Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is it possible to connect iTunes to a library hosted on an external server?

share|improve this question

migrated from Sep 28 '09 at 4:38

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

"firefly media server" would be such a solution, where itunes will find another media library via zeroconf / bonjour and plays it.

share|improve this answer

There are two ways I can think of depending on what you are trying to accomplish.

If you are just looking to store the files on a networked drive, you can disable "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" on the Advanced page of preferences. Then when you add files to iTunes, it will play them from the networked drive rather than copying them to the local computer. The downside of this is that, if you have multiple computers accessing these songs, you'll need to add new songs to each computer.

The other easy option is to keep a copy of iTunes running on the external server, then use the built-in library sharing to play songs across the network. If you add a password to your library, the "5 connections per day" limit is disabled. You won't have to add new songs except once on the server (and this is easier now with the new "Automatically Add to iTunes" folder).

share|improve this answer

Yes, it is possible. But are we talking Windows or Macintosh? By "Library hosted on an external server", do you mean that the itunes data directory is on a network volume? Or do you mean on a NAS that will pretend to be a copy of itunes running?

share|improve this answer

Kind of

The problem with iTunes libraries is that the file location to all the songs, movies and other files are all absolute to each computer. That is, the song would be stored as C:/iTunes/Music/Queen/We Are The Champions.mp3, instead of Queen/We Are The Champions.mp3.

This becomes an issue when the full path to the remote drive is mounted differently on each computer/operating system. As long as the full path to the iTunes library is identical on every computer (\\ Are The Champions.mp3), it should work fine.

However, iTunes does not support multiple iTunes' accessing the library all that well. It may work, but you would have some concurrency issues when you change the metadata with the same library open on two computers.

A much better solution would be to install a music server/steamer on the server to stream the music to iTunes. One of the best (and most often recommended) would be Firefly Media Server.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.