NAS, iTunes and multiple computers and devices

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Tandaemonium, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. Tandaemonium macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2008
    I've gone through the various threads that are similar in subject but have not quite come up with a solution for my own personal setup.

    The current setup:
    I have a Mac Pro (early 2008) that has an internal HD dedicated exclusively for my media files (music, movies, tv) except for photos. Since purchasing the Apple TV 2, I've been ripping my DVDs and populating that drive to the point that I needed to upgrade HDs. My iTunes Library on this Mac Pro points directly to this drive and is setup to automatically organize/consolidate/rename my media as it is added.

    My home has my Mac Pro, an iMac, 2 Mac Book Pro's, an Apple TV 2, and some "Airplay-enabled" speakers via an Airport Express as far as devices I would like to stream my media to. I am also using an Airport Extreme as my wifi router.

    I have just purchased a WD MyBook Live 3TB NAS that is connected to my Airport Extreme, though currently empty of media, though does contain whatever came with it out-of-the-box (share folders, software, manual pdfs, etc.)

    What I would like to accomplish and achieve:

    I chose that particular NAS drive because I was led to believe I can daisy-chain additional ones of the same brand w/o much hassle.

    1. I want that NAS drive to house all of my home's digital media.
    2. Though the media will now all be located on a NAS, I want to retain my Mac Pro's iTunes Library to point directly to the NAS, and continue handling the organization of my media, i.e., be the MAIN library of my Mac Pro, not a shared library.
    2b. If possible I would also like all the other computers in the house's iTunes libraries to point to that NAS as well. I have a few reasons for this: I want to avoid redundancy of files across computers. And I would also like to avoid comparing/replacing redundant media files based on the variances in id/metatag info as well as cover art. I have a large collection of vinyl converted to digital as well as custom cover art for TV shows I create myself to differentiate different seasons of a show when it is not provided. So a lot of data in my media is manually added/created.

    In summary, if either my girlfriend or I added new music, movies or tv shows to the iTunes Library on any of the 4 computers (all of which share the same Apple account for purchases), it gets added only to the NAS. I am not sure if this is possible, but I hope so.

    3. This particular NAS provides an iTunes service. It has three preset folders that should not be renamed for videos, music and photos. I'm not sure if I should use their service/setup or do my own thing. As far as iTunes on any of the 4 computers, the NAS would by default just show up as a shared device. I do not like how there is only one folder for just videos instead of separating by the different kinds of videos (podcasts, movies, tv). And I really do not wish to have to manually move files and rename them myself.

    4. If all of the above can be achieved, will synching of our media to our iPads, iPhones, and iPods be problematic? I don't see why not, but I am not sure.

    5. If all of the above can be achieved, will all of this still allow my Apple TV 2 to access everything? I know it can get weird depending on the NAS and/or other things. I would hope that even though my media would be on a NAS, having it still be what iTunes sees as its library would allow it to be shared via Homesharing.

    Sorry about the length of this post. I am basically unsure of how to approach what I want to achieve - what I can and cannot do, or if I can do some things will it prevent me from achieving some of the other things I want. My hope is that this entire thing is similar and as simple as migrating an existing iTunes library to another hard drive/location. Also, if anyone has any other suggestions on how I should approach my scenario, I'd greatly appreciate it. My main goal is to simplify my home's access to media as well as be prepared for the scaling of users, devices, and media.
  2. fhall1 macrumors 68040


    Dec 18, 2007
    (Central) NY State of mind
    Let me start by saying I have no experience with the WD NAS, but I do have an old Thecus N2100 NAS (320GB usable space) housing my iTunes library and a new Synology DS211 (2 TB usable space) housing regular files and my video library - both are dual disk, set up in RAID1 configuration. I can access the NAS's via my iMac(s), a Mac mini used as a HTPC, my wife's PC, other PCs in the house, our iPhones and iPads (through iTunes and other software) and a WD TV Live Plus.

    1. Yes - you can house all your digital media on a NAS

    2. Yes to all

    3. I don't use the media server portions of my NASs, but I have tested them and they work. I prefer to stream the files directly to my devices via whatever program uses them e.g. iTunes, Plex, XBMC.

    4. No problems, but I have one iTunes account and my wife uses the same're allowed 5 devices per account

    5. Don't have an Apple TV, but it's similar to the WD TV Live Plus, so it shouldn't be an issue.

    Good luck.

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