Adding Media to iTunes

iHomeServer for iTunes makes it much easier to add your existing and content to your iTunes library - whether running iHomeServer on your normal desktop computer or a dedicated iTunes server (eg a WHS server).  iHomeServer adds the following extra features to iTunes:

Watch Folders

Watch Folders provide a mechanism for synchronising folders on your local or remote file system with your iTunes installation.  When you set up a Watch Folder within iHomeServer, it will continually monitor a folder (and its subfolders) for new or changed media files.  When it detects a new file has been added, it will automatically add the media to iTunes.  If it detects a file has changed within the Watch Folder, it will update iTunes with any changes, eg changes to metadata or changes to Cover Art.
Further information about Watch Folders can be found here.

Watch Folders (with Video Conversions)

iTunes only supports a set list of video file types such as MP4, M4V and MOV files.  If you have existing content on your computer in other video formats, eg AVI, then these cannot normally be added into iTunes.  iHomeServer Watch Folders support a feature called Video Conversions which is enabled if you have installed Handbrake on your computer.  iHomeServer will scan Watch Folders with video conversions enabled looking for video files that are not in iTunes native format.  It will then queue them for conversion using Handbrake and add them into iTunes automatically.
Further information about Watch Folders can be found here.

DVD / Blu-Ray Ripping

iTunes only support ripping CDs out of the box, however, iHomeServer extends this functionality by allowing your DVD and BluRay collection to be ripped into iTunes automatically.  When this feature is enabled, you just need to insert a DVD or Blu-ray into your computer's DVD/Blu-Ray drive.  iHomeServer will then rip the movie, tag it automatically with metadata and artwork and add it to your iTunes library so that it is available for streaming to your Home Sharing devices (eg an Apple TV) plus the extended sharing supported by iHomeServer (eg web browser access and DLNA access).
Note that this feature requires Handbrake to be installed on your computer.  Ripping of encrypted DVDs may require software to decrypt the video stream such as AnyDVD although please note that you must check with your own country's copyright laws, plus the laws of the country that issued the DVD to ensure that you are legally allowed to decrypt DVDs/BluRays.
For further information about DVD / Blu-Ray Ripping, click here.

iTunes Library Synchronisation

iTunes allows media from another iTunes library within your Home Sharing network to be streamed to your iTunes library or other devices, however, the content stays where it is.  iHomeServer provides a feature to synchronise media from one iTunes library on your home network with another library on the same network.  If both users are running iHomeSerer for iTunes, you can create a subscription link between both libraries so that when media is added to one library it is automatically synchronised to the other library.  This functionality works even if the two iTunes libraries are running under different Apple iTunes accounts.

Support for built-in iTunes media features

iHomeServer for iTunes does not interfere with the built-in media creation features within iTunes.  They are fully compatible with running iTunes on a headless server running iHomeServer.  The following built-in features are particularly useful:

Automatic Purchase Downloads

You can configure iTunes to automatically download purchases you make on other iTunes devices such as an iPhone or iPad.  That way, you can download a file from your phone when you are out and hear a great track, and know that the iTunes instance running on your server will download the file automatically in the background to play when you get home.  For further information on how to configure this, click here.

Automatic CD Ripping

You can configure iTunes to automatically rip CDs when they are inserted into your server's CD/DVD-ROM drive.  For further information on how to configure this, click here.

Manually add media

If you have installed iHomeServer as a Windows Service, iTunes will normally be running in the background service context so the iTunes User Interface will not be visible.  Using the iHomeServer Desktop agent (or the iHomeServer Management Console), you can tell iHomeServer to restart iTunes in the foreground so that you can add files / folders of media, or to download media from the iTunes store.  When you have finished, close iTunes manually and iHomeServer will automatically restart iTunes running under the Windows Service context.

Via Home Sharing

You have probably configured your iTunes installation to support Home Sharing. If so, then your computer's iTunes library will be available on your home network from other iTunes instances, eg on your laptop.  You will find it in the 'SHARED' area of the library pane to the left of the iTunes main screen.  Now you can drag and drop media from your PC to your server's iTunes library.  iTunes will automatically place the media in the iTunes Media Folder.