Using Apple TVs at multiple locations
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.
Q: I recently bought an Apple TV, which I use mostly for listening to music from my iTunes library and renting movies as it seems to be easier to use and have more content than my Comcast “on-demand” service. With summer coming up, however, I’m wondering about whether or not I can bring it with me to the cottage and use it there, since I usually spend quite a bit of time up there in the nicer weather. I have basic Internet at the cottage, so can I just unplug it and take it with me, or should I just buy another one for the cottage? What’s the best option here and will I be able to access all of my music and any movies I’ve already rented if I take it to the cottage? What about if I’m using a second one instead and leave the first one at home?
A: The Apple TV provides access to two different types of content. Movies, TV shows, and music that you’ve purchased or rented from the iTunes Store is available via a feature known as iTunes in the Cloud, and can be accessed from anywhere that you have an Internet connection, with any Apple TV signed into the same iTunes Store account. This is the content accessed from the first three sections: Movies, TV Shows, and Music.
On the other hand, content streamed from your iTunes library, under the Computers section, is only available to an Apple TV on the same wired or wireless network as the computer running iTunes; it cannot be accessed remotely over the Internet.
So with an Apple TV at your cottage will be able to access all of your movie rentals, including any movies you’ve already rented that haven’t yet expired, as well as purchased movies, TV shows, and music. You will also of course be able to use other Internet-connected features such as Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Podcasts.
Note that this is the case regardless of whether you take your current Apple TV to the cottage with you or purchase a second one and set it up there. As long as both are logged into the same iTunes Store account, all of your iTunes in the Cloud content will be available on both devices, including movie rentals. In fact, iTunes in the Cloud will even sync watched/unwatched status and playback position between the two devices, so if you watch half a movie at home and then travel to the cottage you should be able to pick up exactly where you left off when you get there.
Unless you’ve purchased all of your music from the iTunes Store, the problem here will be listening to your music from your iTunes library, since that requires the computer running iTunes to be available on the same local network. If you keep your iTunes library on a laptop that you will be bringing to the cottage with you, then this will work in much the same way as it does at home, but if your iTunes library is on a desktop computer, your Apple TV at the cottage will have no way to access it.
The Apple TV has no local storage, so there’s no way to store music on it to take with you, however if you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with your music library on it, you can stream your music to your Apple TV from there using AirPlay, which is an effective solution if you carry enough music on your device(s) to suit your cottage listening.
Another alternative is to subscribe to Apple’s iTunes Match service. At $25/year, iTunes Match allows you to effectively upload your iTunes Music library to the cloud, including almost all of your playlists, where it can be accessed from any Apple TV or iOS device. iTunes Match works by making your purchased music available to you, matching anything from other sources to what’s on the iTunes Store, and then uploading anything else. There is a 25,000 track limit on matched/uploaded content, but this does not include tracks that you’re purchased from the iTunes Store. See our article on the Secrets & Features of iTunes Match for more information on how this all works.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple rolling out ‘Today at Apple’ educational courses starting in May
- Smart home device maker iDevices acquired by Hubbell
- Apple delays ‘Carpool Karaoke’ release to ‘later this year’
- Dutch court rules Apple can’t replace broken iPads with refurbished models
- Chinese blog claims Apple is only releasing two iPhone 8 models, no iPhone 7s or 7s Plus
- Apple releases fourth betas of iOS 10.3.2, watchOS 3.2.2, and tvOS 10.2.1
- Images claim to show iPhone 8 prototype with glass back, vertical camera
- Apple works on alternative power sources, new uses for waste heat in Denmark data center
- Training documents reveal safety details about Apple’s self-driving car system
- Supply shortfalls of upgraded components may delay iPhone 8 production to October/November
- iDevices Wall Switch
- iDevices Wall Outlet
- Koogeek Wi-Fi SmartSocket for Apple HomeKit
- Sony MDR-1000X Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones
- FiiO i1 Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Adapter
- Blue Ella Headphones
- Apple iPad (Fifth-Generation)
- AudioQuest NightOwl Carbon Headphones
- ExoLens PRO with Optics by ZEISS Wide-Angle Lens Kit
- Blue Sadie Headphones
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10