Sharing/streaming a centralized iTunes library,how?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by 212rikanmofo, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. 212rikanmofo macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    #1
    I have a synology nas and have the itunes media server installed there, works okay when at home, but when I'm out and about, how can I connect remotely to it? It doesn't seem to support remote streaming.

    I have a MacBook Air, and I'd prefer to not waste space by having my iTunes library on it. Its about 80GB for my iTunes library. I also have an iMac at home. I want to be able to share my itunes library with all my machines, whether it be at home or remotely. Is this possible to do, and if so how?

    Do I just copy the entire iTunes library folder to my NAS, and then go to each of my macs, load up iTunes and go to preferences to point the location to that on the NAS? But if I do it this way, how will it know where to find the iTunes library when I'm out let's say at Starbucks?
     
  2. cmaier macrumors G3

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    Jul 25, 2007
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    California
    #2
    Sinology has several media streaming apps you can use. I stream videos using "video station," for example.
     
  3. 212rikanmofo thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jan 31, 2003
    #3
    Yes I know, but I want to be able to use iTunes.app to access my music, etc.
     
  4. cmaier macrumors G3

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    California
    #4
    I don't think there's anyway to do that if you are not on your home network.
     
  5. campyguy macrumors 68040

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    Mar 21, 2014
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    Portland / Seattle
    #5
    I've loaded my iTunes library on a PNY StorEGDE SD card, and I have iTunes Match. The SD card is backed up. If I need to make changes to my library or I don't have access to a network while on the road, I insert the SD card. If I have access to a network, I use iTM - which also works well with the ATV I bring with me on the road. No more pay-per-view movies for me... :D

    I tried using a NAS but the options were too restrictive for me. I'm considering buying a low-end spec Mini (with DAS) and put my iTunes library on it.
     
  6. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #6
    This works, but you risk corrupting your library if you run iTunes when the shared disk isn't available. Also, you mentioned "each of my macs". You definitely don't want to use the same library on multiple machines if there's any chance that more than one will access it at the same time. That will be trouble - iTunes was not designed to share a library in this fashion.

    ----------

    I decided the same thing. Got a bottom of the line Mini for an iTunes server and am really happy with it. There are ways to use it remotely, but my internet connection is really slow so I don't. See this article: http://www.maclife.com/article/howtos/how_set_itunes_home_server
     
  7. Lord Hamsa, Aug 15, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014

    Lord Hamsa macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    The way around that is to store your iTunes library files on the same network share as the media files. If the share isn't available, iTunes doesn't come up at all, so it can't get corrupted.

    Beleive me, I learned this the hard way. :rolleyes:

    As for the general issues at work here... I've got plans to actually build software for OS X to manage a "household" iTunes library to do much of what the OP wants - have a single, centralized library where multiple Mac clients (multiple machines and/or users) can automatically be synchronized to each be up-to-date with their view of the central library. This wouldn't help with the streaming issue, however.

    Now, this assumes I ever have the time and energy to sit down, code, test, and publish the thing... (i.e., don't hold your breath)
     
  8. posguy99 macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 3, 2004
    #8
    <shrug> So tunnel a Home Sharing connection over SSH from your desktop machine to your laptop. People posting in this thread saying you have to be on your home network are wrong.

    A good writeup: http://www.leancrew.com/all-this/2012/11/ssh-tunneling-redux/
     
  9. cmaier macrumors G3

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    California
    #9
    LOL. Because he's likely to go to the trouble of setting this up on each device he plans to stream to (i assume he's including iOS devices, by the way).
     
  10. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    Estonia
    #10
  11. westrock2000 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 18, 2013
    #11
    If it's just Music (or mostly music you're looking at) you can use the $25 a year iTunes Match program. It sync's your iTunes music library across all devices. But rely's on the cloud to deliver the music in real time.

    The service is a little tricky, but overall I have been real happy with it and it's saved a ton of space on my phone and laptop. Yet I still have full access to my iTunes music and playlists on all my devices.

    Video adds complication and you will need 3rd party stuff to do that. But the music aspect is easy to get going.
     
  12. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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  13. cantual macrumors newbie

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    Mar 8, 2015
    #13
    Hello all - hope this thread is still active.

    I have a qnap nas with all multi-media shared to varies clients (Windows/Mac/mobiles). The only real task I have is to have the iTunes library accessible from both a hard wired Windows 7 pro desktop and a Windows 7 pro laptop. On the laptop I'm using Windows Offline Files and Folders which syncs all music locally (mapped drive letter). This allows me to add/edit/delete music while I'm off-site. ITunes on both point to the same drive letter. This all works fine for just the single laptop but if I want any charges to be reflected on the desktop I have to shut down iTunes on the desktop, delete all music from the nas, copy the laptop changes then import all back into iTunes on the desktop. A pain.

    I've tried redefining the database file on both to point to the nas but it isn't working. I get an error when I start iTunes on the desktop with something like "cannot open, duplicate file exists". The offline file sync does sync the database file back to the nas.

    Is there an answer for this?

    Thanks in advance.

    Ac
     
  14. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    Jan 13, 2011
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    Estonia
    #14
    iTunes library is not really meant for simultaneous use.
    If you set multiple iTunes clients to access the same library file (.itl) you will just corrupt it.
    If you set multiple iTunes clients to access individual itl files, but single media folder, then you need to re-sync any updates in the media folder to the clients. It is fairly easy to do - just drag-drop your media folder over iTunes icon - it will sort out the rest, but you need to initiate the action.
    The best bet on sharing is still either iCloud (iTunes Match) or Home Sharing (if you keep a central iTunes instance running).
    Only iCloud sharing works on internet, the rest is for local LAN segment only.

    PS at the end of the day - deleting all songs in your workflow is just waste of time.
     
  15. cantual macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2015
    #15
    priitv8,

    thx. So, to be clear, if the shared .itl file isn't in use at the same time by any other system, is it at all possible then? one thing i recall seeing is if both systems had something other that music part of itunes (photos for example) which would be defined in the .itl file. Unless the full path is the exact same (which they aren't), there is an issue. That i see as a problem but i could care less about having photos in itunes.

    i've been managing music for years using the method you described (drag-n-drop). The problem i've had with this is dealing with the Deleted tracks. I see the .itl shared method an answer to THAT if it can be done. I'm beginning to believe it isn't, however.

    Can Music Match allow me to sync iDevices to be listened to offline? I thought that was the problem or there was something that was a Con to that solution.

    ac
     
  16. priitv8 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Location:
    Estonia
    #16
    Yes, if all clients share the same itl they would pick the updates without re-syncing. If they pick the itl change on the fly or need a restart - can't say by heart. Just updates to itl need to be serialized (not simultaneous). Sorry, I can't say much about photo sharing in iTunes, I've never felt the need. I use both iCloud Photostream and Flickr to do that.
    You are right - the method won't erase the deleted tracks from the library. You will eventually just get exclamation marks in the list view on missing tracks that are not connected to actual media files.
    You can either stream from cloud or download to device. Both ways you need network connection, at least for the duration of download. And - you need a single iTunes account or family sharing (if I'm not mistaken, this is a recent enablement to share your iTunes purchases with other iTunes accounts that you've added to your family).
     
  17. Lord Hamsa macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    #17
    I swear I really need to sit down and do some serious coding at some point. I've had an idea for some time now of a client/server pair of programs to manage this type of library synchronization automatically. I've just never sat down to actually *do* it...
     
  18. Attonine macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Kent. UK
    #19
    I used a system similar to the link below.

    https://gigaom.com/2008/10/13/one-itunes-library-on-multiple-computers/

    I had 2 macs and wanted to share the iTunes library (this was before iTunes match and home sharing). This set-up allowed me to sync my iPhone/iPod with either machine as the library was the same. It also meant the library, data etc (play count, added CD's) would be up to date and exactly the same on both machines.

    I also set this up on my parents iMac so they would both have access to the same iTunes library when using their own user accounts.

    The only caveat: ITUNES CAN ONLY BE OPEN ON ONE MACHINE AT A TIME. The importance of this cannot be overstated. Trying to have it open on both machines (or user accounts in my parents case) simultaneously will, at a minimum, result in corruption of the library.
     

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