Forum Question: Using iTunes with a NAS

As I have the hell a lot of music I just bought a Buffalo LinkStationDuo 2TB mirrored and I intend to store my iTunes media there. I’ve been checking for days now on the internet and I found especially your Video about moving the iTunes library to an external harddrive very useful but I couldn’t find anything about moving and using it to a NAS.
Anyways, I did it the second way you described by moving the iTunes media folder to the NAS. The problem I have now is, that when the NAS is not connected it just creates a new folder on the default place on my MBP so I’d have to move the iTunes folder again when my NAS is plugged in and that takes hours.
Is there any way I can prevent iTunes from creating that new folder and is it possible to synchronize my iPhone using the integrated WebAccess when I’m, let’s say, on the road?
Flo from Austria

Comments: 8 Responses to “Using iTunes with a NAS”

    4/6/11 @ 6:23 am

    I think all that is happening is that iTunes can’t find the default library, and it doesn’t have a “no library” mode, so it must create that new empty library to have something to display.
    But why do you move it again? Why not just connect the NAS, then select the library on the NAS?
    There’s no way to sync an iPhone over the web — you’re only option right now is to do it with the Dock cable directly to the machine.

    4/7/11 @ 12:51 am

    OK, got it but I’m not moving the folder myself, I just select the iTunes Media folder on the NAS again of course but then iTunes reorganizes or reads the entire folder again which takes about 2,5 hours though I still don’t get why it does so. I guess it reads every file again so it’d find the path to play it!?

    But if I enter the NAS through the web I should be able to listen to all of my songs in iTunes, right? so it actually should be possible to sync the iPhone with the iTunes when the NAS is connected. Like when the NAS is at my flat but I’m at my parents house and the NAS WebAccess is enabled or am I thinking in the wrong way?

      4/7/11 @ 6:38 am

      It shouldn’t have to find the files again. I would contact support for your NAS and see what they have to say about it. Sounds like something isn’t working right.
      So you aren’t talking about syncing your iPhone over the net, you are talking about using iTunes and connecting to the NAS over the web, but syncing your iPhone directly. Not sure how well that would work. Access over the net is much much slower than access over your local network, which is much much slower than access to a drive in or connected directly to your Mac.

    4/7/11 @ 7:16 am

    Probably it’s gonna be slower but I think if it’s just about syncing an iCal entry or a new Contact it should work quite well, right?

    Anyways, if I’m not connected to the NAS and I want to sync my iPhone, will all my media be taken out from my iDevice because iTunes can’t detect it or will it just show me the errors and leave it like how it was the last time I synced it when connected?

    How about your own opinion? Would you even recommend that method for use with a MacBook?

      4/7/11 @ 7:25 am

      I don’t know what would happen. Probably lots of error messages. But just because your iTunes library is on the NAS, doesn’t mean your contacts and calendar are on the NAS — they won’t be. They are not part of your iTunes library.
      Why not just use MobileMe? Then your contacts and calendar are online anyway — and sync without you even having to connect?

    4/7/11 @ 7:58 am

    OK, so I will contact support and I’ll try out what happens when iPhone synced but not connected and maybe post my experiences. If everything works well maybe you could explain how to make it work in one of your Podcasts.

    Anyways, thanx a lot and keep on podcasting, you’re really doing great work and I really have to acknowledge the way you explain things, it’s so easy to understand even for layman!

    4/8/11 @ 8:39 am

    Not sure how you have your buffalo NAS set up, but I like Apple’s Airport Extreme. You can hook a hard drive to it and have a NAS with the Hard Drive connected to the Extreme

    4/8/11 @ 10:31 am

    Yeah I was thinking about that too but actually I don’t really need it as I just bought a Network Printer some months ago and the main purpose of using the NAS is to have all my files available via the internet when I’m abroad. So I think there’s nothing that the Extreme could actually help me with.

    Anyways, I solved my problem by just creating a new library using function key when opening iTunes and copying the default media folder into the new library. Then I just switched back to my default library, unselected the “copy files” button under “Advanced”, deleted “Movies” and “Music” inside iTunes and reimported those folders again from my NAS so I now have Podcasts, Ringtones and Apps on my MBP and Movies and Music on the NAS. Also I now can use the iTunes Library on the NAS as the main Library of my desktop PC. I still don’t know what exactly had caused the problem before but now it’s working really smooth. I’ll write another comment when I finish configuring the WEBAccess.

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