NAS, QNAP, iTunes Server? Confusion

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Sparced, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. Sparced macrumors regular


    Nov 15, 2007
    Liverpool, UK
    I'm switching my setup from an iMac that's always on with a 2TB external drive to a Macbook.

    I would like to move my iTunes Library consisting of Movies, TV Shows and Music, on to something hosted over the network that doesn't require iTunes to be running on a connected Mac. Which new external hard drive should I be looking to purchase?

    I've tried to do my own research but I'm confused by if there's a solution for this simple request. Talk of pin codes, fireflies...

    I already have an AirPort Extreme if that helps. :confused:
  2. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    Firefly is the linux software that's used by the vast majority of NAS, Media Streaming and other device makers to provide iTunes server functions. It is limited to music only, however. There is no provision for video of any kind.

    I suspect you either want iTunes Match, iCloud or a Mac Mini. Frankly, a Mac Mini with your old 2 tb hd connected is a great solution. It what I've done and it works really well.
  3. Sparced thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 15, 2007
    Liverpool, UK
    That's seriously disappointing. :(

    Mac Mini's don't come cheap even second hand which isn't a market I like to risk entering. Moving from an old beaten up iMac with a graphics card problem to a Mini isn't any better really.

    I was hoping to get an all in one solution and music only isn't good enough.

    It's hard to believe there's nothing on the market for what I thought was a highly desired feature.
  4. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    I dunno if the whole solution would be smaller than a Mini, but here goes. Synology NAS's support the Firecore iTunes emulation mentioned above for music. You can also install Plex Server for the videos on a Synology NAS. If your media is already iOS-compatible, it won't have to transcode; just stream. Then you can get an ATV2/3 and Airplay from your iPhone/iPad/iPT to your TV.

    Like I said though, it's not a cheap solution.
  5. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    What are you trying to do? Serve music/tv/movies to an ATV? Store your iTunes library on a NAS for your MacBook to access? Where does your video come from - iTunes purchased or ripped from discs?

    All of the above effect the options that are open to you. As of right now, NAS + iTunes can be made to work, but it's not as simple as we all want it to be.
  6. ssgrif macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2011
    another alternative is to buy a Synology NAS as mentioned before, and jailbreak an Apple TV2 running XBMC.

    This is what I have and I can access all my music, tv shows, movies and photos sstreamed to my apple TV. Plus I can Airplay content to the Apple TV via my iphone and ipad.

    oh and the iphone/ipad can be used as remote controls too.
  7. sulliweb macrumors regular


    Mar 13, 2011
    Ok, and it looks like you're looking for Apple Products, but if you're willing to go PC... You can always get a cheap nettop (a PC the size of a mini with the guts of a netbook). I have an Acer Aspire-Revo 3700, and I love it. All it does is run iTunes, and it works well. Now, that's about all it can handle, but I paid $300... I wasn't expecting much more than that.

    That and a cheap NAS or External HDD are easily cheaper than a Mini alone. Mine has worked great. I use Microsoft Security Essentials for AV (not that it can get any malware as it is only for iTunes but still makes me feel better), so the only real cost is the device. Mine's been running solid for about a year now, and it's great. No noise, no heat, doesn't seem to stress my power bill.

    Like I said, it can't handle anything much beyond iTunes, but it handles iTunes like a champ. It has an HDMI output, so if you need a monitor occasionally, just use your TV. While I know this is an Apple forum, if you're looking for a cheap way to move from an iMac, that's what I would suggest.
  8. New Account macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2010
    Does this require a jailbroken iphone/iPad?

    Edit: nevermind, found XBMC remotes in the App Store.
  9. Sparced thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 15, 2007
    Liverpool, UK
    I'd like it to serve multiple Apple TVs and one MacBook. The videos are all ripped using Apple TV presets with Handbrake, fully organised with artwork etc.

    I'm not a fan of the XBMC interface, and I don't think my family would find it as easy to use as Apple's own. I won't rule it out but it's not a pleasant UI to browse.
  10. robertpolson macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2011
    I have the same problem. I want to stream my content from my Qnap NAS to my Apple TVs. Unfortunately, iTunes is not NAS friendly. Right now I use Plex server running on my laptop and organizing my media on my Qnap. To stream my movies, I use Plex iPhone App and stream via Airplay. I still have to have my laptop turned on, but right now Plex is better able to manage my media on NAS than iTunes.

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