Media player to access external hard drive connected to mac mini server?

Hi, quick one:

Haven’t seen a compelling solution for the following issue yet - how can i share an external hard drive connected to a server?

Plainly speaking - I have a mac mini server sitting in a cupboard with an external HDD connected to it (storing my movies and sharing them wirelessly). How can I get Media Player on my ATV 2 to access this external drive?

As pointed out in a few threads before, OSX greys out the sharing options when you enable file sharing for it and Media Player doesn’t see the drive?

help would be appreciated!


Normally you can just drag the entire drive into the ‘Shared Folders’ list found under the File Sharing option in System Preferences. Doing this will allow you to access the drive when connecting via AFP from MP to your mini.

By chance is your drive formatted in something other than HFS+?

Hey James,

Thanks - indeed, my drive is formatted in FAT32. Is only HFS+ working or any other formats supported by media player?



I think only HFS+ formatted drives can be shared via AFP. For FAT32 you will need to enable SMB sharing on your Mac, then connect via SMB from Media Player.

Alternatively you can backup the data on the drive, reformat it in HFS+, then share it via AFP.

thanks James!


Is this still the case?  I am having this issue and my drive is FAT32.  Will reformatting make is appear when using afp?  

Yes, you have two options.

  1. Format the drive in Mac OS (HFS+) format. This will wipe everything off the drive so make sure you have a backup first.
  2. Stream the FAT32 drive via SMB (this is only supported on Mac OS 10.6.8 and earlier).

Man thanks for the quick reply!  I have been streaming via smb and occasionally I will have a file usually mkv or mp4 format that causes a lot of buffering.  I was wondering if switching to atp would help that issue.  

Are you streaming wifi a wired or wireless connection?

Using a wired connection will usually cure most buffering related issues.