How I Used Mac Addresses to Identify All the Smart Devices On My Network

Like many tech-savvy thirty-somethings my household has acquired quite a few Wi-Fi-connected devices over the past few years: Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi scale Wireless printer Smart thermostat Apple TV/Roku Smart HDTV Wi-Fi baby monitor Wi-Fi security cameras Smart phones, tablets, computers etc. Our network had gradually become highly populated with devices, and I didn’t even notice. When I upgraded our router […]

Fix Windows 7 Homegroup Service that Will Not Start

I recently upgraded my primary desktop computer with a new motherboard, CPU, RAM, and video card, so naturally I had to reinstall Windows. When I booted into Windows and connected to my home network, I was prompted to choose the type of network; I chose Home because, well, it’s my home network. I have a […]

Share One iTunes Library on Multiple PCs Over a Network

Update (2013-06-16): A while ago I signed up for iTunes Match, and I have found it to be a great solution for viewing my iTunes library on multiple PCs, whether they are on my home network or not (I have my entire library available on my MacBook at work as well as my PCs at home and my iPhone). The solution below should still work if you don’t want to sign up for iTunes Match, but I no longer use the solution below.

A few years ago I built a PC to function as a semi-dedicated file server. It’s running Windows 7, so it’s still a fully-functional PC, but it’s not my primary workstation. Among other things, I use it to store all of my music, photos, videos, and documents in a central location that is backed up regularly. My primary desktop, my HTPC, and my laptop can access all of these files over the network via a Windows Homegroup.

Until recently the only copy of iTunes I used was on the server PC to sync my iPod classic. On my primary desktop I preferred to use MediaMonkey for music playback because of its speed and excellent library organization features. The only downside was that my play counts and ratings in MediaMonkey didn’t sync with my iTunes library on the server. It was a limitation I’d been content to live with up to this point. (more…)