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One way to play iTunes music over the internet
Authored by: nofutureuk on Jan 09, '08 09:04:37AM

The above hint has several problems:
- requires real good upload bandwidth (with low latency from the server)
- assumes that accessing files with iTunes on a network mount is efficient
- you have to fiddle with iTunes libraries
- is sort of complicated (many steps needed)

Anyhow, I would suggest using the iTunes built-in library sharing, if possible. This means that the server must be either Mac OS X or Windows. I think it is also possible to use some sort of daap server on Linux though.

Access to the iTunes shared library can be accomplished over the internet with OpenVPN.

Advantages:
- once you have openvpn running, you basically can do anything you can do at home/LAN (including AFP)
- no fiddling with your iTunes library
- good usage of bandwidth through optimized streaming with daap (with 756kBps upstream, I get hickups with the solution from the above hint, whereas it works super-fluent with iTunes sharing)
- easy use (see the TunnelBlick OpenVPN client)

Disadvantage:
- you have to set up OpenVPN (probably on your router)



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One way to play iTunes music over the internet
Authored by: nofutureuk on Jan 09, '08 09:08:46AM

I forgot to mention a killer problem:

most people use NAT routers, so their machines won't be reachable from the internet in the first place. Instead of going for port forwarding or tunneling systems for single machines, why not setup a tunnel to your LAN at home/wherever.

That's actually the biggest reason why I chose OpenVPN: It does not introduce new problems (except of course setting it up).



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One way to play iTunes music over the internet
Authored by: romahony on Jan 09, '08 01:33:07PM

Have you ever set up iTunes sharing over VPN ?

I wasn't aware that it worked. If you have done this rather than just a theory then fine but please provide some proof of this solution as iTunes sharing works only on the same subnet.



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One way to play iTunes music over the internet
Authored by: nofutureuk on Jan 10, '08 03:01:33AM

yes it does work, I use it daily.

The point is that with OpenVPN you can be in the same subnet... although that is a matter of configuration of the vpn...

The idea is using a VPN to "teleport" your computer to the remote subnet, which really is one of the basic ideas of VPNs in the first place.



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One way to play iTunes music over the internet
Authored by: cobbe on Jan 12, '08 08:07:39PM

I'm trying to use OpenVPN/Tunnelblick to get this working, but I'm still missing something. I've successfully installed and configured OpenVPN and Tunnelblick, and I'm able to ping and even SSH across the VPN connection, so I know that's working. But the VPN client can't see the iTunes library on the VPN server.

I've enabled iTunes sharing on the server and asked the client to look for shared libraries, but that still doesn't help. I know that sharing is working over physical (i.e., non-VPN) networks, because another machine on the server's physical subnet can see the server's library, and the client can see other shared libraries on its (physical) subnet.

You mentioned using OpenVPN/Tunnelblick to "teleport" the client machine to the server's subnet. Does that imply another configuration step I have to perform?



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One way to play iTunes music over the internet
Authored by: nofutureuk on Jan 14, '08 06:18:22AM
The most important thing to note is to use a bridged tunnel, e.g. use a "tap" device. This makes sure that the ethernet segment is essentially enlarged by the connected tunnel endpoints. It also enables DHCP for the client if needed.

The other important thing to note is that the nodes must all be in a private LAN address space , e.g.
10.0.0.0 - 10.255.255.255 (10/8 prefix)
172.16.0.0 - 172.31.255.255 (172.16/12 prefix)
192.168.0.0 - 192.168.255.255 (192.168/16 prefix)

See RFC 1918: http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1918.html

Of course, the usual firewall settings apply as well...

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One way to play iTunes music over the internet
Authored by: cobbe on Jan 14, '08 10:20:50AM

Thanks for your reply!

My problem was the TAP/TUN setting. I'd been using TUN, which is openvpn's default, and switching it to TAP on both sides worked fine. I can now see the server's iTunes library on the client machine.

Now all that remains is to see if the sound quality is workable across the VPN, but that'll have to wait until I'm actually in the office, where the client machine is located. (I'm working from home today due to snow and playing with the client-side VPN config over a VNC connection.)

Thanks again!



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One way to play iTunes music over the internet
Authored by: cobbe on Jan 14, '08 10:23:45AM

I meant to include this in my other reply. For the benefit of others reading this thread, the VPN's IP addresses have to be in the private ranges; the actual physical IP addresses of the machines in question don't appear to matter.



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One way to play iTunes music over the internet
Authored by: romahony on Jan 09, '08 01:38:26PM

also how good does your solution work if the itunes library is huge so that the library file is over 100 MB ? Then your solution will not work well.



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One way to play iTunes music over the internet
Authored by: nofutureuk on Jan 10, '08 03:05:46AM

the libray I use has 70GB+ and the only drawback is that when I initially click on the shared library icon (on my local computer that has the VPN client), it has to fetch the library information which takes about 30-60 seconds. But since I do that only once a day, I can well live with it.



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One way to play iTunes music over the internet
Authored by: nofutureuk on Jan 10, '08 03:09:34AM

my libray file has 26 MB.

Why do you assume the built-in sharing will be less efficient than copying the whole library file around?
I don't really know how the daap protocol works, but what I observe is that the transferred data with the initial connect is definitely less than the filesize of the library file.



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