Set up mac mini for media storage/server?

sonicrobby

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Apr 24, 2013
2,375
394
New Orleans
Im currently overloaded with media (about 500GB worth of videos), so I just bought a mac mini to take over that part of my media.

My plan is to move all my videos onto the mac mini, and add them all to the iTunes library to play them through the apple TV. (I know connecting the mini directly to the TV is a possibility, but I dont have/want to have to use a mouse or keyboard to select and play a video).

My rMBP is my main computer and I also want to be able to stream my videos onto it (or even just access the video files). iTunes home sharing will work when in my home, but what about when I am away? How would I stream videos from my mac mini at home to my rMBP at a starbucks (for example)?

EDIT: Also, would I notice a difference in streaming if I dropped in an SSD?
 
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Jambalaya

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2013
731
98
UK
You can just use Homesharing on the ATV to access the Mini's iTunes library. You can control the ATV with the remote app on your phone if you wish, I find this simpler than the ATV remote.

FWIW my Mini alternates between being connected directly to the TV or using ATV, this depends on where I am as the Mini travels between different properties.

My experience with Starbucks WiFi is it's barely sufficient to read an email never mind stream anything ! I think to access remotely like that you'll want to access the file system remotely and copy the movie file over to watch later rather be hostage to "free" WiFi. To be honest I think it's simpler to be more organized and just copy a few movies over to watch while you are on the road, this is what I do with my iPad when I go on trips.
 

unplugme71

macrumors 68030
May 20, 2011
2,843
714
Earth
If the mini is stationary, assign it a static IP. Use it as a server to stream to the apple TV. You can enable file sharing to have your other devices connect to it.

Mine has WebDAV and VPN connected. I can access files anywhere I want once I connect over VPN. So much better than using Dropbox or some service that you don't know what they do with your files.

Anyone that says they don't, well clearly you don't work in IT. There's always a few people that look.
 

sonicrobby

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Apr 24, 2013
2,375
394
New Orleans
My experience with Starbucks WiFi is it's barely sufficient to read an email never mind stream anything ! I think to access remotely like that you'll want to access the file system remotely and copy the movie file over to watch later rather be hostage to "free" WiFi. To be honest I think it's simpler to be more organized and just copy a few movies over to watch while you are on the road, this is what I do with my iPad when I go on trips.
Lol well Starbucks was a hypothetical, a friends house lets say instead. What are my options to access the file system of the mini remotely? And if I did choose to stream, what would that path be like?

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If the mini is stationary, assign it a static IP. Use it as a server to stream to the apple TV. You can enable file sharing to have your other devices connect to it.

Mine has WebDAV and VPN connected. I can access files anywhere I want once I connect over VPN. So much better than using Dropbox or some service that you don't know what they do with your files.

Anyone that says they don't, well clearly you don't work in IT. There's always a few people that look.
This sounds like something that would suit my needs as well! Im not too network inclined though, is there a tutorial or some kind of 'how to' out there to help the network-challenged folks? Or could you describe the steps that you have done to achieve this?

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Also, thank you both for your replies!
 

KylePowers

macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2011
1,689
196
I believe setting up a Plex server on the mac mini, and getting the Plex pass will let you stream all your files from the mac mini to your smartphone / tablet. https://plex.tv/subscription/about
No Plex Pass necessary. I have a Plex server setup on my ol' Mac Mini, and streaming to my rMBP, iPhone, or iPad... be it at home or via cellular... simply requires the app or going to Plex.tv in-browser. Plex server will automatically transcode as necessary, all for free.

Plex Pass just gets you some beta features, and allows you to save files to your actual device for off-line content viewing. I don't subscribe myself, however.
 

catzilla

macrumors 6502
Dec 15, 2013
380
28
Rhode Island
No Plex Pass necessary. I have a Plex server setup on my ol' Mac Mini, and streaming to my rMBP, iPhone, or iPad... be it at home or via cellular... simply requires the app or going to Plex.tv in-browser. Plex server will automatically transcode as necessary, all for free.

Plex Pass just gets you some beta features, and allows you to save files to your actual device for off-line content viewing. I don't subscribe myself, however.
Exactly. My daughter lives a couple of towns away and share my Plex content on her iPad and Roku. I have been a big fan of Plex and her current trip to Vegas helped me decide to become a Plex subscriber. She wanted to load a few movies on her iPad for the plane. Plex is great.
I have all my media on a Mini with a couple of WD externals. I do notice a lag when the computer is sleeping and I use the Roku. It is only a few seconds, I don't think you need a SSD IMHO.