NAS and Mac Media Storage - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 70 Old 04-16-2006, 05:46 PM
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Sorry for the newbie question. So can you connect the NAS to an Airport base station and wirelessly access the server from multiple Macs? Can each Mac user then watch a different DVD or listen to music simultaneously? How many streams would be possible for non-HD video?

Thanks.
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post #62 of 70 Old 04-25-2006, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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You can access a NAS device from a Mac that is wirelessly networked. However, your maximum thoughput speed would be limited by your wireless connection.
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post #63 of 70 Old 04-25-2006, 09:36 AM
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Not sure of all the details, but can share that when I moved one HD out of my G4 this weekend (to my new Mini), the iTunes Library did not follow it... to clarify.. all the songs were on this drive (I had made an alias from my ~/Music to a folder on this drive), but the playlists, ratings, etc were stored in $USER/Documents/iTunes..... or at least they were for me.

So it would make sense that multiple users/computers could point at the same media files, yet each maintain separate iTunes Library databases.

Note that if you "consolidate library", it seems to put a DB within the Music/iTunes folder, and that might not be a good thing.

Mike
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post #64 of 70 Old 04-25-2006, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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I finally bit the bullet and bought a diskless Infrant ReadyNAS NV. I have so far installed 1 500GB Seagate hard drive in it, so right now it is operating without redundancy.

So far I like it a lot. I have two macs connected to it (a dual G5 tower and an Core Duo Intel Mini).

I have both macs sharing the same iTunes library stored on the NAS. It is working pretty well, but when one computer adds files to its library you have to tell the other computer to rescan its library directory to add those files. If I delete a music or podcast file, from one computer, the file will still be listed in the other computer's iTunes library, though of course the link will be dead. I installed an applescript that I can run and it will search out and delete such dead links. So far it is working quite well.

I have also set up my EyeTV 500 to use the NAS as its storage location. I have had no problems recording directly to the NAS or playing back from the NAS. I have not yet really tried editing an EyeTV file that is located on the NAS.

I originally had it hooked up to my regular ethernet network. Everything worked fine, but I still went and bought a pair of gigabit switches and have it set up so that my computers are linked to the NAS via gigabit ethernet. The switched indicate that they do have a gigabit link, but I have only noticed a minor speed up.

So, I am still figuring things out. But so far I really like it. I am glad I bought it. It is much smaller than I thought it would be, which is nice. It does make a fair amount of fan noise. So don't plan on putting one of these in your living room. Because it is a NAS, you can put it anywhere on your network. I plan to eventually put it in a seldom used room where it won't bother anyone. Right now it is in my home theater room and once I am watching something at normal volumes, I don't even notice it.

One really nice thing about the ReadyNAS is its expandability. Right now I have only one disk in it, so I have no redundancy. When I get around to installing a second disk it supposedly will automatically convert to redundant mode, so I won't get any extra storage but everything will be stored on both disks. Once I add a third drive then I will get all that extra space and data will be redundantly stored on all disks so that you can survive one drive failure without losing any data. And then I can add a fourth disk to the same effect.

It is pricey. I paid $644 + shipping for the ReadyNAS and about $240 for the 500GB disk. But I am glad I did it. It is really easy to set up. Infrant provides good support. Their user forums are active and Infrant engineers spend a lot of time there answering questions.

I am looking for a good deal on my next disk. Once I have redundancy I will start to really rely on the NAS for storing important files.

-Sean
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post #65 of 70 Old 04-26-2006, 10:23 PM
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Hey congrats on that purchase Sean. Just a question, do you leave your NAS on at all times or turn it off during periods of no use ? Mine's been on since the day I bought it several months ago, but I'm concerned about hard drive wear and tear. I figure as long as the magnetic read-heads arent going back and forth (when no one's sending commands to read and write) its ok for them to still be on. So how do you like it? On or off ?

-Mike
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post #66 of 70 Old 04-27-2006, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Currently I am leaving it on all the time. I have scheduled recordings from both EyeTV and my Sirius radio that get recorded directly to the NAS and it would be too much of a pain to remember to turn it on and off all the time.

I have heard different opinions about whether it is better to leave hard drives running all the time or to turn them on and off as needed. I am not sure which I believe.

Infrant claims to be working on a software update that will allow the NAS to run in a low power mode. I am not sure exactly what that will provide, if such functionality will ever be released. I would certainly like the ability to have a schedule of so it can power on and off automatically when I need it.

Right now I only have one drive in it. I hooked it up to my Kill A Watt meter and it draws about 32-33 watts of power. I assume that will go up a bit when I add more drives.

Overall, I am very happy with it. I just wish those new 750GB drives were cheaper!

-Sean
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post #67 of 70 Old 04-27-2006, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dukee101
Just like Derek_M, I also have the Infrant ReadyNAS X6 in my network AND a new Mac Mini Intel Core Duo in my family room. I can say that I have experienced the same network performance as he has, with Windows accessing the NAS slower than the Mac can. I got my Mac today and have been tinkering with it ever since. The primary thing I am trying to do is to import the Photos and Music from the NAS folders into iTunes and iPhoto, but I can't seem to do this without the programs actually COPYING the files over to the hard drive of the Mini. This is NOT what I want. I simply want the programs to establish 'pointer links' in their albums or playlists or whatever they use to catalogue media files (iPhoto being photo albums and iTunes being music playlists). I am an audiophile and have several FLAC rips on my NAS as well, but since iTunes can't play FLAC, i've also maintained a parallel MP3 version of those rips on the NAS as well, so it's all good. (this also helps with mobility as far as MP3 players go, etc...). So if there is one question I'd like answered, its the one I stated above, and I'll state it again: How can i have iTunes and iPhoto simply POINT to the files on my NAS drive so I can use it in FrontRow, or better yet, why can't i access my NAS folders directly from FrontRow? Why does it say 'there are no attached devices with media on it at this time' ?

OK, and now that I've ASKED a few questions, let me ANSWER some of the questions posted before me. Seems like people are wondering about NTFS and EXT3 and all that in regards to the NAS. Let me set it all straight for you guys:

The NAS drive (at least my Infrant model, and I'm sure most of the rest operate in this fashion as well, for if they dont, i cant imagine why?) uses neither NTFS, EXT3, or HFS/+. It uses a standard known as CIFS (Common Internet File System) and both Windows and Mac systems freely integrate with it. It is 100% compatible with Windows 2000/XP and Mac OS X. Now, if you're looking for Linux compatiblity, as far as my NAS goes (And i highly recommend it to anyone looking for a solid NAS solution, btw), there is a separate check box that allows the file system to be shared among Linux computers as well (and in that case, i believe some sort of EXT3 interface is applied to the files). But if you're running CIFS, both Windows and Mac very easily communicate with it. So you guys shouldn't sweat on that.

Once again, if there are some avid home theatre affecionados out there (And i know AVS Forum is loaded with em), and you wanna be on the cutting edge, I highly recommend getting Infrant's ReadyNAS X6, and now, their brand-new NV, which if only i waited 2 months for I coulda gotten it, and popping in some high-quality screaming-fast drives from Seagate (THe barracuda 7200.9's with 500GB and 16MB cache with SATA-II). Pop those babies in and set it up with the X-RAID technology they offer and feel safe and secure. I've put all the family photos, home videos, music collection, even some software install files (for easy installs on newly-formatted comps, etc...) on it! I can't be happier. Forget those externally connected USB/Firewire hard drives. Buy a NAS and have any computer in the house ride along. This is the future, you can't go wrong.


So, I hope someone can answer my question about FrontRow, and I hope I've done a good job in reassuring those who were unsure about NAS's and communication with Mac and Windows platforms.

-Mike
I am trying the same thing: I have a new mac mini hooked up to a 50 inch Pioneer plasma and wanna use front row. SO farf I cant get the picture to stretch all the way to the sides of the screen, other than that it looks very good.

But w/ media, I am having the same problems as you and now my files are way confused. I want everything on my external hard drive, and have Itunes/I photo, etc. VIA Front Row find them and show them.

Have you figured anything out?

Thanks and good luck.

Marc
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post #68 of 70 Old 05-13-2006, 01:20 PM
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What are the pros/cons of a NAS which holds 4 drives versus a 4-bay external enclosure connected to one of your 'always on' machines?
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post #69 of 70 Old 05-15-2006, 09:50 AM
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Great discussion here.

A question from (as it will be readily apparent) a newbie to RAID and NAS in general: Anybody know of a way to set up a RAID 5 array from daisy-chained Firewire drives? Seems to me that would be the ultimate poor-man's NAS. Put cheap drives in external enclosures, daisy-chain them together, plug the whole mess into a Mac and configure it for RAID 5 (yes, I know Disk Utility only does RAID 0 and 1). Make the resulting "drive" a shared volume on your network, and off you go.

Any thoughts? Anybody actually tried this weird idea?
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post #70 of 70 Old 05-15-2006, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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My personal experience is that firewire connected drives are not as reliable as either internal drives or network attached drives. I have a 4-bay firewire enclosure. If I leave the drives mounted for a period of time they inevitably get disconnected and they I get all kinds of warnings about the possible damage to the drives due not being unmounted properly.

My NAS box has been rock solid.

I don't know what options for RAID are available in such an external enclosure. But unless you have your device set up as a RAID with redundancy you are taking a big risk with respect to data loss, especially with the large size drives we have now.

With my ReadyNAS, I can have 4 drives installed and if any one of them crashes, all of my data is safe. All I have to do is stick in a replacement drive and I am back to data redundancy.

-Sean
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