Shared iTunes between Mac and Windows

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mcmul, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. mcmul, Oct 25, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014

    mcmul macrumors 6502

    Dec 14, 2009
    I want to store my iTunes library on one computer (server running Windows) and then access and manage it from another computer (MacBook running Yosemite).

    I currently remote desktop into the Windows server using Microsoft's 'Remote Desktop' app, available on the App Store. However I would really, really like an option to: (1) open iTunes on Mac, (2) click some kind of "Connect to" button", (3) manage the iTunes library on the Windows server via the Mac's native iTunes app.

    Does anybody run a similar setup? Any ideas? I don't mind using remote desktop but I want the native feel of iTunes, especially when sorting the library (descriptions, artwork, etc). Also, given that I keep the MacBook clean of any TV shows, films and the like, I would like an easier way to sync my iPhone for films but that is a side issue.
  2. QWERTYMac7 macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2012
    I do not do what you are doing, my iTunes is on my Mac.

    I subscribe to iTunes match and the wife's PC gets all of the music on my Mac. No movies or TV shows...
  3. mcmul thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 14, 2009
    Congratulations, but that has nothing to do with my original post.
  4. Boyd01, Oct 25, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014

    Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I have a Mini that runs iTunes 24/7 over gigabit ethernet, it is connected to an old 23" screen in the dining room for times when I want to watch movies there. Also connected to my home stereo system with hard-wired speakers in several rooms.

    I have stripped my iTunes library way down on my 2013 MBA and use home sharing to connect to the mini. It works very well, although my complaint is that each time you run iTunes you have to navigate multiple menu levels to get to your media (especially annoying since I have a lot of TV shows with multiple seasons). With a local library on iTunes, it always opens up to the same view as your last session without navigating any menus.

    I use remote desktop to manage iTunes on the server, and with the fast 802.11ac wifi it feels pretty much like I am locally connected to the server for everything except watching video (homesharing is best for that).

    I tried putting my iTunes library on a network drive for awhile, and that works OK, but there are problems if the network share isn't available when you start iTunes. But you could try this approach if you really want to use your local version of iTunes on your Mac. That would also allow you to sync iDevices from the Mac. If you try, I suggest that you install the library database as well as your media on the shared disk however. That way, if it isn't available on the network for some reason, you don't risk corrupting your library. I found this out the hard way. ;) You can also corrupt the library if multiple people use it at the same time (homesharing works well with multiple users though).

    Even with the fast AC wifi, there were a lot more glitches running iTunes like this on my MBA - video would stutter sometimes, etc. That rarely happens with homesharing.
  5. IlikeMacsSoMuch macrumors 6502


    Dec 30, 2009
    Blainville, Province of Quebec
    Hi, the way you want it can't be done. Itunes doesn't do that, remove desktop or other similar software is the simplest way to go. BUT, if your iTunes library were on a network drive shared on the network, you could use your mac's itunes to manage the library by using the drive as the mac's library then it would sync with both computer. As for your iPhone, if your movies were bought on itunes, you can sync them directly without using itunes. Look into purchased item
  6. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    Actually, you can put your iTunes' media folder on any (shared) network location. But you can put your iTunes library (yes, the library and media folder are 2 separate entities) there as well only under 1 condition - you need to have just 1 computer to access it. It's because iTunes library is and never was built for concurrent use.
    I have solved it this way: I have a shared media repo on a NAS (not really different from what you want to do) and a dedicated Mac Mini running as iTunes server for the home network. Whenever I want to add anything to this library, I either import it directly to the iTunes Server (the Mini) or move it over via Home Sharing copy feature between different iTunes instances running on other machines.
    I can also access, browse and use (but not modify!) Server's library contents via Home Sharing on all laptops and iOS devices.
    As a matter of fact, the iTunes Server's library file is still stored on Mini's HDD, just so that Time Machine can back it up regularly.

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