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dwieder

iTunes Media Server

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I'm getting to the point where I'm seriously thinking about moving all the iTunes media to a raid storage device (Drobo, QNAP, etc). Ideally what I want to do is move all the music, home videos, movies, etc. to this new device so that it is protected, can easily grow, and be accessed by the Apple TV. Obviously a NAS solution would be good, but I'm not against hooking something up directly to an iMac or mac mini if need be. I only have about 300GB of things now, but trying to plan for the future as well. Anyone have any experience with this and any suggestions?

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There's a bunch of shows here to listen to - albeit largely focussed on video if memory serves me well - and there's this on storage solutions which covers media (storage) needs.

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way 1
there are a few ways to make a media server. the easiest is to take any mac a dedicate it to the task. I would look for a case that supports RAID1 which automatically mirrors data on TWO hard drives. this way if one fails you are not left without music. and you will have time to purchase a new hard drive to replace the borked one. after replacing it the enclosure will automatically copy the data to the new drive.
make iTunes launch when the Mac turns on. in the dock select iTunes with a right click (or click while holding down Control), select Options, select Open at Login. the last iTunes task is to change the Music folder to the external drive. do that in Preferences in the Advanced tab.
you will want to turn on Screen Sharing. this way you can "do stuff" to the Mac from any mac on your network. this means you can your media mac can live anywhere. finally turn on File Sharing. specifically share the folder where your Music is located which should be that BIG redundant external hard drive.
read this…
also, you can do picture sharing with iPhoto. but I've never done that. but I know it works.
way 2
Plex. this is software that you install on just about any old hardware. you can use that old PC that you were meaning to recycle. or maybe you need a reason to play with a Raspberry Pi. you will still want to RAID1 some drives. but your old box or the Pi can do that easily. it will install on anything so if you can't do Linux there is Windows or Mac version standing by. personally Linux was be my choice if only for the file management it offers. it installed without any problems, Plex media options include video, music and pictures to computers, devices and something called Home Theater. its not limited to media on your server. sources include web based and cloud based media. all of it is pretty simple to set up. check out all the features
some of Plex is free. while the server part and the computer players are free the device players have a cost. although it's not much. and considering how everything the corner stone is free the five bucks for a device seems cheap at 4x the price.
way 3
haven't run subSonic or serviio but either looks useful.
way 4 - other media servers
these work but there are some many other things that work simpler. I listed them here because I have used them. although FireFly doesn't work with iTunes 11. use it's fork instead.
Edited by johnfoster

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Thanks for the comments. It helps. I think I might look at the mac-mini solution. The pled solution sounds interesting, but I think there are too many hooks at the moment. And if Apple changes things, it could break Plex working with the Apple TV, etc. I do want to go with a raid solution where I can easily swap out disks when they fail. So getting something and directly attaching to a mac-mini might be the solution for me.

 

Thanks again.

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