Apple TV owners' thread. - Page 31 - AVS Forum
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post #901 of 3178 Old 08-01-2011, 09:04 AM
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Apple Lossless or Flac......doesn't matter either way. Flac is primarily for storage savings and with HDD prices today so cheap, Flac's a non issue.
As for iTunes as a music/movie server for Apple Tv's, it's great. It simply just works all of the time. No need to turn on a TV/Monitor either with an available iTouch/Pad/Phone running the REMOTE app with full cover art/track listing and catalog searching. And there's APPS coming for the ATV in 4th quarter 2011 so the sky's the limit for this little box. I did exaclty what you mentioned....began building my library from jump street on iTunes and now i simply add files/folders when i aquire new media. Over 3k full length CDs and nearly 400 standard def DVDs.....no blue ray though as the file size just doesn't make sense to me. Got a Sony 400 disc BD changer for that instead.
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post #902 of 3178 Old 08-01-2011, 09:13 AM
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Redskin,

Do you have an iPod Touch/iPhone?

Also, be aware that the Apple TV requires a PC running iTunes ON for steaming your library (if you want to stream your entire library).

As much as I love my Apple TV and think it's the best media purchase I've ever made, I dislike having to have my laptop running for streaming, especially since all my files are on a Windows Home Server. The Apple TV will NOT read files off of a NAS or anything like that.

Upgraditis Anonymous
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post #903 of 3178 Old 08-01-2011, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redskin View Post

I have a large CD collection that I am looking to put on a hard drive

FLAC and Apple Lossless Format (ALF/ALAC) and any other lossless format are equivalent but if you want a simple solution built around an ATV then ALF is your first choice. There are iTunes plugins that will play FLAC as well as tools that provide some AirPlay features but any other solution is a bit more work than simply using the Apple tools.

I used to rip to FLAC when my primary interface was my Squeezebox but now I use iTunes to rip to ALF and have a plugin to stream to the Squeezebox -- when I use it.
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post #904 of 3178 Old 08-01-2011, 09:51 AM
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Thanks for all of the help...I am sure I will need more

Quote:
Originally Posted by nlpearman View Post

Redskin,

Do you have an iPod Touch/iPhone?

Also, be aware that the Apple TV requires a PC running iTunes ON for steaming your library (if you want to stream your entire library).

As much as I love my Apple TV and think it's the best media purchase I've ever made, I dislike having to have my laptop running for streaming, especially since all my files are on a Windows Home Server. The Apple TV will NOT read files off of a NAS or anything like that.

I am pretty new to wireless. I have a new wireless router (Netgear N600). I am not overly concerned about the computer needing to be on, since it already is on 24/7 anyway. So next steps would be to get a hard drive (I am assuming I don't need to worry about NAS or RAID). I am planning on getting a 2 TB drive. Rip my CD collection to ALAC. Keep the hard drive connected through USB to the computer, keep iTunes up and running. Is it that simple? I am sure this is basic, but how does the wireless router grab the information from the computer and send it out to the Apple TV? Do I need to connect the computer to the wireless router?
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post #905 of 3178 Old 08-01-2011, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nlpearman View Post

I dislike having to have my laptop running for streaming, especially since all my files are on a Windows Home Server.

We use MacBooks so it's simpler to have a Mac server which hosts the primary iTunes instance.
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post #906 of 3178 Old 08-01-2011, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redskin View Post

how does the wireless router grab the information from the computer and send it out to the Apple TV? Do I need to connect the computer to the wireless router?

Sorting out networking issues can be the hardest part of a deployment -- there are endless possible configurations and multiple opportunities for subtle failures. It might just work and it might not. I always advise people to seek local expert assistance.

By the way, I find it's better to do as little wireless as possible. All of my non-mobile devices live on the wired part of my network.
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post #907 of 3178 Old 08-01-2011, 10:22 AM
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Yes, the ATV is that simple. Wired networks are always better if you can do it. If you are streaming music only, you should be fine. Yes, your computer needs to be connected to your router, preferably via wired. If you go the ATV route, get either an iPad or iPod touch. You will be happy you did.
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post #908 of 3178 Old 08-01-2011, 10:58 AM
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Thought everyone might be interested, if they already haven't tried it out:
http://www.macrumors.com/2011/08/01/...ased-tv-shows/

Apparently there is an update for ATV2 to add the ability to watch purchased TV shows on it... great update I think.
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post #909 of 3178 Old 08-01-2011, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayhem13 View Post

And there's APPS coming for the ATV in 4th quarter 2011 so the sky's the limit for this little box.

What makes you think there will be apps for the ATV? With AirPlay mirroring do they even make sense?

Philip
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post #910 of 3178 Old 08-01-2011, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nlpearman View Post

Redskin,

Do you have an iPod Touch/iPhone?

Also, be aware that the Apple TV requires a PC running iTunes ON for steaming your library (if you want to stream your entire library).

As much as I love my Apple TV and think it's the best media purchase I've ever made, I dislike having to have my laptop running for streaming, especially since all my files are on a Windows Home Server. The Apple TV will NOT read files off of a NAS or anything like that.

Well you can jailbreak it and run mediaplayer or XBMC and access your NAS directly. I don't know why it's such a big deal to have iTunes running. You can put it on your WHS. A Mac Mini uses almost the same energy as a NAS so having it on all the time is no big deal. You have to have something on to get at the files.

Philip
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post #911 of 3178 Old 08-01-2011, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redskin View Post

Thanks for all of the help...I am sure I will need more

I am pretty new to wireless. I have a new wireless router (Netgear N600). I am not overly concerned about the computer needing to be on, since it already is on 24/7 anyway. So next steps would be to get a hard drive (I am assuming I don't need to worry about NAS or RAID). I am planning on getting a 2 TB drive. Rip my CD collection to ALAC. Keep the hard drive connected through USB to the computer, keep iTunes up and running. Is it that simple? I am sure this is basic, but how does the wireless router grab the information from the computer and send it out to the Apple TV? Do I need to connect the computer to the wireless router?

If you have the drive connected to the computer then all you need is the ATV and the computer to be on the same network, so it probability means using your router as the gateway. Wireless works fine for all but the really high end videos. Wired is better, but not for 99% of the population.

Philip
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post #912 of 3178 Old 08-01-2011, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayhem13 View Post

I'll be watching closely Scott and maybe following your lead if all goes well. As i mentioned earlier, i'm really happy with the standard def library and playback i've got going now via ATVs and i'll hold a while more to see if a 1080p ATV surfaces soon. Some folks have abandonded streaming BD and purchased Sony 400dic BD changers as an alternative.

Well I completed my first test. I decided to aim high and start off with a movie (Iron Man) which has forced subtitles, since that adds additional complexity and I wanted to find out just how much of a headache that would be. Steps (described at a really high-level) were as follows:

1) I had previously ripped the movie with DTS or DD (I forget which) audio track (not lossless as I didn't previously have a receiver that was optimized for that and I knew that would add even more complexity, as well as filesize). I used MakeMKV to rip the movie originally, selecting the English forced subtitles. That probably took about an hour to rip and resulted in a file approximately 25GB in size.

2) Then, because of the fact that Handbrake can't process the Blu-ray subtitle format, I had to use MKVextract to demux the subtitle tracks out of that. That gave me .sup files. I believe that took no more than 10 minutes. The rule of thumb is that the smallest file should be the forced subtitles. In this case, I had two identically-sized small files.

3) Then I used BDSup2Sub to convert those two .sup files to .idx/.sub (VobSub) files. That ran pretty much instantaneously. That process also allowed me to see at exactly which times in the movie those subtitles came into play, and I could read what they would say. I was able to use that to confirm that both of my small subtitle files appeared to be identical (not sure what that was all about). So for my next step, I only needed to make use of one of them.

4) The next step was to use MKVmerge to remux that newly formatted subtitle track back in with the .mkv file. I wasn't sure whether I needed the .idx file, the .sub file, or both, but MKVmerge made it easy for me, because when I went to add a file, it didn't "see" the .sub file, only the .idx file, so I chose that. If memory serves, remuxing the files only took about 5 minutes.

5) Finally I used Handbrake to convert the .mkv file to an MP4 (.m4v) file that an ATV2 could play "out of the box." Because I want to experiment with various quality settings, I only converted a small portion of the movie (10 minutes). I chose a timeframe where the forced subtitles would come into play. For my first test, I just used Handbrake's built-in Apple TV 2 preset, which downscales the 1920x1080 source file down to a 1280x720 file (technically, it was like 1280x528, because of the black bars present since this was a 2.40:1 (or so) formatted movie). The built-in Apple TV 2 preset uses a CF setting of 20 (that's a quality level you can set - the lower the number, the better the PQ theoretically, and also a faster encode time, but at the cost of a larger filesize). In this case, Handbrake's Apple TV 2 preset is supposed to automatically generate two audio tracks: One AC3 passthru track, and one mixed-down track, so as to provide compatibility with the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 as well (since they can't decode AC3 passthru). The AC3 passthru track is desirable for when hooking up your ATV2 to your A/V receiver. Because of some bug or another, it was only defaulting to create a single audio track, so I manually told it create the additional track. On the subtitle tab, I selected the VobSub subtitle track, and told it to "burn in" the subtitle, which means that during the encoding process it will actually merge the subtitle info with the video info. This means you can't turn off the subtitles when watching the movie, but in the case of forced subs, you wouldn't want to do that anyway, and burned-in subs should theoretically provide better cross-platform compatibility for these files.

So how long did it take Handbrake to convert 10 minutes worth of the movie into an ATV2-friendly 720p file using my new (refurbed) Intel i7-2600 desktop w/8GB of RAM? 5 minutes 47 secs. If that rate stays relatively constant, that would mean that a 120 minute movie could be converted in approximately 70 minutes. Obviously, you have to add in the time for the initial MakeMKV rip, and potentially added time (listed above) to demux/convert/remux forced subtitles. I could speed up the MakeMKV ripping time by purchasing a BD-ROM drive with faster read speeds. Anyways, I'm very excited about this. Note: The added steps/apps required to demux/convert/remux the subtitles seemed a bit overwhelming at first, but it was actually quite easy. Of course, it would be ideal if MakeMKV and/or Handbrake would handle these steps, but for now I think I can deal with it when needed.

I still have to try out different Handbrake settings to see what I like best, but my biggest dilemma now is whether I should stick with out-of-the-box ATV2 (and iPhone 4 and iPad 2) compatibility, or if I should turn it up a notch and keep the movies at 1080p (but still convert them with Handbrake so as to get the filesizes down to 7GB or less). If I go that route, I can still play them on the ATV2 via XBMC (or Plex, or aTV Flash), and I can *hopefully* play them on the next-gen ATV, whenever that comes out (I'm personally skeptical that there will be a new ATV released this year). The reason I mention converting the 1080p movies to a size below 7GB is because I'm assuming that should be plenty big to maintain a high degree of picture quality at 1080p, while also remaining within the buffer storage size of the ATV2, so that I should be able to reliably stream them over WiFi.

Scott R
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I'd much rather watch a great movie in B&W at 240 lines of resolution than a lousy movie in 1080p with lossless audio.
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post #913 of 3178 Old 08-02-2011, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayhem13 View Post

...
As for iTunes as a music/movie server for Apple Tv's, it's great. It simply just works all of the time. No need to turn on a TV/Monitor either with an available iTouch/Pad/Phone running the REMOTE app with full cover art/track listing and catalog searching. And there's APPS coming for the ATV in 4th quarter 2011 so the sky's the limit for this little box. .....no blue ray though as the file size just doesn't make sense to me. Got a Sony 400 disc BD changer for that instead.

I wish there was an itouch/iphone/ipad app interface for the Sony 400 BD changer.
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post #914 of 3178 Old 08-02-2011, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nlpearman View Post

Redskin,

Do you have an iPod Touch/iPhone?

Also, be aware that the Apple TV requires a PC running iTunes ON for steaming your library (if you want to stream your entire library).

As much as I love my Apple TV and think it's the best media purchase I've ever made, I dislike having to have my laptop running for streaming, especially since all my files are on a Windows Home Server. The Apple TV will NOT read files off of a NAS or anything like that.

Yes, there needs to be [should be] a background "service" running so that you don't have to run itunes all the time.
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post #915 of 3178 Old 08-02-2011, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayMan007 View Post

Yes, there needs to be [should be] a background "service" running so that you don't have to run itunes all the time.

Perhaps this is a Windows problem but I don't see your point. Whether you have some service running or iTunes running, something has to stream the files to the ATV.
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post #916 of 3178 Old 08-02-2011, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodosom View Post

Perhaps this is a Windows problem but I don't see your point. Whether you have some service running or iTunes running, something has to stream the files to the ATV.

I think his issue is that it HAS to be iTunes, whereas most of his media is on a NAS.

For me, ATV2 is perfect as all of our media is in iTunes.

Money does not buy happiness. It can, however, buy you a giant boat that you can pull up alongside happiness. - David Lee Roth

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post #917 of 3178 Old 08-02-2011, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodosom View Post

Perhaps this is a Windows problem but I don't see your point. Whether you have some service running or iTunes running, something has to stream the files to the ATV.

Agreed.
If it was a service, I could have it launch by itself at start-up.
- since windows seems to want to update and reboot about once a week.
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post #918 of 3178 Old 08-02-2011, 10:50 AM
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Is anybody here dumping there apple tv for google tv ?
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post #919 of 3178 Old 08-02-2011, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayMan007 View Post

Agreed.
If it was a service, I could have it launch by itself at start-up.
- since windows seems to want to update and reboot about once a week.

So adding iTunes to the Startup folder doesn't start it at boot time? I don't use Windows so I can only guess. Perhaps AirFoil can run as a service.
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post #920 of 3178 Old 08-02-2011, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodosom View Post

So adding iTunes to the Startup folder doesn't start it at boot time? I don't use Windows so I can only guess. Perhaps AirFoil can run as a service.

That's what I do. Works great! Just drag an iTunes shortcut to the Startup folder and you're good to go.
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post #921 of 3178 Old 08-02-2011, 12:02 PM
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post #922 of 3178 Old 08-02-2011, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwebb1970 View Post


I think his issue is that it HAS to be iTunes, whereas most of his media is on a NAS.

For me, ATV2 is perfect as all of our media is in iTunes.

His media seems to be on a WHS and that can run iTunes as a service. The whole NAS thing is a bit deceptive. Even they are running some service such as a cifs or afp clone. Given that you can get a PC or a Mac Mini that uses a similar amount of energy and costs less than a good NAS then there seems little point unless you get a really high end NAS ( which is expensive) or an inexpensive NAS such as a DNS 323. A WHS is a great alternative to a NAS and the ATV2 works great with it.

I have a Drobo FS which is way more expensive than a Mac Mini and it has caused endless hassles with netatalk and smb since I moved to Lion. My WHS on the other hand keeps humming away. I am having real doubts about the point of these Linux based NAS devices.

Philip
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post #923 of 3178 Old 08-02-2011, 03:34 PM
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In case any of you are looking to convert your Blu-ray discs into ATV2-compatible 720p MP4 files, here are some test results I recently got (Intel i7-2600 w/8GB of RAM). Note that the "faster", "veryfast", etc. notations are referring to some added tweaks that can be made in the Advanced tab of Handbrake (see more details on this thread in the Handbrake forums):

The Incredibles

1) MakeMKV: 35 mins (plus approx 2 mins to scan, select options)

2) MKVextract: Instantaneous (no subtitle data to extract)

3) Handbrake (2nd AC3 passthru track, AppleTV 2 preset):

Test 0: RF 0 (lossless)
- 39 fps (approx 74 mins for a 2 hr movie)
- 2,967,029 (approx 34.8 GB)
* file unplayable on ATV2

Test 1: RF 20
- 46.8 fps (approx 62 mins for a 2 hr movie)
- 268,477 (approx 3.1 GB)

Test 2: RF 16 - veryfast
- 88.4 fps (approx 33 mins for a 2 hr movie)
- 397,815 KB (approx 4.7 GB)

Test 3: RF 18 - veryfast
- 89.5 fps (approx 32 mins for a 2 hr movie)
- 322,156 KB (approx 3.8 GB)

Test 4: RF 16 - superfast
- 96.5 fps (approx 30 mins for a 2 hr movie)
- 641,922 KB (approx 7.5 GB)

Test 5: RF 18 - superfast
- 98.1 fps (approx 29 mins for a 2 hr movie)
- 481,521 KB (approx 5.6 GB)

Test 6: RF 18 - faster
- 68.2 fps (approx 42 mins for a 2 hr movie)
- 320,357 KB (approx 3.8 GB)

Test 7: RF 18 - fast
- 48.4 fps (approx 60 mins for a 2 hr movie)
- 327,774 KB (approx 3.8 GB)

Test 8: RF 18
- 43.6 fps (approx 66 mins for a 2 hr movie)
- 323,382 KB (approx 3.8 GB)

The end result for all files looked pretty much identical to my eyes. So then you have to decide what your priorities are (encoding speed and/or resulting filesize). The refurbed HP Pavilion HPE-577c (Intel i7-2600) I scored for $600 looks to have been a good investment.

Scott R
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I'd much rather watch a great movie in B&W at 240 lines of resolution than a lousy movie in 1080p with lossless audio.
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post #924 of 3178 Old 08-02-2011, 07:52 PM
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Thanx for the update Scott. Those rip/covert times look impressive and as my network and media library expands, it's starting to make some sense to build the iTunes PC i've been thinking of. The GUI of the ATV is so nice, so smooth and easy to navigate it's hard to even be critical of the 720p limit. At 15ft viewing distance in my HT, i doubt anyone would notice anyway, Maybe as the holiday season rolls around and the i7's come down in price i'll give it a whirl....as long as nothing else comes along.
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post #925 of 3178 Old 08-03-2011, 06:17 AM
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Anyone know why Recently Watched disappeared from my Netflix on the Apple TV? If that's a permanent move I am going to be pissed. I used that for series. I am sick of Netflix getting rid of things just because you don't use the service like they want you too.
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post #926 of 3178 Old 08-03-2011, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone know why Recently Watched disappeared from my Netflix on the Apple TV?

Did you update the current iOS version? I suppose it's possible that it's an Apple change.
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post #927 of 3178 Old 08-03-2011, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
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Did you update the current iOS version? I suppose it's possible that it's an Apple change.

Yes, I did update it the day before yesterday, but I'm almost positive that night (after the update) it was there.
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post #928 of 3178 Old 08-03-2011, 07:26 AM
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I'm not sure but when I get some time I can test. I have the original AppleTV with the hard drive in it that might be able to stream your iTunes music without a computer being on. I know it is setup to sync to my computer with all my music on it so it has all the same music on it.

T
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post #929 of 3178 Old 08-03-2011, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT2 View Post

I'm not sure but when I get some time I can test. I have the original AppleTV with the hard drive in it that might be able to stream your iTunes music without a computer being on. I know it is setup to sync to my computer with all my music on it so it has all the same music on it.

T

Sure you can load an ATV1 full of music. whether it fits on the HD is another story.

Sean
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post #930 of 3178 Old 08-03-2011, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT2 View Post

I have the original AppleTV with the hard drive in it that might be able to stream your iTunes music without a computer being on.

Streaming owned music requires a remote source, otherwise it's not streaming it's being an iPod. For now that source an AirPlay "client". I'm sure in the future iCloud will be an AirPlay client.
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