Mac Mini - Ideal iTunes Media Server?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by iBrody, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. iBrody macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2008
    Looking to upgrade my 512gb 2011 MBP for something more portable (and potentially more storage space...).

    My iTunes media is using too much space on the SSD, and I was initially thinking of purchasing a 1TB 13" rMBP. Only negative for me is that I really don't want to pay £2k just to bump up the storage.

    I am now thinking down the route of buying a 512gb MBA (to store my iTunes music) and also buying a 2nd hand Mac Mini to store my complete iTunes and photo library on, and to also stream movies/photos to all iOS devices plus the MBA.

    I have an iTunes Match account, which I mainly use for ATV and for DL'ing to iOS devices on the fly. I don't want to rely 100% on the Match account for my music but prefer to keep local audio file on my computer(s).

    So, will the following set up work?

    1. Mac Mini hooked up to a spare TV in the bedroom (I won't have enough space or money to buy a dedicated monitor)
    2. Set up my existing iTunes account to the Mac Mini and copy all files from my current MBP to the Mini
    3. Use the new MBA (or my current MBP) with the same iTunes account, but only keep the audio files on the laptop (I want to ensure that I have my music library to hand if I go on a trip etc)
    4. Use the Mini to stream movie files to the MBP/MBA and all iOS devices in my house including ATV

    I'm guessing the above will work, but am not sure what will happen with new audio files, if say I rip a CD on to the MBA; what's the easiest way to send a local file to the Mac Mini so they both have the same tracks? I'm guessing the only way to automatically sync new music would be to purchase from Apple in future.

    Or a workaround will be to just use the Mac Mini to rip all music files going forward, and then use Match on the MBP/MBA to retrieve a matched version of it like I do with iOS devices?

    Also, I have never used Match to re-download tracks on 2 different computers (only use Match to DL music on iOS devices or stream Match content on ATV); does Apple even allow you to re-download your entire Match library on an additional computer and have Match running on both?

    Lastly, can you now use any Mac Mini for the above purpose, or do you have to buy one of the older Server Mini's?

    Not really wanting to go down the NAS route, as I want to keep things simple and cheap as possible.

    Apologies for lack of knowledge, my iTunes and networking research is pretty limited!

    Cheers in advance
  2. Fabian90 macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2013
    Bonn, Germany
    Hey there :)
    Yes, this will work. I will describe my setup, I think it is pretty similar. :)

    I have a 2014 rMBP for music production and other stuff and an old 2009 Mac mini with a big hard drive attached to it. All my music sits on the external HDD and I use iTunes to access it. The Mac mini is running OS X server and iTunes and also plex. It has no monitor. For that purpose I just use the built in screen sharing feature, it's super easy. When I am at home I play music on my MacBook Pro via iTunes home sharing. If I am not at home I just use Apple Music with the iCloud music library feature. All my music is in the cloud and I can download what I want to the MBP. But at home I rather listen to the uncompressed stuff in its full quality. The Mac mini server also works as a time machine backup volume and caching server for updates for all my Apple devices.

    My Apple TV can access it via plex. I just love it and it is super simple. You don't need a Mac mini server, just the OS X server upgrade from the AppStore. If you have any questions, just ask. I'm on the train with my phone so please excuse bad format of my post. Have a nice day :)
  3. iBrody thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2008
    Thanks for the details. I will look into what you have as your set-up and see whether this will work ok for me. May ask you additional questions...

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