Sunday, January 21, 2007
iTunes To Go
Excuse me while I geek out for a moment.
Prior to today, I’ve housed my iTunes library on my old G4 tower server. The plus side has been that among its several hard drives, one is dedicated to the music stuff and there is plenty of room on it, as well as the fact that it’s always running and can regularly download new podcasts.
The down sides are that the machine is not getting any newer and I think might need to be completely overhauled (OS reinstallation, etc.), the optical drive in the tower isn’t working quite right, so I always have to rip on my laptop, copy to the tower, then import into iTunes, and I can only stream music to another computer if I’m home on my LAN.
So today, I successfully migrated my iTunes library back to my laptop. But, the music files are still on the tower hard drive. What’s up with that?
Well, it’s simple. I just opened an Apple File Sharing volume to that drive and set the iTunes library location from my laptop to look at the folder shared from the tower.
Okay, yes, that means I’ll have to open that shared volume every time I fire up iTunes. Big deal—I usually have it open anyway.
And yes, it’s fast enough over the network.
A pretty big advantage of this is that I can connect to this shared volume from places other than home, so it’s like I have my library with me on my laptop, yet not filling up its internal hard drive space.
Okay, I admit that when I’m away from my LAN, the speed might be an issue—especially with videos. So when I’m away from home, I may just be inclined to lay off the videos. I think the speed will be fast enough for music, however.
Also, even though it would only be as fast as my home upload bandwidth, I could always update new podcasts and sync them to my iPod while on the road, then watch the videos on the iPod! That could happen overnight while the iPod was charging!
Update: So I’m presently out of town on assignment, and my lack of a computer with USB 2.0 meant that my entire library didn’t have time to finish syncing to my iPod even though it ran overnight. Therefore I’m now here in north Florida, continuing to do the sync. I can clearly see that adding a CD or two might be feasible, but I still have nearly 2,000 items remaining to be synced (out of a total of nearly 7,000), including video podcasts as well as music. It’s completed 57 items over the space of about three hours. Yeah, it’s really not worth even bothering to finish syncing my iPod until I get back home since my server is only uploading the tracks to my iPod at around 60-65 KB/sec! But I’m letting it run just to prove that it works. In other words, I could rip a CD which would add the tracks to my library at home, then sync it back to my iPod. It would just take an hour or so to do it!
If only I had FiOS service instead of cable modem, my upload speed would increase several times over and syncing through the internet like this would go much faster!
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