Synchronise Powerbook in the same way as iPod?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Starfury, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. Starfury macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2005
    South-East UK
    Hi All,

    I have a question for the Mac collective, to which I don't seem to be able to find an answer. :)

    Essentially, I would like a way of using my Powerbook in the same way as I currently use my iPod.

    Let me clarify slightly: I currently use my Powerbook as my primary machine. However I'm coming to a time where the original hard disk is beginning to look a little on the small side, being only 60gb. Indeed, I currently have only 1.5gb free, and performance is suffering. As the majority of the disk space is used up by music files, I really need to be more selective about the music I carry around.

    Due to this issue (and a couple of unrelated points) I intend to purchase a second-hand PowerMac or build a cheap x86 Linux server. The idea (in the case of the PowerMac) would be to have this as the principle store of music, from where I would copy tracks I want on Powerbook.

    The problem is that I really would very much like to keep the libraries in sync. I would like to copy files to the Powerbook, play them, then have the relevant details updated in the master iTunes database on the PowerMac (so that it would add the playcounts made on the PowerMac AND the Powerbook to the total in the library, populate the last played field accordingly, depending on whether the track was last played on the 'book or the 'Mac and so forth).

    Essentially, I would like my Powerbook to have exactly the same functionality as an iPod has for transfering and synchronising a collection of music.

    Any thoughts?
  2. Linkjeniero macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2005
    You got me thinking for a while, but I couldn't think a solution to your problem, or at least to what you asked; but I thought of an alternate way: if you were planning in getting this other computer just for this, it would be much easier and cost effective to get an external HD (firewire or USB 2.0) and place part of your songs there (or all of them).
    If you place all of the songs in the external drive, all you have to do is change the location of the iTunes Music folder to the other drive (through iTunes Preferences), and then move the music there.
    If you want to keed part of the songs in your PB, then you can uncheck the "Keep the iTunes Music Folder organized" and "Copy in iTunes Music all the files added to the Library" boxes in the iTunes Preferences; transfer part of your songs to their new location in the external disk, erase them from the iTunes Library and them re-add them to have their location changed.
    Hope it helps :)

    EDIT: this solution would work just fine with the x86 Linux box if you network them; and also with a PowerMac, but you wouldn't be able to get the iTunes Library synchronized. But if you choose to leave all the music in the PowerMac, then the only Library would be located there, so no sync would be necessary (although in that case the PB would be an unnecesary step; you might as well sync the iPod and the PowerMac)
  3. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Currently, iTunes is not designed to support a server-client system like you mentioned above. However, you can setup such a system, if your willing to accept a hit in performance/reliability.

    1. Move all the music you would like to save onto the PowerMac G4
    2. Import all music into iTunes, then use Advanced -> Consolidate Library
    3. Navigate to your "music\iTunes" directory on your PowerMac G4
    4. Create an alias of the following files:
    - iTunes 4 Music Library
    - iTunes Music Folder
    - iTunes Music Library.xml
    5. Drag those alias files into your PowerBook's Home\Music\iTunes folder.
    6. Remove "alias' out of the file names, and replace the files currently in the folder.

    Now, when you start iTunes it will automatically connect to the PowerMac (as long as the PowerMac's hard drive is mounted in the finder) and whatever changes you make within the iTunes application will be saved to the PowerMac instead of the PowerBook.

    However, only one computer may use your iTunes Music Library at a time.

    I would not recommend this method for slow ethernet connections or wireless. Also, you run the risk of corrupting your iTunes Music Library.

    Good luck. Maybe iTunes 5 will support play count update and other features by using just the built-in "Share Library" function.
  4. Starfury thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2005
    South-East UK
    Thanks for your suggestions - when I'm set up with the desktop machine I'll have a playaround and see what works best.

    I was really hoping there was a little freeware app, or hack for iTunes, that was hidden away in a remote corner of the internet, but alas!

    At the risk of getting into speculation for the next iTunes release, this would certainly be something that should be simple to implement, given the groundwork has already been done with the iPod, and hopefully would be useful to more people than just me!

    Thanks again (and keep the suggestions coming if you have any more ideas!) :)

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