Sharing iTunes to ATV and Mini

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by nando2323, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. nando2323 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2007

    I have tried asking this question now on 2 different forums with no luck maybe you guys in here can help me out. Here's my setup, iMac with 1TB external hooked up to it will all my media. Apple TV in the bedroom connected to it wireless no probs. I just purchased a Mini and hooked it up to the living room and if I share the iTunes library its fine I can see it and all in Front Row. But I have to go to sources every single time to see it and the album covers and movie/tv covers don't show.

    So basically what I am asking is if I just share the iTunes folder on the external
    HD hooked up to my mac and point the Mini to that as the source. Will this cause any issues? I will not be adding any media to the Mini all the additions are done through the iMac. I know I can use the "Airdisk" functionality but I don't like what I read about it with the bugs and all, especially with the ATV. My network is all 1GB so I dont think that should be an issue. I mean it works now but I just don't like the way that it does.
  2. mheidt macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2005
    I have my library on a NAS as well.
    I made a symbolic link in the music-folder on the mini to that NAS directory.
    It works. But this won't work when you manage the library from different machines which I don't...
    The directory on the NAS is also used as mediaserver directory, so that the music is shared non-iTunes media clients.
  3. nando2323 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2007
    So Basically make an Alias to the itunes folder on the iMac and point to mini to it?
  4. iRabbit macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2007
    My iTunes library is on Time Capsule and I've had no problems with it. I can access it from multiple computers in the house.

    Yes, create a alias to it.

    The big downside is that you cannot have it open on more than one computer at a time, and you have to make sure the drive it's on it connected before you open iTunes.
  5. nando2323 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2007
    So I cannot have iTunes open on both computers at the same time? This is not good then because the Apple TV will not see it if I close it on the iMac.
  6. spamdumpster macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2008
    From my experience, sharing an iTunes library is not a great solution.

    Instead, simply mount the iMac's external drive as a network drive on the Mini, and then add all the content to iTunes through the network drive. The iMac has to be on, but the iTunes on each device can operate independently (although using the same content).

  7. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
    Uhm... my wife and I share an iTunes (and iPhoto) library that lives on an external drive plugged into my iMac. We have individual iTunes databases, but the media lives on the external drive.

    We can both be listening to music simultaneously.
  8. nando2323 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2007
    So what steps did you do to accomplish this?
  9. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
    There's not a lot special, here.

    Just keep in mind that iTunes media can live on any drive, anywhere within your local network.

    There's a settings on the Preferences -> Advanced -> General where you can tell it where all of your media is located, i.e.: where to store your library.

    I originally quit iTunes so it would not see the media being moved.
    I then created a folder called iTunes External on an external HDD hooked up to my computer. You can call it anything you like.
    I then moved all of the content that was living in my iTunes->Music directory to the external directory. This took awhile, as you can imagine.
    I then restarted iTunes and went to Preferences -> Advanced -> General and browsed until I found the folder than contained the newly-moved media.
    While there, I unchecked the "Copy files to iTunes library" checkbox.
    I checked the "Keep iTunes Music Folder organized."
    Clicked the Okay button, and iTunes reorged everything.

    If for some reason your Library does not show all of your music at the end of this process, worry not -- simply open the new iTunes External folder and drag the folders you'll find inside onto your iTunes Library in iTunes. It will create all of the references to your music, etc.
  10. nando2323 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2007
    Sorry maybe I should of been more specific. I already knew this process here. What I should of asked is how did you connect your Mini or other computer to the same library without using the share iTunes Library. Someone said on here that it can be done but you have to close one library and cant have both computers on it simultaneously.
  11. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
    Sigh. All that typing for nada.

    Oh, well.

    When I started up iTunes on my wife's MBP, I changed her library to the iTunes External, in the same manner I did my iMac.

    That was it.

    I never knew we couldn't have the library open at the same time. Thankfully. ;)
  12. spamdumpster macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2008
    Nando -- There's no reason to connect to the same library with both devices. Instead, each computer can have its own iTunes library, but both libraries can use the same media files. I don't know if this makes sense, but the "library" is different from the media that's contained in the library.

    If you have file sharing set up on your macs, and you enable the right drives/folders, you will be able to simply open up iTunes, select "add folder", navigate to the folder with the media (whether local or remote), and select it.

    Then you can repeat the process on the other computer.
  13. sailon macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2008
    :eek:Just a warning from someone that did it this way...

    It is entirely correct that each computer will have its own library (which is really just a couple of data files) that points to the shared media. But, if you are particular about keeping your libraries in good shape, then you should know that changes in one library on one computer (renamed playlists, smart playlists, deleted files, cover art added, etc...) will not be reflected in the other. In my case, the computer that did not make the changes, did not reflect the changes and eventually it started to bother me.

    If you can live with this, go for it.:eek:
  14. nando2323 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2007
    This is fine I will just have to add the changes to both its pretty easy anyhow I'll just VNC to the other and add it when I make changes.
  15. spamdumpster macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2008
    This is a very good point. Both ways should work. In my opinion, it works this way much better than sharing iTunes libraries. But it's true that you lose the benefit of having a single library that is always updated and "synced" across computers.

    Maybe my performance issue has to do with the size of my iTunes library which is about 500GB, almost all music.
  16. nando2323 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2007
    Ok so I set it up and it all worked. BUT :) I added Family guy to the iMac Library and it took it. On the mini it will not take it. I click add to library add nothing doesn't do anything just goes right back into iTunes but the shows are not there. I verified that it works on the iMac and the ATV and it does with no problems but the Mini will not add the "new" files.

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