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Dual iTunes Libraries Streaming From A NAS

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
As what I'm trying to accomplish is fairly complex, I've included a diagram.

I'd like our family to move completely to a digitized library so that we don't have to deal with disc media any longer. Plus, we might be able to get rid of satellite, but that's irrelevant right now.

I want to move to Apple TVs for this, but the setup is kind of complex, so I'd like to get some input on what I'm doing right and wrong and any tips you'd have on making this setup work.

So we have our AirPort Extreme which currently only handles Internet access to our family iMac and my Mac Pro and MacBook Pro. We'd be buying three Apple TVs (one now and two of the next model that can handle 1080p out) and streaming two iTunes libraries between them.

Each library will be held on its own hard drive in an LG NAS connected via Ethernet to the AirPort Extreme.

Library 1 is kids' stuff (music, movies, TV shows, etc.) and will be pushed to the A4 Apple TV.

Library 2 will be everything else and will be pushed to the A5 Apple TVs when they start existing. I'm waiting for the next model because of the large amount of 1080p content I have that I don't feel should be downconverted.

This LG NAS is a bother, however. It formats its drives NFS, so OS X can't write to them. This leads me to believe that the Apple TV won't be able to even see these drives, much less the iTunes libraries contained within them.

I guess my list of problems is thus:

1. Get this stupid NAS to give me a writable drive format.
2. Figure out how to structure the iTunes libraries on the hard drives so that they can be read/seen by Apple TVs (I figure it's the same folder hierarchy as iTunes on a computer, so if it is, I can test without much worry).
3. Find somewhere that will take back an open Apple TV without a restocking fee if it can't see the libraries on the network.

And probably half a dozen other things of which I haven't yet thought.

Any help would be appreciated.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Library 1 is kids' stuff (music, movies, TV shows, etc.) and will be pushed to the A4 Apple TV.

Library 2 will be everything else and will be pushed to the A5 Apple TVs when they start existing. I'm waiting for the next model because of the large amount of 1080p content I have that I don't feel should be downconverted.

If it uses the hierarchy of folders, you might be better having the RAID setup in RAID5 instead of as individual drives (depending on how many drives you have). You can then separate the libraries by username. This gives you some redundancy so if a drive fails, you can pop it out and rebuild the array. Also, it means you will have more available space for your 1080p movies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

This LG NAS is a bother, however. It formats its drives NFS, so OS X can't write to them. This leads me to believe that the Apple TV won't be able to even see these drives, much less the iTunes libraries contained within them.

NFS is (as the acronym suggests) a network file system, which abstracts over the local filesystem - the drive format can be anything. OS X will be mounting the NFS share as read-only. You can probably enable other protocols on the NAS drive using the web interface (just put the NAS IP in the web browser). AFP being the best one as that's Apple's own one. FTP would work but you need to use an FTP client to write.

http://lgknowledgebase.com/kb/index....y&EntryID=6108

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

2. Figure out how to structure the iTunes libraries on the hard drives so that they can be read/seen by Apple TVs (I figure it's the same folder hierarchy as iTunes on a computer, so if it is, I can test without much worry).

I figured it would work by having an iTunes server daemon running but if it just checks hierarchy then just a dummy hierarchy should work. I'd expect you to need AFP for this as the ATV will use Bonjour.
post #3 of 6
Can the aTV even SEE the iTunes libraries without an instance of iTunes running on one of the computers on your network??
I know MINE can't, but it could certainly be that there is a way to omit that requirement.

Personally, I'm using an old mini as an iTunes "server" on my network. That's the only thing it's used for... always on and set to turn on after a power failure.... It has no problem streaming video to two aTVs and music to an express all at the same time.
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

Can the aTV even SEE the iTunes libraries without an instance of iTunes running on one of the computers on your network??
I know MINE can't, but it could certainly be that there is a way to omit that requirement.

Personally, I'm using an old mini as an iTunes "server" on my network. That's the only thing it's used for... always on and set to turn on after a power failure.... It has no problem streaming video to two aTVs and music to an express all at the same time.

There are devices on the market that include a built in iTunes server. There are models of the LG NAS that do it as well as NetGear ReadyNas and the Western Digital Live Hub.

However, I believe most of these solutions will only serve out one iTunes library. I believed Tallest Skil's requirement of two iTunes libraries would force you to run an iTunes instance on at least one of the Macs. It could then front end the NAS itself.
Apple TV coverage on the Tech of the Hub home theater blog
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Apple TV coverage on the Tech of the Hub home theater blog
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post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LazzyHoney View Post

large amount of 1080p content I have that I don't feel should be downconverted.

Uh, you don't have to do that. At all. It takes in 1080p files in iTunes and downconverts them itself.

Also, in response to everyone else, I'm a complete idiot ("yes, you are," they say). Parental controls exist for a reason. I don't have to fiddle with two iTunes libraries, I can just turn parental controls on for the A4 Apple TV.

Now if I have this correct, I have to have some sort of computer running iTunes (instead of my original setup idea) for the Apple TV to even see the NAS' library, right?

So I'd have the network set up like it is in my picture, but instead of the AirPort sending signal directly to the Apple TVs, it would be informing my computers of the existence of the NAS' iTunes Library, which would be the Library to which I'm connected in iTunes that the Apple TV would look for when looking for computers.

Right? : For something as simple as the Apple TV is supposed to be, this seems needlessly complicated. The Apple TV should be able to see network iTunes libraries if they have the proper files in the main folder...

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Now if I have this correct, I have to have some sort of computer running iTunes (instead of my original setup idea) for the Apple TV to even see the NAS' library, right?

Apparently not... If you NAS device has "iTunes server" ability (appears to be a software function within the NAS controller) then you can stream that library without an instance of iTunes running on a Mac.
I haven't actually used such a setup, so someone else might be able to clarify, but that's the impression I'm getting now.
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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