Create an iTunes Server by Running iTunes as a Service with iTuneService

If you’re one of those people that have invested heavily in the Apple ecosystem you’ll likely have most of your media in an iTunes library and use iTunes to serve media to your Apple devices. For some devices, such as the Apple TV, running iTunes on the network is the only easy way to access your media.

Fortunately, Apple makes it easy to share your media through iTunes. Well, easy except for one thing. You must be logged in and running iTunes for it to function. Enter iTuneService.

iTuneService lets you run iTunes as a standard Windows service. That means you don’t have to be logged in to run iTunes and it will start automatically when your computer starts. iTuneService even provides useful tools to help manage your server library if you’re running it with a different username than your regular logon.


iTuneService started its life as an open source port of JTunes, written by John Cleary. John and I partnered to revamp the app, fixing bugs and adding a few helpful features.

What Can I Use This For?

Expose a Personal Library You have a large iTunes library on your always-on desktop computer that you want to make available to the rest of your devices without always having to remember to run iTunes.

Use iTunesService to install the background service. When you want to use iTunes on the desktop, you click the system tray icon to bring up the service manager, stop the service, and then run iTunes as normal. When you’re done, close iTunes and use the same process to start the service again.

Run on a Dedicated Server You have an always-on server computer where you created a separate standard user account that you want to use to serve media.

You log in as an administrator and install the service under that alternate username. When you want to load new media, download a new purchase, or import from other libraries on the network you may use the service manager’s “Run iTunes Interactively” feature. If you delete any files as the service user, you can empty that user’s recycle bin to free up disk space.

Always-On Music Player In either of the above scenarios, you can connect to your server using the Remote App and play music either through the server’s speakers or AirPlay it to a compatible device.


  • Run iTunes as a service under any username.
  • Easily install/uninstall or start/stop the service.
  • With a single click, run iTunes in interactive mode as the service user to perform library maintenance / import.
  • Provide ability to empty recycle bin of the service user for when you delete media in interactive mode.


Hop on over to the GitHub page to download the installer or the source code. This will require local administrator privileges to install / run.

  Download Installer / Source

Or you can also visit the GitHub Repository.

7 thoughts on “Create an iTunes Server by Running iTunes as a Service with iTuneService

  1. Hello I just download iTuneservice and able to run it. However, home share can only run when running interactively. It’s kind of defeating the purpose because I want to run it as a itune server. When I run it interactively I was able to logon Apple ID automatically.
    Your suggestion is appreciated.

  2. How well does it work with Podcasts? For example, I have a collection of custom podcasts [1] configured to update daily and delete played episodes.

    Will the daily updates occur normally?

    When I watch an episode on my Apple TV, will it be marked as “played” and be deleted 24 hours later?

    [1] Not found in the iTunes Store

  3. Hello Nathan.

    I am experiencing the same issue as Will (above). I cannot get iTuneService to work, except it is in interactive mode.

    Any tips?

  4. We weren’t able to track it down before. Think it might be related to audio driver initialization timeout when there’s no UI present, but it’s really hard to troubleshoot what iTunes is doing when iTunes doesn’t generate a log file.

    Please refer to the issue #12 on GitHub. Can you post your logfile there too?

  5. Hi, I know it is a long time since you have updated this , but I was using ITuneServer around 4 years ago with no problems, but have recently resurrected my system, and when using the apple remote app, no longer get airplay when itunes is running as a service, All is ok when running itunes in interactive mode. Any thoughts ?

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