Will G4 work as a simple iTunes server?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by soLoredd, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. soLoredd macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 12, 2007
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    California
    #1
    I'm curious to know if I could use an old PowerMac G4 533MHz as an iTunes server for my Apple TV? My thinking was to just hook up some external 1TB drives, have the G4 connected via ethernet to my AEBS, and stream to the Apple TV. The only use for this will be to stream movies, my MBP will have its own library for music.
     
  2. soLoredd thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    After researching this, I think a Mini will be the best way to go, with a 1TB external. Since I only need the movies served to my Apple TV, this will work fine. Will Tiger be fine for this or do I need Leopard for some up-to-date features? I'm assuming iTunes 8 works fine in Tiger?

    Am I safe to assume that if I want to buy/rent movies or TV shows from iTunes that I will be able to do it using the Apple TV and the movies will then sync to my Mini?
     
  3. pandaurae macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    #3
    I recently upgraded my 'last-of-its-kind' G5 iMac (1GB RAM) and turned it into an iTunes server. It's running Tiger and iTunes 8 just fine. We have no streaming issues, only space, lol. I paired down the OSX installation, leaving no unnecessary applications or files; a 1TB external is in my future, but still a few months away, hehe.

    My new iMac's iTunes points to the G5 library, storing no media on it directly. We have no problems at all with this setup and love having all our media at the click of a button through our AppleTV. I'm planning to move the G5 closer to the entertainment center, at which time I want to get an EyeTV and start playing with it. But, first things first (spaaaaace).

    The only thing I might recommend for such a setup is to hardwire your server into your network. While wireless will work fine, having a cable connected will eek out more speed for your streaming. (Both my G5 and my AppleTV are hardwired; running through my Time Capsule, teehee!)

    Good luck with your setup!
     
  4. soLoredd thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    California
    #4
    Thanks so much for the reply! I found a G4 Mini I'm going to get as I want to keep this aesthetically appropriate as possible. I'll have the Mini wired to my Airport Extreme Base Station and send that out via N to the Apple TV. I think I've thought way too hard about this, as all it's doing is creating a seperate library for movies LOL.

    Thanks again.
     
  5. iowamensan macrumors 6502

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    Feb 19, 2006
    #5
    I have a G4 PowerMac 450 I believe acting as my iTunes server. I can't remember what OS is on it though... anyway, it works fine as a streaming server. it is connected to my router with ethernet, as is my airport express which feeds my AppleTV wirelessly. I was nervous at first as I tried to open one of my movies in iTunes on the G4, and it was very choppy, but when I stream them to the Apple TV it works fine. I wanted a G4 or Intel Mini to do it with, but the Powermac was free. It is in my basement anyway, so looks don't really matter. It has 1 GB of RAM and 1.3 TB of external storage.

    i did buy a USB 2.0 card for it - that was the only $$ I had to put in it. (I already had the externals)
     
  6. gadabout macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    #6
    the only big reason to have leopard, in my opinion, is to use screen-sharing from your other computer so you don't have to have the server hooked up to a display.

    let us know how the g4 mini works for this function. i'm thinking of doing this myself soon...
     
  7. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

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    Missouri, USA
    #7
    I plan on doing this as well. I want a dual bay dual G4 box so i can rip movies and stream them to other computers and my apple tv when i get it.
     
  8. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #8
    How do you sync iPod/iPhone?
     
  9. iowamensan macrumors 6502

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    Feb 19, 2006
    #9
    You can Share Screen into a non-Leopard Mac... just turn on Apple Remote Desktop in the Sharing prefs screen. You need a Leopard machine to view it though, unless you have ARD. I'm pretty sure my iTunes server is running 10.3, and I Share Screen into all the time so I don't have to go to the basement to add movies to iTunes. I use file sharing to copy them from my everyday iMac to the iTunes server, then Screen Share into the iTunes server to add the movie to my iTunes library.
     
  10. soLoredd thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    The Mini will be here tomorrow so I have my night planned out...and the wife is working so there's a huge plus!

    Anyway, I'm going to try using Tiger first to see how everything goes and it's a little lighter on resources. I can just use a VNC to get into the Mini and administer that way. I'm sure Tiger will be just fine for it. I'll let you know how it goes.
     
  11. soLoredd thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    That's my plan as well. I don't see the mini doing much for me in the way of Handbrake. I haven't tried it myself yet but I'm assuming it will take ages just for one movie encode at reasonable resolution/settings. I can kick myself for not having thought of that beforehand but oh well.
     
  12. soLoredd thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 12, 2007
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    #12
    Thanks for the input. Never pass up anything that is free!

    I have good hopes for this as it is cheaper for me to do it this way than to invest in a Drobo or some other device like it. Plus, it gives me an excuse to grab a mini :)
     
  13. pandaurae macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    #13
    My Intel iMac's iTunes settings specify the library as existing on my G5 iMac, but its data file contains my playlists, iPhone settings, applications, etc. - as far as it's concerned, it's just a normal library; it doesn't care that the files themselves are not on its hard drive.

    While I can sync my iPhone with both, I only sync with my new iMac, while my husband (who is still holding onto his Windows fetish) syncs his with my G5; we have no issues at all. (He was synching with my new iMac as well, before the server setup, and transitioning to the G5 was painless; no loss of files/data.)

    To setup the server, I changed the library location on my Intel's iTunes to point to my G5, then clicked "Consolidate Library". This copied all files from my Intel to my G5 and kept it all organized (make sure to tell iTunes to do this). I then copied the XML file over to the G5 to preserve all playlists and entries. I use my Intel for downloading, encoding, adding to iTunes and tagging, which copies the file to my G5; I then tell my G5 to add the file to the library so that its XML file is updated (after which AppleTV sees it and streams it happily). Only slightly cumbersome, but not enough to complain about.

    Note: iPhone applications are in their own folder outside the iTunes library folder. During the initial server setup, I manually copied these applications to my G5; however, iTunes will happily keep them updated as new versions are released, on both my G5 and my Intel.
     
  14. LEStudios macrumors 6502

    LEStudios

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    Apr 24, 2007
    #14
    1st get Leopard because you need to back your data up with Time Machine using a 1TB External. Time Machine back up data every hour. I had a problem with my Mac Mini Core Duo 2 where I guess it died, I was still under warranty everything from Motherboard, SuperDrive, and Hard Drive was replaced. When I got it I restored from my last backup! EVERYTHING was as it was before I from playlists, Safari Bookmarks. Basically if you every restored a backup to your iPhone its the same way. I been using Windows System restore and after using Time Machine its the best with more evidence or enough proof for me to go to never go back to Windows. :D
     

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