Centralising music files on a home network


jon stallard

My network currently comprises of an HTPC running MCE2005, an CEP machine and a Mac mini - over a wireless network.

There's two problems. Firstly, I don't understand streaming in a practical sense (i.ae. what software, configuration of machines etc) and secondly, I've got some different music files on each machine but most of my music, I have on all of them if you see what I mean. It's where I've ripped a CD in whatever room I happen to be in but have not copied across to the other two. In other words, I've three copies of say 80% of my music (one on each machine) and one or two copies of the rest, randomly spread about on my network.

I could do a sort out I guess but eventually, it'll happen again and it doesn't actually seem the right thing to do. I need to centralis or at the very least, have each machine exactly the same in terms of my music content (which wouldn't be a bad form of backup)

I don't want a blow by blow account, just some decent pointers and handy hints so to speak. I am not interested in xboxes, sinus or similar so called net players, simply because I already have the hardware (given that a computer should be able to be a media player, albeit an over weight one) and just need to learn and implement.

I tired a search on here but I got no response. If there is already a thread on it, please could someone point me to it. There, I don't think I can toady or cower much lower than that:)

Incidently, the mac mini runs itunes and I can see my music on the other machines but if I click it, it copies it across the network to the mac mini - which isn't streaming...... is it? On the other hand, I had a very heavy and runny cold the other day..... now that was streamin....



Well-known Member
Decide on one machine to use as a "server" Copy all files wanted to this machine, create network drives from other machines to the folder holding the media. When ripping infuture point to the network drive (you can probably set this up in the preferences of what ever software you are using to always point at the server.

Job done.


As above, or if you don't want to leave a PC on all the time consider purchasing a NAS drive. Lacie do a good one in a range of sizes. http://www.lacie.com/uk/products/product.htm?pid=10594

There is a setting in iTunes options that allows you to turn off music being copyied to your iTunes folder when played.

If you want to go down the "same music on all machines" route, which could be a good backup solution if you have the space, i recommend SecondCopy 2000 http://www.centered.com/ which will automate the copying of files between machines at a period you specifiy. Lots of configurable options.


You could use windows briefcase to synchronise files accross the network. Not sure if that will work from the Mac as well though.


Distinguished Member
I would go down the NAS route. I use a Linksys solution to which two USB2 HD can be hooked directly to the network. But you can just dedicate a normal PC or MAC as well. I just don't like to keep them on all the time...

The use something like Music Bridge to keep your MCE with WMP synced with iTunes! See http://www.thegreenbutton.com/community/shwmessage.aspx?ForumID=26&MessageID=94304

Haven't tried it myself, but it will be first on my list once I build my MCE machine...Just waiting for the Terratec Cynergi 2400iDT.....

jon stallard

Thanks for the replies everyone, just the kind of response I was hoping for, especially since I plonked the thread in the wrong forum. The network is in disarray at the mo though cos I'm moving soon. Unfortunately, the broadband has already moved but not my machines yet! Planning? What's that.....

dejongj mentioned the Terratec Cynergi 2400iDT.

I'd never heard of these before until I bought a TVeye for my mac mini. I've experimented a fair bit with different PC and USB cards over the last year or so and the picture quality has always been just that bit disappointing. The TVeye turns out to be a Terratec Cynergi USB device. I would rate it above the gold card I had previously considered the best ( fitted to my HTPC). Was watching with awe, a Bill Odie nature program last night. Lots of fast moving action with barely a blur on my (now) old 17"LCD widescreen. In fact it was the best picture my Relysis has ever produced. I had the setting on progressive scan and it worked a treat (the setting is part of the software).

If there is a PCI card version then I'd seriously consider swapping the gold for one or two of these. Where is a good place to purchase (that preferably doesn't use paypal) ? I assume it is suitable for MCE2005?



Distinguished Member
Jon, the 2400i DT is not yet out...I think it has reached the shores yet but not yet in the shops...It is a dual DVB-T tuner on a single PCI-E board...Alternatives would be the single tuner 1200 and 1400 which are available from many places e.g. microdirect, after hours, the distributor is http://www.euro-tech.co.uk their retailers are listed on the site...

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