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One way to watch videos from external drives on AppleTV Other Hardware
I found the following very helpful, as I have too many videos to keep it on my internal hard drive. So what I wanted to accomplish was to keep all my videos on an external drive, but still be able to watch them through my AppleTV.

The problem is that AppleTV can only read files through iTunes (or by making a physical hack to your AppleTV). I came up with a very simple solution. First, I made sure all of my videos were on the external drive. Then, in the Finder, I went to that drive, selected all the videos, held down Command and Option, and drag and dropped them onto iTunes. Even if iTunes doesn't show you the little arrow indicating that it is going to make a shortcut to those files, it will do so.

After doing this, iTunes and AppleTV will want to sync. Cancel the sync, and then go to your movies in iTunes and uncheck them -- this way, you will be sure iTunes won't try to sync them again.

In your AppleTV, go to Sources and find your computer. (I assume your are trying to read the files from the same computer you use to synchronize to AppleTV. If not, you have to have previously authorized it to use with AppleTV.) Now you will see there all of your media. I am using an Apple AirPort (the one with the UFO form factor) in an 802.11g network, and it works great to stream videos from my external drive through iTunes.

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one, and there may be other ways of accomplishing this trick -- and now that I know how to get my AppleTV working properly with my router, I will be testing this later.]
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One way to watch videos from external drives on AppleTV
Authored by: keytohwy on Apr 30, '07 07:51:24AM

I accomplished the same thing by setting iTunes to NOT copy files into the iTunes folder when adding files (iTunes>prefs>Advanced). This way, all of the files are on a separate drive, and iTunes sees them, as does AppleTV. I sync a couple (workout videos my wife uses regularly) and the rest I stream. Leaves plenty of room for music and photos on the AppleTV.



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One way to watch videos from external drives on AppleTV
Authored by: stewzie10000 on Apr 30, '07 12:21:30PM

I tried this hint as an easier way to add movies to my iTunes library. This is a nice shortcut becayse it avoid having to go into preferences to uncheck the "keep organized" and "copy items to library" if you want to add something to your library without copying/storing it on your main drive.

The only problem I had was that the shortcut did not work if you drag the items with command-option onto the iTunes icon in the dock (it will copy the files per the preferences). It only works if you hold down command-option and drag the files onto the iTunes window (minimized or full size).

Thanks for this great hint! Very helpful to me.



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One way to watch videos from external drives on AppleTV
Authored by: mozart111 on Apr 30, '07 11:08:31AM

Bummer. This doesn't work with a movie stored on a USB drive connected to the Airport N. I'll create the alias on my MacBook Pro desktop. It is an alias too. Wth the arrow. If I then drag that alias into iTunes, the whole movie is copied back to iTunes. If I create an alias with the Apple & Option key and directly drag that onto iTunes bypassing the desktop, the same thing happens. The movie is copied.

I guess this hint will only work on an external drive directly attached to the computer.



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One way to watch videos from external drives on AppleTV
Authored by: brownrecluse on Apr 30, '07 12:09:54PM

I tried and errored quite a bit of things, my main problem was trying to use a USB2 external drive attached to my G5, but once I switched to a Firewire drive it has worked perfectly ever since! I spoke with the apple tech folks and they have had a LOT of trouble with people trying to stream from USB drives so they are recommending Firewire.

I also setup a WIRED network from my apple tv to my router, this also caused the movies to start streaming faster. Plus, I live in the mountains and my internet connection goes down frequently, so with a wired network I can still watch movies when my internet is down.

Brown.Recluse



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One way to watch videos from external drives on AppleTV
Authored by: parel on Apr 30, '07 06:46:22PM

Just to clarify i did this with a Macbook Pro and a USB2 external HDD. The buffer is no more than 2 or 3 seconds to stream video.

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Knowledge belongs to people



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One way to watch videos from external drives on AppleTV
Authored by: roys40 on Jan 19, '12 10:39:56PM

can you explain me again how can i do this
because when i try to copy the movies - nothing happened....



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