…i’m looking all over these internets, and I have a feeling you can point me in the right direction.
Short short version: how can I mirror/sync the itunes database file (just the database, not the song files themselves) between two macs on the same home network, so that any changes made on one mac will show up when itunes is opened on the other mac? Foldershare doesn’t seem to be working…
I’m looking to:
- Store my itunes library (the files) on my mac mini, storing no mp3’s on my macbook pro (this is done, easily, by sharing the mini’s itunes folder and pointing the mbp to it…got that done already…it’s the sharing of the database file that I’m having trouble with)
- Either NAS or external fw/usb drives for saving music/movies/photos attached to mini (raid 1 or 5…I’d love to hear suggestions of why a NAS or external would be a better bet…I’m leery about capability of NAS to stream high quality handbrake rips through my elcheapo linksys wrt54g router…would love to get lacie Ethernet RAID, but I don’t think it will cut it)
- Use that repository of files on the mini/nas/external drive whenever i’m on my home network…rip a cd on the mbp, consolidate, it shoots over to the mac mini, and occasionally clean off the mbp so it’s got no MP3’s stored on it
- Reference either the same library database file or have a mirrored library file on my macbook that updates/syncs regularly, so I can access the library (add new podcasts, new music from cd’s, etc.) even if I’m not on my home network
- if i’m out and about, and add a cd to the mbp, or a podcast, I can still sync my ipod…the easiest solution of just pointing the MBP to the itunes library database on the mini is problematic, because if I’m off the network, I can’t use that library database, and I’ll get a blank itunes library, and not be able to sync the ipod. If, however, I set it up like I’m wanting to, whenever I’m out and open up itunes, I’ll just get the ‘grey exclamation point’ by all of the songs (because the actual files are still housed on the mini/external drive). Then, when I get back home and onto the home network, any changes I made to the itunes library (playcounts, playlists, etc.) would be mirrored back to the mini…and vice versa, if I happened to change the playlists on the mini…though I’m not so worried about changes from the mini being mirrored back to the MBP…that won’t happen all that often.
- I can’t get the damned itunes database file to mirror. I’ve tried foldershare to link folders between the two computers, and it *will* copy the itunes database over into each folder, but it loses some file information along the way: somehow, whenever it’s copied, the itunes database “turns into” a ‘unix executable file’, and is no longer recognized by itunes as a valid database file…I’ve looked at rsyncx (for about 15 minutes), but couldn’t figure out how to use it to do what I needed automatically.
Great question, Shawn. As you’ve found, this is much harder than it should be. I do have some tips you might try, but I never got all the way to a solution myself, and eventually settled with a one-way solution. I’ve posted everything I’ve discovered in the comments below. I’d love to keep this discussion going and see if we can’t find a way to get this done right…