iTunes Integration Strategies
I am new to Vortexbox and looking to see how we could use these as media servers in a custom installation environment. I know there are devices out there aimed at the resi CI market that are based on VB (e.g. media servers from TranquilPC here in the UK) but I like to understand what is going on under the surface.
The main question I have is how best to handle iTunes integration. 99.9% of our customers use iOS devices and download a lot of music. Of course it is straightforward to point the iTunes lib at the mp3 folder in VB but what about LMS? Is there anyway of getting downloaded music automatically copied into a sub folder of the flac folder so LMS can pick it up?
I am more than happy to play with different rippers, players, download from sites in flac (e.g. bleep.com) but the vast majority of my customers are not and they just want to get to their music quickly and easily with the minimum number of technical hurdles possible. I want to sell them a nice solution based around Linn, Squeezebox or Sonos but need to ensure that once their CDs are ripped we can handle the download side as easily.
What are the best strategies for achieving this?
MediaRover will copy the iTunes tracks to your VortexBox as soon as they are downloaded to iTunes. Works great.
Hi Andrew, thanks for the reply but I am not sure this really solves the problem.
As I see it, if I have one or more iTunes libraries located on on local computers then MediaRover with aggregate these into a single file store and sync the changes. This file store would be (for example) /files/music/flac/musicrover so that LMS can find it. This would contain files in whatever format they had been added to the iTunes library (mp3, aiff, apple lossless etc.)
If I have a nice clean VB install with all my CDs ripped to flac and mirrored to mp3/apple lossless then recreate an iTunes library from the mp3 files then I am copying those files from the VB store to the local iTunes library (which could be actually on the VB hard drive if I chose it to be). I then mirror that library back to the VB drive int the MR file store. Surely I now have my CD collection duplicated as MP3 files under my flac folder just so any further files added into iTunes can get back to VB and be presented to LMS?
Am I missing something?
The "bigger picture" problem is one that no one has really solved. A music library in a modern household is actually a union of music that has come from different sources, in different formats, requires playback on different devices, is managed at the client end by different software on different platforms and quite possibly is owned by different people (e.g. different family members). There is no way of managing the various workflows in a technically abstract, cross platform way.
MR is good about converting everything to mp3 so you wouldn't have the other formats but yes if you copied your files over to iTunes then copied them back you would have dupes. I guess the best solution would be to only point LMS at the MR directory.
This requires a little prep time, but it's not hard. Take a look at this guide:
I've done a lot of work on integrating iTunes and a VortexBox, in particular with multiple user accounts - take a look at my post (#38) on another forum:
If there is interest I can work this up into a VB-specific wiki page.