Languages

iTunes 10 for Mac: Play items in your iTunes library using Apple TV (1st generation)

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Play items in your iTunes library using Apple TV (1st generation)

You can set up iTunes to automatically sync your Apple TV (1st generation) with your iTunes library. That way, you can play your iTunes library on your TV without having to turn on the computer and open iTunes.

You can also use your Apple TV (1st generation) to stream items (songs, movies, TV shows, and more) from your iTunes library to your TV. You can stream from up to five iTunes libraries, plus the library the Apple TV is synced with.

If your Apple TV (1st generation) is synced with an iTunes library, it’s already set up for streaming. (When Apple TV is synced, it appears in the iTunes window, below Devices.)

For Apple TV (2nd generation), see Play items in your iTunes library using Apple TV (2nd generation).

To sync your Apple TV:

  1. Make sure the computer you want to sync from is on, and iTunes is open.

  2. Go to iTunes > Preferences, choose Apple TV, and make sure “Look for Apple TVs” is selected.

  3. On your Apple TV, choose Settings > Computers > “Connect to iTunes,” and note the passcode displayed.

  4. In iTunes, select the Apple TV (below Devices), and enter the passcode.

  5. Click the Summary button and select one of the following:

    • Automatic Sync: 
      iTunes automatically adds items to your Apple TV whenever you add them to your iTunes library,
    • Custom Sync: 
      You choose the items to sync. After you select this option, click the other buttons to specify your syncing preferences. With this option, you can prevent unsynced items from appearing on your Apple TV (when iTunes is open). To display all items, deselect the checkbox.
    Note:   If you don’t see these options, make sure you have the latest Apple TV software installed. To check, choose Settings > General > Update Software on your Apple TV.
  6. To transfer a rented movie from your computer to your Apple TV, click the Videos button, select the movie you want to transfer, and click Move.

    Important:   You must be connected to the Internet to transfer a rented movie.
  7. To sync photos, click the Photos button.

Note:   If you play content on Apple TV while a sync is in progress, the sync pauses until playback stops.

If your Apple TV doesn’t appear in the iTunes window:

When you set up syncing on Apple TV (1st generation), your Apple TV appears in the iTunes window (below Devices) on the syncing computer. If your Apple TV doesn’t appear in iTunes:

  • Make sure your Apple TV is turned on and connected to your network. To check your network settings on your Apple TV, choose Settings > General > Network.

  • On your Apple TV, choose Settings > Computers > Add Shared iTunes Library, and follow the onscreen instructions.

  • If the Firewall service is turned on (in the Sharing pane of System Preferences), make sure “iTunes Music Sharing” is selected.

To turn off syncing:

Do one of the following:

  • On your Apple TV (1st generation), choose Settings > Computers > Select iTunes Library > Disconnect > Continue.

  • In iTunes, control-click your Apple TV (below Devices), and choose Turn Off Syncing from the menu that appears.

To remove an Apple TV from your iTunes library:

  1. Choose iTunes > Preferences, and click Apple TV.

  2. Select the Apple TV, and click Remove Apple TV.

To set up your Apple TV for streaming:

  1. Make sure the computer you want to stream from is turned on, and iTunes is open.

  2. On your Apple TV (1st generation), choose Settings > Computers > Add Shared iTunes Library, and then note the passcode displayed.

  3. In iTunes, select the Apple TV with “Click to set up” next to it, and enter the passcode.

Note:   While content is being streamed, the computer must remain on (not in sleep mode) and iTunes must remain open.

To stream photos to your TV:

  1. Set up your Apple TV (1st generation) to stream content from the iTunes library on the computer with the photos you want to stream.

  2. In iTunes, select the Apple TV icon (below Devices), and click the Photos button.

    If you don’t see the Apple TV icon or the Photos button, make sure you’re using Apple TV software version 1.1 or later. To check, choose Settings > General > About on your Apple TV, and see the Software Version. To update your Apple TV software, choose Settings > General > Update Software.

  3. Choose the photos you want to stream, and click Apply.

Note:   While content is being streamed, the computer must remain on (not in sleep mode) and iTunes must remain open.

To disable streaming:

You can set your Apple TV (1st generation) to disable streaming and play only content that’s synced.

  1. In iTunes, click your Apple TV (below Devices).

  2. Click the Settings button.

  3. Select “Show only the synced items on my Apple TV.”

During a sync, items are added to your Apple TV (1st generation) as space allows, in this order: movies, TV shows, music, podcasts. If you also want to sync photos, they are added last, unless you select “Sync photos before other media” in the Photos pane.

Syncing starts automatically whenever you click Apply or Sync, or choose File > Sync.

For more information, see the Apple TV Setup Guide or Apple TV Support website.

Last Modified: Mar 25, 2014
Helpful?
Yes
No

Additional Product Support Information