pretty adept at figuring these things out...but this one I just can't find a solution for?!

  2. tommylotto macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2004
    That is how AppleTV is suppose to work. It is just like an iPod Touch. All it's content has to be in iTunes.

    What you can do is keep your movies in iTunes but stored on your external drive. Just turn off automatic sync and only sync your AppleTV when your external drive is connected to your laptop.

    You really need two external drives (one for back-up). If your external drive fails you will lose all your movies. Even the ones on your AppleTV will disappear the next time you sync.

    So, if you are keeping track, you really need three copies of all your movies: one on AppleTV, one for iTunes, and one for back-up.
  3. Kcissem D macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2010
    not true, i only have one copy of everything. Everything is on a external drive that is mirrored(raid 1), then everything is streamed from that drive to the apple tv(Apple tv drive is completely empty). Can use a NAS to do the same.
  4. roidy macrumors 65816

    Dec 30, 2008
    Nottingham, UK
    RAID 1 isn't a substitute for a good backup because there are a few things is can't protect against.

    What happens if you accidentally delete a file, because the disks contain exact copys of each other then the file will be deleted from both drives.

    What happens if a file becomes corrupt, same as above the raid array just mirrors a corrupt file and your left with a corrupt file and a copy of a corrupt file. Bye-bye file.

    There are quite a few reasons why Raid-1 shouldn't be your only backup solution. That's why I always backup to a external drive that I can unplug and remove from my computer to keep safe.
  5. tommylotto macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2004
    I still count three: 2 on your mirrored external, and 1 on your AppleTV as it buffers your streamed content....
  6. smoked macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2009
    The mirrored external only counts as one copy, and the streamed doesn't count since it is volatile. So thats only one copy total, which really isn't a good idea.

    Anyway, on the MacBook, just delete the files from the MacBook drive but not from iTunes. I would suggest not buying directly from the :apple:Tv because it can be sketchy on syncing back to iTunes, and also keeping backups on at least two external drives stored in a safe place.
  7. danhercules macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2010
    How do I do this?
  8. massiveimages thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2010
    I see. So I'd keep the "reference" file in iTunes..but the actual movie (the 1Gb+ file) on an external drive and just "point" iTunes toward looking for the file on the external drive? Is that accurate?
  9. tommylotto macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2004
    Just remember to go into the Preferences in iTunes, under "Advanced", and make sure you have unchecked the option that Copies all filed added to your iTunes library to your iTunes Media folder...
  10. cwaddell2002 macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2005
    Raleigh, NC
  11. deadwulfe macrumors 6502a


    Feb 18, 2010
    I'm assuming the article is about how to have content stored on an external drive, but still having it as part of iTunes. I didn't read it.

    Anyways, I have iTunes organize my music on my Macbook, but I keep movies on an external hard drive. I import the movies into iTunes holding alt+drag them onto iTunes. iTunes will import them into the app, but leave the files where they are, on the external drive, without copying them to my Macbook.

    That way I can sync with the Apple TV and not keep the movies on my Macbook. I use NitoTV on my Apple TV to enable the use of an external USB drive as the Apple TV's hard drive, so I can keep my entire movie library on the Apple TV.
  12. ipedro macrumors 68040


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    Apple almost resolved this problem when they introduced the current version of iTunes. They changed the iTunes music folder to iTunes Media with seperate folders for music, tv, movies, etc.

    Now they just need to allow you to specify different storage locations for each so that large files such as movies can be stored on an external HDD while music can remain on the internal HDD.

    I need to have my music on me but not my movies.

    The workaround that I use right now is to rip my music to a folder in my external HDD and then drag it while holding OPTION. Notice that the "+" icon disappears. What you're doing is only copying a link to that file into your iTunes library. The file remains on the external.

    This works fine for content that you rip from DVDs or download from sources other than iTunes. If you do purchase TV shows or Movies on your AppleTV, you'll have to manually move the file from your iTunes library folder to your external and then update the location by opening the file in iTunes and following the prompts to locate the file you just moved.
  13. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    You can easily store your music, movies and photos wherever you want. There is an option in the iTunes preferences (under Advanced) called "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library." If you uncheck this, iTunes will leave the files wherever they are. In my case, I have my music on one HD and my video files on another. I drag them into iTunes and it adds them to the library, but does not copy them.
  14. hfthomp macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2008
    I have a question for you on your setup here. Does your USB drive connected to your ATV show up on your Macbook as a hard drive?

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