Sync with data on media server

Discussion in 'macOS' started by The-Pro, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #1
    Evening folks,

    I need to be able to have all my iTunes media on my mac mini media server whilst still being able to sync my iPads and iPhones on another mac with the data I have stored on the mac mini.

    How would I do go about doing that?

    Cheers :)
     
  2. switon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    #2
    RE: Choosing iTunes Libraries...

    Hi The-Pro,

    I'm not sure precisely what you wish to do, or why, but allow me to suggest a couple scenarios:

    (1) Perhaps your Mac mini server is in the closet and thus you cannot easily attach your iPads and iPhones to it for syncing, thus you wish to sync your iPhones and iPads via another Mac?

    Well, under the latest iOS 6, you can now sync your iPhones wirelessly, so you may be able to do the sync without having to physically attach your iPhones to the Mac mini.

    Or on your Mac (not the Mac mini) running iTunes that you use to sync your iPhones and iPads, you can pick the iTunes Library on the Mac mini using the "Choose Library..." option. This means that you Mac's iTunes is loading the Mac mini's iTunes Library that has all of your media in it. You then sync your iDevices attached to your Mac to your iTunes Library on your Mac mini.

    (2) You wish to clone and update your iTunes Library on your Mac mini onto your Mac.

    If this is what you wish, then use the "rsync" Terminal command to keep the iTunes Library on your Mac in sync with the iTunes Library on your Mac mini.

    Regards,
    Switon
     
  3. The-Pro thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #3
    Hi Switon,
    thank you very much for your reply, I was starting to loose hope :D

    Yes exactly, I would like to sync my iDevices with another computer, a Windows 7 PC to be exact, while having my nearly 3TB library on the mini (its on an external drive). The mini stays on 24/7.

    Thats exactly it! I need the PC to run the library of the mini. How to I choose the Library on Windows? I know under OSX you press the option key and launch iTunes. in Windows? Do I need to turn on File sharing on the Mini?
    Once the PC uses the Minis library, if I then add new movies, converted myself and downloaded from iTunes to my PC, will it automatically copy those files to the Library folder of the mini?

    the rsync terminal thing you talked about is very interesting, not what I need at the moment but it could come in handy in the future. Could you explain how to do that, or are there instructions online somewhere, I cant find them
    :(

    thank you sooo much :)
     
  4. switon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    #4
    RE: Choosing iTunes Libraries, sharing, and downloading

    Hi The-Pro,

    I don't run Windows 7, so I don't know how to "Choose Library" under Windows 7's iTunes, but I'm pretty sure there is a way to do this.

    Before you can pick the iTunes Library on the Mac mini, you will have to file share the directory on the Mac mini containing the iTunes Library with your Windows 7 PC. Once you have this file sharing working, then you simply pick the Mac mini's iTunes Library in the iTunes running on your Windows 7 PC. You can then play any media in your Mac mini's library on your Windows PC. And any media that you add via your Windows 7 PC will actually be added to your Mac mini's Library.

    The "rsync" command and backup protocol are very useful tools...and many 3rd party backup apps use these. I was thinking about writing a brief outline of how to use rsync to sync libraries and directories of numerous files to multiple volumes, as I've been asked several times for this already.

    Good luck,
    Switon
     
  5. The-Pro thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #5
    Hi Switon,

    thank you, again :)
    In windows it seems like to you need to hold the shift key to get to the choose library part.
    I will try this tomorrow. If it works it will be perfect. The main thing I was trying to find out was how to get the files to the media server. If it does it automatically if the mini library is selected then thats brilliant.

    I think you should definitely do it :D Given you have time for it. Lots of people here will find it very useful I'd say.

    Cheers mate.
    Ill report tomorrow on how it went.
     
  6. The-Pro thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #6
    well I was trying it today. It drove me insane.
    I turned on all the file sharing, with the smb windows thing aswell. Nothing showed up on the PC, no shared files for whatever reason.
    Then I managed to add a network drive (thats what its called in windows to add a shared folder or something) It worked. I managed to get iTunes to choose the library. But when ever I clicked the library.itl (?) thing file it always said its wrong or I dont have the permission to access it. I checked all the permissions etc. Shouldn't be a reason why the PC does not have access. Nothing worked at all. I followed tutorials from people online. Still didn't work. All the tutorials were only there to show you how to share mac folder to windows systems.

    Question:
    What is the file I need to choose when choosing the Library for iTunes. Not that im getting it wrong :D
     
  7. switon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    #7
    RE: locked iTunes libraries...

    Hi The-Pro:

    You choose the lead directory, that is, the iTunes Library directory or whatever you named your iTunes library.

    Is the iTunes Library already open in another iTunes? Sometimes iTunes will "lock" a library so that it cannot be accessed by another user. First quit all other iTunes before attempting to access the networked iTunes Library on your PC. If this doesn't work, then you probably do have a permissions problem.

    By the way, I access networked iTunes libraries all the time, so this does work.

    Good luck,
    Switon
     
  8. The-Pro thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #8
    cheeers :)
    I managed to get it to work today. The iTunes from the PC now opens to library from the mini.
    Couple issues though:
    1- the shared mini rarely shows up in the network section on the PC. However it always shows when im in windows 7 on my MBP (bootcamp)
    2- While it opens the library it does not have access to any of the files from the library. These files are on two external HDD's. One is formatted NTFS (tuxera ntfs used to read and write) and the other one is ExFat. I added those to shared folders aswell. The PC seems them but doesnt have access to them. It says its a permission problem. I did some testing. Every HDD I share that is formatted Mac Extended Journaled can be seen and accessed by the PC. It seems like the external HDD's need to be mac formatted to work with the file sharing.
    Can you confirm this?
    Seems like I need to copy all the data off the HDD's, format for mac and then copy back on. :(
     
  9. switon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    #9
    Re: NFS, SMB, ...

    Hi The-Pro,

    Sorry, but I don't use Tuxera NTFS, so I can't help you there.

    Are you saying that the iTunes Media directory is on two different volumes than your lead iTunes Library directory?

    Have you tried using NFS for your sharing? While I don't use Tuxera NTFS, I do share ext4 volumes on Linux boxes using NFS with both Macs and PCs.

    And it sounds like you have found a solution to your permissions problems, albeit a rather extreme one: reformat the external volumes as HFS+ Journaled and copy your media onto the reformatted drives.

    Good luck,
    Switon
     
  10. The-Pro thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #10
    hi Switon,

    Yes exactly. The iTunes Media Folder is on a 3TB WD Caviar Green. It was nearly full, 450GB left so I copied the movies to a 2TB G-Drive. That now has 350GB left and the 3TB WD has 1.79TB left. The Movies that are on the 2TB HDD I added to the Library holding alt control (or whatever it is so that it doesn't move the files to the media folder, and instead creates a link in the library to the HDD) So I have my media spread over two HDD's with the iTunes library directly on the mini itself, where it was from the start.
    Is that a problem?

    Nope haven't tried using NFS, but then I wouldn't know how too :D

    Seems like I have found it yeah :) Its the worst possible thing to have caused it. Today I moved all the movies from the 2TB HDD to another 2TB HDD I have, took 10 hours. Reformatted to ... journaled and now copying back over. Another 10 hours. :O Tomorrow im doing the same with the 3TB drive. That should be quicker though because its connected via USB 3 to the mini, and the 2TB drive im using to copy to is FW 800. It'll copy with full bandwidth. The copying atm is from a FW800 to FW800 daisy chained so its maxing at 40MB/s :(

    god I hope this end up working properly :)
     
  11. switon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    #11
    RE: your external media drives...

    Hi The-Pro,

    I pretty sure you will still have to mount your external 2TB and 3TB drives as network shares in order for iTunes to find the media, even after reformatting them to HFS+ journaled.

    Good luck,
    Switon
     
  12. The-Pro thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #12
    hi

    yes definitely, but when they are in HFS+ journaled I will actually be able to access them from the PC. I tested it several times with other HFS+ journaled formatted drives and they all worked instantly in sharing.
    The movies HDD is finished, now copying the rest of the iTunes media.
     
  13. switon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    #13
    Good luck, I'm sure you'll get it working fine.

    Regards,
    Switon
     
  14. The-Pro thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #14
    Hey Switon,

    its been a while now but sadly I need to report it just doesnt work.

    While the PC starts from the iTunes on the mini every thing in the library has an ! next to it. It cant find the files. If I manually tell the PC where the file is, then that file works. iTunes asks if it should look for other missing items in this location. I press yeah to that and it look for files. It finds most of movies but none of the tv shows etc. So it then works, more or less.
    When I quite iTunes on the PC and reopen it every item has an ! next to it again.
    I tried everything, and I cant find any mistakes.

    So here is a question :D
    If I were to install a 4TB drive into the PC and put all my iTunes files onto that drive so I can have it on the PC aswell. Is there a way to have the PC and mac mini libraries synced??

    Cheers switon, you've been a great help so far. :)
     
  15. switon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    #15
    RE: syncing iTunes Libraries...

    Hi The-Pro,

    Yes, I sync my various iTunes Libraries (I use about 50) using the "rsync" command. This command has several advantages, it does differential backups and so won't try to copy your entire library every time, it does compression and checksumming so you can be confident that you get an exact copy of the source library, including any permissions, ownerships, links, etc. It is designed as a backup protocol between different machines. All of these advantages makes rsync a useful tool (in fact, I believe the Carbon Copy Cloner backup tool uses the rsync utility for its clones). My post:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1545092
    shows how to use rsync with actual example uses.

    Now for a suggestion. I would not actually sync your large video library unless you wish to do so for backup purposes. In other words, if you are getting a 4TB drive already, then I'd just combine the iTunes library and it various media sources onto a single drive, the 4TB one, and then you can Home Share this single iTunes Library with various other machines. In other words, instead of two copies of all of your videos, you will only have one copy. (I think your problem arises because your media is on separate drives from your iTunes Library, and while the Mac's iTunes can handle this, the PC's iTunes apparently cannot -- I don't have a PC, so I can't check this out myself.)

    Regards,
    Switon
     

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