Serving iTunes content to AppleTVs
Hi all! I’m using iTunes on my iMac to serve up content to the three AppleTVs in my house and an iPad. It works fine, but the iMac is unfortunately my only computer and I use it for design and photo work and all of that network traffic from having iTunes open all of the time is killing my processor (especially when Creative Suite and Aperture are running). I’m trying to figure out a way to host all of my media elsewhere, ideally something connected directly to my main AppleTV in my living room, or directly to the AirportExtreme which is also in my living room. The popular solution seems to be a Mac Mini with a RAID of external drives connected as a media machine. This seems like an expensive solution. Can you maybe connect a USB RAID to the AirportExtreme, or are there some other ways to handle this? Thanks for any suggestions.
Less is More (more or less).
Since the Apple TV is specifically looking for the sharing protocol used by iTunes, you aren’t going to be able to play music from drives that are connected directly into the AirPort base station or into any other NAS, unless it specifically supports iTunes sharing. One option, if you jailbreak, might be Plex. I have a friend who uses it but I never have myself. Otherwise you do need to have a computer to share your library (could even be an old PC that’s just powerful enough to run iTunes.)