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How to Set Up an iTunes Library on a Network Attached Storage Device (NAS)

Discussion in 'General iTunes Usage' started by kirk, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    As to the permissions problem, it's, well, a permissions problem. I've never been very good with those.

    As for the second, I'd guess that the speed issue is because it's over a network. It's very slow; just because it's "gigabit" don't think it's anywhere near the speed of local. It's not just the file copy speed that slows it down, it's everything that prepares to copy a file.

    As for the Movies folder, I really don't know. All of mine are in their own folders.
  2. UKenGB

    UKenGB Member

    I've been dealing with unix permissions since well before Apple ever got hold of them and I'm generally pretty comfortable with them. The problem is that Apple, as with many things it appears, tends to ignore the accepted standards and does 'its own thing' which may or may not be consistent with any standards. In this case, the most obvious puzzle is that all the perms are identical on all files and folders, but iTunes behaves differently with different folders. I can only deduce from this that Apple is again 'doing its own thing' and not abiding by any standards.

    So at this point I am giving up completely with any sharing. Apple has me beat on this and I can find no way to make iTunes play nice with its data storage. I am now reverting to a duplicated/sync'd system as I've been using for the last few years since I failed in my previous attempts to crack this. So I'll deal with everything locally on my Mac and rsync it to the server as and when I manually decide. But I will make it simpler by writing a decent script to do all the sync'ing and place it in iTunes Scripts menu for easy access. Not ideal, but at least I know it DOES work as it avoids any iTunes peculiarities.

    However there are still some 'difficulties' that needs to be addressed if the intention is to sync the library file (the simplest way to update the server with new and changed content):-

    Mobile Applications are NOT required or even wanted on the server. So I'll exclude them from the sync and although the server will have a reference to them in its library file, they'll simply be missing. Since I'll never bother to look at them on the server this is not a biggie, but it's irritating that in iTunes one cannot specify what to share and what not to share. So anyone looking at the server's (Home) shared library will be able to see the list of Mobile Apps, even if they are not really there. In fact as far as I can tell, the client has no way to control what they see in any Home Shared library. One can adjust what is shown in the menu on the local machine, but you cannot similarly eliminate items from the menu when you've viewing a remote iTunes library via Home Sharing. If I'm wrong, please correct me, but in any case it's an irritation and not a show stopper.

    The reverse is true for Movies which I want solely on the server. So in this case I have automounted the server's Media/Movies folder on my Mac. In this way I will be able to view the movies and my library will always be the up to date version to be sync'd to the server, which will of course be looking at the same Movies folder. I'm not concerned about the security of duplicating this content on both machines at this time. They will all be backed up on the server itself anyway and I don't want to waste the disc space on my Mac when I don't actually need to access them locally. I tag the movie files on my Mac when I first obtain/rip them and use the server's 'Automatically Add to iTunes' folder to add them on the server, although now I might be able to do that locally. Subsequently I never need to edit them, or access them in any way on my Mac. Sharing the folder like this just enables me to keep my library up to date. In fact though, my previous tests showed that shared Movies can be edited by the local iTunes, but this is not actually required. If I add them directly on the server, I will however have to add them to my local iTunes once the server has any new movies. 'Add to Library' ought to handle that, even if it means the movies are in the Movies folder and not each in their own sub folder. Whichever way iTunes decides to do it, doesn't really matter.

    Finally then, after much messing around and wasting of time, I'm pretty much going back to where I was a couple of weeks ago as iTunes is clearly designed to prevent one from sharing in any way, apart from their own Home Sharing. Thanks Apple. Time to once again start looking at creating my own Media Server solution. Don't hold your breath though. ;)
  3. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    Mobile applications: yes, you'll still see them from another Mac and I assume that if you try to copy one, you'll get an error.

    Movies are more problematic, especially because the amount of storage they use. So you ideally don't want to keep them on both machines. There are, perhaps, two ways to deal with this. If you have non-iTunes Store movies, perhaps don't use iTunes. I use Plex for my videos, and it's light years better than iTunes. If you have a lot of iTunes Store purchases, and your bandwidth is sufficient, you may not even need to keep them, since you can play them from the cloud.

    But, yes, Apple doesn't want iTunes sharing to work easily. Home Sharing is good for limited uses, but they still realize that many people really do want an iTunes server.
  4. Gerald

    Gerald New Member

    Kirk, could you elaborate on what you mean by it's harder to back up library files? I'm trying to decide which approach to follow, moving the entire iTunes folder or just the media files.
  5. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    On my Mac, I use Time Machine, which backs up files every hour. You can't do that on a NAS, so you won't get as many backups in case something goes wrong. You also need to ensure that you get multiple backups of the library file, with lots of versions, in case you need to revert to a library file that's days, even weeks older.

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