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lrd 02-20-2012 12:59 AM

iTunes on multiple computers, Apple TV, and an iPhone
 
Still trying to come to grips on the best way to do this, but not having a clue as to all the issues has left me asking the wrong questions...and therefore getting confusing answers (to me anyway). So I'll try again from a different angle...

So, let's assume for now that an iTunes library will be stored on a NAS (I'm the only one using iTunes or with an Apple account so we'll only have one library which should keep it easy). I was planning to install iTunes on my wife's Win7 PC and then use that NAS library and Home Sharing to connect an Apple TV.

I also have a MBP that I use as my main computer (and iPhone sync) and traveling device. I had planned to use the same NAS library as the PC using home sharing as well (will discuss disconnecting when I travel later), mostly because the library has outgrown my MBP and because my wife can't watch movies if I've taken the library with me.

However, I just read elsewhere that I can't sync my iPhone to a home shared library.
Question: Is that true with the current version of iTunes and iOS?

Question: If I can't use home sharing and instead must connect my MBP directly to the same library (I'd rather not sync my iPhone to the PC), how do I update iTuneson the PC when I buy or rip new material using my MBP or my iOS device? Is it as simple as closing and reopening iTunes on the other computer?

PS: When I travel I don't need music on my MBP but having a movie or two would be nice...the plan is to create a separate library and just copy (import) the movies I plan to watch before I leave. When I get home, I'll just reconnect to the main library.

PPS: If I sync my iPhone to the library on my MBP, is there any advantage to turning on Homesharing on my iPhone?

Thanks in advance!

mrplow 02-20-2012 03:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lrd (Post 1371956)
However, I just read elsewhere that I can't sync my iPhone to a home shared library.
Question: Is that true with the current version of iTunes and iOS?

As long as you have copied across the music/video/apps required by your phone then this is fine

Quote:

PS: When I travel I don't need music on my MBP but having a movie or two would be nice...the plan is to create a separate library and just copy (import) the movies I plan to watch before I leave. When I get home, I'll just reconnect to the main library.
No need to have a separate library if you're using home sharing as that process copies the content from the 'master' library into the iTunes library on your MBP

Quote:

PPS: If I sync my iPhone to the library on my MBP, is there any advantage to turning on Homesharing on my iPhone?
Not quite sure what you mean by 'turning homesharing on my iPhone'

lrd 02-20-2012 01:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrplow (Post 1371980)
As long as you have copied across the music/video/apps required by your phone then this is fine

Copied what to where?? I don't know what you mean here.

Quote:

No need to have a separate library if you're using home sharing as that process copies the content from the 'master' library into the iTunes library on your MBP
But that's exactly what I DON'T want to happen...the whole library won't fit on my laptop. That's why I moved it to the NAS to begin with. I just want a couple of movies for the airplane and/or the hotel.

Quote:

Not quite sure what you mean by 'turning homesharing on my iPhone'
Apple advertises that iOS can stream content from a homeshare if you turn that feature on (in the iOS device). Was just trying to figure out if that bought me anything...

mrplow 02-20-2012 01:39 PM

I think first it's worth reading this:
Understanding Home Sharing

Home Sharing allows you to share the contents of your iTunes library with any capable device on your home network.

In the case of PCs/Macs you can copy and or stream content from the shared library. If you copy content it's copied to the recipient iTunes library. e.g. to stream or copy content from the Home Shared library select it from the sidebar in iTunes on the recipient machine. You'll see the full content that's being shared out and you can interact with it just as you would if you were using the 'master' library.

In the case of mobile devices (and AppleTV) you can't copy content you can just stream it. e.g. to stream from a shared library you go to the Music or Video app on your iPhone. Touch 'More...' and then 'Shared'. Now you'll be able to select your Phone or your Home Shared Library.

lrd 02-20-2012 03:52 PM

Thank you for that explanation and the link! Quite helpful.

lrd 02-20-2012 11:02 PM

OK, I'm confused. I installed iTunes on my wife's PC and pointed the music directory to the NAS folder. Nothing.

Here's what I've done.
1) Copied the iTunes directory from my MBP to the NAS
2) Reopened it in my MBP to verify it can be accessed.
3) Installed iTunes on my Win7 PC
4) Went to Edit-Preferences-Advanced-change media location and pointed to the same folder.

Ideas?

lrd 02-20-2012 11:39 PM

Since nothing else worked like I expected, I tried home sharing from my MBP to my PC but it seems to work only with music, not anything else (movies, podcasts, etc...).

Maybe one of you smart people can help me figure out the best way to do what I want to do. Fundamentally, is there a way to have multiple libraries access the same music folder on the NAS? I think that would solve all my issues. I assume that I can create a new library on the PC, but how do I point it at the other iTunes folder? Is there an easy way to import the whole folder?

Thanks!

mrplow 02-21-2012 02:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lrd (Post 1372406)
OK, I'm confused. I installed iTunes on my wife's PC and pointed the music directory to the NAS folder. Nothing.

Here's what I've done.
1) Copied the iTunes directory from my MBP to the NAS
2) Reopened it in my MBP to verify it can be accessed.
3) Installed iTunes on my Win7 PC
4) Went to Edit-Preferences-Advanced-change media location and pointed to the same folder.

Ideas?

First thing to know is that there are two parts to a library - The media content and the index/settings files

What you've done is copied the media but not the library index/settings files. If you're not bothered about your ratings/playlists etc then make sure that in Edit-Preferences-Advanced you tick 'Keep iTunes Media folder organised' and 'copy files to itunes media folder when adding to library'

Now go to File - add folder to library and point it at the Media folder. It'll index the files and create a new set of library index/settings files.

If you need to keep all the library settings you've created you need to copy the library index/settings files from your Mac to your PC. Here's a link to the location of those files on both Mac and PC.
iTunes: What are the iTunes library files?

mrplow 02-21-2012 02:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lrd (Post 1372432)
Since nothing else worked like I expected, I tried home sharing from my MBP to my PC but it seems to work only with music, not anything else (movies, podcasts, etc...).

Maybe one of you smart people can help me figure out the best way to do what I want to do. Fundamentally, is there a way to have multiple libraries access the same music folder on the NAS? I think that would solve all my issues. I assume that I can create a new library on the PC, but how do I point it at the other iTunes folder? Is there an easy way to import the whole folder?

Thanks!

I'd stick with the original idea. Having two machines sync to one set of media files requires third party software to manage additions, deletions and syncing.

Also it doesn't satisfy your need to take parts of the library on the road with you because you'll lose all access to the media files when you leave the local network.

lrd 02-21-2012 02:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrplow (Post 1372461)
I'd stick with the original idea. Having two machines sync to one set of media files requires third party software to manage additions, deletions and syncing.

Also it doesn't satisfy your need to take parts of the library on the road with you because you'll lose all access to the media files when you leave the local network.

Now I'm confused again...What original idea are you referring to? My plan all along was to have two machines sync to the same set of media files. I've not seen any other way to do what I want.

Back to my issue. I'm about to pull my hair out. I almost had it working (media on NAS, rabble from MBP, added folder to the PC) until I went back to my mac and it couldn't find anything...seems when I added the folder (from there NAS) to my PC library, the library files on the NAS disappeared and the Mac could no longer find them. I deleted everything and tried to start over by recopying the iTunes folder from my mac to the NAS. 2 hours later I tried to connect to that library and it says I am but when I select a song and "show in finder" it points me back to the original folder on my Mac.

I need some serious help here. I've wasted a full day and am no closer to solving this that when I started. Let's restate what I want...somebody please spell out the best way to do this.

1) I need all my media on my home PC that won't go away when I travel from which my wife can stream my iTunes movies
2) I want access to the same media from my MBP when I'm home on which I will sync my iPhone (and hopefully someday an iPad).
3) When I travel, I'd like to copy over just the movies I plan to watch to my MBP.

Is this really this hard? I like to think I'm pretty computer savvy but I'm about to put a bullet through my computer...;)

mrplow 02-21-2012 03:12 AM

This was your original idea:
Quote:

I was planning to install iTunes on my wife's Win7 PC and then use that NAS library and Home Sharing to connect an Apple TV.
Quote:

I had planned to use the same NAS library as the PC using home sharing as well
It's these goals from your original post I've been trying to help you with but you've gone off at a tangent now wanting to have two iTunes instances connecting to the NAS drive.

Quote:

Back to my issue. I'm about to pull my hair out. I almost had it working (media on NAS, rabble from MBP, added folder to the PC) until I went back to my mac and it couldn't find anything...seems when I added the folder (from there NAS) to my PC library, the library files on the NAS disappeared and the Mac could no longer find them. I deleted everything and tried to start over by recopying the iTunes folder from my mac to the NAS. 2 hours later I tried to connect to that library and it says I am but when I select a song and "show in finder" it points me back to the original folder on my Mac.
When you say rabble I'm guessing you mean the index/settings files. In which case, as per my previous post you didn't need to add the folder to the library. I should have been one or the other so I have no idea where you're at now.

But it's still fixable. Ignore the Mac for now. Let's get the PC iTunes library with media on the NAS sorted first.

Can you see the media files in iTunes on the PC?
If yes, where are they located? On the NAS? If so we're in business.
If not then use these instructions to re-locate the library to the NAS - iTunes for Windows: Moving your iTunes Media folder

Once the iTunes library is working OK on the PC you can move onto the Mac.

Locate the media and index/settings on your Mac - you need to delete these files (make any backups as you deem necessary). So that your iTunes library on your Mac is empty.

Now go to the PC and enable Home Sharing - more info here (iTunes: Setting up Home Sharing on your computer)

You can now connect your Mac to the 'master' iTunes library via Home Sharing. You can now selectively copy whatever content you want from the 'master' library to your Mac for travelling/iPhone sync purposes.

lrd 02-21-2012 03:56 AM

I missed this post earlier...sorry.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrplow (Post 1372459)
First thing to know is that there are two parts to a library - The media content and the index/settings files

What you've done is copied the media but not the library index/settings files.

Not true...I copied the entire iTunes folder from the Mac to the NAS.

Quote:

If you're not bothered about your ratings/playlists etc then make sure that in Edit-Preferences-Advanced you tick 'Keep iTunes Media folder organised' and 'copy files to itunes media folder when adding to library'

Now go to File - add folder to library and point it at the Media folder. It'll index the files and create a new set of library index/settings files.

If you need to keep all the library settings you've created you need to copy the library index/settings files from your Mac to your PC. Here's a link to the location of those files on both Mac and PC.
iTunes: What are the iTunes library files?
I'll take a look at the link thanks

lrd 02-21-2012 04:01 AM

Lots of stuff here. Yes, my first idea was to make the PC the "master" and use home sharing, but I also asked if it was true that I could NOT sync to a home shared library and never got an answer. Assuming that was correct, and initially thinking that home sharing only seemed to work for music and not videos (tested by sharing the MBP over the network and picking it up on my PC) but then discovering they were all there mixed together, home sharing appeared to NOT be the best answer. Nobody debated this point so I had to assume it was true.

Next plan was to connect to the same media folder from two different machines. That didn't work. I've had nothing but headaches so ONCE AGAIN I have deleted the entire iTunes folder. Overnight I will once again copy the files over to the NAS from the MBPO and with a fresh look I will try again.

lrd 02-21-2012 04:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrplow (Post 1372468)
When you say rabble I'm guessing you mean the index/settings files.

Rabble was supposed to be Readable as in I verified that after copying the files to the NAS I could option-iTunes and pick THAT library. Worked fine the first time until I added that folder to my PC, when it made the Mac go stupid as in it could no longer find any of the files. After deleting and recopying a second time the Mac claimed it was connected to the NAS copy but "show in finder" kept showing files in the music folder on my mac.

No clue. Need sleep.

Thanks, I'll play again in the AM.

PS: My ratings are important so I'd like to keep that so the smart playlist get sync'ed properly to my iPhone (Preferably from my MBP and not the PC...but that's not a deal breaker.)

mrplow 02-21-2012 04:11 AM

Quote:

Not true...I copied the entire iTunes folder from the Mac to the NAS.
Ok, so I missed the mark, partly, but only the media should be on the NAS, the rest should be on the PC. The NAS is purely storage, it doesn't run/control the library.

Quote:

Lots of stuff here. Yes, my first idea was to make the PC the "master" and use home sharing, but I also asked if it was true that I could NOT sync to a home shared library and never got an answer.
You asked 'if i can't' - but you can, as per my post, so there was not point answering that question.


Quote:

Assuming that was correct, and initially thinking that home sharing only seemed to work for music and not videos (tested by sharing the MBP over the network and picking it up on my PC) but then discovering they were all there mixed together, home sharing appeared to NOT be the best answer. Nobody debated this point so I had to assume it was true.
You never mentioned NOT or WHY using Home Sharing and my link to 'understanding home sharing' details what media can be shared.


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