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Looking for advice on unRaid/OS X/iTunes


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Hi there.  I'm looking to build a home media server, and unRAID seems to be a pretty good solution.  Before I start parting with cash though, I'd like to check a few things with some experienced users to ensure that the system will meet my needs.


I'm looking to do two main things with the server.  The first is:


I have a fairly large collection of music (1TB) and a whole bunch of old videos and DVD's that I want to rip, to be able to watch from my macs.  I also have a bunch of stuff I've already ripped.  I'd like to put my iTunes library onto the server, and stream it to several macs I have around my home.  (OS X 10.5/10.6)


If I couple the server to a fast router, would the server be able to cope with streaming more than one movie at a time?  i.e. if my wife was upstairs watching one movie, and I was downstairs watching another, both streaming from the same itunes library, would the system cope? The average movie file size I have is around 1.5Gig.  Whilst it would be nice to start ripping in higher quality, I'm happy with what I get with a 1.5g rip, so wouldn't imagine going any higher than that in the near future.  I have a wife, son and myself, each with our own computers, so I could have up to three people trying to access media at the same time, and I'd like a system that can cope with these demands.  (I'd also be putting one 'catch-all' iPhoto library on it for everyone to use.)


With that, if I have my itunes library held on the server, and have all my macs pointed at it, if I import a cd or whatever on one mac, will it automatically appear on all the others, or will I need to keep rebuilding itunes libraries etc?


My second task I want the server to manage is time machine backups for the four macs we have - I'd envisage creating four partitions for this, and would like to just set up all the macs to automatically backup to these partitions, though would set this up to happen through the night or whatever, so it isn't happening when people are also accessing the stored media.


Those are my main goals for putting my first server together, and it would also be nice to host a few websites on the system, but that is a task for somewhere down the road.  I'd be happy if I could achieve a simple media server with automatic backups for my machines, and the unRAID system seems to be a good, cheap, scaleable fit for this.  I appreciate any advice you could give, and look forward to any response.







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Multiple streams will be fine. Our unRaid box (14tb Intel Core 2 Duo) will happily stream multiple 1:1 blu ray rips via Plex. Network wise its gigabit ethernet and a Apple Time capsule.


As for iTunes, just set your main mac to rip to a share on your unRiad box, and then share that iTunes library out to other iTunes clients, so they should all see the updated version.


For the most part Time Machine works ok via unRaid, just make sure you devote a single disk to it as time back images can't be spanned over multiple disks.

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It should suit your iTunes needs just fine - I use my unRAID mainly for iTunes. The unRAID acts as a dumb filestore, and I use an old iMac as the iTunes server sharing its library to the Macs and 2 Apple TVs. Works a treat.


Have looked vaguely at iTunes server apps running on the unRAID itself, without finding an easy one. Will keep looking. Vaguely.


Haven't investigated timemachine yet. Waiting until I move to v5 - still running 4.7.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is exactly my plan too. I've got my 2TB iTunes library copying over as I speak.

There's a really good tutorial for starting from scratch at:



I wish I'd read this before I started as it would have really helped with some problems and proceedures.

I'm still unsure if I'll go the Avahi/AFP path - I might wait till unRAID 5 where it will be implemented.

All working fine with SMB at the moment anyway.

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