Using Windows laptop as iTunes server

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Moccasin, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. Moccasin macrumors 6502a

    Moccasin

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Newcastle, UK
    #1
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I'm considering using my old Windows 7 laptop to run iTunes until I can get something better and can trial the new set up before taking the plunge and buying a mac mini or iMac as a desktop and means of serving iTunes around the house.

    My question is whether W7 is the best software. I seem to recall that Linux can't run iTunes - is that the case?

    With my laptop running iTunes, I'll then buy an ATV (after the upcoming Apple event in case the ATV is upgraded).

    Any advice/alternative solutions would be appreciated. I had thought of plugging my NAS into the laptop as well but am not sure the wifi connection from my MBA will be good enough for Time Machine backups.
     
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orbiting a G-type Main Sequence Star
    #2
    You should be able to use Linux on that older laptop. You're just going to house the iTunes library there and run the actual app iTunes from your Mac. All you have to do is point iTunes to the iTunes library location on the Linux box - in my theory anyway as I've never done that before.
     
  3. Moccasin thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Moccasin

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Newcastle, UK
    #3
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Ah no, the laptop would be running iTunes so that I don't have to have my MBA doing that. I already have the itunes library on my NAS, although as a copy at the moment.
     
  4. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orbiting a G-type Main Sequence Star
    #4
    Ok, then no, Linux doesn't run iTunes natively.
     
  5. Moccasin thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Moccasin

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Newcastle, UK
    #5
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Thanks. Confirmed what I thought. Will just strip unnecessary programs out of the Windows laptop to try and speed it up.
     
  6. slothrob macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    #6
    I run iTunes on a crappy old XP laptop. It doesn't take much horsepower to serve up content to an aTV2.
     
  7. davidoloan, Sep 2, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011

    davidoloan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    #8
    I was using an 2006 Dell with only 512mb of Ram to run iTunes Homesharing for several Apple TVs.

    It worked perfectly on the accounts that did not have much content, but one account had over 400 CD's. You had to wait a long time for each piece of album art to load as you clicked through the list on that account on an apple TV after the library was loaded after switching from another account.

    After upgrading to 2GB RAM the album art load times on the Apple TV was 10 times better at least.

    The Apple TV then remembers the album art is has loaded but if you have e.g 400 in Albums then once you get 1/2 way down the list it has to forget an earlier one and get a new one from the computer. (At least I think this is what happens. Does anybody know if the Apple TV's are doing this or the computer is supplying the info at all times? I think it is the Apple TV because different Apple TVs in separate rooms have different immediate recall without reloading)

    So have a look at your RAM .....
     
  8. Moccasin thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Moccasin

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Newcastle, UK
    #9
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Thanks all. Sounds like the solution will work sufficiently for now. It has the advantage that I can import new music directly into the library. At some point I can also consider ripping DVDs...
     
  9. Moccasin thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Moccasin

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Newcastle, UK
    #10
    Does ATV stream from the iTunes server or the library?

    Another question...

    If the iTunes library is on my NAS which is connected to my ATV via an ethernet cable but my iTunes is actually running on a laptop on wifi, is that worse or better than having the library connected to the laptop via ethernet?

    Does ATV stream from iTunes directly from the library or does it have to go through the server? I'm assuming it does go through the server and therefore its better to directly link the library to the server, otherwise there will be two-way wireless traffic to and from the laptop as the film goes up to the laptop and then back to the ATV. It doesn't really matter which one I do, as far as my planned set up goes but I may as well get the optimum arrangement

    I'm not sure how my NAS will behave with Time Machine backups if connected through my windows laptop, which presumably will need to be always on and not go to sleep when inactive.
     
  10. pumpkinhead macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    #11
    Using Windows laptop as iTunes server

    You are correct, all content served to the ATV will be coming from the iTunes server, not from the NAS directly, so it's proximity to the ATV is irrelevant.

    I have similar setup to you, but with all 3 devices on ethernet to the same router and this provides the optimum performance.

    However I have also had almost flawless serving with both the ATV and iTunes server on WiFi, with the NAS - iTunes server link hardwired. There are longer delays reading big libraries or starting the streaming, but overall it's quite good.

    My uneducated take is that apple have put a lot of effort into optimizing the caching and streaming protocols for ATV so it will work over WiFi (even down to 802.11b) the best, if any one link need to be wireless, make it the ATV...
     

Share This Page