14 Replies Latest reply: Jul 28, 2012 4:19 PM by diverfromtexas
Matt Schultz Level 1 (55 points)

We want to be able to select certain movies, photos, TV shows, etc. media, that currently reside in iTunes, from displaying on the Apple TV. This is an obvious parental control path.


We're having a tough time believing that a mature application like iTunes can't hide a file or make something private. Are we missing something?


User can deselect Movies to hide them in iTunes (iTunes Pref's)... but surprise! They show up on the ATV anyway, so what good is that command?


Perhaps there's a terminal command to enable this boneheaded functionality? We've even searched iTunes plug-ins.


Thanks in advance for your kind assistance!

Dual G5/2, several iMacs, Mini, a dozen or so MBPro's and many, many MacBooks, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Chenks Level 5 (7,420 points)

    other than using the built-in parental controls on the appletv there is no other way to hide content (other than removing it from itunes of course).

  • Matt Schultz Level 1 (55 points)

    Thanks - I've searched through the set up guide & the manual & I cannot find anything that resembles ATV parental controls. Can you point me to the menu or data? Thanks!

  • Winston Churchill Level 10 (95,576 points)

    Parental controls are under settings>general, iTunes content comes with ratings, for non iTunes content you will need to add your own ratings with third party software. There are quite a few applications that will add ratings, I us iFlicks.

  • _lem Level 1 (10 points)

    You can also control the Sharing of the movies and TV shows from within iTunes.


    Screen shot 2011-04-19 at 3.47.09 PM.png

  • Matt Schultz Level 1 (55 points)

    Thanks Mr. Churchill! I appreciate it. It does seem a bit backward, Apple's usually so good at delivering advanced features and functionality. It's surprising that all these hoops need jumping when there really should be a simple and elegant HIDE command in the VIEW or CONTROL menu of iTunes that blocks the selected media from display anywhere. The selected media could simply be placed in a password-protected folder that does not appear on the ATV without the user's permission.


    Based on my extensive research over the past few days, I see that the request for such functionality goes back years from many, many people.


    There are obviously movies, explicit-lyrics music and TV shows that parents do not want their children to have access to, and the joint partnership of iTunes and Apple TV is not up to the challenge of helping parents completely hide the forbidden fruit.

  • Matt Schultz Level 1 (55 points)

    Thanks, uh, _lem ... Firesign Theatre, anyone? 


    We tried this approach but it restricts media for all ATV viewers. So, when the children have gone to bed & we want to watch our movie, I've got to go back into the controls, re-do everything, re-launch the ATV & then, re-set everything AFTERWARDS for the kids again. It's an all-or-nothing, global approach. It's plain ridiculous - I want a rifle, Apple is giving me a bazooka.


    There should be a HIDE command in iTunes. Select something, choose HIDE. That's all it would take. Then, you UNHIDE your selection, it appears in the ATV Movie menu, ya watch it & when completed, HIDE it once again. Simple.


    Oh well....

  • Winston Churchill Level 10 (95,576 points)

    Actually this nonsense is only recent, the first generation Apple TV allowed you to show and hide content to/from the Apple TV simply by checking/unchecking the check box at the side of each item in the main iTunes window.

  • Winston Churchill Level 10 (95,576 points)

    The Apple TV doesn't use sharing, it uses home sharing.

  • Poweredby Level 1 (0 points)

    I was able to solve this issue in the following way.


    First, I have a USB Storage Drive with movies on it. It is attached to my Time Capsule.


    I added the movies that I wanted to be able to show/hide on Apple TV to iTunes by holding down "Option" and dragging them into the iTunes window. This way they are not actually copied to the iTunes Media folder. They still reside on the USB Storage Drive.


    From there it's pretty simple. If I want to see the movies displayed on Apple TV I make sure the USB Drive is mounted. If I want the movies to disappear, I eject the USB drive.

  • Poweredby Level 1 (0 points)

    Update on my answer.


    I did notice one thing. The movie(s) will only disappear from ATV if they have an "!" next to them. Essentially, if the last interaction with the file resulted in a "file not located" it will not show in ATV. However, if the last use was successful (i.e, the drive was connected) it will still show in ATV. Doh! You have to "Control + click" or take some other action with the drive disconnected in order to get the "file not located" message therefore removing it from view in ATV. So, not quite as elegant as I had hoped.

  • Alley_Cat Level 6 (19,190 points)

    While it may work for you this is just a workaround - why on earth they dispensed with the older system that worked with AppleTV1 I have no idea.


    Feedback may help:



  • Poweredby Level 1 (0 points)

    I couldn't agree more Alley Cat.

  • Alley_Cat Level 6 (19,190 points)

    Some things with AppleTv are just plain dumb - I mean it couldn't be that hard for each media file to have a flag for stream yes/no when iTunes presents the media list to another device.


    Do use the feedback link.

  • diverfromtexas Level 1 (0 points)

    Here's another inelegant workaround - not for everyone. I have two computers and have each sharing with a different home share name. I put kid only content on one and everything on the other. Then, I just enable or disable homesharing from the everything computer when I want to access/restrict access to the inappropriate content.