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iHomeServer FAQ

Bizmodeller iHomeServer for iTunes is software that makes running iTunes on a Windows home server a painless experience. It allows iTunes to run without user intervention as a background service and manages iTunes so that it behaves when running on a dedicated computer that you want to use as a headless media server. It integrates seemlessly into Windows Home Server (both v1 and v2011) to allow you to manage iTunes, your iTunes library and your iTunes playlists directly from within the WHS Console/Dashboard.
Because iTunes is rapidly becoming the centre of many people's media worlds! When you want to stream music or video from your computers iTunes to your iPhone or iPod, you don't want to have to first go to your computer, log on, fire up iTunes, make sure it's playlists are all up to date, and then go back to your iPhone to play a single song. iHomeServer for iTunes makes iTunes "always on", "always there", "always up to date".

iHomeServer for iTunes keeps iTunes running in the background even if no user is logged into the computer, or if you logout and your children log in instead. Even after a power cut, iTunes will restart when your computer starts back up. iHomeServer gets around all the problems you might have when running iTunes on a server. For example, it allows iTunes to run on computers that don't have sound cards. It also provides easy ways of getting new media into iTunes without you having to log on to the server's desktop and add content manually. iHomeServer for iTunes is perfect for installing iTunes on a dedicated server/desktop with no sound card or monitor needed, ideal to keep iTunes running unattended in an attic or basement out of site but still running the heart of your home entertainment system.
iHomeServer is ideal for running iTunes on either Windows Home Server v1 or Windows Home Server 2011 as the iHomeServer add-in is integrated directly into these Operating Systems. iHomeServer will also run on most other Windows Operating Systems and is available in 32-bit or 64-bit native images. When running on non-WHS environments, the iHomeServer Management Console is installed in your Start menu to allow you to manage iTunes.
You can a free trial version of iHomeServer here. The trial will run for 30 days after which time you will need to a license code through this link
If you have already purchased a license key for iHomeServer v1, you can upgrade to iHomeServer v2 for free. Please ensure you completely uninstall iHomeServer v1 through 'Add/Remove Programs' prior to installing iHomeServer v2. Please note that your configuration will not be maintained across the upgrade therefore you will need to re-add your Watch Folders and iHomeServer will reindex your content the first time it is run.

On Windows Home Server 2011, this usually means one of the installation pre-requisites has not been reached. Some things to check:

- if you are a iHomeServer v1 user did you uninstall v1 before attempting to install iHomeServer v2? If not, please uninstall it by logging onto your server via RDP and uninstalling iHomeServer from Add/Remove Programs.

- do you have Microsoft .NET 3.5 installed?

If you are still unsure what's wrong, please review the installation log file. This file can be found at C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Server\Logs\iHomeServerConsole64.log. If you are still unsure, please email the log to [email protected] where we can assist you further.

iHomeServer is perfect for Windows Home Servers, even those without a sound card. However no server is necessary! iHomeServer for iTunes can equally be installed on the spare old Windows XP machine you have in the basement, a normal desktop computer used by all the family or a dedicated media server powering your homes audio/video streaming!
Absolutely! Whilst normal iTunes, by itself, will only "watch" for new media added to a single local folder, iHomeServer allows any number of "watch folders" to be configured, all of which will be frequently scanned for new content. "watch folders" can point to local folders or remote windows/samba shares on NAS drives or other file servers. Just be aware that you have to access your remote drive using a UNC file naming convention (eg \\Server\Folder) rather than a mapped drive letter. For more information, please see our blog post on this subject.
iHomeServer makes it easy to add new content to your server. With iHomeServer you can specify multiple 'watch folders' that contain all your media. iHomeServer will then keep iTunes in-sync with these watch folders. Typically, users create folders for Music, Movies, TV programmes, etc, and then share these folders on their network. Then adding new media is as simple as dragging and dropping new media into these shares. iHomeServer will monitor the Watch Folers and add new content to iTunes. iHomeServer for iTunes allows watch folders to be either local or remote/network/nas folders, again increasing your possibilities for media storage. The other great benefit is that if you are running Windows Home Server, you can keep your media in the default WHS folders to allow access from Windows Media streaming clients and use iHomeServer to point iTunes to these same folders for access from your iOS / AirPlay devices!
A sound card is only necessary if you want to play music on your actual computer's sound card! Most iHomeServer for iTunes users solely stream content to other devices eg Apple TV, iPhones, iPads or AirPlay speakers. In this case, no sound card needs to be installed if you are using a current version of iTunes. iHomeServer will automatically dismiss the warning message you would normally receive when running in such a configuration and allow iTunes to start normally. Read this article to explain how it works.
Absolutely - because iHomeServer runs on top of iTunes, all the useful bits of iTunes are still available. iHomeServer just manages these functions to make them ideal for running on a standalone Windows media server or WHS. So AirPlay, iCloud sync, Wifi sync all work with iTunes running under iHomeServer.
iHomeServer runs on top of iTunes and relies on iTunes APIs to function. iHomeServer was last fully tested on iTunes and works well with any 10.x or 11.x version up to this release. We cannot guarantee compatibility with every future version of iTunes, however, we strive to test iHomeServer with each new release as soon as it is available. We recommend not upgrading your iTunes installation until we have re-tested iHomeServer with that version in order to not risk any compatibility issues.
Please ensure you have correctly configured iTunes using the account that you specified during installation and that the account you specified in iTunes matches the account you use for Home Sharing on your iOS device. Please read this topic in our User Guide for further information.
There are now two iHomeServer log files. Both are created under the following folder on your server:

C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\iHomeServer (for WHSv2011, Win2008, Vista and Win7), or
C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\Application Data\iHomeServer (for all other Operating Systems)

The iHomeServer.log file is the main log file created by the iHomeServer service (which does all media scanning and iTunes operationg). The iHomeServerConsole.log file logs any errors in the Console / WHS Add-in functionality
Yes! iHomeServer for iTunes fully supports iTunes Home Sharing AirPlay functionality to stream songs to your iOS/AirPlay device or allow your iOS device to remote control iTunes using the "Remote" app available from the Apple AppStore.
iHomeServer for iTunes will attempt to index the following file types within your selected watch folders:


If you have Handbrake installed, then iHomeServer for iTunes will optionally attempt to convert the following file types into iTunes friendly file formats:

.avi,.mkv,.ts,.mpg,.flv,.ogm,.swf,.wmv,.xvid plus DVD and BluRay discs
As long as you move then to a folder that is still a subfolder of your watched folders, then iHomeServer for iTunes will reindex the moved file. If you have setup the Watch Folder to remove deleted tracks, then iHomeServer will automatically clean up iTunes reference to the original file.
Metadata can be updated directly within the iHomeServer console/WHS add-in. If you are running Windows Home Server, this will be installed as an additional Addin tab. To edit a track's metadata, simply double click it in either the Watch Folder view or the iTunes view, or right click the track and select 'Get Info'. This will bring up the metadata edit window. Note that you can select multiple files and bulk set metadata. You can also set the selected track's cover art by choosing a new image or by copy-and-pasting from your desktop to your WHS Dashboard.
As new audio media is added by iHomeServer for iTunes, iTunes will automatically add any cover art as required. Cover art can also be updated from within the iHomeServer Console or Add-in for WHS. double click it in either the Watch Folder view or the iTunes view, or right click the track and select 'Get Info'. You can now paste in new cover art from your clipboard (you can even paste in cover art you copied from your host PC's clipboard) or click to browse your WHS server for new cover art. These changes will be reflected immediately within iTunes. iHomeServer for iTunes will also detect changes in cover art made by third-party metadata tools and update iTunes so that all your content stays up to date.

Of course, that is one of the main uses for iHomeServer for iTunes. Ensure that iTunes has been correctly configured to participate in your iTunes Home Sharing network by following these instructions on how to stream media to your AirPlay devices

When you set up your iTunes installation (by following these instructions), you should have specified a name for your iTunes library, and ensured it is in the same iTunes Home Sharing network.

Turn in home sharing on your iOS device (in the Settings screen). Your iOS iPod or Videos feature will now allow you to see your iTunes library. Please see our user manual for more information on how to stream media to your iOS device.
When you create your iHomeServer Watch Folder, you can tell iHomeServer to remove any tracks from iTunes that are no longer available on the file system. If you have already set up a Watch Folder, select it in the iHomeServer console, click Edit and then check the option to "Automatically cleanup orphaned iTunes tracks".
Absolutely - even those not indexed by iHomeServer. To do this, log into the iHomeServer console / add-in (for WHS users). Click the "iTunes View" tab. You should now see your iTunes playlists down the left hand-side. Right-click whichever playlist contains your media and choose 'Delete orphaned tracks'.
Yes. iHomeServer for iTunes is fully compatible with iTunes friendly video files. Your watch folders will be searched for new video media and new files will be added to iTunes ready for streaming to your iPhone, iPod, iPad or Apple TV.
iTunes is quite fussy that the video type metadata tag is set to TV before it will regard a media file as a TV episode. Some video tagging programs do not seem to tag this correctly. The iHomeServer allows you to mark a "watch folder" as only containing TV episodes.

If you have marked a folder in this way, any video file found in this folder or it's subfolders will be forced to be regarded as a TV episode within iTunes regardless of it's metadata.