Can I use USB Hard Drive without Itunes?

So I’ve installed aTV Flash and am streaming media through XBMC and/or Boxee from a NAS but it’s both slow to find the media and doesn’t organize my library the way I’d like. It works but not as smoothly as it does if I stream media through Itunes on another computer on my network but I hate having to run Itunes and another computer in order to play media the way I want to on ATV. I’d love to transfer all of my media to a USB hard drive attached to my ATV and just play it from there without running it through another computer running Itunes but from what i can gather, the ATV won’t play my media directly from an attached USB hard drive - it either has to go through Itunes on another computer or it has to run through XBMC/Boxee on the ATV. Is this correct? Is there no way to play media directly through the ATV without separate Itunes or XBMC/Boxee?

The latest version of aTV Flash (3.6.4) has an option that will enable an external drive to be used for iTunes storage. More information on this feature can be seen here: http://wiki.atvflash.com/index.php?title=USB_Storage

Thanks for the info - one last question. From reading the wiki at http://wiki.atvflash.com/index.php?title=USB_Storage, it still looks like I won’t be able to play my media files without ITunes running on a separate computer though - is that correct? I know I can do tihs through boxee or xbmc but those aren’t working as well for me as ITunes - I just hate having to run another computer with ITunes to play my music through Atv - any way around this?

If you sync your iTunes media (to the internal or added external drive) you can play media on the AppleTV without having to have a computer on.