NAS newbie; Mac backup/storage scenario, includes Sonos - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 08-31-2013, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
gdX
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This is really about backup and storage, but am looking to ensure idiot-proof music streaming. There are no plans for video streaming.

I'm helping a friend with multi-room music. Nothing's been purchased yet, but Sonos and a MacBook Pro are firm choices. The environment needs to be simple to set up (me) and even simpler to use (her). No elaborate RAID arrays or audiophile solutions will be considered. There is an existing router in the house which will be used unless it’s shown to be inadequate.

(Might make an exception for RAID if I can be sold on simplicity, effectiveness and low cost, but everything I read says that won't happen. All I've ever done for myself is daisychain 4 external HDs to my Mac and call it a day; no issues ever. I’m not a computer enthusiast; just want to set it and forget it.)

As far as storage goes, she has the usual stuff: photos, home movies, personal business, and a semi-chunky iTunes folder (mp3) currently residing on the existing Dell PC (+ 1 backup HD maybe). Additionally, some 3-400 CDs will be ripped to ALAC. Not confirmed yet, but I'm sure everything would easily fit on 2TB.

I understand that I will need a NAS setup to effectively and/or easily work Sonos, yes? We want to bypass the laptop to use Sonos. Keep the laptop light and nimble, free of all archived files.

I've never set up a NAS before; doesn't appear to be difficult. Makes I'm looking at include Synology (a 2-bay unit), or a couple WD MyBooks. Both seem popular, and are said to be good with Sonos.

Can a NAS be partitioned like a normal HD? Music/videos/photos archived in one large partition, and a smaller partition left open to routine laptop backups? If this is so, would a pair of NASs be set up exactly the same?

Assuming I'm on the right track here, is a pair of 2TB NASs all I need? Maybe an additional regular HD for archived storage off-site?

Not quite on-topic, but my impression is that AirPort Time capsule has conflicts with NAS and/or Sonos. Any comments here are appreciated as well. Solutions that keep Sonos idiot-proof will take precedence over automated backups.

Any links to basic NAS description / instruction, or even just search terminolgy, are welcome.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 3 Old 09-01-2013, 08:04 AM
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I have a Sonos, NAS and Time Capsule and it works fine. A NAS is a nice way to go as you don't need a computer on to listen to your music. With that said, over time I find that I listen mostly to steaming services over my own music. As far as Raid- Raid isn't for backups, it is for availability. I'm running raid 5 and if/when a file goes corrupt, the corrupt version is copied across the array. Now if a hard drive dies, I'll still be able to access my files and replacing that drive will allow that drive to be rebuilt.

Something to consider is I have my NAS drive spin down when not in use. The time it takes to spin up is longer than iTunes search time and therefore times out. I now have my iTunes locally to my computer and a copy of my music on the NAS for the Sonos. Btw, 2 TB drive is way more than is needed for a music collection but you did mention she had pictures and home movies too.

BTW, if she is an iTunes user, ITunes Match for $25/year will provide you backups from Apple. It will also allow you to rip her collection at a low bit rate (aka faster) then download a higher quality version from Apple.
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post #3 of 3 Old 09-01-2013, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avale View Post

I have a Sonos, NAS and Time Capsule and it works fine. A NAS is a nice way to go as you don't need a computer on to listen to your music.
Good to know. The idea is to bypass the laptop; she will probably use her iPhone to play music in her home.

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Originally Posted by avale View Post

As far as Raid- Raid isn't for backups, it is for availability.
Yes, (I think) I understand that RAID is not backup, but a multi-drive RAID is more like one extra-secure HD that still requires additional HDs for backup. Which I think might be overkill when 2 or 3 backups will suffice for a modest home network. Music, home movies and photos will always be available on optical discs, as well as HDs. That said, I admit that the complexity and options for RAID are more than I want to deal with, regardless of the extra security. I won't be there to scrutinize it, and don't really want to be on call when her complex networking has a problem.

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Originally Posted by avale View Post

Something to consider is I have my NAS drive spin down when not in use. The time it takes to spin up is longer than iTunes search time and therefore times out.
Unclear to this newbie. What does that mean exactly? Can't it just be left on?

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Originally Posted by avale View Post

I now have my iTunes locally to my computer and a copy of my music on the NAS for the Sonos.
That's something else that has always been unclear to me: iTunes basics. I get the impression that the Itunes library redundantly resides in more than one place on my old G4. Not an issue for me because I won't start my own archive until I get new HW/SW. But for her, I want the laptop free of the actual music files, and just use the iTunes app to access the NAS – if she uses the laptop at all. More likely it will be an iPhone used as remote for Sonos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avale View Post

BTW, if she is an iTunes user, ITunes Match for $25/year will provide you backups from Apple. It will also allow you to rip her collection at a low bit rate (aka faster) then download a higher quality version from Apple.
Thanks for that, but it seems more trouble than it's worth. I don't think she uses iTunes much for purchases. We both want to avoid the Cloud. Her collection is more eclectic than what's available at any one mainstream resource.

Thanx again.
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