The Next Do-It-Yourself Mac

BUILD YOUR OWN MUSIC SERVER

What You'll Need:
Second internal hard drive
PCI host adapter card (optional)
Phillips screwdriver
Ethernet network
Apple's iTunes

Your family members were happy when you networked all the Macs in the house. Now they want to join their music into one large iTunes library that everyone can access and add to.

Building a music server isn't difficult or expensive. We'll show you how to install a larger hard drive in your server Mac (we used a Power Mac G4), move music to it, and share the library.

Step 1: Buy a Second Hard Drive

The cheapest way to add lots of storage to your G4 is to buy a second internal 3.5-inch IDE drive. Choose one with 7,200 rpm and 8MB of cache. Western Digital, Maxtor, and Hitachi all make drives that meet these specifications. If you have a pre–mirrored-drive-door G4 and you want a second drive that's larger than 128GB, you'll also have to add a PCI host adapter card, such as Sonnet's $100 Tempo ATA133 (www.sonnettech.com).

Step 2: Prepare to Install the Drive

Turn off and unplug your Mac. Place it on a flat, clean surface and open the access door. Touch a metal surface in the computer to discharge static electricity. Disconnect the power and IDE cables from the hard drive. Using a Phillips screwdriver, remove the single screw that holds the drive bracket in place A. Pull the bracket containing your drive up and out of the Mac.

Step 3: Set the Drive Jumpers

Check the label on the bottom or the edge of your existing hard drive. If you have a Western Digital or Quantum drive, set its jumpers to Master. Other drive brands should be set correctly by default. To reset the jumper, slide it to the Master position. Your new drive's jumper should already be in the slave position, but confirm that by checking the drive's instructions and then verifying that the jumpers on your second drive are in the correct positions for slave operation B.

Step 4: Connect the New Drive

Slide the new drive on top of the old one in the bracket, so that the right side of the drive aligns with the bracket, and fasten the drive to the bracket.

When the drive is in place, screw the left side to the bracket. Now you're ready to return the drive bracket to the Mac. Connect the power cable to your lower drive, and screw the bracket back into place. Plug the IDE cable into the lower drive, and then plug the available ribbon connector to the new drive. Make sure the connectors fit snugly. Close and reconnect your Mac.

Step 5: Format and Prepare the New Drive

Start up your Mac and open Applications: Utilities: Disk Utility. Your new, unformatted drive should appear in the left pane. If it doesn't, shut down the Mac and make sure that the jumpers are set correctly, and that all cables are tightly and completely connected.

In Disk Utility, click on the new drive and then on the Erase tab. Leave Mac OS X Extended selected. Click on Erase. Then click on Erase again.

To allow access to your music library, the new drive's files must be available to everyone who will be importing music, or copying it from the library. You need to override the permissions that normally prevent multiple users of the same Mac from modifying the same files. Select the drive and press Command-I. Click on Ownership & Permissions and then select the Ignore Ownership On This Volume option.

Step 6: Copy Your Music

If your library is stored on this Mac's startup disk, open Users: user name: Music: iTunes, where user name is your user name. Copy the iTunes Music folder to the new drive. If you store your music library elsewhere, connect to that Mac over a network and then copy the library to the music server Mac.

Open iTunes and choose iTunes: Preferences. Click on the Advanced icon. Click on Change and go to the iTunes Music folder on the new hard drive. Select the Copy Files To iTunes Music Folder When Adding To Library option, and then close Preferences. iTunes will ask if you want to move and rename files in the new library. Click on No. Quit iTunes. Copy the iTunes 4 Music Library file from your iTunes folder to Users: Shared. Make an alias of the file, and copy it to user name: Music: iTunes. Delete the original iTunes 4 Music Library file, and delete alias from the alias file name.

To give another user of this Mac access to the library, log in as a different user. Launch iTunes and change the library location to your new hard drive. Quit iTunes. Make an alias of the iTunes 4 Music Library file in the Shared folder, and replace this user's own music library file with the alias (remember to delete alias from the file name). Open iTunes. This user now has access to your shared library and can add files or playlists to it. If iTunes tells you that the user doesn't have sufficient privileges to open the library file, log in as yourself, select the shared library, press Command-I, and change Ownership & Permissions for Others to Read & Write.

Step 7: Play Shared Music

To give everyone access to the music server from their own Macs, open iTunes: Preferences on the server Mac. Click on the Sharing tab and select either your library or individual playlists to share. By selecting the Look For Shared Music option in their own copies of iTunes, your whole family can play the music you've shared. -- shelly brisbin

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