NAS iTunes library + iPhone

Discussion in 'iPod' started by laerm, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. laerm macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    #1
    Probably best to introduce my problem with the bullet-pointed facts of the case:

    • all music and movies live on a NAS
    • files managed by Windows machine running non-iTunes media center software
    • media center software syncs with Apple products not including iPhone
    • I'm getting an iPhone this week
    • all non-media center computing done on a MacBook

    So what it comes down to is that to put stuff on the iPhone, I have to use iTunes. OK, I'll learn to do that. Question is, how? I suppose make a library on the MacBook that uses the NAS files (I currently do nothing media-wise on the MacBook) so I can sync from there.

    This worries me because my library is 750GB, 65000 files. I don't even want to imagine how long it takes to make an iTunes library that big over a network... Also I'm kinda paranoid about iTunes moving stuff around. (I know I can turn that stuff off, like I said, I'm paranoid :p )

    (I am not worried about the two libraries staying in sync because users of the media center software I use have written an app that syncs iTunes libraries with its libraries.)

    Another option (that I'm pretty sure won't work) is that the NAS actually is an iTunes server as well. I can see all the files through iTunes now as a shared library...no way to use that as a sync source for an iPhone, is there?

    Has anyone done anything like this before? I would love to hear any advice and feedback at all.

    Thanks!
    Micah
     
  2. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #2
    You should be able to set up iTunes on the MacBook to look for music files on the NAS. You can certainly have your itunes library on an external drive and I'm pretty sure you should be able to do it on a network drive.

    Then when you sync your iphone you will be syncing to the music that's "on" the Macbook, not just shared (of course, it's not really on the macbook).

    Only drawback is you won't be able to sync music if your Macbook is not connected to the network with your NAS.
     
  3. MattZani macrumors 68030

    MattZani

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Can i ask what NAS software you are using? What you have setup sounds like what im trying to do...
     
  4. laerm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    #4
    Yeah, that's the angle I already have figured out. If anyone has an idea of how long it'd take for iTunes to chomp through 700GB of music and 50GB of video over a wireless network, that's information I'd love to know. (I'd also love to know how likely it is iTunes would crash...virgin territory for me, so I really have no idea.)

    I have a Seagate BlackArmor. Seems super-reliable, very fast speeds (streaming DVDs is no worry). The software it comes with has the iTunes server built in, and configuration was a piece of cake.

    Micah
     
  5. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #5
    Why would it need to chomp through it? If it's on the NAS and you connect your macbook to that network, the data will remain on the NAS. ITunes doesn't need to "import" it--it's already there.

    Maybe I'm misunderstanding something though.
     
  6. laerm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    #6
    Yeah, sorry I was unclear. I'm talking about building a library. Admittedly, I am out of touch when it comes to iTunes. The last time I used it for a large library was in 2006, when it proved it couldn't handle my 40000 track library. It was very slow to respond and was trouble all the time (even with a local library). If things are better now, I welcome using it.

    Micah
     
  7. smirk macrumors 6502a

    smirk

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #7
    I've done that over a network before but not with nearly as large a library as yours. Yes, it was a little sluggish when doing things like batch renaming files or altering ID3 tags. I suspect that it will take a long time to build the library when you first set it up -- remember that it will have to completely scan through every MP3 to create its ReplayGain-like volume normalization levels and to look for songs that are supposed to play back-to-back without gaps.

    I guess you'll either just have to let it run for a very long time or else maybe you could install iTunes on the NAS box, have it access the music files via a mapped drive or UNC path (instead of directly), and then have it build its library that way. Once it has completed, you could try moving the library file to your PC or Mac. In theory, it would work as the path to each music file would still be the same.

    I don't really know if this would work, just trying to brainstorm a faster way for you to get your library loaded. The simplest way is probably to just let it run overnight, don't you think?
     
  8. androiphone macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    #8
    I'm not sure if it would work but if you can view the NAS as any type of Hard drive on the mac you would prob just be able to go
    import folder > [music folder] if you have all the music under one 'top folder',
    you would have to make sure that copy to itunes folder is not selected in preferences, and that first import will likely take a very long time (just leave it overnight).
    if the 'path' to the NAS doesnt change then all the music should always be avalible. leave the itunes folder on the pc but just have itunes pointed at the music on the NAS
    this should work on windows not sure on a mac

    post back if you try on either mac or windows if this works or not
     
  9. laerm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    #9
    The first option isn't available to me, as the NAS runs its own software, so the second is what I'm going to do (let it run for a while). I'm away from home now, so I think I'll just do it through Remote Desktop and see what happens. Thanks for the advice!

    This would work if OS X and Windows used the same network path structure. Sadly, no dice. Thanks though!

    Will update when I see how long it takes to go. ;)

    Micah
     
  10. laerm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    #10
    So, here's the update: 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo with 2 GB RAM took 7 hours to import 63000 files (700GB) over my network from the NAS. Not bad, I'd say! I thought it would take all weekend to be honest. It's only about 1/20 of the way through the analysis stuff, though, after an hour (album art, gapless playback, etc).

    Still, so far so good...

    Micah
     

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