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Getting Home Sharing to work outside your home network in iTunes 9

I have a pretty big iTunes music library, big enough to ensure no laptop drives exist that can hold it all: This used to mean I had to plan ahead when travelling, and use strange machinery to sync parts of my iTunes library over (never with ratings, and never quite correctly). iTunes 9 changes all that with home sharing, but it also introduces a silly restriction: You can only really use it on your home network, with all your computers present. I realize it's the bad guys forcing Apple's hand there, but this will never do.

Here's how to work around this restriction:

0. Set up home sharing in the iTunes instances on the computers you care about, and test that it works locally.
1. Set up (or have a techie friend set up) an openvpn server that offers a "tap" VPN with the "client-to-client" option set. My server's config is here.
2. Install Viscosity on all computers running iTunes (I tried using the free Tunnelblick, but for some reason, Bonjour wouldn't work reliably over it, and reliable Bonjour is what we need!), and add your VPN connection, making sure that the Device is set firmly to "tap", like so.
2 1/2. You need to do this Viscosity setup process only once, afterwards you can just export the connection and import it on the other machines.
3. Fire up iTunes 9 on at least two machines, and notice that the "Home sharing" item appears even if you're not on your home network. You're done.

This is pretty much my ideal setup now: There's one computer in my home that has all my music, and I can either download to my laptop what I want to listen to offline, or I can stream it all whenever I am online. Hooray!
Reposted byrmk rmk

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