Monday, January 9, 2012

iTunes 10 and the NAS

Recently I decided to give up on the MediaServ / ROKU method for listening to music from my NAS and try out the Apple way with a MacBook and Airport Express.  The ROKU method worked fine, but the user interface was pretty clunky.  I got a new MacBook Air from work so decided to give it a whirl.

Getting things working was pretty easy.
  1. Re-enable your iTunes service, if previously disabled
  2. Enable the iTunes via the UI at "Control Panel->iTunes".  Set the share name and password if desired
  3. This will create a new folder at /volume1/music, which is where your shared music must reside. 

    Since I already have my music elsewhere, I'll just create a symlink to my existing collection
    cd /volume1
    rm -rf music
    ln -s /volume1/data/MEDIA/music
  4. Return to the UI and click "Re-index" to scan your collection.  This might take a while.
  5. In iTunes, verify your server is appearing under "Shared Libraries" and click it
  6. You should see all your music available to be played.
  7. If you add more files to your folder, you'll might have to re-index again.
Note that when I first attempted this, iTunes exhibited some odd behaviour.  After selecting the shared library, it would load the listing and display it briefly before returning to the main music library.  A bit of poking around revealed this to be a known issue, caused by the latest iTunes 10 distribution.  Luckily, Synology already had a patched DSM binary available (v3.2) so if you are using iTunes 10 and witnessing any weird incompatibilities then try updating your DSM via "Control Panel->DSM Update"