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So I'm planning on buying my first Apple TV box, but I've fallen into the "What storage option" trap. The main issue is that I'm not entirely sure how storage is used on an Apple TV, because I can't find clear answers from Apple's marketing.

I understand that iCloud media (music, photos, videos) can be stored locally, but does the user have the option of 'manually' storing these so that they stay on the box permanently, or are they always downloaded/removed automatically?

Likewise, I own a lot of TV shows and movies that I purchased from iTunes/TV app elsewhere. Can I choose to keep certain files local so that I don't have to stream the things I watch frequently?

Finally - and this one is a little more in depth - how much storage does the average 'catch-up'/streaming service take up?

I don't plan to download games, so all my potential storage would be just for media.

Many thanks.
 

-Gonzo-

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Nov 14, 2015
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No media is stored on the device, storage is primarily for apps.
You can however download to a PC or MAC then stream via the AppleTV over your network.
 
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HobeSoundDarryl

macrumors G5
Media storage is on Mac (or PC). If you have a LOT of media you can control, that's usually organized on attached HDD storage. For example, I have a few TBs of home movies, a lot of ripped BD and DVD, etc. All of that is stored to a big HDD drive (and backed up to other drives just in case).

Mac then manages all of that for a very local stream to AppleTV in apps like Photos, Music and TV. You organize your media in those and then share up to all of it with AppleTV by making selections such as all or playlists or photo albums, etc.

In preferences of both Music and TV apps, you can uncheck an option that copies media to the internal drive when you add it to those apps...

FilesWindows.jpg

That unchecked means it will index the media but leave it wherever it is. Indexed media is what AppleTV needs... but it doesn't care where the actual file is stored. When you have HUGE amounts of media, it can easily fill up a "puny" internal drive if you don't do this. So you leave it on the big storage you've allocated for this purpose but index it like it's copied to the media folder.

AppleTV then has apps to present whatever is stored. My favorite for owned media is the Computers app. It has tabs for movies, TV shows, music, photos, etc. Think of that app running on AppleTV like "an iPod for your television."

There are many apps available to help "pretty" it all up too. For example, you can attach metadata and image posters to all of your media- even home movies- so there are descriptions, dates and some kind of image to represent it before you view it. This can be quite helpful vs. having a list of 20 home videos called Thanksgiving and guessing at which one is the one you want to watch.

There are a variety of apps to help convert other media into a form for AppleTV. For example, you can convert anything on discs into a format for AppleTV and then store your discs only as worst-case backup option. While not as convenient as buying from iTunes, discs can cost less and let YOU decide the quality of the movie (compression) vs. letting strangers make all such decisions. Discs also offer true ownership vs. "lifetime lease" and a very last resort backup if ever needed.

There are services that can take ancient formats like home movie film and scan it into HD-quality video. If you want to delight family members, take a crack at that and old movies not seen for years will look beyond new again.

iCloud rentals/purchases that you do NOT download to the attached drive are generally accessed through the AppleTV+ app. My general advice is to always download all purchased media so you control your own copy vs. entirely leaning on complete strangers in the sky managing it for you. While others control the media, there is risk of losing access to the media. If it is downloaded to your own drive, even if the Studio strips the movie out of the store- which regularly happens with cloud versions- you can still watch the copy you control. I am no fan at all of "trusting the cloud," especially with massive storage options we can own and fully control ourselves priced so cheap.

As to how much storage you need in the AppleTV, if you will really use it only for streaming, you can opt for the $20 cheaper model. Local storage is mostly gobbled up by app sizes and whatever the current app needs in temporary storage to do whatever it is trying to do.

There is a sizable App Library for AppleTV. If you go in thinking I want to only use it for some streaming apps but then you find some other apps you would like to use too, minimum base storage can be filled up. For example, while big games are often a kind of app that will eat up a lot of storage, they are not the only kind of apps that do so. There's also a few other benefits of the upgraded model that might justify paying the extra $20 too.

If it's more than only you in your household, will anyone else want to use it for other things? In other words, if home has more than 1 person, you should not choose based on your own expectations of use. Is there any gamer at home that might want to try a few on AppleTV? That will gobble up local storage.

Lastly (unless you have questions), work out a good backup option for your new Media drive(s). You don't want to go to the time & trouble of really maxing all of this out so that the experience is as good as it can be and then lose it all because the media storage drive conks. Be sure you have a backup option that regularly updates. I allocate a 20TB drive for my present and future home media needs, backed up locally to a Synology NAS AND another 20TB drive stored offsite (regularly rotating with another so that it is always quite up to date). In a fire/theft/flood scenario that takes out all storage at home, that one offsite backup is the ultimate recovery option.

IMO: AppleTV is a fantastic device. I can recall a time where the AV stack had a CD jukebox, a DVD player, VCR, etc. The home movie projector had to come out for film reels. The slide projector had to come out for slides. Etc. Now this one, cheap little device can consolidate ALL of that classic hardware so that it is easily accessible and able to serve up as much media as anyone chooses to gather. Apple should "try harder" in helping people grasp the many benefits of an "iPod for your television" because this is one of their very best offerings (but probably least understood/most overlooked by even some fans). You'll probably come to LOVE yours.
 
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Apple Knowledge Navigator

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Mar 28, 2010
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Media storage is on Mac (or PC). If you have a LOT of media you can control, that's usually organized on attached HDD storage. For example, I have a few TBs of home movies, a lot of ripped BD and DVD, etc. All of that is stored to a big HDD drive (and backed up to other drives just in case).

Mac then manages all of that for a very local stream to AppleTV in apps like Photos, Music and TV. You organize your media in those and then share up to all of it with AppleTV by making selections such as all or playlists or photo albums, etc.

In preferences of both Music and TV apps, you can uncheck an option that copies media to the internal drive when you add it to those apps...


That unchecked means it will index the media but leave it wherever it is. Indexed media is what AppleTV needs... but it doesn't care where the actual file is stored. When you have HUGE amounts of media, it can easily fill up a "puny" internal drive if you don't do this. So you leave it on the big storage you've allocated for this purpose but index it like it's copied to the media folder.

AppleTV then has apps to present whatever is stored. My favorite for owned media is the Computers app. It has tabs for movies, TV shows, music, photos, etc. Think of that app running on AppleTV like "an iPod for your television."

There are many apps available to help "pretty" it all up too. For example, you can attach metadata and image posters to all of your media- even home movies- so there are descriptions, dates and some kind of image to represent it before you view it. This can be quite helpful vs. having a list of 20 home videos called Thanksgiving and guessing at which one is the one you want to watch.

There are a variety of apps to help convert other media into a form for AppleTV. For example, you can convert anything on discs into a format for AppleTV and then store your discs only as worst-case backup option. While not as convenient as buying from iTunes, discs can cost less and let YOU decide the quality of the movie (compression) vs. letting strangers make all such decisions. Discs also offer true ownership vs. "lifetime lease" and a very last resort backup if ever needed.

There are services that can take ancient formats like home movie film and scan it into HD-quality video. If you want to delight family members, take a crack at that and old movies not seen for years will look beyond new again.

iCloud rentals/purchases that you do NOT download to the attached drive are generally accessed through the AppleTV+ app. My general advice is to always download all purchased media so you control your own copy vs. entirely leaning on complete strangers in the sky managing it for you. While others control the media, there is risk of losing access to the media. If it is downloaded to your own drive, even if the Studio strips the movie out of the store- which regularly happens with cloud versions- you can still watch the copy you control. I am no fan at all of "trusting the cloud," especially with massive storage options we can own and fully control ourselves priced so cheap.

As to how much storage you need in the AppleTV, if you will really use it only for streaming, you can opt for the $20 cheaper model. Local storage is mostly gobbled up by app sizes and whatever the current app needs in temporary storage to do whatever it is trying to do.

There is a sizable App Library for AppleTV. If you go in thinking I want to only use it for some streaming apps but then you find some other apps you would like to use too, minimum base storage can be filled up. For example, while big games are often a kind of app that will eat up a lot of storage, they are not the only kind of apps that do so. There's also a few other benefits of the upgraded model that might justify paying the extra $20 too.

If it's more than only you in your household, will anyone else want to use it for other things? In other words, if home has more than 1 person, you should not choose based on your own expectations of use. Is there any gamer at home that might want to try a few on AppleTV? That will gobble up local storage.

Lastly (unless you have questions), work out a good backup option for your new Media drive(s). You don't want to go to the time & trouble of really maxing all of this out so that the experience is as good as it can be and then lose it all because the media storage drive conks. Be sure you have a backup option that regularly updates. I allocate a 20TB drive for my present and future home media needs, backed up locally to a Synology NAS AND another 20TB drive stored offsite (regularly rotating with another so that it is always quite up to date). In a fire/theft/flood scenario that takes out all storage at home, that one offsite backup is the ultimate recovery option.

IMO: AppleTV is a fantastic device. I can recall a time where the AV stack had a CD jukebox, a DVD player, VCR, etc. The home movie projector had to come out for those. The slide projector had to come out for those. Etc. Now this one, cheap little device can consolidate ALL of that classic hardware so that it is easily accessible and able to serve up as much media as anyone chooses to gather. Apple should "try harder" in helping people grasp the many benefits of an "iPod for your television" because this is one of their very best offerings (but probably least understood/most overlooked by even some fans).
Thank you for your in-depth reply.

I will be relying primarily on the Apple TV box for playing my media as I don’t want to have to go to another room (where my iMac is) just to AirPlay local content.

So just to clarify, is there an option to manually download say a movie (like the cloud and arrow symbol on a Mac) to the Apple TV box and keep it there? Or is that only available on other devices?
 

HobeSoundDarryl

macrumors G5
No, you store the movie (show, music, photos, podcast, etc) on a drive connected to your iMac. If iMac is on, AppleTV will then be able to access it from the other room and play it.

Other than apps (mostly), all owned/self-created media is stored at the computer. AppleTV just locally streams the media from there. You don't airplay it (though you can if you like). AppleTV will "reach" out to iMac to get it when you want to watch or listen to something. This connection of AppleTV to Mac is via Home Sharing.

If you are not already using home sharing, you can turn it on right now and use it with any iDevices... to basically simulate the effect of having access to everything you now have in Music, Video, Photos available to your iDevice (not because it is synched onto that iDevice but by the iDevice seamlessly requesting it from iMac when you try to watch, look or listen to whatever it is). How that works for media not on iDevice is how it "just works" with AppleTV too. You don't have to do anything (like initiate an airplay from the iMac). It's as if it is all stored in iDevice storage. It works the same way on AppleTV: it's presented as if it is all stored on AppleTV when, in fact, none of it actually is stored there... but immediately streams on demand from the storage attached to Mac (or PC).

The original AppleTV (gen 1) had the ability to sync media to its internal storage. Since then, Apple chose to kill the sync option and locally stream it all from Mac (or PC). While I very much liked the ability to sync media in gen 1 myself, it set up the impossible scenario of what size drive needed to be inside. Some needed very little space and others would want 1TB, 2TB or much more inside. There were many hardware hacks with gen 1 to maximize storage space for this exact purpose.

Apple could never choose a default size that worked for all unless they chose a MASSIVE drive size... which would have then come with a MASSIVE Apple (markup) price. So shifting the storage to whatever each person wants on their Mac means that people can have any size media library without making all AppleTVs have to have the local capacity for whatever "any size" means.
 
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Boyd01

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I've been using a Mac Mini as a dedicated iTunes server for my two Apple TV's since 2014. All my media (iTunes purchases and ripped DVD's/CD's) are stored on a 4tb external USB SSD which is backed up nightly to an external hard disk. Have used a few different Mini's for this and they all worked equally well, currently using a lowly 2014 base Mini with a 1.4ghz dual-core i5 and 4gb RAM, booting from an external USB SSD. Setup is dead easy, just enable media, file and screen sharing on the Mini. I'm still using Mojave with iTunes here, but you can also do it with the newer apps and operating systems.

You can get used base 2014 Mini's with a limited warranty for a little over a hundred bucks at OWC/MacSales or probably even less from private sellers.

[edit]We were posting at the same time! No, you cannot store any media on the AppleTV. Think of it as a "terminal" that is used to access remotely-stored media.
 

HobeSoundDarryl

macrumors G5
#7 option of allocating an older Mac (or PC) as the media server for AppleTV is also a very good one. Store it anywhere in the home network and just leave it on so that media for AppleTV is always available to AppleTV. It doesn't take great power or a loaded Mac or PC to function as a media server. A very modest computer can do the job just fine.

OP: if you wanted to sometimes turn off that iMac, this always on (other) Mac or PC would readily serve up your media collection to AppleTV.
 
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Apple Knowledge Navigator

macrumors 68040
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No, you cannot store any media on the AppleTV. Think of it as a "terminal" that is used to access remotely-stored media.
Thank you. I'm quite disappointed to hear that and I now get why there is such a strong argument for the base 4K model.
 

Apple Knowledge Navigator

macrumors 68040
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No, you store the movie (show, music, photos, podcast, etc) on a drive connected to your iMac. If iMac is on, AppleTV will then be able to access it from the other room and play it.

Other than apps (mostly), all owned/self-created media is stored at the computer. AppleTV just locally streams the media from there. You don't airplay it (though you can if you like). AppleTV will "reach" out to iMac to get it when you want to watch or listen to something. This connection of AppleTV to Mac is via Home Sharing.

If you are not already using home sharing, you can turn it on right now and use it with any iDevices... to basically simulate the effect of having access to everything you now have in Music, Video, Photos available to your iDevice (not because it is synched onto that iDevice but by the iDevice seamlessly requesting it from iMac when you try to watch, look or listen to whatever it is). How that works for media not on iDevice is how it "just works" with AppleTV too. You don't have to do anything (like initiate an airplay from the iMac). It's as if it is all stored in iDevice storage. It works the same with on AppleTV: it's presented as if it is all stored on AppleTV when, in fact, none of it actually is stored there... but immediately streams on demand from the storage attached to Mac (or PC).
Okay great. So I would need to set up this 'Home Sharing' on my Apple TV box and my iMac, and then when I select a movie for instance, it would stream from the iMac automatically? If so that's great news!

Again, many thanks for you responses and I apologise for my questions.
 
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HobeSoundDarryl

macrumors G5
Yes, you set up home sharing only on your iMac and AppleTV will automatically see the available media. It's very simple: just follow the step-by-step at the link. And yes, someone could conceptually never touch their iMac again if all they wanted to do is sit at their TV and watch stuff stored on that iMac via AppleTV.

Again, see for yourself with any iDevice right now. Follow the instructions to turn on home sharing and then open the AppleTV app on your iDevice to access whatever media you have on your iMac that is not synched onto your iDevice. Watch or listen to that media. It works the same on AppleTV. It's as if it is stored on AppleTV without actually being stored there.

As to post #9 disappointment, I know it seems like that right now but even the bigger storage option is not very much when it comes to video media. A single movie could eat up 3-10GB of storage. I have a few that get up towards 20GB. If the sync option to store the media still existed, I might be able to store about SIX 10GB movies on the internal storage of the cheaper AppleTV option. Unless one could be really happy watching the same 6 over and over again, that would lead to wishing for much more storage... or a lot of hassle switching out the 6 for a different 6.

Gen 1 AppleTVs had up to 320GB storage on a spinning HDD inside. That added a lot of relative space but it too was deemed "too little" by many people. Hardware and software hacks could expand that to 2TB but even that was deemed too little by many people. Thus, you see how this goes.

The grand solution is to shift media storage to the computer and then everyone can have however much storage they want/need for their own media. If someone had 100TBs of media, they could make it available to AppleTV as if AppleTV had 100TB built in. 500TB? 1000TB? However much storage one can attach to a computer can be the total amount of virtual storage for AppleTV media.
 
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Apple Knowledge Navigator

macrumors 68040
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Yes, you set up home sharing only on your iMac and AppleTV will automatically see the available media. It's very simple: just follow the step-by-step at the link. And yes, someone could conceptually never touch their iMac again if all they wanted to do is sit at their TV and watch stuff stored on that iMac via AppleTV.

Again, see for yourself with any iDevice right now. Follow the instructions to turn on home sharing and then open the AppleTV app on your iDevice to access whatever media you have on your iMac that is not synched onto your iDevice. Watch or listen to that media. It works the same on AppleTV. It's as if it is stored on AppleTV without actually being stored there.
Perfect, I can get away with the 64gb model then. Many thanks for your time.
 

-Gonzo-

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OP also bear in mind that although you can download to your iMac you cannot download any of your iTunes purchased movies in 4K as 4K playback is streaming only.
 
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Boyd01

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Apparently, Apple is making it more difficult to maintain local iTunes libraries, based on this thread. I have not experienced this problem, since I'm still using iTunes/Mojave to download movies. But it could be a real issue with the newer Apple software/operating systems. People in that thread are saying movies now download in a different proprietary format which will play in the TV app on the computer but don't appear in a shared library on the Apple TV.
 

HobeSoundDarryl

macrumors G5
Best general remedy to that problem is don't buy video from iTunes. All "trust the cloud" offerings are- in effect- wedging for-profit middlemen in between consumers and their purchases. Stuff like this can easily happen at any time with motivated middlemen.

I still passionately argue the very best option for media libraries is buy the discs and learn to convert them for AppleTV. You:
  • actually own the disc, not "lifetime lease."
  • can render the file in whatever quality you want vs. trusting some stranger to choose the compression level for you.
  • are not married to anyone's proprietary hardware/DRM limitations.
  • can't just lose video because a studio arbitrarily pulled it from that source.
The used disc market will almost always yield ownership of the best quality consumer version of any video for LESS than the iTunes price. Etc. Make your own versions and you have total control of them (and a very tangible backup).

Yes, making your own is a process with a learning curve vs. the easy convenience of buying a digital "lifetime lease" version. But then, none of the things that can happen, happen... as they do with tangibly separating consumers from actually owning media.

A secondary option that works for now is use an older Mac or PC as they are still downloading the .m4v versions. Whatever this proprietary option is seems to require recent macOS updated Macs.

Personally, I believe AppleTV tvOS has just not caught up to the change in format and that that will likely happen on down the road. So this may be a "for now" problem for those who only want to buy media from iTunes. But I would still argue that "rolling your own" is the very best option: no middlemen.
 
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TechnoMonk

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No media is stored on ATv. My Airvideo HD app his hanging by a thread, though it was abandoned few years back. One of the most stable way to stream all the movie collection I have from years of owning DVD. I found iTunes pain in the butt.
 

gigatoaster

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I think you should tell us about your usages. I’ll share mine so that it gives you an idea.

I have an Apple TV 4K HDR (previous model) that is connected to my 65” OLED TV. I use a dedicated Mac mini for my files (which may be overkill for your use-case) and I use it for 3 main use-cases:

- Show pictures from my trips to the family: all pictures taken by my iPhone are automatically populated on the Apple TV, I just need to sync iCloud.

- If a guest wants to show their pictures, they can AirPlay to my TV.

- I download my TV shows on Torrent on the mini and use Infuse Pro to broadcast them on the TV. You might not like it because in most countries, downloading shows is illegal.
 

Apple Knowledge Navigator

macrumors 68040
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I think you should tell us about your usages. I’ll share mine so that it gives you an idea.

I have an Apple TV 4K HDR (previous model) that is connected to my 65” OLED TV. I use a dedicated Mac mini for my files (which may be overkill for your use-case) and I use it for 3 main use-cases:

- Show pictures from my trips to the family: all pictures taken by my iPhone are automatically populated on the Apple TV, I just need to sync iCloud.

- If a guest wants to show their pictures, they can AirPlay to my TV.

- I download my TV shows on Torrent on the mini and use Infuse Pro to broadcast them on the TV. You might not like it because in most countries, downloading shows is illegal.
Sure. So in short, I’m a UK resident and moving home, but I want the simplest TV setup I can imagine. I don’t subscribe to any cable/satellite services (Sky, BT, Virgin etc) and the only streaming platforms I use are Prime, Discovery and Disney. For TV content I will use free catch-up services (BBC iPlayer etc). I’m not a couch potato and don’t actually watch a lot of TV, I just like to buy my favourite movies and watch the odd programme.

My movie collection is currently split between iTunes purchases and 4K Blu-rays. I know what you might be thinking… Why not just go all physical? This is my plan going forward, however because of all the money that I’ve invested in iTunes over the years I still want retain that value and make use of them. There’s around 300gb of movies, for what it’s worth.

I won’t game on the Apple TV as this doesn’t interest me. I do have a sizeable photo library and music library, again over 200gb of iTunes songs.

My main computer is an iMac and access to storage isn’t a problem.
 

Boyd01

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I moved to a rural area in 2006 with no broadband and no cable TV. Built up a substantial DVD library over a ten year period, plus some bluray. I began ripping the disks starting around 2015 and continued over a period of several years, ending up with about 1200 of them on my iTunes server (Mini). Still have a couple disks my daughter gave me for my birthday that I need to rip.

But otherwise, not interested in purchasing more physical media and we have fast fiber internet here now. I generally end up receiving some Apple gift cards for Christmas, and those go into media purchases. There's definitely a risk in purchasing from Apple, a variety of things could happen to render it useless in the future. But, as with most things in life, it's a matter of weighing the plusses and minuses.
 

HobeSoundDarryl

macrumors G5
Sure. So in short, I’m a UK resident and moving home, but I want the simplest TV setup I can imagine. I don’t subscribe to any cable/satellite services (Sky, BT, Virgin etc) and the only streaming platforms I use are Prime, Discovery and Disney. For TV content I will use free catch-up services (BBC iPlayer etc). I’m not a couch potato and don’t actually watch a lot of TV, I just like to buy my favourite movies and watch the odd programme.

My movie collection is currently split between iTunes purchases and 4K Blu-rays. I know what you might be thinking… Why not just go all physical? This is my plan going forward, however because of all the money that I’ve invested in iTunes over the years I still want retain that value and make use of them. There’s around 300gb of movies, for what it’s worth.

I won’t game on the Apple TV as this doesn’t interest me. I do have a sizeable photo library and music library, again over 200gb of iTunes songs.

My main computer is an iMac and access to storage isn’t a problem.

All that will work fine- and easy- with AppleTV and the default apps- particularly Computers for your own stuff and AppleTV app for the iCloud purchases (unless you download the iCloud media and then Computers app for ALL).

If any of the iTunes media is "in the cloud" instead of stored on a local drive, I encourage you to download ALL of it and get it on a local drive. Then, all of the "anything can happen" stuff on the iTunes storage end won't impact you. Basically: possess a local copy and you have much more control than "trust the cloud." You don't have huge storage needs and 5TB externals are around $100, so you can easily buy well beyond current need to store it all.

If you have the gas for it, consider self-converting the 4K BDs into a format for that same library. Then you can store the BD discs as last resort backup. All of your 4K disc movies and all of your iTunes movies could all store on the same external and be merged into the same list when using your AppleTV. Depending on how many discs you have, this could take a LONG time. But if you do 1 per night, the whole collection is done in <disc qty> nights. 2 per night cuts that time in half. Etc. I've had many a night where I leave the computer to doing the rendering while I sleep, waking up to a few ready in the morning.
 
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Boyd01

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If any of the iTunes media is "in the cloud" instead of stored on a local drive, I encourage you to download ALL of it and get it on a local drive. Then, all of the "anything can happen" stuff on the iTunes storage end won't impact you.

Look at the other thread I linked to above. Unfortunately it may already be too late for this. Using current versions of Apple's software, apparently you can only download proprietary .movpkg files. These will play on your computer, but are not seen in a shared library when accessed with the Computers app on the AppleTV.

But using old software, such as iTunes on MacOS Mojave, you can still download .m4v files that can be shared with your Apple TV.
 
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HobeSoundDarryl

macrumors G5
Yes, I'm well aware (and not surprised at all). I've always seen through the whole cloud spin because it is basically hard drive storage out of users control, letting for-profit strangers wedge their way in between consumers and that storage. Opportunity for exploitation in that arrangement is off the charts. I only use cloud storage for non-essential or short-term storage with an eye towards moving anything (essential) OFF of the cloud ASAP.

For example, while traveling, videos or photos shot that I'd hate to lose if the iDevice was lost needs a backup. If I don't have a good local option for a backup (which I almost always do), I'll dump a copy to the cloud. As soon as I return from the vacation, I will get all of that OUT of the cloud so my local storage has full control (along with a good backup system).

All OP can do if they are not already local is try to download them and see if he gets .m4v or .movpkg and, for those that arrive in the latter, attempt some of the things referenced in that same thread to try to harvest the .m4v. Else, older macOS becomes the answer to download the .m4v versions while one can... just in case AppleTV does NOT ever adapt to handle local storage of .movpkg.
 
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JamesMay82

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No, you store the movie (show, music, photos, podcast, etc) on a drive connected to your iMac. If iMac is on, AppleTV will then be able to access it from the other room and play it.

Other than apps (mostly), all owned/self-created media is stored at the computer. AppleTV just locally streams the media from there. You don't airplay it (though you can if you like). AppleTV will "reach" out to iMac to get it when you want to watch or listen to something. This connection of AppleTV to Mac is via Home Sharing.

If you are not already using home sharing, you can turn it on right now and use it with any iDevices... to basically simulate the effect of having access to everything you now have in Music, Video, Photos available to your iDevice (not because it is synched onto that iDevice but by the iDevice seamlessly requesting it from iMac when you try to watch, look or listen to whatever it is). How that works for media not on iDevice is how it "just works" with AppleTV too. You don't have to do anything (like initiate an airplay from the iMac). It's as if it is all stored in iDevice storage. It works the same way on AppleTV: it's presented as if it is all stored on AppleTV when, in fact, none of it actually is stored there... but immediately streams on demand from the storage attached to Mac (or PC).

The original AppleTV (gen 1) had the ability to sync media to its internal storage. Since then, Apple chose to kill the sync option and locally stream it all from Mac (or PC). While I very much liked the ability to sync media in gen 1 myself, it set up the impossible scenario of what size drive needed to be inside. Some needed very little space and others would want 1TB, 2TB or much more inside. There were many hardware hacks with gen 1 to maximize storage space for this exact purpose.

Apple could never choose a default size that worked for all unless they chose a MASSIVE drive size... which would have then come with a MASSIVE Apple (markup) price. So shifting the storage to whatever each person wants on their Mac means that people can have any size media library without making all AppleTVs have to have the local capacity for whatever "any size" means.

I have had nothing but headaches with streaming via my mac to the Apple TV. Sometimes it works great and other/most times it just gets stuck loading.

I now just stream purchased content via Apple TV direct and personal videoos I’ve moved to photos app which then streams from iCloud.

For me its a shame as I have purchased content with multiple apple id’s so I occasionally have to log in and out depending on what I want.
 

-Gonzo-

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2015
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For me its a shame as I have purchased content with multiple apple id’s so I occasionally have to log in and out depending on what I want.
That’s the beauty of an Apple TV as once you’ve logged into the AppleIDs you can switch between the different AppleIDs with ease as it just treats them as separate profiles.
 
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