Library Server Sync
Media Center's client / server system, called Library Server supports the bidirectional flow of changes. This means that the program can be configured so that changes made on the server will flow to any client, and changes made on a client will flow back to the server and out to other clients.
The system is built around the idea of a sync where changes made on the client are submitted to the server and changes made on the server or other clients is returned.
First, you need a Library Server configured with one or more connected clients.
Next, since it is possible for a client to delete files from the server, authentication is required to use Library Server Sync. Enable authentication on the server in Options > Media Network > Authentication.
The easiest way to use Library Server Sync is to enable automatic syncing of changes. This will sync every few minutes in a low priority background thread. There will be very little network activity if no changes are being made.
To enable automatic sync, on the client enable Options > Media Network > Client Options > Auto sync with server.
You can also manually sync changes from a client and get changes on the server manually. To perform a manual sync, on the client from the main program menu, select File > Library > Sync Changes with Library Server.
What Is Synced
- File value changes (artists, keywords, playback statistics, etc.)
- File deletes
- File adds (server adds always go to clients, client adds go to server if the server can reach the file)
- Playlist creation, management, and deletion
- Playlist changes
- Television recording schedule
What Is Not Synced
- View customization (columns, sorting, adding / removing views)
- Options changes (each client maintains its own options)
Library and File Tools
Missing from that list is the impact on Library Tools, the Locate > On Disk, and Send To > External Menu items. Generally, these tools that "touch the disk" only work from the Client side if you have direct filesystem access to the files from the client-side (the full path of the files must match the path on the Server-side).
Typically, this means to access these tools you need to map a network drive to your media volume, and give it the same letter as it has on your server. If this is inconvenient, you can also do this by importing the files on the server-side as a UNC path rather than a "drive letter based path". (The server will work just as happily on files imported via UNC shares even if they're "really" locally accessible on the server. And then the path will always match what the client sees so long as you're on the same LAN and the computer account has access to the share.)
A notable exception to this general rule is the Rename, Move, and Copy Files Tool, which doesn't work at all from the client-side, even if you do have your file paths set up right and all locally accessible.
Important: Mapping a network drive (or sharing the files via the OS) is not required for playback or for all of the functions supported by the Library Sync system (including tagging). This is only required if you want to be able to access these additional tools.