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Is there a NAS solution for delivering iTunes library to multiple devices?

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by opencube, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. opencube

    opencube Member

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    Will try and keep this concise and straight to the point.

    We have one large iTunes library stored on our family's main PC.

    We have 3 ipod classics in the family that are managed manually (no auto sync to library as we all have different musical tastes).

    I know iTunes libraries can be stored and served from a NAS, BUT often this restricts their usage to only Apple products.

    Is there a way I can have a NAS stored iTunes library that can still be used to manually manage my 3 separate iPods.... AND also be able to work with my WDTV, my 360, and my various Android devices around the home.

    Im pretty sure there must be a solution, as there must be others in the same position.

    I know there are other itunes alternatives out there like Media Monkey and TransCopy Manager.

    Is there a solution any one uses here?
  2. Neorion

    Neorion Member

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    I thought it was possible to do this without any extra features?

    Just like a folder share on a computer, you shoudl just have to map the NAS or share onto the other machines and just select it in Itunes as its media library.

    Just make sure you don't have the "let itunes organise" feature on as you just want to be able to reference and add as you like.
    The only issue I see with this is if someone deletes a file from within itunes and selects delete from disk as well. the issue with Itunes is it does not rescan folders for changes so you may end up with dead links.
    If you dont have a massive library you could setup 3 different shares one for each person, if your music choices are different then it shouldn't affect the other users, although if you all want to use each machine at different times this wouldn't work unless you all use different windows / Mac user logins therefore creating a different profile.

    Most DLNA Nas drives will work with various streamers however something like a QNAP will also encode on the fly on the NAS itself rather than using a go between like twonky, PS3 server etc.
  3. next010

    next010 Active Member

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    Well iTunes doesn't run on any linux NAS and is in fact quite unfriendly to NAS plus you cant actually serve up the iTunes library to Apple products at least not directly.

    You need iTunes to manage the iPod classics, you can use Supersync to automatically keep iTunes libraries in sync & takes care of all the messy stuff, just create multiple user accounts (or libraries) on the PC so each person gets their own iTunes library.

    DoubleTwist will sync the iTunes library to Android devices.

    The WDTV Live doesn't need a media server but the Xbox 360 does and although you can use DLNA most DLNA servers wont scan the iTunes library (they can scan the files reading the tags from the mp3/m4a direct but not anything related to iTunes likes its playlists for instance).

    Plex media server might be an option as it does scan iTunes library and is also a DLNA server, plus you can use the dedicated Plex clients under Android which gives a much better GUI than DLNA. Plex will also automatically transcode the content to make it play if not supported.

    A NAS cannot transcode video, they dont have the performance required so they can only transcode audio. Plus most of the above applications wont run on any NAS they all need a PC or Mac to run on. Transcoding video needs a strong CPU for that task.

    So what to get for all that well really a PC/mac are the best option, you could stick with the PC you have and use a NAS as storage for iTunes/DoubleTwist/Plex running on the PC, you just move the library over to a folder on the NAS. With the PC turned off the WDTV Live can still access the NAS same as always and a basic DLNA server on the NAS could give some limited access for the Xbox 360.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  4. beaverme

    beaverme Member

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    It's pretty common for NAS devices to come with Firefly or some other server software that to clients looks like a PC with a shared iTunes library. Most will also include DLNA / UPnP software that can be used with non-Apple clients. To accomodate your iPods, you could store your media on a NAS share, map a drive to that share from your PC or Mac and then add the media to your iTunes library. You'll need to tell iTunes not to keep your library organised and not to copy media as it's imported.
  5. next010

    next010 Active Member

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    Unfortunately the Firefly service is borderline useless and development stopped on it years ago, plus useful DAAP clients are rare. There are one or two for Android but your better off with DLNA or even Plex under Android.

    Apple abandoned that old system in favour of Homesharing but as he has iPod classics and not iOS devices that Homesharing system is of no use.
  6. Peter366

    Peter366 New Member

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    realise this is an old thread, but just in case, I've had a lot of success recently using iHomeServer as a way of streaming my iTunes library to both my apple devices (via Home Sharing), to my Android devices (via a built in iTunes web interface) and to my PlayStation 3 & XBOX 360 (via DLNA). Check it out - it started off as a way of running iTunes as a windows service, but the latest version (3) means I can now access my iTunes library on most of my home devices.
    Stream iTunes to PlayStation 3 and XBOX 360 Consoles : iHomeServer for iTunes

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