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View Full Version : Apple Home Server




CylonGlitch
May 10, 2012, 04:58 PM
I've been thinking, I know they have the Mac MINI and it's powerful and does a ton of things. But what we could use is an Apple Home server. Basically take the form factor of the ATV1 and replace the processor onboard with the same one from the iPad3; throw in another 256mb of RAM (or bring it up to 1GB). Then they should install a slimmed down version of OSX on it to share media. Enable the USB ports and away it goes.

Basically taking the ATV1 with OSX and beef it up a little. Sell this bugger for $249.

Maybe add a little extra software to add features that allow iTunes to span multiple drives and for automatic drive backups. This type of thing. Make it easy for the home user to setup a little server for themselves. Not just for Media, but also for file storage / backup. I know they want us to move the the cloud but the cloud doesn't have enough bandwidth and / or storage.



T5BRICK
May 10, 2012, 05:10 PM
I doubt Apple would be able to make something like that for $250. The original Apple TV was $299 or $399 depending on the capacity, and it wasn't exactly top of the line hardware.

If you're looking at prices up to $399, you may as well step up to the Mac Mini, it would be able to handle just about anything you could throw at it.

radiogoober
May 10, 2012, 07:14 PM
Yup lol. What he described, except the price, is a Mac mini.

The beauty of networking is that you can get a Mini, set it up to do most of this stuff, and still use it as a real/normal/everyday computer. My mini has a pair of thunderbolt 3 TB drives attached to it, which sits behind my monitor so I never see it (Western Digital MyBook Thunderbolt Duo), and my iTunes is always on and minimized (unless I'm using it.) My mac is always on, so I can always access any of hundreds of movies or TV shows that I keep on the thunderbolt drives from my AppleTV. So it essentially already is a home media server, on top of being an awesome computer.

.... currently building a rack setup, and will get a new airport extreme and put the old one as a NAS/backup device.

pdafan
May 11, 2012, 02:16 AM
Exactly my thoughts too.
My setup and usage is exactly like yours.
Extremely please with it as a media server and personal computer.

I used to let my mac mini run 24x7 but after acquiring my WD Thunderbolt 4TB, I notice my WD does not "idle/sleep" as well as the mini. It stays 55C all the time.

Do you know a good way to force the WD to sleep? I do not mind my Mac mini staying up the whole night but not the TB.

Other than that, my Mac mini is a little beast right now with SSD/TB combo. Superior disk performance compared to a much more pricy full SSD solution.

Yup lol. What he described, except the price, is a Mac mini.

The beauty of networking is that you can get a Mini, set it up to do most of this stuff, and still use it as a real/normal/everyday computer. My mini has a pair of thunderbolt 3 TB drives attached to it, which sits behind my monitor so I never see it (Western Digital MyBook Thunderbolt Duo), and my iTunes is always on and minimized (unless I'm using it.) My mac is always on, so I can always access any of hundreds of movies or TV shows that I keep on the thunderbolt drives from my AppleTV. So it essentially already is a home media server, on top of being an awesome computer.

.... currently building a rack setup, and will get a new airport extreme and put the old one as a NAS/backup device.

Obioban
May 11, 2012, 07:22 AM
Funny you should post that. I have installed OSX on my ATV1 and leave it running (with an array of USB HD's plugged into it) as an (iTunes) media server for my house, 100% of the time. It can run the latest iTunes and never jams up-- even when four 1080p streams are being pulled from it simultaneously.

It's SLOW when I need to change settings on it (which I do 100% through screen sharing) but never any speed issues as a media server.

Completely silent, too, as it doesn't even have any fans to turn on.

charlien
May 11, 2012, 08:05 AM
Sounds like a time capsule with iTunes.

ftaok
May 11, 2012, 08:16 AM
Funny you should post that. I have installed OSX on my ATV1 and leave it running (with an array of USB HD's plugged into it) as an (iTunes) media server for my house, 100% of the time. It can run the latest iTunes and never jams up-- even when four 1080p streams are being pulled from it simultaneously.

It's SLOW when I need to change settings on it (which I do 100% through screen sharing) but never any speed issues as a media server.

Completely silent, too, as it doesn't even have any fans to turn on.

I've thought about doing that, but in the end, I deemed it was too much tinkering.

So I basically use an old WinXP laptop (P4-2ghz) for iTunes Streaming duties. I really wanted to use my old iBook, but I can only load 10.4 onto it, so it doesn't run the latest iTunes.

CylonGlitch
May 11, 2012, 08:39 AM
Funny you should post that. I have installed OSX on my ATV1 and leave it running (with an array of USB HD's plugged into it) as an (iTunes) media server for my house, 100% of the time. It can run the latest iTunes and never jams up-- even when four 1080p streams are being pulled from it simultaneously.

It's SLOW when I need to change settings on it (which I do 100% through screen sharing) but never any speed issues as a media server.

Completely silent, too, as it doesn't even have any fans to turn on.

This is what I'm doing right now as well. BTW, there is a small fan in it, but it rarely turns on. . . if ever? I love it.

This is why I would like to see this "revamped." The Mac Mini is a great machine, but much too powerful for what is needed. Just give me an ATV1 with maybe a i3 in it or the iPad3 processor and 1GB of RAM. Then install a stripped down version of OSX with remote login capabilities. Simple little device; a few easy maintenance scripts for automatic backups and a few other features. Not a full OSX server.

Mac Mini $599 with full capabilities and Thunderbolt, etc.
Mac Home Server $249/$299ish stripped down low power server for files and iTunes media sharing. They target different markets; the latter would have to be simple to use. Yes it would poach a few sales from the Mac Mini's but it would further entrench Apple/Macs in the home. It's one piece that is kinda missing.

ftaok
May 11, 2012, 08:59 AM
Mac Mini $599 with full capabilities and Thunderbolt, etc.
Mac Home Server $249/$299ish stripped down low power server for files and iTunes media sharing. They target different markets; the latter would have to be simple to use. Yes it would poach a few sales from the Mac Mini's but it would further entrench Apple/Macs in the home. It's one piece that is kinda missing.

I keep dreaming that the next iteration of the Time Capsule/Airport Extreme will have the horsepower to host an iTunes share and serve it as well. A few months ago, rumors of an A5, iOS based AEBS/TC were floating around. That would be what I want.

whooleytoo
May 11, 2012, 09:11 AM
I'd love to have such a device, but I don't think Apple is likely to sell one.

As you say, they're pushing the iCloud heavily now; and a Home Server would seem like a step backwards (to them). Personally, I prefer quick and reliable access to my music & movies that isn't dependant on my ISP AND a 3rd party cloud provider! :)

CylonGlitch
May 11, 2012, 10:30 AM
I keep dreaming that the next iteration of the Time Capsule/Airport Extreme will have the horsepower to host an iTunes share and serve it as well. A few months ago, rumors of an A5, iOS based AEBS/TC were floating around. That would be what I want.

That would be very nice, really nice.. :D I agree, I'd want that too.

Well, one could dream. :D

NightStorm
May 11, 2012, 10:58 AM
I'd be content if they made Home Sharing run as a service in the OS so I wouldn't have to keep iTunes open 24x7.