Networked iTunes


Can someone please give me some advice. I have asked this question at three different genius bars and received three totally different answers which contradict each other.

I have a 24inch 3GHz iMac, a 2.4 GHz MacBook Pro and a 2.1Ghz Macbook pro on the network (wired or wireles). Attached to the IMac by Firewire 800 is a Lacie 500GB external drive with the iTunes music folder on it. Attached wirelessly to the network is a Pinnacle M1001 Soundbridge wireless music player which plays the music through a standard audio system.

What I would like to do is have the music on a networked drive accessible to all computers on the network and the wireless music player, so that each computer can have it's own itunes library to either play or sync with an iPod and the music player has access to all the music as well. (about 170GB)

It would also be a bonus if the networked disk could work as the back up disk for Time Machine for the iMac.

I was going to buy a Time Capsule. However I have been told 1) iTunes will not work very well on a networked drive 2) As long as everything supports DLNA everything will be fine and 3) Ask Pinnacle.

Can anyone please tell me what I need to do to make this plan work. I am running OSX 10.5.7



In Geostationary Orbit
You must have a 1000BaseT network setup or the networking will stutter the music.

1. Put the music on a drive.
2. Open iTunes.
3. In iTunes on the menu item that says iTunes select that and go down the drop-down select "Preferences".
4. In iTunes Preferences select the "Advanced" tab.
5. In thew "Advanced" tab change the location.
6. Quit Preferences.

The next steps are VERY IMPORTANT!

7. still in iTunes select the menu item "File".
8. In the "File" drop drop down select "Library"-"Consolidate Library" (this step is very important!)

You must "Consolidate" your music Library after changing it's location. It will help a lot for iTunes to find all it's music/movies/podcasts.


In Geostationary Orbit
Plus it would really help if your Networked network drive (if one is using an Ethernet external drive) it must have an iTunes Server in the device (like the NetGear ReadyNAS NV). That really help when choosing an external for networking your iTunes library.


I am not sure about the need for the giganet network. I currently have that speed network so i can't test it, but back when i had a 100 base network i had my music folder on my server and shared to it from my ibook and my desktop computer and i don't remember having any troubles with it stuttering. in fact i am pretty sure that on occassion i used my ibook over the original graphite base station that was only 11mbs. that was back a 2 or 3 OSes ago though.


U.S.D.A. Prime
You must have a 1000BaseT network setup or the networking will stutter the music.
...only if you have thousands of users connecting to the shared music and all trying to play simultaneously.

If all your music was encoded at a very high bitrate, say, 320kbps, that is only a fraction of the bandwidth of a 10base-T network. That means, theoretically, you could have in the neighborhood of 5 or 10 or so users streaming music over a 10base-T connection before stuttering will occur.

On a 100base-T network, that user limit goes way up. Even more so for a 1000base-T network.

Your current network setup, even if wireless, has ample bandwidth to support 3 computers streaming high bitrate music.


Hi guys,

Thank you all very much for replying and I apologise for the delay in posting again.
Sadly, by the time of the first reply I had already bought the Time Capsule. It was the wrong decision and I now have a very nice white box sitting on the desk, with a very nice green light, but doing very little else other than the job of a router. However it does seem to be doing that adequately.
What I should have done was buy a networked media server. The reviews seem to favour the Iomega one but I am open to suggestions. With one of these I can stream the media to the PS3 and out through the sound system, then ditch the Soundbridge music player which is a pile of garbage as well. It seems that it is no longer supported for use with a Mac. Again, any explanations how to make this work would be appreciated.
Thanks again to you all.
Signature should read OSX 10.5.7