Support for Windows 8 and Windows Server Essentials 2012

Just a quick post to let you all know that we are actively working on some exciting developments and approximate timescales for up and coming releases. Those of you who have used Windows Home Server as your server platform will no doubt have heard the news that Microsoft is ending the Windows Home Server line and instead replacing it with Windows Home Server 2012 Essentials at a much higher price.  Many users will likely migrate over to Windows 8 instead due to its significantly cheaper price point. Fortunately, iHomeServer is now supported under Windows 8 and provides an excellent platform upon which to run a standalone headless instance of iTunes on a Windows 8 based desktop or home server.  The latest version of iHomeServer (2.2.23.0 at time of writing) installs as a desktop app on Windows 8.  For those of you who have used Windows Home Server previously, the iHomeServer tabs you see in the Windows Home Server Dashboard are available under Windows 8 in a dedicate... [More]

PRB: iHomeServer may not start iTunes automatically on reboot

A minority of users have reported that iHomeServer occasionally fails to restart iTunes after a system reboot.  This appears to be restricted to a subset of users who are running iTunes 10.6.x on a slow-ish server. The current version of iHomeServer (2.1.x) waits 2.5 minutes for iTunes to start up prior to giving up.  This has been plenty of time in the past, however, the later version of iTunes starts up a bit more slowly so may affect a minority of users. Fix: If (and only if) you are suffering this issue, there is a simple workaround: Log onto the server hosting iHomeServer; Choose Start / Control Panel / Administrative Tools / Services.  Find the 'bizmodeller iHomeServer (for iTunes)' service and right-click it, select 'Properties'.  On the 'General' tab, find the 'Startup type' drop down box and select 'Automatic (Delayed Start)'; click 'OK' and close the Services window.  Next time your reboot, iHomeServer should correctly restart iTunes. Alte... [More]

iHomeServer Pre-Release Available 2.2.1.0 - internet metadata tagging, interactive iTunes launching, faster start-up time

The next major release of iHomeServer is now in feature-freeze and available from our beta/pre-release download site. Please note it is still going through additional testing; there will be a few minor releases to it before it is promoted to the main download site. Main features are: - Internet metadata lookup - plus AutoTagging of Movies and TV Series; Watch Folder AutoTagging - Interactive iTunes launch - launch full iTunes from the iHomeServer Console within your WHS RDP session - "Caching Playlists" - has been significantly sped up Download the pre-release now and let us have your feedback [More]

Internet metadata lookup for Tv / Movies - request for feedback

We are soon to be releasing an update to iHomeServer that will perform metadata queries direct from online metadata services. The feature will allow one click setting of episode / movie titles, descriptions, cover art, etc, so should save people lots of time and avoid the need for other tools in the rip-to-watch workflow. We currently have two services lined up - tagChimp and TheMovieDb.com. This post is really a request for feedback on whether iHomeServer users would like integration with any other Internet services? Let me know! Either through a comment here, email (support@bizmodeller.com) or tweet (@bizmodeller)

Availability of pre-release versions of iHomeServer

Did you know that pre-release versions of iHomeServer that include upcoming features that are still going through final testing are regularly available on our beta download page? These are available to any user who wishes to download them, although they are still subject to the same 30-day trial as the production iHomeServer release. The current features being tested include: Significantly improved handling of media when iTunes is set to "copy added media to the iTunes Media library" - no more false failures showing up Importing of iTunes Media Library XML files from other instances of iTunes - automatic matching of data with your the instance of iTunes run by iHomeServer.  iHomeServer will then update ratings, play counts, last play dates and playlist membership - this is a great easy way of copying other iTunes metadata across from a personal computer to your iTunes server without having to do a full iTunes folder migration. Ability to change the credentials of user iHomeServer... [More]

HOWTO: Manually uninstall the iHomeServer Add-in on WHSv1

It is important when upgrading any add-in on Windows Home Server v1 that you uninstall the previous version of the add-in before copying the updated add-in file to the server's add-in folder and installing any newer version. This is a long lamented and unfortunate design decision within WHSv1 which has fortunately been resolved in Windows Home Server 2011.

This blog explains how to manually uninstall iHomeServer from your server if you find yourself in this situation.

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New: WHSv1 iTunes Installer - free tool to help install iTunes on WHS v1 without Orca!

Many users will know that trying to install iTunes on Windows Home Server v1 can be a pain - they will usually be met with an error saying that the Apple Mobile Support requires Windows XP Service Pack 2 or higher which aborts the whole installation.

There are many posts on many forums which give detailed instructions on how to get around this by using Orca to edit the Apple MSIs and remove the installation launch conditions.

We have put together a small free tool that automates this into a single click. Once you have downloaded the "WHS iTunes Installer", you will be asked to point the tool to the iTunes Setup file you downloaded from the Apple Web Site (iTunesSetup.exe). The tool will then start the installation and remove the Service Pack 2 condition on-the-fly when required. There is also support for upgrades, if you use the Apple Software Updater to download iTunes instead.

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iHomeServer Version 2 - now with native Windows Home Server support - Sneak Preview!

We are pleased to announce that that we are currently in final testing of iHomeServer v2 which is a major upgrade for the iHomeServer application. This will be a free upgrade for existing registered users.

Read this post for further information about this upcoming release which includes, among other features, the following:

  • Slick User Interface - view Watch Folders, status of indexing, track data, review Cover Art, etc
  • Native integration with the WHS Management Console - support for both Windows Home Server v1 and Windows Home Server 2011
  • View your whole iTunes library and playlists directly within the Windows Home Server Console!
  • Plus many other new features ... read the post for further details
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Using iTunes on a Server without a Sound card

iTunes doesn't like running on systems without sound cards. But there are many reasons why you might want to do such a crazy thing - for example, hosting a central iTunes library using Home Sharing, or hosting an iTunes server whose only purpose in life is to AirPlay to other AirPlay devices. When you start up iTunes on a server with no sound card, you will very likely get a dialog box saying:
iTunes has detected a problem with your audio configuration.  Audio/Video playback may not operate properly.

This post shows how iHomeServer for iTunes overcomes this by monitoring iTunes dialogs in the background and automatically dismissing dialogs that can interfere with running iTunes on a server.

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