Why Doesn't Apple Make an iOS-based Server to Hold All iTunes Media-

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by iansilv, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. iansilv macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2007
    That sits in your living room, plugged in, sipping power, waiting for someone to access the media with their Apple TVs scattered around the house? I mean, why is this not a product?

    I know you can get any Apple computer, store your media there, and it will all stream from there, but that is a full computer- why can't apple do this with a low-power server appliance that simply "turns on" and is administered with an iOS app, downloads your subscriptions to itunes media in the background, and lets any iphone or ipad access and stream media from it, same with Apple Tv clients.

    Call it the iCube or something, I don't know- I just find myself extremely frustrated that I have to buy a server to store all of my media and I still cannot get a seamless user experience.
  2. ZeRoLiMiT macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2010
    Southern California
  3. iansilv thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2007
    And it would be innovative!
  4. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    Apple TV with iTunes Match doesn't do that?
  5. iansilv thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2007
    I'm talking about local storage for a movie library. A server could store a huge collection.
  6. Darby67 macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2011
    the corner of Fire and Brimstone
  7. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    ....so you want to replace the truck?:D

  8. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    How would you add movies to the hardrive in it ?
  9. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    You can already tell iTunes to store it's actual media anywhere (internally or externally). So you could have iTunes detect the presence of this concept as a new device in the home and offer to transfer the whole library to it. After that, it simply accesses media from it transparently.

    We can do what the OP is asking for now for the most part. We can buy external or network storage and store our media on it. We can have iTunes look to that external storage for it's media.

    What the OP is actually looking for though is- essentially- a "cut the cord" dependency on some computer running iTunes separately from this central store. Instead, this device would be the media hub (all computers could be turned off) and devices like :apple:TV could see it and access the media directly. There's many benefits to this idea and it's been dreamed about for a very long time. Why Apple won't develop it is a mystery. I agree in thinking it would sell well.

    To get close to it now involves buying some big storage and a dedicated computer that can run iTunes. Store them wherever this dream device might be stored and let them be the central hub for all household media. :apple:TV's can connect to that. Computers and iDevices around the house can connect to that too. It's not as "pretty" as what an Apple device would likely be but it would cover most of this base.

    Relative to just :apple:TV itself, the first generation had some local storage. With a hack, external storage up to at least 2TB could be attached so that large collections of media could be stored on board. For the :apple:TV experience (all computers off), this was close to the target desired here. Each :apple:TV since has included a USB port which could have at least offered the OPTION of individuals attaching local storage of whatever size they desire and storing on-demand media there for their :apple:TV but Apple doesn't seem to want to include that option. While not as good as what is being dreamed up in this (and many prior) threads, that 1st gen utility lost in subsequent generations was very nice for :apple:TV users.
  10. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    So you're not even talking about streaming? You just want a couple terabytes of storage?
  11. Lord Hamsa macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2013
    What this really boils down to is: why doesn't Apple include an iTunes client in ATV?

    Because an iTunes client, pointing to a library stored on an external drive or NAS, running on an ATV would do pretty much exactly what the OP suggests.
  12. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    I think Apple has decided to go the route of having your media in the cloud, not in local storage. That way, you can have it 'on the go', plus they can charge you for it.
  13. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Early versions of Apple TV did this, just with a smaller hard drive. At the time though, it just didn't sell, so Apple went the cloud route instead (or right before that, the pull-media-from-nearby-Macs approach).

    As far as it having to be iOS based: the OP is really splitting hairs here. Once you start adding an expressed file system, and file storage/sharing features, the platform starts to look a lot like OS X again.
  14. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    That should simply be a configurable feature of any TimeCapsule.
  15. arbogast777 macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2010
    Having media stored locally is the biggest issue I have with Apple at the moment.

    I would love to be able to have any media purchased available on something like you describe, so that I can 1) have a backup file in case a movie is removed from iCloud, and 2) so I can stream without an Internet connection.

    Granted you can do it with a full blown computer, but this is supposed to be the post PC era, so we need the ability to make backups with one. Currently all I need is an iPad, but I have a MacBook Air I am unable to sell because I need it to make iTunes backups. I should need a $1200 computer for just that. I mean the first thing your told to do when purchasing a movie is to back it up, but it's impossible with an iPad.

    The irony of course is an Apple TV with local storage is exactly how they started out!
  16. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    PLUS, the "cloud" stream also makes the partners like AT&T, Verizon, etc happy, which is VERY IMPORTANT to Apple since so much of their revenue is paid by those few partners in the subsidies.

    I see very little consumer benefit to the "cloud." The concept of it is good and the spin can sound fantastic but then you have the tollmasters that have their hands out between us and our data (if stored in the cloud). When the caretaking of our personal data is handed off to others, there are plenty or risks and plenty of opportunity for middlemen to seek revenues.

    Apple could easily offer both. Normalize that USB port on :apple:TV and allow those us that want local storage to attach whatever we want. Do it in the software and allow a time capsule or any NAS to be the central store of our media. Etc. I miss that feature from generation 1 :apple:TV.

    However, what the OP is wanting is bigger than just that feature. He's wanting the much wanted iTunes media central NAS, where all devices in the home could have ready access to all of the media in the home. Space eating duplicates of libraries on multiple machines could be reclaimed. Devices like :apple:TV could access all of the media whether any computer is turned on. Etc. In short, he's wanting a personal, home edition of iCloud- one with all of the spun benefits without any room for AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, etc to inject themselves between him and his media... a "just works" NAS from Apple without any complication of hooking it up and/or getting iTunes synched up with it. I agree in thinking that such a device would sell well.
  17. Cinephi1e macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2012
    Northwest Ohio
    Different people have different needs. I for one did not find the Apple TV1 approach convenient. I quickly used up the onboard storage and I realized that installing a larger hard drive would still not be enough. I purchased a Mac Mini and made it the dedicated media server and that was and continues to be the perfect solution for me. I guess Apple could make an iOS version of the Mac Mini, but I prefer the approach of a simple Apple TV which can be attached to each TV and a single media server that serves all other devices.
  18. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    I also want my local movies and music to be under the proper heading instead under the computer like it was with Atv 1. You would think apple would like this as well. Currently you have to download your movies multiple times per device without a local server. The time capsule should act like cache for all of your downloads. If not there they download else serve from there. You also can get them from the internet like back to my Mac.
  19. boomhower macrumors 68000


    Oct 21, 2011
    I'd buy one in an instant. I've wanted this exact product for a while. Since they refuse to make one the AppleTV is not even my main media player, my WD media box is because it will stream from a NAS. I don't want my media in the cloud. I want it in my house on my machine. They could have $100 in parts and sell it for $500. It'd be an easy money maker.
  20. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
  21. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    I'm thinking you don't know what innovative means. There is nothing innovative about an iOS based content server.
  22. MikeVarney macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2009
  23. macs4nw macrumors 601


    I like that idea; simplified NAS for the masses, it just works! Where do I order?
  24. arbogast777 macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2010
    How do you use Mac Mini for this purpose though?

    (Keeping in mind I'm a computer novice so please don't throw things)

    You would have to have it hooked up to a monitor, right? It's not like it could just be hiding behind a TV like a router because at some point you're going to need to see iTunes

    I'm assuming you would also have to keep it hooked up to an external HD, as its internal one would fill up pretty fast.

    Also, from a usability stand point - if the Apple TV would require iTunes to be on somewhere to access files, do you have to get up and flip a switch on the thing or does it just remain on?

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