Syncing external HD???

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by shawnab, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. shawnab macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2009
    Problem: I have tons of GBs of TV seasons and movies on my external HD that I want to leave on my apple TV indefinitely. I don't have enough free space on my computer to get all of it on there in the first place.

    Is there a way to change the settings so if you delete if off your mac it doesn't automatically remove it on your ATV?

    Or is there a way to install and run iTunes from my external HD where I can just keep it all synced and add move as time goes on?

    I'd appreciate any ideas on how to get all the data on there and leave it there. I'm a pretty basic user but can follow directions ;)

  2. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    My entire iTunes media library is kept on an external HDD attached to my Mac Mini. I sync all of the kids movies to their :apple:TV but only stream to the unit in our bedroom. As long as your media in iTunes is pointing at these files on the external, syncing should be no problem.
  3. shawnab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2009
    If it isn't too much trouble I might need a "how to" on this.
  4. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2007
    Saratoga, CA
    There are a few different ways to approach this. Personally, I keep all my music on my internal hard drive and all my video on an external hard drive. You can move to this arrangement by copying all your videos to an external drive, then deleting them from your iTunes library. Then, navigate through the menus to iTunes/Preferences/Advanced and un-check the "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" flag. Now, just drag the folder(s) containing your video files on the external hard drive from a Finder window to the Library tab on the left side of the iTunes application window. Your iTunes library will now point to the video files on the external drive.

    This works well for me since I embed all my cover art and meta data tags in my videos with MetaX, rather than relying on anything stored in the iTunes library. If you have entered cover art and tags through iTunes "Get Info" panes, you may lose them with the above procedure. There are ways to hold onto the info in the iTunes library when you move the files, but that is a bit more advanced.
  5. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    I have the same 'issues' shawnab and I do what a previous poster does: I have everything hosted on my external and I stream everything to AppleTV.

    There is no way to do what you are asking...keeping some files exclusively on AppleTV and NOT on the host computer. (as far as I know)

    AppleTV likes to re-sync everytime iTunes is restarted. So it would rewrite the various files you have chosen to placeon the unit.

    I have my computer wake on wireless so it's not running constantly and I have NO content synced to all streams from iTunes on that external drive.

    Kevin: Why do you go through the pains of seperating your movies from your music? I would think it's much easier to host everything on one drive and be done with it.

    Shawnab: Follow these instruction for moving your iTunes content to an external drive:

    In iTunes, uncheck the sync boxes to just have your content stream to your will see and be able to access everything on iTunes. You can sync a few items if you want, but to me...this hasn't even been worth it, especially since it can take 20-30 minutes for a full syncing of my unit and in that time, some of that content won't be available. I prefer the ease of streaming.
  6. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2007
    Saratoga, CA
    My primary computer is a laptop. My music library is less than 50GB, so it fits easily on my internal hard drive and it's nice to have it with me when I travel. I don't have enough room for all my videos, so I just copy a few of them to my Movies folder so I can watch them on the plane.

    As I indicated above, there is very little pain involved with keeping the video files on a separate disk. But, for a desktop computer, I agree that it might be a little easier to move the entire iTunes Music folder to an external hard drive when the internal drive runs out of space.
  7. shawnab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2009
    This is exactly what I needed. I have a laptop too and need to keep my music portable so dividing it up would work awesome for me. Thanks for the advice! I'll give this a try!
  8. shawnab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2009
    Ok, I have this all set up exactly how KevinC867 instructed. Everything is off my computer and on my external and I've dragged over the new folder to the library so it points to my external HD. The only problem is it acts like it's streaming these files. Unless I have my laptop open and connected to my external HD the apple TV says the content is not available. Sometimes it also says it can't play it because it isn't in the right format which is confusing because I've purchased almost all of it via iTunes.

    Any help on this?

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