Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)
  • As far back as I can remember, I have disliked iTunes for the PC. Partially because it is a single PC solution, partially because I do not like the rigidity of the architecture, and mostly because it just performs badly on the PC. Thanks to “TimeKills” from our forums, I was informed of a post from Andrew Edney at usinghomeserver.com and had a chance to try a product that changed the way I use my server, and most of all, helped me cope with some of the hassles of using iTunes. It bridged the gap between, WHS, iTunes, Home Sharing, and some of the cool features available for the IOS platform such as remote control. As it turns out, these two very unlike platforms can now co-exist and not only work, but actually complement each other.


    From Usingwindowshomeserver: http://usingwindowshomeserver.com/2012/01/29/whs-add-in-update-ihomeserver-for-itunes-v2


    iHomeServer Site http://www.bizmodeller.com/iHomeServer_for_iTunes.aspx


    Defining my problem


    For starters it is important to understand why I was excited by this product. Although I have always had my media files on my WHS, it was never really easy to get iTunes configured to default to the server. Of course adding files as well as managing metadata meant going into the clunky and rather slow interface of iTunes on the PC. Add to that the fact you have to leave it running on your PC to share the files across your network, and you end up with an aggravating user experience. Enter iHomeserver into the equation. This product helps bridge the gap between iTunes and Windows Home Server in a couple of ways. In addition, if you do not want to use your WHS, then there are Windows 7, Server 2008, and Server 2003 versions of the software. I will skip over the basic setup and installations as that is already well covered on various sites, and instead cover my particular use case. I installed and tested both the WHS 2011 and Windows 7 as potential options for my particular needs.


    First Step


    When I first set this up, I did it in a VM so I could test it before moving it to my production server. The goal for this project was to have iTunes functionality on my server since it is on all the time, and to be able to add files to the library from any location/computer without having to go to one specific computer and log into iTunes.


    At first when I set this up, I had some issues with getting everything to work. Not because of the software, but because of my rather convoluted iTunes setup. As I did not quite have a complete grasp of how to best implement this, I sent a letter to tech support for advice on the best approach. Ed, the developer of the application over at bizmodeller.com responded almost immediately, and after a couple of questions being answered, as well as following his directions I was able to get it going. The main issue that I came across was that the installation setup almost assumes that you are starting from scratch. It does not assume you have a ton of playlists and things already created like I did. So in a nut shell, the first challenge is to port your iTunes setup to your server or other computer first before attempting to install iHomeserver. Those of you who have messed with moving iTunes around before know that this can be painful but can be done. There are various tutorials online on how to this but in brief, here is what I ended up doing.


    Since my existing computer had its default locations moved from a local machine “C:\Users\XXXX\Music” and remapped to \\WHS\Music which is on my server, it was fairly easy for me to go directly into the server and remap the user default locations (ie: Administrator) to the same directory since it was already on the server. In my case, my media and iTunes library is on my RAID partition so I mapped the server properties from “C:\Users\Administrator\Music” to “E:\Music”. Once I did that and installed iTunes on my server, it opened and everything was as I left it, only on the server not the client computer. Once you have iTunes running correctly and all your files and data is intact, installing the iHomeserver is a breeze. Remember that the key is to get iTunes running FIRST. The iHomeserver install will not fix problems if your iTunes is not functioning correctly. In retrospect it was fairly easy however I struggled for a couple of hours and hosed my iTunes library a couple of times before figuring out how to do this correctly.


    Issues and problems


    Nothing of course is perfect. The main issue I ran into in my particular situation is iTunes itself. As for the iHomeserver software my biggest complaint is that if I want to manage apps at the iTunes level (not the device) I have to RDP into my server, open the dashboard, pause the server, and then launch iTunes and do what I need to do. When I was finished I had to close iTunes, then un-pause the server. Not a big deal in the grander scheme of things but not ideal. I communicated with the developer and asked about the apps and he explained that it was not because of his software, but rather because Apple did not release any API’s to work with apps, only music and movies. He also mentioned that a great number of people now want to sync via WiFi which minimizes the need to log in as much as it used to. In my few communications with him, I mentioned a feature for force updating of podcasts (something that iTunes does not do by itself) and the feature was immediately added in the most recent release. I hope to see this automated at some point as you still need to go into your WHS dashboard to refresh your podcasts. Again not a huge deal but it is something you will have to do. Overall I did not have any major issues related to iHomeserver itself and what I was impressed by was the responsiveness of the developer and his willingness to support the product.


    Results and benefits


    At first it may not be obvious but the flexibility it afforded me was exactly what I needed. It provided a service based iTunes that ran well on my WHS 2011 providing me with my content 24/7, and most importantly it gave me a way to attach to multiple folders that I could copy content to and have it update my iTunes for me. This is a great feature for households that have several users and want to maintain one library, yet want to have different users add to the collection. By monitoring a folder, I can simply copy an MP4 or MP3 to that folder without ever going into iTunes and have it update my library. Having iTunes library running all the time also made it easier to share through the “Home Sharing” feature of iTunes to any device that plays content from iTunes. In my case, I use a couple of Apple TV’s and this allowed me easier access to all the podcasts, music, and movies that are in my library. Throw in the slick remote control app from Apple and you have a complete package at least within this ecosystem.




    In closing if you are in the iTunes ecosystem and running a Windows Home Server, you might look into this product to see if will benefit you as much as it did me. They have a 30 day free trial so there is little risk in trying it. I would also suggest that you email the developer with any suggestions or post them in the comments as he does listen to our input.


    iHomeserver 3


    iHomeserver 4


    iHomeserver 5


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

  • Our picks

    • RT6600ax tri-band Wi-Fi 6 router   Provide ultrafast and secure wireless connectivity to your home or office with support for the expanded 5.9 GHz spectrum,* combined wireless throughput of 6.6 Gbps, and a secure network infrastructure backed by the intuitive Synology Router Manager (SRM).
      • 0 replies
    • I throw this out every once in a while.  Is anyone interested in writing up "semi-formal" reviews here on the forums?  I say semi-formal because they don't have to be pro level, just a good attempt at telling the story about the gear.  Something you have purchased lately.  You don't have to go buy stuff, just incorporate what you have already have purchased.  Hit me up with any questions.  You never know where it will lead!
        • Like
      • 4 replies
    • D-Link has dropped a couple of new products and additions to their lineup of smart home gear.  Hold on because there is a lot of gear!
      Let's start with cameras.  D-Link has new Wi-Fi cameras, the Full HD Pan and Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-8302LH) and Full HD Indoor and Outdoor Pro Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-8526LH).  These are not just new, and good looking cams, they can now perform people detection and glass break detection.  The new cameras also feature expanded ways for customers to save video, including ONVIF Profile S, which enables custom storage and streaming options to personal NAS devices, built-in storage microSD capacity up to 256 GB, as well as free and paid cloud storage options. 

      This year's camera models include both an indoor and an outdoor model. The outdoor model features a spotlight and siren that can be triggered when motion is detected, deterring potential intruders. The indoor model pans around to give a full 360-degree view of any room and tracks motion. Both include two-way audio. 
      Full HD Pan and Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera is the model (DCS-8302LH), available in Q2, 2020, and retail pricing will be $99.99.
      Full HD Indoor and Outdoor Pro Wi-Fi Camera is the model (DCS-8526LH), available in Q3, 2020, and retail pricing will be $119.99.
      One of my favorite products is Wi-Fi.  D-Link has a whole lot of new products coming including Wi-Fi 6, Mesh, Alexa and Google Assistant integration, IFTTT, Parental Controls, and more!

      There are so many new SKU's that I can't make heads or tails of them!  I'm going to be speaking with D-Link more this week and will sort all of these out. I do want you to see all they are offering and what the release date and projected retail pricing will be.

      AC1900 Scalable Mesh Wi-Fi Router (COVR-1900-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1750-US), Q1 2020, $99.99
      AC1900 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1950-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1755-US), Q1 2020, $99.99
      AC1950 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1955-US), Q1 2020, $109.99
      Smart AX1500 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1560-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      Smart AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $139.99
      Smart AX2400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X2460-US), Q3 2020, $159.99
      Smart AX5400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X5460-US), Q1 2020, $279.99
      AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Range Extender (DAP-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $129.99
      AX1800 Whole Home Mesh System (COVR-X1872-US), QX22020, $269.99
        • Like
      • 0 replies
    • RESET Merch Shop
      Get ya Merch here!  I've created a T-Shirt shop with the famous RESET paperclip. I've pasted that clip on just about everything so you can wear it around town!  Cable bags, Coffee Mugs, T-Shirts, and more. 
      or you can get it it via
      Here is the main design.

      Below is a part of the order that I put in!  

      The Heather Grey above is the Extra Soft version and it is awesome.  I highly recommend the softness!    The "Chili Red" is the Tri-Blend and probably my favorite feel and color.

      This is the Zip-Up Hoody, Heather Indigo, Sponge Fleece, Men's, Large.  In my podcast I couldn't remember what style it was but it is Sponge Fleece. It's REALLY soft on the inside. Soft outside as well. The only problem is with the zip up hoody the logo is on the back. Regular hoody, it will be on the front.
      or you can get it it via
      Thank you for supporting this community. Everything you purchase will help keep the lights on the hard drives spinning.
      • 0 replies
    • OneDrive Personal Vault and expandable storage
      Microsoft's OneDrive has a few new features and options worth pointing out.  Personal Vault and Expandable Storage.
      Personal Vault is a protected area in OneDrive that can only be accessed with a strong authentication method or a second step of identity verification, such as your fingerprint, face, PIN, or a code sent to you via email or SMS. 
      Personal Vault gives you an added layer of protection for your most important files, photos, and videos—for example, copies of documents such as your passport, driver’s license, or insurance information—should someone gain access to your account or device.
      Plus, this added security won’t slow you down. You can quickly access your important documents, photos, and files with confidence wherever you are, on your PC, OneDrive.com, or your mobile device.

      Beyond a second layer of identity verification, Personal Vault also includes the following security measures:
      Scan and shoot—Using the OneDrive app, you can scan documents or shoot photos directly into your Personal Vault, keeping them off less secure areas of your device, like your camera roll.
      Automatic locking—No need to worry about whether you left your Personal Vault or your files open—both will close and lock automatically after a period of inactivity.
      BitLocker encryption—On Windows 10 PCs, OneDrive automatically syncs your Personal Vault files to a BitLocker-encrypted area of your local hard drive.
      Restricted sharing—To prevent accidental sharing, files in Personal Vault and shared items moved into Personal Vault cannot be shared.
      Taken together, these security measures help ensure that Personal Vault files are not stored unprotected on your PC, and your files have additional protection, even if your Windows 10 PC or mobile device is lost, stolen, or someone gains access to it or to your account.
      Expandable Storage
      If you are and Office 365 Subscriber you get 1 TB of OneDrive storage space with all the other Office goodies like Word, Excel, etc.  I know personally that I have gone over the 1TB limit and have always wanted to be able to add additional storage to my account.  Now you can!

      Pick and option and keep on hoarding, errr, I mean saving! Cancel anytime, upgrade at any moment.
      • 1 reply
  • Create New...