Sharing an iTunes Library on a NAS device | iLounge Article

Article

Sharing an iTunes Library on a NAS device

Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...

Q: I have an iTunes library stored on a NAS. I bought a new computer and turned on home sharing, but the “sharing” doesn’t show up in iTunes on the new computer, and I can’t locate the library via my home’s wireless network. How can my new computer access the library without copying everything over to the new machine? I want just one library but I want to access the music from all my computers.

- Rob

A: It’s important to keep in mind that iTunes Home Sharing is designed to work between the iTunes applications running on two or more computers, and does not provide any way to access the iTunes library on a NAS device directly. Therefore, to share the iTunes library from your NAS device, you will need to have at least one computer running to “host” the shared iTunes library, regardless of where the actual media files and library database are stored—iTunes basically needs to access your files from the NAS device in much the same way as if they were on a local hard drive, and then makes them available from there via its own Home Sharing protocol.

So in this scenario you first need to enable Home Sharing in iTunes on whatever computer you’re already using for your iTunes library. You can then enable Home Sharing on any additional computers that you want to access the content from your main iTunes library. As long as the primary computer is online and iTunes is running on it, the secondary computers can then access your media content.

Note that Home Sharing is only designed to provide you with the ability to play or copy your content from other computers—it will not allow you to actually manage your library from anywhere other than your primary computer. Essentially, each computer still retains its own iTunes library database, and you can use Home Sharing to playback or copy content between these multiple libraries. This is particularly important regarding synchronizing iPods and iOS devices, since they will still be associated with the primary computer that stores your actual iTunes library database, and you will need to synchronize them with that computer.

If you’re looking to actually manage your iTunes library from your other computers in terms of features such as creating playlists and modifying track information you will basically need to ensure that your actual iTunes library database is on the NAS device and then configure each computer to use the common library database. This will effectively give you full access to your iTunes library from any of your computers, but it’s important to note that the iTunes database is not designed for multi-user access, so you will only be able to have iTunes open on one computer at a time without risking database corruption and other problems. You can find more information about moving your iTunes library database in our article on Transferring your iTunes Library.

If your primary concern is sharing your music, you may find that Apple’s iTunes Match service provides a possible compromise. With iTunes Match you can effectively stored your music library on Apple’s servers, and any of your computers that are configured for the same iTunes Match account will be able to not only play back content from iCloud, but can also manage that content and create and edit playlists, with all changes synchronized between all of your iTunes libraries via iCloud. In this case, you would probably still want to keep your main library on your NAS device, but your other computers would simply access your content from iCloud over the Internet rather than using Home Sharing.

The most asked question at iLounge.com:

How do I copy content from my iPod/iPhone onto my computer?

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, Apple TV and iPhone Video Formats

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, iPhone and Apple TV Video Conversion (Mac)

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, iPhone and Apple TV Video Conversion (Win)

Best Speakers?

Best Headphones?

Best Case?

Best In-Car Solution?

Best Battery Extender?

Find more answers in the latest publications in our Library. Free downloads developed by the editors of iLounge!

Ask iLounge Archives:

1-24-14: Viewing only downloaded iTunes Match tracks

1-22-14: Splitting purchased content between two iPads

12-13-13: Non-Bluetooth Lightning dock speakers

12-11-13: Shared Apple ID and switching away from iPhone

12-6-13: Syncing multiple iCloud data with a family Mac

Read more recent Ask iLounge articles...

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...

« iOS Gems: Blast-A-Way, iTunes Festival London 2012, Splice, Wild Blood + YouTube

Managing an iTunes library on an iPad and External Hard Drive »

Related Stories

Comments

1

Thanks, concisely but thoroughly explained. Just saved me quite a few dollars on an unnecessary NAS.

Posted by Sonny on November 30, 2012 at 7:03 AM (CST)

If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods/iPhones/iPad or accessories, or if you sell or market iPod/iPhone/iPad products or services, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

Email:

Recent News

Recent Reviews

Recent Articles

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

Email:

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2014 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy