Add a new Watch Folder window

You can add a new Watch Folder by clicking the 'Add' button in the toolbar of the Watch Folder tab within the main iHomeServer Management Console.  The Add a new Watch Folder window allows you to set up a new iHomeServerâ„¢ Watch Folder.  Watch Folders are used to monitor directories on your local or a remote file system for new or changed media.  When media is detected, it is automatically added to iTunes. 
If media is changed, the changes are propagated through to iTunes, including changes to metadata and cover art.  Whilst iHomeServer has comprehensive metadata editing and internet metadata lookup facilities, this allows you to use external metadata tools to update your media files and ensure that iTunes remains up to date.
Watch Folders can be configured to force the media within the Watch Folder to be set to a preset media type, such as TV, Movies or Music Videos.  This helps to ensure that your media appears in the right section of the iTunes library.
The frequency with which Watch Folders will check for new/changed media can also be selected.  This can be either manual, daily or 'Watch for Changes'.  See below for further details.
Finally, an auto-tagging mode can be set that will tell iHomeServer to check internet metadata and cover art sources when it adds new media.  Currently, this is only supported for Movie files (Metadata on TV media files can still be set either manually through the iHomeServer Metadata Editor or can be auto-tagged by series using the Auto-Tag context menu.
Add a new Watch Folder window

Full path to the folder to be watched

1. Full path to the folder to be watched
Enter the full path to the folder you wish to Watch in this field.  To browse to a folder, click the '..' button.  iHomeServer will monitor the selected folder according to the schedule defined in 'Scan Mode' and will auto-import any files found / changed directly into iTunes.  Assuming iTunes has not been set up to 'Copy media to the iTunes Media folder when adding', then only a reference to the watched file will be added to iTunes.  Conversely, if the option has been set, then the file will be copied to your iTunes media library, and no reference back to the original file will be kept in iTunes.

Note to Server Users - Which Path Name?

It is important to carefully think about this Folder path when adding large numbers of files.  The uniqueness of a file within both iHomeServer and iTunes is governed by its full path name.  It is possible that the same file can be referenced multiple ways, particularly on servers.  For example, the file d:\ServerFolders\Music\MySong.mp3 may be referenced as m:\Music\MySong.mp3 from a Windows PC with a mapped network drive that points the M: to your server.  Alternatively a UNC filename, such as \\server01\Music\MySong.mp3 could be used.  These three filenames all point to the same physical file, however, neither iHomeServer nor iTunes will be aware of this so will regard the files as unique.
Therefore if you already have media that was previously added to iTunes via a drive letter convention and then add the same folder via a UNC naming convention, you could receive duplicate media in your library.

Use UNC Paths Instead of Mapped Network Drives

If you installed iHomeServer using the Windows Service mode, it is not possible to use mapped network drives when creating a Watch Folder.  This is because mapped network drives are specific to a user's session, and the iHomeServer Windows Service will run in a separate user context to the one that runs Windows Explorer.  Therefore mapped network drives will not reliably be accessible from Windows Services.  The alternative is to use the UNC naming convention when accessing a network resource, for example:
.... should be used instead of attempting to access network resources with a drive letter.
This restriction does not exist if you are running iHomeServer in Desktop mode.

Note to Windows Home Server v1 Users

Windows Home Server uses technology called Drive Extender to distribute and duplicate files across multiple hard disks for added resilience.  This is a process that happens in the background.  Although we have experienced no problems adding Watch Folders directly to the D:\ of a WHSv1 box, it is recommended by Microsoft to avoid writing directly to a non-system drive on a Windows Home Server machine.  Instead, the local UNC path should be added as a Watch Folder, i.e. \\server01\Music instead of d:\ServerFolders\Music.
Note that if you have already indexed content using one root path (eg a local path) if you then change your Watch Folder to use a different root path (eg the equivalent local UNC path) then your content will be re-indexed using the second root path.  Neither iHomeServer nor iTunes will recognise the track as already existing and therefore duplicates may be added to your library if the 'Duplicate Guard' feature has been disabled.

Removeable Drive to be watched

2. Removeable Drive to be watched
iHomeServer v3 adds a new feature that allows removeable drives to be monitored for media such as DVD or Blu-Ray disks.  If a DVD or Bluray is detected in a removeable drive and Handbrake is installed on your computer then iHomeServer will automatically initiate Handbrake to rip the contents of the DVD/BluRay to your iTunes library.  Note that this feature requires you to enable and configure the Video Conversions properites of the iHomeServer Watch Folder.  Specifically, the 'Save the output of conversions in a different folder' option is mandatory for removeable media so the converted files stay on your computer and are available to iTunes.

Force media drop down

3. Force media drop down
iHomeServer can be configured to force the media in a Watch Folder (and all its sub-folders) to be set to a predefined media type.  The valid options are:
No change
iHomeServer will not change the type of media in the Watch Folder
iHomeServer will force all added / new media in the Watch Folder to have a video kind of 'Movie'
Music Video
iHomeServer will force all added / new media in the Watch Folder to have a video kind of 'Music Video'
TV Show
iHomeServer will force all added / new media in the Watch Folder to have a video kind of 'TV Show'
Note: iTunes cannot change the media type of some video files.  These include all read-only files as well as any items purchased from the iTunes store or "protected" files.  By default iHomeServer will be unable to change this items and will raise an event in the 'Messages' window.  If the track is an iTunes store file, you can override this default behaviour by selecting the 'Clear iTunes Content IDs if forcing media types'.  This will remove the "ContentID" metadata within the track that identifies it as an iTunes store file, however, iTunes will now no longer recognise it as a purchased item.

Scan mode drop down

4. Scan mode drop down
The "Scan Mode" drop down allows you to select the frequency with which Watch Folders are scanned / indexed.  The three options are as follows:
Watch for Changes
iHomeServer will detect any new or changed files within the Watch Folder immediately and trigger a scan.  Note that to reduce load on the server, a scan will be performed at a maximum of once per 5 minute interval, however, at each scan any outstanding unindexed items will be indexed and added to iTunes.
iHomeServer will not immediately react to new files being added to the Watch Folder.  Instead it will scan for changes every 24 hours.
iHomeServer will not automatically scan the Watch Folder unless you right click the Watch Folder in the 'Watch Folder View' tab and click 'Trigger Scan'

Auto-tagging drop down

5. Auto-tagging drop down
iHomeServer has the ability to automatically tag new Movie files with metadata and DVD cover art using Internet Metadata sources.  This is only supported automatically for Movies as it is not possible to reliably detect episode names / season numbers from most user's TV collections.  iHomeServer provides a fast semi-automatic tagging ability for TV series if this is required.
Note that iHomeServer will choose the best match Movie details from the Internet Metadata sources.  There is no assurance that this will be the correct data, therefore you are recommended to check the metadata after tagging.
iHomeServer AutoTagging can be triggered under various circumstances.  The three options are:
iHomeServer will never Auto-tag automatically
iHomeServer always Auto-tag when the track is indexed; regardless of whether it already contains metadata / cover art.
No description
iHomeServer will only Auto-tag when the track is indexed and if the track's description metadata field is empty.
Note that AutoTagging will only occur when iHomeServer first adds the file to iTunes.  It will not occur if the file is modified.  However, if you re-index the file or the parent Watch Folder, iHomeServer will no longer know that it has auto-tagged this file and will reapply the Auto-tagging rules to the file.
Be careful when using the Auto-tagging option - for example, if Always is chosen, any existing metadata in your files will be overwritten.  This cannot be undone.
If you prefer not to Auto-Tag at Watch Folder level, you can still modify metadata manually, perform a file-by-file auto-tag, or manual internet-based metadata search.
For further information about Auto-tagging, please refer to the chapter Auto-Tagging. 

Force genre drop down

6. Force genre drop down
You can optionally force all media within a Watch Folder (or a sub-folder) to have a set Genre metadata field value.  This can be useful for sorting media into custom categories.  Tick the check-box to enable forcing a Genre, and then enter either a custom Genre value or select a pre-defined one from the drop down list.

Automatically add Watch Folder content to specified playlist

7. Automatically add Watch Folder content to specified playlist
A new option in iHomeServer for iTunes v3 is to automatically add Watch Folder media to a specified Playlist.  This can be useful if you have arrange your media into categorised folders and want your folders reflected as Playlists.  Note that the media is added to the Playlist when it is added into iTunes, therefore if you retrospectively apply this option to an existing Watch Folder, then it will only affect new media rather than existing media within the Watch Folder.

Enable this Watch Folder (and its sub folders) for video conversions

8. Enable this Watch Folder (and its sub folders) for video conversions
This option is new in iHomeServer v3 and expands the video file formats that will be added to iTunes.  Without this option, only those video files in an iTunes friendly video format (specifically MP4, M4V and MOV files) will be added via the Watch Folder.  With this option, additional video formats that are not iTunes friendly can be watched and added to iTunes automatically.
For non iTunes friendly formats such as AVI, etc, iHomeServer will queue the file for conversion with Handbrake.  Handbrake will convert the file into an iTunes friendly format and then add the file to iTunes.
Please see here for further information on specifying the video conversion configuration options.
Note that the file extensions that will be queued for video conversions is set in the Video Conversions tab of the iHomeServer settings window.

If a folder image file is found, use it as track artwork

9. If a folder image file is found, use it as track artwork
Many users already have movie or video artwork in the same folder as the media file.  When this option is set, iHomeServer will search for an image file called folder.jpg or folder.png in the same folder as the media file being added.  If the file exists, it will use this image as the artwork image and embed this into the image file so that it is displayed by iTunes and supported streaming devices (Apple TV, DLNA televisions, web browser access, etc).

Select to tell iHomeServer to remove tracks from iTunes

if they are deleted within this Watch Folder

10. Select to tell iHomeServer to remove tracks from iTunes
 if they are deleted within this Watch Folder
By default iHomeServer will not monitor for files that have been physically deleted from the file system; iTunes will still contain a reference to the track but will not be able to find the underlying file so will display a grey exclamation mark indicating the media is 'missing'.  This behaviour can be changed to actively monitor for files that have been previously successfully indeed by iHomeServer but which now no longer exist within the Watch Folder (or its sub-folders) by ticking this checkbox.  Once ticked, any files that iHomeServer has cached but have been deleted will be removed from the iTunes library automatically.