Windows based iTunes Home Sharing Server

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Hrhnick, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. Hrhnick macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2013
    Hey guys! Looking to build a small Windows Server. Previously I had an always on Mac Mini that also served media to my 2 Apple TVs via Home Sharing. I understand some NAS have built in iTunes Servers, but this is not the same as Home Sharing and the Apple TV cannot pickup on it.
    Now originally I was just going to keep the Mac Mini, but I had somebody buy the Mini and Cinema Display for a more than generous offer.

    Now I already have two 4gb WD Red Drives and a 128gb SSD from a scrapped project. I also have a license for Windows Server 2012 Essentials.

    My budget is $250.

    I am looking for the smallest most quiet solution. I plan on connecting the WD drives via an external Raid 1 USB Enclosure. The primary function of this server will be to run iTunes Home Sharing, although I wouldn't mind using it as an AirPrint server and Time Machine Backup. It will not be used for anything else and be tucked away headless.

    Would this barebones system work: (after adding ram)
  2. rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    as long as any computer runs windows xp, 7, or 8 and iTunes, it will work
    try to get 2 or 4 gigs i figure

    there are two types of iTunes home sharing.

    home sharing to apple tvs/iphones
    it only works to iPhones and apple tvs and other iTunes .

    you need to log in and aurhoize each computer and turn on home sharing with your apple id

    legacy home sharing
    ( itunes preferences home sharing )

    this will not work with apple tv or iOS
    this is the iTunes home sharing you get with network attached storage

    i love legacy home sharing. you can run both at the same time

    the best thing in the world with legacy home sharing, is that as long as the music has no DRM ( like iTunes plus or your own rips ) you don't even need to sign onto apple on the other computers. , you can have all the computers you want . this is great because you know apple has a limit on how many devices you can have on the "new" sharing
  3. jamesdmc macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2007
    You could also go with anther Mac Mini. For $250, you could pick one up off eBay or Craigslist that would work fine as a sever.
  4. Hrhnick thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2013
    I almost did just that!

    Instead I'm going with this $180 tiny HP box. I can hide it and it's super power efficient. I already have a 4gb stick of ram to upgrade it. And I just ordered a 5tb external to store my iTunes library. Once I get it setup, I will add a second drive to mirror the first as backup.
  5. BarkingGhost macrumors regular


    Oct 18, 2011
    Atlanta+35 miles
    I was thinking the same thing! The best part of even the HP Stream mini is you can upgrade the RAM. It has two SODIMM slots and max configured RAM is 16GB. Not sure about the Windows 8 thing (only running 7 in my home), but the four USB3 ports and SD slot makes for an interesting option.

    At $180, this is almost disposable. I wondered is the 32GB SSD could be swapped. There are two m.2 ports, one occupied by a wifi card. Remove the wifi card, attach a Samsung SSD, install the migration s/w and then swap SSD accordingly (putting the wifi card back in).

    I also wonder if Windows 7 could be installed, or a version of Linux specific to multimedia/HTPC.

    What makes me think of this route was the movement by content providers to change their apps in iOS for Apple TV3 to be less user friendly. What good does it to have 300 bookmarks of videos if the latest YouTube app only allows you a tiny fraction of those bookmarks to be visible?

    It is all about what they want you to watch and not what you want to watch.

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