2 PCs, 1 MacBook Pro and 2 iPhones... How do I maintan 1 music library?

iMerlin

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2 PCs, 1 MacBook Pro and 2 iPhones... How do I maintain 1 music library?

I hope I can explain this well enough...
I currently have my wife's laptop and iPhone, my PC and iPhone and Im getting the new MBP when it comes out. Right now I have a copy of all our music on each computer as well as an external USB HDD. So my wife's laptop has 80+ gb of music, my PC has a copy and the USB HDD has a copy. Well anytime one of us add something to their library that the other might want, I have to basically copy it to all 3 locations.
What are my options for keeping ONE location for all of our music. When one person adds a song, it appears on both of our iTunes? Should I just delete the music on the computers and set our iTunes to run off of the USB HDD which I will make a network drive?
If I do this, wont it effect our playlists and ratings and all that jazz?

When I get the MBP I was also thinking about getting the Time Capsule to do backups. So at that point couldnt I just plug my external USB HDD into the USB of the Time Capsule and then network that drive for every computer to use?
Would I think be able to sync my iPhone to my PC or my MacBook Pro?
Im so confused damnit!
 

420greg

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#2
First off the drive to use with time capsule will have to be formatted Mac OSX Extended, so your windows machines will not be able to see it. But macs can see windows drives (Fat 32) just fine.

I have all of my music on a 100 gig firewire drive formatted FAT32. It is hooked to my macmini and shared on my network. The location for my music library in iTunes on my mini, my macbook, and my wifes HP all point to the netwrok share. that way all of the music is in one place.

If any of the 3 computers rips or downloads any new music, as it is added to iTunes it is copied (you have to have this option checked in all 3 iTunes) to the iTunes music library.

All of our music is on one drive, but all 3 iTunes can access and use it.

You will only be able to sync your iPhone to one of the machines, as the iPhone gets 'married' to the initial computer you sync with.
 

iMerlin

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First off the drive to use with time capsule will have to be formatted Mac OSX Extended, so your windows machines will not be able to see it. But macs can see windows drives (Fat 32) just fine.
So since Windows machines wont be able to see the OSX extended formatted hard drive but Macs can see windows, I should just keep my external USB HDD connected to my main PC and set it as a network drive. Then get the Time Capsule for backups and networking. But since the USB drive is still connected to the PC, all the computers in the house will still be to see the USB drive?
Once I get the TC will I be able to back up my PCs including the shared music folder?

If any of the 3 computers rips or downloads any new music, as it is added to iTunes it is copied (you have to have this option checked in all 3 iTunes) to the iTunes music library.

All of our music is on one drive, but all 3 iTunes can access and use it.
Ok that info conflicts with something one of the Mac guys told me. He said they could all share the same drive, but when one makes a purchase or rips a CD, it wont show up in the iTunes library but it would download to the shared drive. So if I downloaded the new Disturbed, I would see it in my iTunes but my wife would have to import the folder in order to see it in her iTunes. But he didn't mention about the option that you are talking about.
So when you download a new song or whatever, it appears in your wifes iTunes library also? Does she have to do a refresh or something?
What about playlists, do you just have a separate lists for each of you?

You will only be able to sync your iPhone to one of the machines, as the iPhone gets 'married' to the initial computer you sync with.
Ok, with that said, if I wanted to start using my Mac to sync my iPhone, would I have to do a restore on the Mac so the iPhone gets married to the Mac?



Thanks for all the help 420, you never let me down. I cant wait for 420 this afternoon!
:cool:
 

420greg

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#4
So since Windows machines wont be able to see the OSX extended formatted hard drive but Macs can see windows, I should just keep my external USB HDD connected to my main PC and set it as a network drive. Then get the Time Capsule for backups and networking. But since the USB drive is still connected to the PC, all the computers in the house will still be to see the USB drive?
Once I get the TC will I be able to back up my PCs including the shared music folder?
You will want to hook the the music drive to the mac for the windows machines to see it. If you hook it to the pc and share it the mac will not see it.

Ok that info conflicts with something one of the Mac guys told me. He said they could all share the same drive, but when one makes a purchase or rips a CD, it wont show up in the iTunes library but it would download to the shared drive. So if I downloaded the new Disturbed, I would see it in my iTunes but my wife would have to import the folder in order to see it in her iTunes. But he didn't mention about the option that you are talking about.
So when you download a new song or whatever, it appears in your wifes iTunes library also? Does she have to do a refresh or something?
What about playlists, do you just have a separate lists for each of you?
I run an Apple script called "list music files not added" you can get it here.
I run it after my wife says she has added soem new stuff to the library.

It will make a playlist of everything on the music drive but not in the iTunes library. As soon as you open this playlist it will add all the new content on the drive to your iTunes library.

http://dougscripts.com/iTunes/scripts/ss.php?sp=listnotadded

Playlists are local. But if you have all the iTunes set to share you will be able to see and play each others playlists.

Purchased content can be played on five diffrent machine. So the first time you play something in your iTunes that the wife boaught with her iTunes it will ask you for a pasword to authorize the machine.

Ok, with that said, if I wanted to start using my Mac to sync my iPhone, would I have to do a restore on the Mac so the iPhone gets married to the Mac?
You will not have to do a restore. Once you hook the iPhone to the Mac, it iwll see it as a new phone and ask you if you want this mac to be the new computer the iPhone syncs with.

Thanks for all the help 420, you never let me down. I cant wait for 420 this afternoon!
:cool:
Me either...
 

iMerlin

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#5
You will want to hook the the music drive to the mac for the windows machines to see it. If you hook it to the pc and share it the mac will not see it.
Not sure why Im so damned confused by this. So when I get the MBP and Time Cap, Ill hook the USB drive to the TC. But at that point will it ask me to format it? Or will it just retain its current formatting which is FAT32?

I mentioned this to a Mac genius. I also told him I would be getting the Time Capsule and he said I could just use the TC as my network shared drive. But I thought that the TC could only be used for backups?

Anyway, thanks again 420.
 

420greg

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#6
Keep the music drive fat32 so the windows machines can see it.

I would not bother with time capsule. I would just get a cheap external drive with a hard drive slightly bigger that the mac books drive and use time machine.
 

acosmichippo

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actually, a windows computer can read any format hard drive if it is being shares by another device on a network. In other words, if you have an OSX hard drive hooked up to a time capsule, it WILL be available to windows machines.

With that said, you CAN just use the time capsule's hard disk howeve you want to... Time machine backups, network storage, or whatever. But, as a current time capsule user I would not recommend it. Instead I would opt for an airport extreme, and share your current external HD off of it. You could even use this for time machine backups. The benefit here is that if your network is f'd, you can sill get to the backup file via a direct USB connection...

Anyway, I don't think there is a solution to your iTunes dilemma. A few months ago I tried to set up a networked iTunes library, but iTunes will simply not do it. You can stream music from shares libraries, but that's it.
 

iMerlin

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With that said, you CAN just use the time capsule's hard disk howeve you want to... Time machine backups, network storage, or whatever. But, as a current time capsule user I would not recommend it. Instead I would opt for an airport extreme, and share your current external HD off of it. You could even use this for time machine backups. The benefit here is that if your network is f'd, you can sill get to the backup file via a direct USB connection...
You make a good point hippo, if the network is jacked for some reason, that throws a wrench into the works! Ill have to think about this one.

But for some reason the idea of having a 1tb solution, that also upgrades my wireless network to 802.11n and allows all my machines to backup... its almost worth the cost. Not to mention being able to get rib of my POS print server that I cant ever get working anyway (linksys).

So if I use the Time Capsule for backups and as my network drive for media, what backups the Time Capsule? :sick:
 

acosmichippo

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that's true, if you want a file server AND print server all in one, then the TC is the way to go. I just have not had a pleasant time with mine, so i try to give people alternatives.

As for backing up the TC, it does have a feature that lets you archive any data on it onto another hard drive connected to it via USB... but you have to manually initiate that through the Airport Utility. Of course, if you're script-savvy, i'm sure you could find a way to schedule it through automator.
 

acosmichippo

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This link will help you get your drives set-up so they can see each other on a mixed network.

http://www.ifelix.co.uk/tech/3020.html
it's actually nowhere near that complicated if he's using a time capsule or airport extreme to share a hard drive on a network (it's all handled through airport utility)... also, that's a walkthrough for Tiger, so it is a bit outdated.
 

acosmichippo

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Well, every time I need to edit ANY setting on the TC through AirPort utility, the TC must restart (understandably), but after it does so, i usually have to restart it AGAIN AT LEAST 5 times before it starts functioning properly. Also, after two or three of the software updates for the Airport Utility, and the ONLY firmware update for the TC, my network was COMPLETELY hosed. All three times i had to redo the network completely, AND do the initial backup ALL over again (which takes FOREVER if you have any sizeable amount of data). After one of these restores, my backup was actually still available on the disk, but time machine would NOT append any more backups to it, so, like i said, i had to redo the initial backup anyway.

With all of the issues that i have had, i am NOT very confident in the TC as a backup device... which kinda defeats the whole purpose, right? I have since purchased another 500GB hard drive and hooked that up to my TC for time machine backups, and just store videos and music on the TC...

Oh, and i also got a new router to replace it... so it's kinda just a glorified file server at this point... too bad, really.
 

iMerlin

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Thanks for the details hippo. So did you get the Airport Extreme? Since your rec Ive been doing some more reading about the TC and most people like it if they only do backups but if you want more out of it, the reviews don't sound to good. A lot of people say it can only be used as a shared network drive OR a back up device, but not both.
The thing that appeals to me is the USB port on it to share the printer and a USB HDD. Can that be don't with the USB port on the Airport Extreme? I would want to get a USB hub and connect my printer and 2 500gb USB drives. One as a shared network drive with all the families media on it, the other as a back up.
This seems like the ideal situation but I thought I read somewhere that the Airport Extreme USB port only supports one device. Can't remember where I read that though.
Ive also seen a lot of stuff about NAS devices and RAID setups but Im not to familiar with that stuff. I just want a centralized location for our media.

On another note, I bought an Airport Express a while ago to stream music from iTunes to my HT, and it took me months to get the thing working. Finally one night I decided I was going to return it cause it wouldn't consistently stay up, then all of a sudden, green light and the thing has been working ever since. I don't even know what I did. If setting up the TC (or the Airport Extreme for that matter) is that difficult, I might look into an entirely different solution.
 

iMerlin

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Also, any recs on the type of external drive to get? I know 7200rpm is ideal. And Im assuming USB 2.0. Any other things I should look out for?
 

acosmichippo

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Thanks for the details hippo. So did you get the Airport Extreme? Since your rec Ive been doing some more reading about the TC and most people like it if they only do backups but if you want more out of it, the reviews don't sound to good. A lot of people say it can only be used as a shared network drive OR a back up device, but not both.
The thing that appeals to me is the USB port on it to share the printer and a USB HDD. Can that be don't with the USB port on the Airport Extreme? I would want to get a USB hub and connect my printer and 2 500gb USB drives. One as a shared network drive with all the families media on it, the other as a back up.
This seems like the ideal situation but I thought I read somewhere that the Airport Extreme USB port only supports one device. Can't remember where I read that though.
Ive also seen a lot of stuff about NAS devices and RAID setups but Im not to familiar with that stuff. I just want a centralized location for our media.

On another note, I bought an Airport Express a while ago to stream music from iTunes to my HT, and it took me months to get the thing working. Finally one night I decided I was going to return it cause it wouldn't consistently stay up, then all of a sudden, green light and the thing has been working ever since. I don't even know what I did. If setting up the TC (or the Airport Extreme for that matter) is that difficult, I might look into an entirely different solution.
i actually got a cradlepoint MBR 1000. I probably would have just bit the bullet and stuck with the TC, but i needed this specific router to share internet from an aircard.

You CAN use the HD in the time capsule as a time machine backup device AND for general storage. There's just no way to partition that disk, and with time machine adding backups until the disk is full, it makes it impractical to mix backups and storage.

I'm not sure how these things work with USB hubs... never had to try it myself. There are, however, wireless USB hubs that you can add to any existing network. like this belkin. I'm not sure how difficult or easy it would be to configure HDs hooked up to it to be used as a time machine backup, though.
 

acosmichippo

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Also, any recs on the type of external drive to get? I know 7200rpm is ideal. And Im assuming USB 2.0. Any other things I should look out for?
USB 2.0 is standard these days, but you may consider looking for one that also has a firewire port on it. If you go for your new mac, it will have a corresponding firewire port, and that will offer much faster transfer speeds. If we're talking about LARGE backups, the difference will be huge. Granted, it's going to be hooked up to your TC anyway, BUT this will help you when you do the initial backup (instead of doing it wirelessly which could literally take DAYS), and also if you have to restore any large amount of data.

You could look for an eSATA port, which is also very fast (actually faster than firewire right now), but most computers don't come stock with an eSATA port, so you'd have to purchase a card for that.

As long as you're looking at full-sized 3.5" external hard drives (as opposed to 2.5" portable drives), i can't imagine any of them are slower (or faster) than 7200 rpm.

Oh, and the only other thing i would consider is the warranty that comes with them. I know Western Digital come with 3 years, but Seagate and Maxtor both come with 5 years.
 

iMerlin

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#18
USB 2.0 is standard these days, but you may consider looking for one that also has a firewire port on it. If you go for your new mac, it will have a corresponding firewire port, and that will offer much faster transfer speeds. If we're talking about LARGE backups, the difference will be huge. Granted, it's going to be hooked up to your TC anyway, BUT this will help you when you do the initial backup (instead of doing it wirelessly which could literally take DAYS), and also if you have to restore any large amount of data.

You could look for an eSATA port, which is also very fast (actually faster than firewire right now), but most computers don't come stock with an eSATA port, so you'd have to purchase a card for that.

As long as you're looking at full-sized 3.5" external hard drives (as opposed to 2.5" portable drives), i can't imagine any of them are slower (or faster) than 7200 rpm.

Oh, and the only other thing i would consider is the warranty that comes with them. I know Western Digital come with 3 years, but Seagate and Maxtor both come with 5 years.

Great info hippo. I will leave you alone now! :laugh2: