Computer: After the first year of test usage, what functions of iTunes Match make sense for me?

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iTunes Match: The First Year

Since one year I now have my iTunes match subscription (without automatic prologation).

My onriginal and primary intent was to “legalize” my somewhat grown collection of single MP3 songs.

I also wanted to try iTunes match and gather experience, which functionality might be useful for me for the next years (switching from “Test Mode” to “Production Mode”).

iTunes Match: Experience with Functionality

  • Legalize old MP3 Collections: Works good
  • Purchase some “missing” songs for my collection: Yes I did this a few times (iTunes Store)
  • “Upgrade” MP3 songs from my CD collection to AAC digital quality: works good
  • “Upgrade” MP3 songs from Vinyl records to digital quality: did work only for a very few number of songs
  • Backup: Apples iCloud as a safe backup for my songs (5000 songs, 25 GB): This is a very valuable function, since it’s a near real time remote backup i.e. in Apple’s “iCloud” (precondition: you must use iTunes as your song library!)
  • Remote access to iCloud: see below

iTunes: Access to Songs in iCloud

Remote Access: When I’m away from home, I have easily access to my songs with Apple mobile devices like iPhone and iPad.

For my mobile notebook computer (Windows 7) I decided not to make a local copy of all of my song files (5000 songs, 25 GB), but to try a connection via the internet to my iCloud. This was not so easy. The documentation for this sceario is difficult and sometimes wrong. Apple repeatedly ignores Windows Notebooks when talking about “mobile devides” – focussing on iPhone and iPad only….

What worked for me is:

  1. Installing iTunes latest version on my mobile Windows 7 notebook.
  2. Connected iTunes to the Apple Store: This made available my purchased songs (quite a few) but not all the other songs I have in iCoud
  3. Only after I activated “Turn On iTunes Match” in iTunes (Menue: Store > iTunes Match) I could see all my songs in iTunes on my mobile Windows notebook. iTunes did not ask for an extra subscription of iTUnes Match, but automatically used my exisiting iTunes Match account.
  4. This is not “Steaming Audio”. the songs from iCloud are effectrively downloaded and replay starts early (AAC and MP3 ?)

iCloud Control Panel for Windows

I also installed iCloud Control Panel 2.1.1 for Windows on my mobile notebook, but am not sure, if this was necessary for the access to the songs in iCloud – since Apple only talks about “Fotostreams”, “Favorites” and “Outlook” – what I realy do not need in the Cloud.

 

Computer: Windows Home Server 2011

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Mein Windows Home Server 2011

Unboxing & Installation

  • Today my HP Proliant Micro Server N40L arrived.
  • This N40L has preinstalled 4GB of RAM and a DVD drive.
  • Microsift Windows Home Server 2011 was bundled but not preinstalled.
  • So the only thing I had to do for starting is to install at least one Fixed Drive.
  • Connecting the power cord, a USB keyboard and a VGA display, then inserting the Home Server DVD and the installation starts.
  • At the end of the installation I am warned, not to use the server as a normal workstation, but through a so called “Dashboard”.
  • I should now connect all my client computers with the new server by typing “http://proliant/connect”
  • When I do this, I am asked to download a “ComputerConnector” for my client….

Main Functions

  • Dashboard
  • Backups of Client PCs
  • Remote Access
  • DLNA Streamer (DLNA 1.5)

Differences WHS 2011 zum Vorgänger

  • Dateisystem
  • Funktion “Ordner Duplizierung” ist weg, dafür gibt es jetzt “Shadow Copies” und eine Server-Sicherung mit der Möglichkeit eines Zeitplans)

Server Backup

  • Sicherungs-Job einrichten:
  • Server-Manager –> Speicher –> Windows Server Sicherung
  • Chose “Bare Metal Recovery”
  • Backup Format is called “VHD”. It’s used for Server backup and Client backup. Backup files are not in the original file format

Dashboard

Ist der Ersatz für die alte “Home Server Konsole”

Client Connection

  • Needs to be installed on each and every Client PC.
  • Is called “Launchpad” (old name: “Connector”)

Remote Access

Auf dem HomeServer das “Dashboard” (früher: Konsole) aufrufen.

Dort “Remotewebzugriff einrichten” anklicken und nacheinander:

  1. Router Einrichten
  2. Domänenname. Einrichten
  3. Websiteeinstellungen. Anpassen.

Das automatische Einrichten des Routers setzt UPnP beim Router voraus. Wenn der Router das nicht kann (z.B. SpeedPort W921V) muss man dies manuell auf dem Router selbst vornehmen.

Als Domänenname wird https://xxxxx.homeserver.com/ eingestellt. unter diesem Namen ist dann der HomeServer aus dem Internet erreichbar…. Wenn alles richtig eingestellt wurde….

Einrichtung des Routers ohne UPnP

Port-Weiterleitungen vom Router auf den HomeServer: 80, 443, 4125

Folgende Port-Weiterleitungen habe ich nun manuell auf dem SpeedPort W921V eingerichtet:

  • Router 8080 –> HomeServer 80
  • Router 443 –> HomeServer 443
  • Router 4125 –> HomeServer 4125

Und nun funktioniert der Zugriff auf den HomeServer (und auch das dort installierte ownCloud) von außerhalb.

Mit einer “Port-Weiterleitung” schaltet der SpeedPort auch automatisch die angegebenen Router-Ports geöffnet.

Kauf eines Routers mit UPnP

Z.B. FritzBox 7390

Einrichten Medien-Streaming auf WHS

Der Windows-Home-Server enthält einen DLNA-Server.

Shared Folders: Music, Pictures, Videos

WHS-Dashboard  –> Read-Zugriff für alle auf diese Folder

Inhalte in diese Ordner kopieren (z.B. MP3-Songs, Videos etc.)

Activate the “Media Server”

Enable “Media Library Sharing” on the folders

WHS-Dashboard –> Server Settings –> Media Tabs