Time to update aging iTunes server

dazed

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 23, 2007
886
142
looking for options here.

Have been using my now almost 9 year old Mac mini as an iTunes server to connect to my Apple tvs.

It's on its last legs and am looking for replacement options. The current minis are expensive for the hardware inside and since its only used as a media server I don't want to spend too much.

Would an intel compute stick be a good alternative? How good is the windows version of iTunes?

I've thought about plex but have bought quite a few movies from iTunes already.


Thanks
 

d21mike

macrumors 68040
Jul 11, 2007
3,296
353
Torrance, CA
You have a slow internet connection? I stream ALL of my iTunes Purchased Content via my Apple TV. I made this change years ago.

I can not say what the minimum specs are for a windows machine. I do use a Mac Mini for a DVR (using HDHomeRun / Channels) which works well. Maybe a refurbished Mac Mini? I have not researched it. But did notice some refurbished Windows Boxes on Amazon for a pretty god price.
 

blevins321

macrumors 68030
Dec 24, 2010
2,757
70
Winnipeg, MB
I'm using a one of these for a high-use Plex server. It's terrific and very-easily maintained (hard drive replacement takes 20-30 seconds :) )
Woot Link

If you haven't used them before, Woot is a deal-a-day site that was recently purchased by Amazon. They can sometimes take a couple days to send your stuff, but they're 100% trustworthy.

Edit - the exact one I sent is sold out. HERE is a list of some other choices.
 

dazed

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 23, 2007
886
142
Thanks. I'll look at my options. I'd like to stick with Mac but not at the prices they are going for.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,200
1,876
New Jersey Pine Barrens
I use the base model Mac Mini as an iTunes server. It would be a lousy choice for a home computer, but works great for iTunes with home sharing. All my media is on a fast 4tb USB 3.0 external disk, the internal hard drive is only used for the system and standard apps. The base Mini normally sells for $500 but if you shop around you can probably do better. Have read that Best Buy recently had them on sale for $400 for example.

BTW, @d21mike - I also have a very slow internet connection, Verizon DSL that rarely reaches 1mbit/sec. It's all I can get in my rural location, and seems like a reasonable price to pay for a beautiful place to live. According to our local politicians, as the result of some pressure, Verizon will bring FIOS to us next year but I'll believe it when I see it. Some people in my area can't even get DSL and are still using dial-up! :)
 

Rigby

macrumors 601
Aug 5, 2008
4,741
3,689
San Jose, CA
looking for options here.

Have been using my now almost 9 year old Mac mini as an iTunes server to connect to my Apple tvs.

It's on its last legs and am looking for replacement options. The current minis are expensive for the hardware inside and since its only used as a media server I don't want to spend too much.
I'd agree that the current Minis are too expensive for what they are. But you could probably get away with the $499 model. An iTunes server doesn't require much performance. I'm currently running a Windows VM on my QNAP NAS (which has a Celeron dualcore) as my iTunes server and it works just fine.

Perhaps an Intel NUC (or comparable) mini computer would fit the bill. Last generation models with an i3 or Celeron can be had for around $200. Just plop in 4GB of RAM and an HDD of your choice, and you have a nice small server. If you want to store the movies on an internal drive (as opposed to a NAS or USB drive) make sure to pick one of the models that has room for a 2.5" drive. Keep in mind that you may also need a Windows license if you don't have one lying around.
How good is the windows version of iTunes?
The UI is less fluid than the Mac version's, and video playback on the machine itself is not great since Apple doesn't support hardware acceleration on Windows, but as a Homesharing server it's just fine.
 
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rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
12,229
2,249
Sunny, Southern California