12 Replies Latest reply: May 1, 2010 2:04 PM by Eric Eskam
KatyRN Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have an Apple TV and I was thinking about hooking up an external hard drive to create a central library to store my media. (I have a Time Capsule, but I was thinking about getting something separate)

How would I do that?

Would Home Sharing allow me to access my media remotely?

Would I have to hook up a computer to the external hard drive each time I want to manage my media?

Related, but slightly off topic: Would my media still back up to my Time Capsule if it's on a non-mac device?

Thanks

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • 1. Re: Apple TV and External Hard Drives
    capaho Level 4 Level 4 (3,650 points)
    You can move your iTunes library to an external hard drive or a network drive, but you would still need to use iTunes to feed the ATV. You can't connect an external drive directly to an ATV, and all ATV files, whether synced or streamed, have to go through an iTunes library hosted on a computer.
  • 2. Re: Apple TV and External Hard Drives
    80s=best_music Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    AppleTV itself should have iTunes installed. Apple chose not to do it this way. If Apple TV had iTunes, then we could attach an external hard drive to it and store our media on the external drive. Too bad it doesn't work this way.
  • 3. Re: Apple TV and External Hard Drives
    capaho Level 4 Level 4 (3,650 points)
    No, unfortunately, it isn't designed to work as a freestanding device, it has to be tethered to an iTunes library hosted on a computer. If you need more storage space, your only option is to move your iTunes library to an external drive or a network drive.
  • 4. Re: Apple TV and External Hard Drives
    80s=best_music Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    You can try a product called aTVFlash. It's expensive, though, and it will add features to your Apple TV that are not supported by Apple. It seems to offer functionality the Apple TV should have had in the beginning.


    Cheers!
  • 5. Re: Apple TV and External Hard Drives
    carvermon Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    There are ways for ATV to play files directly from a storage drive, and to access files from places in your computer that are not in iTunes, but you would need to install software (aTV Flash, etc.) that I assume is not sanctioned by Apple, but makes their product vastly more useful.
  • 6. Re: Apple TV and External Hard Drives
    KatyRN Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Ok, how do I do that? Would an external hard drive by itself work? Should I get a mac mini to hold the library?
  • 7. Re: Apple TV and External Hard Drives
    carvermon Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Jolly Giant says -

    you can leave those movies on the external. just option drag the folder containing the movies from the external to an open iTunes window. iTunes will index the path to the original's location but not add the files physically.

    however, if you want to use that content, the external must be mounted on your desktop prior to launching iTunes.

    JGG
  • 8. Re: Apple TV and External Hard Drives
    KatyRN Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    So the only way to do it is to either use a program which will probably void the warrantee or have an external hard drive that holds the music, which needs to be connected for me to use...

    I guess I have to have a paradigm shift for how I think about the TV, to think of it less like a DVR, and more like an ipod for the TV...

    Thanks
  • 9. Re: Apple TV and External Hard Drives
    Jolly Giant Level 7 Level 7 (25,440 points)
    KatyRN wrote:
    So the only way to do it is to either use a program which will probably void the warrantee or have an external hard drive that holds the music, which needs to be connected for me to use...


    yes.

    and more like an ipod for the TV...


    that's more or less what the TV is, though i like to think of it more as an +extension of my iTunes library+.

    it never has been advertised as being anything else.

    happy computing !

    JGG

  • 10. Re: Apple TV and External Hard Drives
    KatyRN Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    So now I just have to figure out how big /expensive an external hard drive I should get to house my media...

    Thanks for all your help!
  • 11. Re: Apple TV and External Hard Drives
    capaho Level 4 Level 4 (3,650 points)
    I have a 1 TB external for my iTunes library, and another 1 TB external for non-iTunes media files. At some point I'm going to have to start searching for a 1 YB (yottabyte) drive.
  • 12. Re: Apple TV and External Hard Drives
    Eric Eskam Level 2 Level 2 (260 points)
    KatyRN wrote:
    So now I just have to figure out how big /expensive an external hard drive I should get to house my media...


    Up to two terabyte drives can be had for under $200 - above that you need to start looking at something like a Drobo. The original 4 slot drobo that supports USB or USB and FireWire is perfect for iTunes - I use mine for time machine and iTunes storage.