locked
How to make Itunes to work on HP EX470 RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,
     
    I'm gonna buy a HP EX470 but first I just want to figure out how I should configure Itunes to make it work properly. I have spend hours reading the info on this forum but I can't find the exact info that I need. My plan is to have all my music on the server and no local music on the computers connected to the server. However I want to connect to the server via Itunes and make playlists, which should be copied/synced to the server.

    Now to the problem... according to what I have read there is problems with using the build in Itunes server and letting it copy the music and playlists from the connected computers. But what is the real problem with this solution?? Is there gonna be corrupted Itunes database files, double tracks... ?? Is there problems with having one Itunes database file on the server and separate local Itunes database files on the connected computers?

    Is it better to just copy the music to the server myself?

    I have also read about that Firefly should be an alternative. Does this mean that the sync option in the Itunes server is switched off? And what is better with the Firefly alternative??

    Thanks in advance for your help!!
    Wednesday, November 12, 2008 9:07 AM

Answers

  • The built in media server is nothing but a streaming server which is capable of dealing with Apple media in addition to some other media types. To other devices in your house, it will appear to be an iTunes library that someone has shared. iTunes offers no capability for managing a library other than on the computer where the library resides, so you won't be able to use a home PC to directly manage the library being streamed from the server.

    To manage that library, you should do so from a home PC, with a local library. There are ways to configure iTunes to store it's audio tracks on a remote location (such as your server) but if you want a single central point of control, it's going to be much easier to keep a local copy of your library on one computer and allow the HP media aggregator to copy everything to the server regularly. If you have multiple computers with the media aggregator turned on, you will have multiple copies of any track shared between computers on your server. If you don't tend to duplicate a lot of music, that's not a problem. If everyone listens to (more or less) the same things, as is often the case, you'll have multiple copies of almost everything, so just one computer contributing to the server is usually a better configuration.

    An additional issue which you haven't mentioned is digital rights management. Because of the way the streaming server in the MediaSmart works, it's capable of streaming DRM protected Apple audio files. However, you need an iTunes installation at the receiving end to play those tracks, because the DRM is still in place at that point, and the receiving computer will need to be able to authorize at the iTunes Store to play the tracks.

    Firefly is the name of the streaming server software HP chose for the MediaSmart Server, not the name of alternative software that you could install. :)

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, November 12, 2008 12:22 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • The built in media server is nothing but a streaming server which is capable of dealing with Apple media in addition to some other media types. To other devices in your house, it will appear to be an iTunes library that someone has shared. iTunes offers no capability for managing a library other than on the computer where the library resides, so you won't be able to use a home PC to directly manage the library being streamed from the server.

    To manage that library, you should do so from a home PC, with a local library. There are ways to configure iTunes to store it's audio tracks on a remote location (such as your server) but if you want a single central point of control, it's going to be much easier to keep a local copy of your library on one computer and allow the HP media aggregator to copy everything to the server regularly. If you have multiple computers with the media aggregator turned on, you will have multiple copies of any track shared between computers on your server. If you don't tend to duplicate a lot of music, that's not a problem. If everyone listens to (more or less) the same things, as is often the case, you'll have multiple copies of almost everything, so just one computer contributing to the server is usually a better configuration.

    An additional issue which you haven't mentioned is digital rights management. Because of the way the streaming server in the MediaSmart works, it's capable of streaming DRM protected Apple audio files. However, you need an iTunes installation at the receiving end to play those tracks, because the DRM is still in place at that point, and the receiving computer will need to be able to authorize at the iTunes Store to play the tracks.

    Firefly is the name of the streaming server software HP chose for the MediaSmart Server, not the name of alternative software that you could install. :)

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, November 12, 2008 12:22 PM
    Moderator
  • So if I understand you correct it's not really Itunes that is installed on the MediaSmart Server, it's really Firefly that is the installed as streaming server. Correct? And the Firefly server can be seen as a remotely connected server in the locally used Itunes program, or?

    But which is then the best way of handling my music? I want to have all my music on the server and nothing on the local computers. Several local computers (via Itunes) + my Roku Soundbridge should be able to connect to the server and play music. Plus that I want to create playlists on the local computers and the playlists should if I want so be copied to the server so that everyone can use them. Or if this isn't possible is there maybe any way of creating the playlists directly on the server?

    Do you maybe have a link somewhere to an instruction how to do this the best way? This has to be a common problem for most of the MediaSmart Server users, or?

    Another thought is about the aggregator. Does it really create copies of songs that are available in more than one local PC? Doesn't the software check if the song already is stored on the server and then do not copy the song??

    Thanks for your answer!
    Wednesday, November 12, 2008 9:55 PM
  • iTunes is not installed on the HP MediaSmart Server, no. There would be licensing issues (with Apple) if HP did that.

    In my opinion, the best way to manage your iTunes library, as opposed to providing music to stream, is on one of your PCs, not directly on your server. (As I said, it's possible to move your iTunes library onto your server and still manage it from another PC, but Apple designed iTunes as a desktop application.) This is what I do. I'm the keeper of all media in my house; I rip CDs when we acquire them, and I control playlists and what media goes on the server. While I don't use the aggregator (I had a workflow that I'm quite happy with long before I got my HP MediaSmart Server), my method is the equivalent of what the aggregator does. Media accumulates on my PC and I occasionally copy everything new or changed to my server. The streaming server on the HP is capable of reading an iTunes library file and setting up playlists on your server that (more or less) mirror those in your library, so that's taken care of as well.

    There is no intelligence in the aggregator, I'm afraid; it simply copies everything to your server. That's normally sufficient, but (as I said) if you have significant duplication from PC to PC you may only want the aggregator running in one location.

    While managing a media library is a common problem for people, it's not unique to the HP MediaSmart Server. And everyone has their own requirements for a good management tool/system, so there's really no guide that will show you the One True Path to media storage nirvana. :) I can give pointers, but in the end it's your media; you'll have to take my suggestions (and those of others; you'll find other discussions on this subject in these forums) and figure out what seems like it will work best for you.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, November 12, 2008 11:59 PM
    Moderator