Forum Question: Using iTunes and iPhoto On a NAS With 3 Macs

Seriously thinking of getting a NAS, but before I do want to make sure of a few things. We have 3 Macs, let’s call them A, B, and C using same Apple ID for iTunes, except some CDs ripped are not on all Macs.
Instead of following the instructions on your podcast of moving the iTunes MEDIA folder to an external HDD, I will move the whole iTunes folder to the NAS. How do I do that? Hold down OPTION key when opening iTunes, choose NAS, then consolidate?? I will do this on Mac A’s since has the largest iTunes. I will have copy to Media folder checked, so I drop songs from B and C onto Mac A’s iTunes icon on the dock it will to add to the library as well as copy to Media folder on NAS?? I ask this, as I will take whatever songs on B and C that’s not on A, and add them to A by dropping them on the iTunes icon. Then on B and C, I will hold down OPTION when opening and tell iTunes to choose iTunes library on the NAS.
Do same thing with iPhoto, correct? Now all Macs will look to NAS for iTunes and iPhoto . . . but what if 2 or 3 Macs are accessing iTunes and iPhoto at the same time, plus an Apple TV, will this cause problems/corruptions/conflicts?
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Royce

Comments: 5 Responses to “Using iTunes and iPhoto On a NAS With 3 Macs”

    12/7/11 @ 7:54 am

    Moving the whole iTunes folder would do the trick. So, with iTunes closed I would copy the entire folder. Then run iTunes with the option key held down and select the new location of the library on the NAS.
    Then I would also option+start iTunes for Macs B and C. Then on B and C drag and drop any music files from their libraries that you want to add onto them.
    But it will get tricky. I’ve never done it like that and I would worry what is going to happen when you add music using B, and you have A running iTunes. Will iTunes automatically “see” the new files? I would quit iTunes on the other 2 Macs when updating using the other.
    I’m sure there are going to be challenges doing it that way.
    Why not just share the media and have three different library folders? That way you can at least launch iTunes if not connected.
    As for iPhoto, you are going to have even more problems. iPhoto is slow as it is. But accessing photos over the network is going to be painful. Can you imagine scrolling through photos when each photo is over network instead of on the local drive?
    And yes, I would worry about conflicts. I can’t say how iTunes/iPhoto will react if you change things in iTunes/iPhoto library at the same time on different Macs.
    How do I do it? I have both iTunes and iPhoto set up on my main Mac, and I share from there. So I have Home Sharing turned on in iTunes, and sharing turned on in iPhoto. I can now access music and photos from anywhere. But when I want to make changes to either library I just do it on that Mac.

      Royce
      12/7/11 @ 10:04 am

      Hmmm, so no need for a NAS? Just make sure iTunes and iPhoto on Mac A has all music and photos from B and C, then Home Share. With Back to My Mac I can access my music and photos and movies like I could on a NAS?

      It’s all a little confusing with all the available features to think about. Is Back to My Mac a MobileMe feature, and might die off come June 2012? BTW, I don’t have iCloud turned on yet.

        12/7/11 @ 10:07 am

        Back to My Mac is not related to this. That is a feature for file sharing and screen sharing from outside your home. Nothing to do with iTunes or iPhoto.
        It is just simple sharing. iTunes sharing. iPhoto Sharing.

    Royce
    12/7/11 @ 1:05 pm

    I have a Mac Pro so sounds like Home Share is the best option for me — simpler and almost same functionality as NAS. I could get a 2TB HD (or 3TB, you think 3TB are reliable now?) put it in one of my bays.

    If I had only laptops then a NAS is the way to go, or would you attach an external HD to Airport Extreme Base? Hmmm, maybe it’s better to have the attached external HD be a Time Machine and get NAS for media.

      12/7/11 @ 1:09 pm

      No real difference between a NAS and a AE with a drive — both are data storage on the network without any computer. So you can’t share those items because you have no computer there running iTunes and iPhoto like you would if they were stored on your Mac Pro. A Mac Pro is what I have and that is how I do it — a 1TB drive with all my music and photos in there, and sharing via iTunes and iPhoto on that Mac Pro.

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