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Two Macbook's, Airport Extreme, External HD setup??


Jerboa
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Hello....I hope this question is in the correct area of the forum.

 

I'm looking for advice regarding the setup of the "computer side" of my audio setup. Here's my situation:

 

There are two of us using this setup. We currently have one Macbook Pro (MBP) and second MBP ordered and en route. We need to remain somewhat portable as we will have a couple of long-distance moves in the next 2 years. Both of us also require the daily portability...hence the dual MBP's. I have contemplated the addition of an Apple Mini, but unless necessary I would like to use both of the MBP's. I also have an Airport Extreme for the network and an external 1TB HD (networked via USB into the Extreme). I also have an Ipod and 3G Iphone...I would like to use ITunes to Rip/sync/play the shared collection.

 

For a short while the music will be played from the pathetic MBP speakers, but I am planning for a "sweet" audio setup as well. Starting with a sweet Headphone setup (DAC, headphone Amp, Headphones), then speakers (perhaps DAC/Amp/Speakers etc, or ADM9.1's). Again, I am thinking relative portability and we do live in a small condo. My biggest concern is to be setup from scratch...and be prepared the best I can. I would like to and "add" to the computer and audio system as I go along, but setup the computer side first. This is all new to me, I have so many questions...perhaps one at a time...I digress...

 

I have decided to start from scratch by ripping my collection to the Shared External HD with ITunes, in AIFF format. I would like both of the MBP's to be able to access and play the music on the shared external HD (only one at a time when wireless or "docked" at home). Athough I would like to rip the AIFF files to the external, I would NOT like to eat up the internal HD space on the MBP's with duplicate AIFF's. Also, I will have to Sync with my IPhone and Ipod...and I don't think AIFF makes sense for this.

 

I have ITunes preferences set to import the freshly ripped CD's as AIFF to the Shared External HD and have unchecked (turned off) the "copy files to ITunes Music folder when adding to library". I assume that will give me one single copy of the ripped files...to be located on the external HD?

 

Questions:

 

1) Will both MBP's (with separate user accounts, therefore separate ITunes accounts) be able to access and playback (wirelessly) the music on the shared external HD? (Only one computer at a time, never both simultaneously)

 

2) Does this plan seem reasonable? I am open to your suggestions, although I am starting to rip to the external HD as I await the arrival of the second MBP...

 

More questions will follow...thanks so much for your input!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I would create two libraries on each MBP, which you can do by holding Shift as you open iTunes.

 

One library for the network drive, and the other library for the local drive.

 

The reason for this is that if you are out with your MBP and open iTunes not collected to the LAN where your music is, you'll just see a load of errors as the files will not be available.

 

 

 

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answers are yes, yes, and yes.

 

Very reasonable, and doable.

 

You may want to consider creating compressed versions of some playlists/songs on your MBP local drive for use on your individual iPhones and/or iPods. I use LAME encoder for this - albeit the 'insane' setting (which is the least compressed option).

 

I'm not sure how the new non-DRM features impact purchased songs that are subject to DRM, but it's a relatively simple matter to 'authorize' playback of one another's purchased songs on additional computers. There's a popup box the first time you try to play an iTunes DRM-protected song - you'll need the iTunes account/password of the purchaser.

 

So, no issues (that I'm aware of) with using the separate iTunes account. DRM issues may disappear entirely if songs are upgraded to iTunes Plus? I think I heard that recently.

 

You could even maintain separate iTunes libraries and still allow each other access to one another's music by turning on the 'sharing' feature in iTunes. note: this would require the other iTunes library to be up and running at the time of use of shared library.

 

Perhaps the simplest approach is just to add all music to each (instance of) the itunes local library, which allows each MBP to play all songs. You can easily remove items from one library without deleting the file on the external HD.

 

Hope this is helpful,

clay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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