Moving the iTunes library to handle 500+ iPads
We are currently in the preparation stages of deploying iPads 1:1 for around 60% of our 1500 staff and students. Currently I'm working through the issue of iTunes library storage. We have 700 Pcs and 300 Macs.
By default the iTunes library will point to \My docs\My music either by drive letter (H:), or UNC. My documents is mapped to H:. Each staff member has a "My documents" quota of 2gbs. The average iphone or ipad library (containing apps, music, photos and backups) easily burns through this quota. At the moment, increasing this network space is not an option.
My proposed solution is to tell iTunes to store the library locally on each computer. Unless I have missed something, all of the itunes purchased apps and music will be redownloaded to the device if both the itunes device and the itunes library are destroyed. They would lose any user created data such as documents and images though. We are presuming that staff and students will also be using their home computers as the primary place to backup their ipads.
The problem this brings is where on the local drive (C:) to save each users data - there will be multiple users using each machine. I was hoping to tell itunes to save to "c:\itunes\%USERNAME%". However, if the folder doesn't exist before itunes opens, it will default back to the my documents location. The only work around i can image here is to create a logon script that creates an empty folder each time the user logs on.
The next question is how to tell itunes to point to this location. iTunes uses a file named "iTunesPrefs.xml" to store preferences such as this. This xml file is saved in the roaming application data of each user's profile. From my testing i have been unable to get the %USERNAME% variable to work in this file.
I will deploying iTunes 10 sitewide shortly, so I am hoping to solve both issues at the same time.
If anyone has any experience with this, or can point me in the direction of someone who might, your input would be greatly appreciated.