When is version 3 of iHomeServer being released?

We are just finalising the user guide and adding support for streaming of your iTunes music and videos to additional DLNA devices (more brands of TVs). So version 3 of iHomeServer will be available to everyone within a couple of weeks. Just to remind you of the key new features in iHomeServer version 3: Automatic ripping of DVD into your iTunes library Update your iTunes metadata on any device Streaming of your iTunes music and videos using DLNA to Smart TVs, Windows RT Surface (using our rtRemote product available in the Windows app store), Android Smart Phones,  and many many more. Streaming of your iTunes music and videos over the internet while away from home – on holiday, at work, wherever – with the ability to select a suitable transcoding option for lower bandwidth connections Identifies which episodes in a TV series you have not already watched Plus all the great features already in iHomeServer version 2: Create multiple “Watch Folders” to synchr... [More]

New version of rtRemote for iTunes is available in the app store now

We recently released an update of our Windows Store app for remotely controlling your iTunes library directly from the Windows 8 interface. The update adds support for new Windows 8.1 features such as the in-app search bar, new app size modes, improved network compatibility as well as some bug fixes. rtRemote is the only app available for Windows 8 that provides similar functionality of the Apple Remote app for iOS devices – it turns your Windows Surface, PC or laptop (inc Windows RT) into a remote control for your iTunes library. So wherever you are at home, you can use your Windows 8 device to browse through your iTunes library, select a song or movie and play your music / films / etc to play on your Apple TV or AirPlay compatible speaker(s).   This release of rtRemote also includes a new killer feature called ‘Play Here’ that will let you stream your iTunes media library music and video directly to your Surface or other Windows 8 device – this unique fu... [More]

iHomeServer Pre-Release Available - 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]

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]

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.


How to use iHomeServer with network drives or DriveBender disk pools

We have had quite a few users recently who have been unable to get iHomeServer to index content on network drives or local DriveBender storage pools.  The symptoms of this are that you can add and view files in iTunes that are stored on a remote / network or DriveBender drive when you are running iTunes interactively, however, when you run iTunes via iHomeServer then you can no longer add new content and existing content may not be available within iTunes.  Some users have also had problems seeing cover art and other metadata when they have pointed their iTunes to an iTunes library on a network drive.  You may see these symptoms immediately, or after a reboot or even intermittedly. We posted a blog post a while ago about File Not Found errors similar issues and it is the same root cause problem here. Windows Services cannot reliably see mapped network drives.  There are many Microsoft articles explaining why, but in essence, any network drive letter is tied to a Win... [More]

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

How to synchronise your iTunes purchases from one iTunes to another iTunes

When you set up a brand new iTunes media server, you will typically be starting with a blank media library. Many people will also have another copy of iTunes, say, on a laptop, and they'll use this one to download new content the iTunes store. How can your server and laptop iTunes installations talk together?

One of the simplest methods is to use iTunes "Home Sharing". This blog shows how to set this up to copy your existing media from your iTunes laptop to your iTunes media server and set up your media server to automatically pull new purchases from your iTunes laptop


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.


12 Ways to Make an Airport Express More Reliable

So you've built a multi-room AirPlay setup; an Airport Express in every room hooked to a killer amp.  It's all working just great, but then just as you're about to woo the girl of your dreams by playing "Wonderful Tonight" simultaneously in every room of the house, you get the dreaded 'drop-out' or worse still, 'Bedroom Speakers' disappears from the speakers menu of your iPhone Remote App!

This post gives some hints and tips about how to get AirPlay working better, without dropouts so you get glitch free audio and video