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  • It is pretty obvious from the amount of people that read my first write up on iHomeserver, that we are still looking for ways of not having to deal with iTunes.  When I first started using the program it was pretty good, but as early releases often do, there where some features missing.  Since that time many new features have been introduced, far too many to mention (See the change page for a list of fixes or additions).  For me one of greatest features they added was the auto-tagging.  As I have automated the process of converting movies to MP4 thanks to MyMovies + iHomeserver (more on this in a future article), the auto-tagging feature was something that helped resolve one of the last manual processes for me.

     

    Download from:  http://www.bizmodeller.com/ihomeserver_for_itunes_beta.aspx

     

    For those who have not seen or used iHomeserver, here is a quick walkthrough of the software and how I use it.  For starters lets define the key reasons why you would use iHomeserver.

    • Multi-computer households as it will allow almost anyone on the network to add content to iTunes from any computer without the need to access iTunes.
    • Simplifies adding content to iTunes.  Easy as copying things to a folder.
    • Teamed with ripping/conversion software, you can completely automate the process of creating a portable version of movie to add to iTunes (more on this in a future article).

    For me I use it for a couple of main reasons.  First off, I buy my music from different sources and I do not want to manage the music manually.  After I purchase the music, I want it to automatically update iTunes by simply copying it to a folder.  Secondly, I often want to make an iPad friendly version of a BD/DVD and I do not want to have to step through the process to get the movie over into iTunes.  Lastly, after my movie has been added to iTunes, I want the meta-data to be updated automatically so that I do not have manually do it.   Here are the consolidated steps of basically what I do with iHomeserver.  For a complete guide to setting up iTunes prior to using iHomeserver click here.

     

    Music

    1. Rip CD’s directly to a monitored folder.
    2. iHomeserver copies it to iTunes and updates library.
    3. Wi-Fi Sync to get your content to your IOS device.

    AND/OR

     

    1. Copy music from another computer or folder to a monitored folder.
    2. iHomeserver copies files to iTunes and updates your library automatically.
    3. Wi-Fi Sync to get your content to your IOS device.

     

    Movies

    1. Rip/Convert movie to an iHomeserver monitored folder (if ripping to a monitored folder it must be in a format that iTunes understands, otherwise a conversion has to take place first and converted before copying it to the monitored folder).
    2. iHomeserver copies movie and updates iTunes as well as updates your meta-data
    3. Wi-Fi Sync to get your content to your IOS device.

     

     

    They have an excellent setup manual and video so I wont go into the step by step setup, but I will show you how I have configured it.  In addition, I will cover the auto-tag feature as this is a very powerful tool.

     

     

     

    Configuration

     

    Watched (monitored) folder(s).  This is where you set your monitored folder. You can create as many folders as you want as well as define each folder to be specific for music, video, etc. I use only one generic folder and iHomeserver determines the type of content you have.

     

    SNAG-0166

     

    I add the check box to be notified of “beta” releases.  I also check the box that deletes the files when I copy them to the monitored folder.  Mainly because anything that goes in there is a duplicate and gets copied into iTunes (see the iTunes setup guide).  You do not have to do this depending on your setup.

     

    SNAG-0167  SNAG-0168

     

    This is where you setup the parameters for the meta-data as well as how the monitored folder will treat the content.

     

    SNAG-0169   SNAG-0171SNAG-0170

     

    iTunes View.  This is what you see when you click on the tab.  Basically everything that is in iTunes except for apps.  You can also create playlists from this screen if you want to.

     

    SNAG-0164   SNAG-0165

     

     

     

    Summary

     

    Overall I am very pleased with this product and the only real thing that I miss is the ability to go in and selectively pick different movies without deleting and adding them.  In the grander scheme of things, that is not a big issue as this is not something I do often.  Now that I have taken the time to set this up, I have not had to go into iTunes for over a month now and I do not miss it a bit.  If you have a multi computer environment, you might find this to be a real life saver and it may avoid many problems downstream.  They offer a free trial so give it a try, and if you are already running it, make sure that you upgrade to this latest version.  Let the developer know what you think and what features you would like to see.  He is very responsive and very serious about this product and continues to make it better and better.

     

    Original Article:  http://thedocsworld.net/whs-meets-itunes/

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    I am very picky when it comes to how my music is named and organized...Would this product benefit me at all? I like the idea of iTunes always up and running on the server so that all the Apple TVs in the house have access to it - but as far as file renaming and placing the files where I would want them...is this something that can be managed?
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    I think I am too. Suggest you try the free trial, not much to loose. I believe that once you understand what it is trying to do, you will like it. A bit of a "concept" learning curve.
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    I have iTunes match but turn it off on the devices due to weak 3G signals. I use music match only to be able to store the quality version of the files and store locally. IF I want to stream, I can do that as well but I would prefer not to.
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    Are you able to update iTunes Match through this software or would you have to go into iTunes to initiate that?
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    @PCDoc How does this program deal with multiple iOS devices for multiple people? Each member in my family has different songs/movies they want on their device. Is this something iHomeserver excels at? Thanks.
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    As far as I know not really. I would forwared your exact use case to the developer and see what he recommends. He has been great at responding as well as implementing new features.
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    I was really picky too about how I name and organize my music. I have found that the only differance is that the items are automatically added to the iHomeserver that runs itunes. I have found out that it works better for me to organize the new music on my computer and then just transfer it into the shared folder. It has made streaming content to my apple tvs awsome because we don't have to constantly go to one of 3 computers to open itunes. All the data is on the server. Though i'm still working out the kinks with my iphone and itunes on my computer. Still looking into options that would work best for me. I started with the trial. I highly recommend it.
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