Retrieving media from ATV

I have just lost 2x HDs with most of my media (& back up) due to power surge. Some of my media was synced to my ATV and I am now in the process of retrieving this from /mnt/Media using SFTP & Transmit.

My synced media is present & visible in the relevant sub-folder of the /Media folder, but the ATV has organised and re-named the files in a way that is not immediately obvious, and may require many hours of work to be able to regenerate a copy of the original. I presume that there is a meta-database somewhere in the file structure that tells the ATV how these files relate (indicating for example that the file FKJV.mp4 in the folder F05 is really Queen Bee.mp4 by Taj Mahal from the album Mali to Memphis etc).

Has anyone ever managed to work out how to do this? I have a synced library to retrieve of about 10,000 songs plus 80 videos and the process looks so potentially complicated that it only seems possible with some form of automated script.

Grateful for any tips.


Actually it’s a lot simpler than it looks. While the AppleTV does organize the media in a somewhat cryptic way, all the metadata is embedded in the files themselves. This means once you drag the files back into iTunes they will appear as they did before. :slight_smile:

Having tried with just a couple of files I can see that this is indeed straightforward, and iTunes recognises the files for what they really are, re-names and re-organises them to re-create the original structure. Excellent! The easiest procedure would be to mount the aTV as a drive on my Mac and either drag files from /mnt/Media/Media Files to iTunes, or create a new library and populate it (itunes/file/add to library) from the /mnt/Media/Media Files folder. However it seems that:

  1. I can mount the aTV on my Mac via FTP but via FTP it is not possible to make a connection to the root level of the aTV (the root for FTP connection is actually /mnt/scratch/user/frontrow) and hence it is not possible to get at the Media Files folder.

  2. via SFTP (ssh) I can get access to the root level of the aTV and hence the Media Files folder, but does not seem to be possible to mount a disk on a Mac via SFTP, at least not in OS 10.5 (leopard).

I have therefore been forced to copy all the stuff off the aTV via SFTP using Transmit, onto a separate drive, and then create a new iTunes library from that source. It works but for 220GB of media it is going to take a long time. Is there a way of either getting root access to the aTV via FTP or mounting the aTV on a Mac as a drive via SFTP?

Another option would be to use an external drive for primary storage (temporarily of course). Doing this will copy all media that is currently on the internal drive to the external. Once this process is complete you can revert back to the internal drive as primary, but the copied media will remain on the external drive.

Sorry to revive a really old thread…but I just ran into needing to use this.  So I’ve already seen from my ATV1 where the files are, and copied a few to my hard drive.  I’ve played them on WMP and see that even with the cryptic file name, it still shows the metadata as it will be once as you said, i copy it back into itunes. 
My question is, is there a quick and simple way to have the file.mp3 name like HGJR.mp3 which would play as Could You Be Loved by Bob Marley in itunes covert over to couldyoubeloved.mp3 on my pc/hard drive.  Or will I have to go thru all of them and change the names one by one as I play them?  Or does this happen once you put them back into itunes?



Edit:  Found this from macrumours - shows how to do this.