Media Management

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Media Management

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I decided to start a new thread so as to not add too much to my "is my strategy sound" thread. As a recap, I was just gifted a DS-718+ as a new family NAS that replaces an ancient Zyxel NAS.

Among the tasks I want the new NAS to do is manage media. We all have Iphones and I have a large library of mp3s. The music library is currently on the Zyxel and simply a shared folder that I have pointed Itunes towards. I lilke the idea of streaming our music and have decided to try out Plex. I plan to eventually add digital copies of our DVDs to Plex, but one step at a time.

I understand that I can simply copy over our music folder to the new NAS and point Itunes toward it. If I use the Itunes server in DSM, I understand that it will make available a copy of the music folder to any user on the NAS in Itunes on their individual computer. I'm assuming that the primary/only benefit to doing it this way is that two users can access the same music library at the same time without a conflict. Please feel free to educate me if I'm missing key functionality.

I'd also like that music folder to be accessible to and used by Plex. I assuming that I should create/copy over a generic music folder, point both the Itunes server and Plex to that folder and let them do their thing. Does Plex organize the music in any way? If so, does that organization interfere with how Itunes sees the music?

Lastly, if anyone has thoughts on a better way of doing this, I'd certainly appreciate the advice.

TIA,
CheapDad
 

Rusty

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Does Plex organize the music in any way? If so, does that organization interfere with how Itunes sees the music?
It will work fine. You can use the generic music folder for both of them
 

fredbert

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Last edited:
Issues with iTunes:
  • It's a standalone app that keeps its own library file based on what you add to it.
  • Every Mac/PC user account will have its own independent iTunes library file.
  • iTunes doesn't scan folders to find new content that has been copied into the 'iTunes Media' location... you have to manually add new content using iTunes' drag & drop or menu commands.
  • A central store for 'iTunes Media' still needs each instance of iTunes to have the new content manually 'added' even if the files don't get moved or renamed.
  • It's hard to track what's new for other iTunes instances once you've added the new content to the first iTunes instance ... unless you go round and doing Home Sharing and see what's not on each iTunes library that's in the other ones.
That's the pain of having multiple iTunes apps on multiple user accounts/Macs/PCs. iTunes is a single user application that hasn't evolved in this regard.

Plex and Audio Station will read in metadata tags from audio files. I sync my Mac iTunes music folder up to the NAS and both Plex and AS will update their libraries when files are added/deleted.

I have the iTunes Server package running too on DSM and that also works with the sync'ed up music folder. This iTunes Server library is only available to all Mac/PC iTunes on the home network, nothing to do with DSM users.


If you opt to use iTunes' manual management of music for an iOS device then you can use drag and drop files from the mounted NAS shared folder to the iOS device's window in iTunes (or other app that supports this, like iMazing), thereby bypassing a local iTunes library.
 
28
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Thank you both. While I had some understanding of the shortfalls of iTunes, fredbert’s synopsis is far more comprehensive. I’ll likely continue to use the generic folder until a better solution to iTunes comes along.
 
28
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So, I'm not sure if I've configured something incorrectly or Itunes Server is just underwhelming. I installed Itunes Server and moved my media over to the "music" folder. When I open Itunes Server in package repository, it simply lists the name of my NAS.

I went into Itunes and changed the location of my Itunes library to the music folder on my DS-718+, which is exactly how Itunes accessed the folder under the old NAS. It seems like Itunes Server is not doing anything at all, i.e., I didn't need to install it. Did I do something wrong?
 

fredbert

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I'm not sure if I've configured something incorrectly or Itunes Server is just underwhelming.
I vote for the latter. It's a poorer version of Home Sharing between two iTunes apps running on your LAN: at least between iTunes apps you get the option to download song files from one instance to the other.

One thing iTunes Server can do is have smart playlists that show what's added in last X <time period>. Might be useful if you have another iTunes app running and want to use as an aide-mémoir when manually adding new stuff to it. But your other/main iTunes instance can do this too.
 
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The iTunes client will by default load the library on the local machine. With iTunes server installed an properly configured, you simply select it and it should load from the NAS. The only issue I have encountered with it is not being able to add/change artwork. I have had to use another program to do that.
 

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