New MacBook Pros having issues with iTunes Home Sharing

Despite Home Sharing's more prominent role in Apple's iOS and iTunes, some users who purchased the newest line of MacBook Pros aren't thrilled with the feature.

Joe Aimonetti MacFixIt Editor
Joe is a seasoned Mac veteran with years of experience on the platform. He reports on Macs, iPods, iPhones and anything else Apple sells. He even has worked in Apple retail stores. He's also a creative professional who knows how to use a Mac to get the job done.
Joe Aimonetti
2 min read

Despite Home Sharing's more prominent role in Apple's iOS and iTunes, some users that purchased the newest line of MacBook Pros aren't thrilled with the feature. An Apple Support Discussions thread has ballooned to over 213 comments since the end of February, filled with users trying to find a solution to the Home Sharing bug.

ASD forum user themacbear writes:

"Although the Apple TV could see the name of my iTunes library, it wouldn't connect to it, or sometimes, would report that 'There are no movies in this library'."

ASD user sftobos concurs, writing:

"Went to the Apple store today.

1. Issued new MBP 17" 2.2 just as I had prior.
2. Tested in store with zero songs and zero movies within Itunes on the new computer. Did not update any of the system software. Ran 10.1.2 Itunes. Failed just as before. Worked until Itunes quit then restarted Itunes and it homesharing broke within 10 seconds.
3. Updated all system software including Itunes. Failed just as before. Keep in mind, new computer nothing on it but stock Apple Software.

Here is the more interesting part. Tried my Ipad 2 and Iphone 4 on several of the Apple store computers using the same wifi "Apple Store Network." Same behavior as mentioned in step 2. Failed (not winning!!!)"

Turning on Home Sharing on a new MacBook Pro could be more trouble than it's worth. Apple

The overall consensus seems to be that this is a software issue, specifically related to the new MacBook Pro models that Apple released in late February. ASD user Gnufist writes:

"I just spent 2 hours on the phone with Apple, and finally talking with a Senior engineer. It is now a known issue and they are expecting to release a software update soon (I was welcome to call back to her direct number if I did not see an update on the message board soon about when the new release would come)."

Gnufist also reports that a workaround for this issue may be available. If you're having problems with Home Sharing, check to see if your computer's firewall is activated. If it is, try turning it off and restarting your MacBook Pro. "I found that there was an old bug with home sharing and the firewall back from 2009 that somehow blocks the TCP port 3689 and UDP port 5353 which home sharing is using, even though iTunes is in the allow list in the firewall."

If the firewall setting is indeed why the issues are occurring, expect the next release of Mac OS X to address these concerns. Of course we will keep an eye on future releases and let our readers know if any more workarounds surface in the meantime.

Have you experienced this issue? Do you have a workaround? Let me know in the comments!