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MacRumors
Feb 14, 2013, 12:10 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/14/newertech-releases-ministack-max-hard-driveblu-ray-burnersd-card-readerusb-hub/)


Other World Computing has begun selling NewerTech's miniStack MAX (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ministack_max), an ambitious all-in-one hard drive, Blu-Ray/CD/DVD reader/burner, SD card reader and USB hub in one compact enclosure meant to match the footprint of the Mac mini. There is also a version that reads Blu-Ray discs, but does not write them.

A number of products designed to fit under the Mac mini have been released over the years, but with the addition of Thunderbolt and powerful CPUs, the Mac mini has become a viable option for users looking for an inexpensive and flexible workstation.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/02/newertechmaxstack.jpgThe only four-in-one storage, data access, and connectivity solution available!

The Newer Technology miniStack® MAX puts the diverse functionality of a high-capacity hard drive, Blu-ray/CD/DVD optical drive, SD card reader and USB powered hub into a single elegant aluminum finish enclosure. A perfect compliment for ANY Mac or PC, yet sized to match the footprint of the Mac mini, miniStack MAX offers fully bootable data storage/backup along with three USB ports for powering and charging external devices.The miniStack MAX (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/MSMXBW1.0TB7/) includes three options for connecting to the Mac including eSATA, FireWire 800, or two USB 3.0, as well as a separate USB port for charging devices with no data transfer.

It comes in a number of configurations, including versions with a Blu-Ray Reader starting at $150 (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/MSMX0GB/) for a bring-your-own-disk option, 500GB for $260 (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/MSMXBD0.5TB7/), 1TB for $280 (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/MSMXBD1.0TB7/), 2TB for $330 (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/MSMXBD2.0TB7/), 3TB for $400 (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/MSMXBD3.0TB7/), and 4TB for $530 (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/MSMXBD4.0TB7/).

Versions with a Blu-Ray Reader/Burner are available for $40 more (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ministack_max).

Article Link: NewerTech Releases miniStack MAX Hard Drive/Blu-Ray Burner/SD Card Reader/USB Hub (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/14/newertech-releases-ministack-max-hard-driveblu-ray-burnersd-card-readerusb-hub/)



ThunderSkunk
Feb 14, 2013, 12:17 PM
This would be a handy base station for the optical-less iMac as well. ...and Retina MBP. ...and MBA.

...and Apple TV and iPad (if iOS were a more functional OS).

roland.g
Feb 14, 2013, 12:18 PM
When I had a older Mini Core Duo for a year as a stop gap machine, I had a miniStack. Great little product. Port expansion, stackable drive, etc.

This would be a handy base station for the optical-less iMac as well. ...and Retina MBP. ...and MBA.

...and Apple TV and iPad (if iOS were a more functional OS).

Very good point. If I didn't have a 2011 iMac with remote disc and 4 external hard drives, this might be a good solution for my MBA. Certainly not a bad idea for the new iMacs. I am a firm believer in external iTunes drives.

Eduardo1971
Feb 14, 2013, 12:20 PM
Wasted space on top. They could have used the top as a cup warmer.
;)

treyjustice
Feb 14, 2013, 12:21 PM
not horrible pricing

Radio
Feb 14, 2013, 12:22 PM
Nope.


Radio

themanfromvlad
Feb 14, 2013, 12:22 PM
Lack of Thunderbolt gives me little hope of that small plug ever taking off.

pgiguere1
Feb 14, 2013, 12:25 PM
Does the $150 model include a Blu-ray reader?

This article makes it sound like it does but OWC's website make it sound like to have to bring your own drives, including the Blu-Ray drive.

curmudgeon32
Feb 14, 2013, 12:25 PM
The BYO drive option sounds like a very decent deal, especially considering how that you also get a few additional USB 3.0 ports. I think one of these with a 1- or 2TB drive might just be my next upgrade if I get more into video editing and need fast storage.

Never mind. I read this too fast and thought it had Thunderbolt. Forget it.

brownpaw
Feb 14, 2013, 12:27 PM
Is there any concern that the vibration from the optical drive will damage the hard drive, with them being right on top of each other?

GeekLawyer
Feb 14, 2013, 12:28 PM
...I am a firm believer in external iTunes drives....

I have always had a strong feeling I should keep my iTunes library externally - could you say more why you believe as you do? A product like this might be very useful for that indeed.

Glassed Silver
Feb 14, 2013, 12:28 PM
I think I haven't seen such ridiculously overpriced HDD options in a long time...

Glassed Silver:mac

curmudgeon32
Feb 14, 2013, 12:29 PM
Does the $150 model include a Blu-ray reader?

This article makes it sound like it does but OWC's website make it sound like to have to bring your own drives, including the Blu-Ray drive. You're right. The specs on OWC's site list "compatible" Blu-ray drives, along with a price for each.

philr5150
Feb 14, 2013, 12:33 PM
This looks/sounds like an awesome little device.

I have always had a strong feeling I should keep my iTunes library externally - could you say more why you believe as you do? A product like this might be very useful for that indeed.

For me, I keep my library on a 2Tb NAS share. Adding that (much) space to a MacBook or whatever could get very expensive, very quickly. Something like an external drive you can just keep upgrading and/or adding to quite cheaply ($100 per Tb isn't hard to find these days).

kerryn
Feb 14, 2013, 12:35 PM
Correct me if I am wrong but it seems like this is purely a USB hub and if you connect using USB you can't use the Firewire or eSATA. It looks like the Firewire and eSATA are only for alternative connections from a computer to this should you not have a fast USB3 in which case you would still need to connect a USB2 cable for the USB (and presumably the card reader) to work.

Is this right?

If so it limits its usefulness to me.

Ideally I would have liked a thunderbolt connection that then gave additional USB3 and Firewire ports in addition to the bluray and hard disk expansion but alas this does not seem to be the case for it.

hamkor04
Feb 14, 2013, 12:36 PM
Is there any concern that the vibration from the optical drive will damage the hard drive, with them being right on top of each other?

that why, rubber Grommets for.
there is more chance optical drive will damage itself with own vibration :D

RMo
Feb 14, 2013, 12:43 PM
Lack of Thunderbolt gives me little hope of that small plug ever taking off.

I was going to say something about how I saw the lack of Thunderbolt as something that would make it affordable, but then I looked more closely at the $150 HDD/SDD-less model and saw that it was also a bring-your-own-optical-drive situation. (This is not clear from the article, as others have mentioned.)

So maybe not.

Mojo1
Feb 14, 2013, 12:49 PM
Hopefully OWC has fixed the MiniStack USB 3.0 interference with Bluetooth and WiFi.

I bought a new MiniStack in December and it killed my Mac Mini WiFi connection. It might work if you place it far away from the computer but I didn't have a long USB 3.0 cable so I could test it. Since I purchased it so I could stack it with my Mini and it was unusable, I returned it for a refund.

I replaced it with a Mercury Elite Pro enclosure. Unfortunately, when connected via USB 3.0 the enclosure does not allow the drive to spin-down when the Mini is powered off. OWC is currently trying to figure out what is causing the problem...

paulrbeers
Feb 14, 2013, 12:50 PM
Correct me if I am wrong but it seems like this is purely a USB hub and if you connect using USB you can't use the Firewire or eSATA. It looks like the Firewire and eSATA are only for alternative connections from a computer to this should you not have a fast USB3 in which case you would still need to connect a USB2 cable for the USB (and presumably the card reader) to work.

Is this right?

If so it limits its usefulness to me.

Ideally I would have liked a thunderbolt connection that then gave additional USB3 and Firewire ports in addition to the bluray and hard disk expansion but alas this does not seem to be the case for it.

That is correct. Even without Thunderbolt, if it had a USB 3.0 connection that also acted as a hub PLUS added an eSATA and firewire (over that single USB 3.0 connection), then this seems like a decent deal (especially if the ESATA had port multiplying capabilities). Unfortunately, all this is, is a USB 3.0 hub with single hard drive and an optical bay. Not terrible, but when you really get down to it, the eSATA (especially) and the firewire are virtually useless.

Rocketman
Feb 14, 2013, 12:51 PM
Correct me if I am wrong but it seems like this is purely a USB hub and if you connect using USB you can't use the Firewire or eSATA. From the article:

"A quad interface allows you to choose the data connection that suits your workflow–USB 3.0/2.0, FireWire® 800/400 or eSATA–with data transfer speeds up to 300MB/s."

That's what you connect to the computer. I have an external drive from them and I use FW800 since it is bi-directional fast. There is probably a way to do a TB to eSATA converter to further increase the speed.

It seems like a good price for what amounts to an airplay/NAS compatible external storage and burn unit. It is attached to your computer to function.

The interesting thing is they are going against the flow by emphasizing the optical media in an era where it is declining in popularity, but for a media center or media ingest station, it's not bad at all.

Rocketman

incoherent1
Feb 14, 2013, 12:56 PM
Is there any concern that the vibration from the optical drive will damage the hard drive, with them being right on top of each other?

Apple built Mac Minis for years that were constructed just as closely together. Why would it be any less reliable now?

starbird
Feb 14, 2013, 12:56 PM
This looks/sounds like an awesome little device.



For me, I keep my library on a 2Tb NAS share. Adding that (much) space to a MacBook or whatever could get very expensive, very quickly. Something like an external drive you can just keep upgrading and/or adding to quite cheaply ($100 per Tb isn't hard to find these days).

Same here. Just moved from a 1 TB to a 3 TB (both FW 800) over Christmas. Makes it so much easier.

incoherent1
Feb 14, 2013, 12:58 PM
I know nothing about Bluray. Past discussions have talked about how OS X lacks Bluray codecs, so even if you plug a Bluray in, you can't watch them as you would a DVD. Is that right? If so, are there third party codecs you can download and/or purchase?

igorleandro
Feb 14, 2013, 01:06 PM
Lack of Thunderbolt gives me little hope of that small plug ever taking off.
Exactly my thoughts.

If they had made it with thunderbolt so you could use it for its storage and blu-ray + a hub for other interfaces, gosh, that would be the killing thing to have. If they had put two thunderbolt ports to allow the chain, simply awesome.

smellalot
Feb 14, 2013, 01:14 PM
If I connect it through FireWire to my Mac, will I be able to read USB disks attached to the hub (or vice versa)?

Would make a nice hub. Use FireWire now as it is the fastest port on my computer. Later switch to USB 3 and still use the FireWire drive I have now.

guzhogi
Feb 14, 2013, 01:34 PM
I know nothing about Bluray. Past discussions have talked about how OS X lacks Bluray codecs, so even if you plug a Bluray in, you can't watch them as you would a DVD. Is that right? If so, are there third party codecs you can download and/or purchase?

I hope you could play Blu-Ray movies with it without any additional software. Considering the resolution of Mac displays now, you can watch HD videos. Plus, Blu-Ray movies seem like higher quality to me plus you get all the special features, and other spoken languages & subtitles, unlike most movies I've seen on iTunes.

I'd also like Thunderbolt as well. USB & Firewire hub + hard drive + Blu-Ray. Sounds pretty good.

Anyone know the speed of the hard drive that's included? 5400 or 7200 RPM. And what connection? SATA II or III?

el-John-o
Feb 14, 2013, 01:35 PM
Be kind of neat for backups. You could use it for your backup solution, and create off-site copies with the Blu-Ray burner, all in one place!

Also, one more futile attempt to remind people that even USB took YEARS to take off, thunderbolt will have it's day, though it will always be a small market share product for certain pro level hardware. It's not nor ever will be a consumer grade port, this is for enthusiasts and pros. It's like saying the 7xxx series AMD cards will never take off because not everyone on the entire planet uses them... well not everyone needs that level of performance!

brownpaw
Feb 14, 2013, 02:15 PM
From the manual:

The USB hub, card reader and optical drive all function exclusively over USB so if another cable is connected, they will continue to function over USB. If either a FireWire cable or an eSATA cable is plugged in, the hard drive will function over that interface.

The manual also mentions that it "requires" USB3, with no mention of backwards compatibility. Kind of disappointing.

Source: http://www.newertech.com/downloads/NWTMANMSTKMXOM.pdf

Mr Dobey
Feb 14, 2013, 02:15 PM
I would love to see:

1) Bus power via dual thunderbolt ports so there would only be two connections placed neatly on one side of the rMBP. Right now my portable Blu-Ray player needs two USB cables to be powered so I have to have one cable going around to the other side of my rMBP (not very clean looking)

2) A 2.5" hard drive version for a much thinner form factor and no need for an adapter for SSD's.

roland.g
Feb 14, 2013, 02:21 PM
I have always had a strong feeling I should keep my iTunes library externally - could you say more why you believe as you do? A product like this might be very useful for that indeed.

1. External drives mean that if your internal drive fails, you still have that data separate.

2. Your internal drive is usually smaller and is more expensive to upgrade. An external can easily be upgraded. And I have always bought an enclosure and a bare drive but deals at places like Costco make either option viable.

3. As you upgrade your machine, you simply copy the iTunes data library file to the user folder on your new machine and point iTunes to the external drive.

4. And while I use Time Machine to back up my internal drive, I use a second external drive along with Carbon Copy Cloner to backup my iTunes drive. So that I only need a backup as large as my media drive and don't weigh down my Time Machine backups. I also use CCC to clone in incremental backups, so that if anything gets accidentally deleted, I don't lose it. Which is why for this I think a mirror is a bad idea. I had originally looked into a Drobo, but they have poor performance and reliability from what I have read, at least they did when I was considering options a few years ago.

It may sound like a lot, a media drive, and media backup and a Time Machine backup, but after years of not backing up, I chose to get realistic about my needs and didn't want to lose all that data, from music and movies to iPhoto libraries with family photos.

Now iTunes match and iCloud do make it very easy to not need a physical backup of your data as the match and Cloud make it so you can redownload anything that goes missing, but not if Apple stops carrying it in their catalog, or in my case, a large part of both my music and movie libraries are from old media and not purchased through iTunes. I also don't currently use iTunes match.

kobyh15
Feb 14, 2013, 02:38 PM
How much heat is this thing going to put off? I doubt I would stack a mini on top of it. Slick idea though.

nagromme
Feb 14, 2013, 03:19 PM
The Mac Mini already comes with an SD reader built-in. This gives you dual SD readers. Do we want that?

I guess it's front-facing--good if you use it a lot.

I like the idea of a matching Blu-Ray drive. For HT purposes, I wouldn't care whether it was Lightning or not.

I'd certainly be tempted to get this instead of Apple's thin SuperDrive, if I ever decide I need an optical for my Air. I'd never travel with it, so thinness wouldn't matter. And it would make a docking station of sorts for my external HD, gamepad controller and mouse.

Or, I wonder if anyone makes a small Blu-Ray player that works standalone (video-out) AND works connected to a Mac? That could be tempting.

designgeek
Feb 14, 2013, 05:08 PM
Feels like that Ron White joke, the Beaumont Airport, Haircare and Tire Center. Why not throw in an electric pencil sharpener while you're at it?

travis.jennings
Feb 14, 2013, 05:21 PM
I was thinking dock / base station for my MBA 11", but it has no thunderbolt.

Fail.

Shouldn't thunderbolt kill firewire in the end? I dont see any firewire on my Air...

MagnusVonMagnum
Feb 14, 2013, 05:32 PM
not horrible pricing

If you say so. I got a Memorex Blu-Ray/DVD/CD USB 3.0 burner for $69 on sale and my 3TB USB 3.0 external drive for $110 for a grand total of $179.

My Mac Mini already has the card reader on it (why would I need another one?). That leaves the extra two USB 3.0 ports which are nice, but not worth the $261 difference in price (i.e. $440 for a Blu-Ray Burner with 3TB; $400 for read-only Blu-Ray and 3TB).

I suppose it'd be nice to have the FW800 OPTION (theoretically it could come in handy if I had to use it with another computer), but the computer I'm using it with has USB 3.0 so I don't really then NEED the slower FW800 option.

Verbatim Cookie
Feb 14, 2013, 06:46 PM
A perfect complement for ANY Mac or PC
FTFThem (http://www.dailywritingtips.com/compliment-vs-complement/) :rolleyes:

Fatalbert
Feb 14, 2013, 06:48 PM
It can stack onto the Mac mini... I wonder if one day, the Mac mini will be the pro computer. One module for the 10TB SSD, one for a motherboard and 10GHz CPU and 256GB RAM, and... oh wait, none for optical media :p

APlotdevice
Feb 14, 2013, 08:26 PM
Now iTunes match and iCloud do make it very easy to not need a physical backup of your data as the match and Cloud make it so you can redownload anything that goes missing, but not if Apple stops carrying it in their catalog, or in my case, a large part of both my music and movie libraries are from old media and not purchased through iTunes. I also don't currently use iTunes match.

Which inevitably is going to happen with a lot of media. Contracts do eventually expire, resulting a the publishers' losing their distribution rights.

deannnnn
Feb 14, 2013, 09:27 PM
I think I haven't seen such ridiculously overpriced HDD options in a long time...

Glassed Silver:mac

Overpriced? Those prices seem more than reasonable to me.
That said, I will still not be purchasing one.

phoenixsan
Feb 14, 2013, 11:42 PM
a good solution for many people, me included....;) Hope that thing have a good price and be reliable....


:):apple:

skellener
Feb 15, 2013, 12:04 AM
I know nothing about Bluray. Past discussions have talked about how OS X lacks Bluray codecs, so even if you plug a Bluray in, you can't watch them as you would a DVD. Is that right? If so, are there third party codecs you can download and/or purchase? You can stream bluray movies from Make MKV without ripping right to VLC. I've done it. I don't think it works for every disc. But it does work on ones I've tried.

Follow Method 1
http://themacfeed.com/2010/08/steve-jobs-meet-blu-ray-how-to-play-blu-ray-media-on-a-mac/

Here's a MacRumors forum about it
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=841318

Frankenweenie works and that's a pretty new disc. Using older VLC 1.1.11 for playback

Even with the time it takes to set up, seems to get to the movie faster than the lame Sony consumer BD player I had - and now ads. Just the movie!

mdriftmeyer
Feb 15, 2013, 12:34 AM
Lack of Thunderbolt gives me little hope of that small plug ever taking off.

Just buy the Thunderbolt to Firewire 800 adaptor by Apple. Good to go, especially since that drive doesn't need bus power from the computer as it has its own.

macs4nw
Feb 15, 2013, 01:46 AM
I was thinking dock / base station for my MBA 11", but it has no thunderbolt.....

I'm also disappointed that, for the price, it doesn't sport a pair of Thunderbolt ports. Wonder if the units with built-in HDDs are Time Machine compatible. The NewerTechnology as well as OWC sites don't mention this.

nagromme
Feb 15, 2013, 03:43 AM
I'd be inclined to install a bare drive on my own--look for the best deal, and until I found that deal, just use it for the optical drive.

I'm also disappointed that, for the price, it doesn't sport a pair of Thunderbolt ports. Wonder if the units with built-in HDDs are Time Machine compatible. The NewerTechnology as well as OWC sites don't mention this.

As far as I know, any old external HD is fine for Time Machine. I know people using various different random brands of USB drive, for instance.


Which inevitably is going to happen with a lot of media. Contracts do eventually expire, resulting a the publishers' losing their distribution rights.

If you get iTunes Match, it will store music even if Apple doesn't have the right to sell it: it uploads it to the cloud from your computer. (Also, I'd hope Apple negotiated to make music sales permanent, even when cloud-delivered, so they could keep serving a song to you even if they had to stop selling it to new buyers. If the labels agreed to redownloading and iTunes Match in the first place--which is kind of amazing--then that doesn't seem like much of a leap.)

gwest
Feb 15, 2013, 06:26 AM
I just had to return 2 of OWC's MiniStack drives due to interference with both WiFi and Bluetooth signals. The drives are designed to be stacked but the proximity to the computer itself renders the mouse useless and puts a halt to wireless internet connections. OWC sells a kits to fix the problem and has a video showing how apply it- you have to completely tear down the Mini, voiding its warranty, to apply the shielding.

I hope that this new MiniStack has been designed to address the issue, otherwise you'll be purchasing long cables distance it from the Mini, not stacking it as it's designed to be used.

GeekLawyer
Feb 15, 2013, 07:09 AM
1. External drives mean that if your internal drive fails, you still have that data separate...

Thank you for that. I may just pull the trigger on an external drive of some variety for my iTunes/media library.

Glassed Silver
Feb 15, 2013, 07:54 AM
Overpriced? Those prices seem more than reasonable to me.
That said, I will still not be purchasing one.

Excuse me, but a device that costs 150 bucks shouldn't have a 3TB HDD version that costs as much as two base models and 100 bucks spare cash.

If you think that's sound pricing for adding maybe some additional board a slightly bigger housing maybe and a drive that costs in the rang of 90-110USD (and that is retail)... Well, then I guess I don't need to further try to explain it to you. :confused:

Glassed Silver:mac

T'hain Esh Kelch
Feb 15, 2013, 08:31 AM
I know nothing about Bluray. Past discussions have talked about how OS X lacks Bluray codecs, so even if you plug a Bluray in, you can't watch them as you would a DVD. Is that right? If so, are there third party codecs you can download and/or purchase?
There's *one* app that can play BluRay media, but it requires internet access, as it fetches something something that is required to decrypt the disc. So not very awesome. Other than that, you have to rip the discs.

How much heat is this thing going to put off? I doubt I would stack a mini on top of it. Slick idea though.
It has less than half the power using equipment that a mini has, in a bigger enclosure, and you are worried about heat? O_o

I'll be getting one, as soon as I've read reviews of it.. Absolutely perfect for my 2011 Mini HT!

Edit: Funny. USB port 1 us power only, no connectivity. So you can only use it for charging iPhones!
Edit 2: As I see it, for my HT I have to run the harddrive via the Firewire800 port, but the rest over USB... woot

segura
Feb 15, 2013, 08:36 AM
I guess I am in for a bare drive for $150. I have a headless Mac Mini Server with 2 x 1TB. Can pop in a 3TB in this baby and have my 5TB space. Pick up a BD Drive for $50 to put in . . . and I'm cool with the front loading SD Card Slot. Wish it was TB, but this will work fine for me.

Muscle Master
Feb 15, 2013, 09:11 AM
So guys... Lets just say I know someone who uses CAD, and I also know some a computer engineer.. And we are just looking for the next best thing

If we made a sexy aluminum external drive with say 2 2.5 HDD/SSD slots, an optical drive that read and write BD\DVD\CD, make it as thin as possible without compromising thermal management

Lets see, give it a couple of thunderbolt ports, couple of USB 3.0 ports.. Maybe four, Esata port, *Maybe run it on AC power and maybe wifi.. Give it that HUB functionality everybody wants and also Give it a little LED\LCD that displays drive activity, etc


Will you buy it? I'm sure this has been done before but we are just looking to get our foots in the door

Mojo1
Feb 15, 2013, 09:54 AM
OWC sells a kits to fix the problem and has a video showing how apply it- you have to completely tear down the Mini, voiding its warranty, to apply the shielding.



The kit only addresses the Bluetooth interference since the shielding is only for the Mini's Bluetooth antenna. WiFi interference is not mitigated by the OWC kit.

Anybody considering one of these enclosures should think really hard about it unless you want to deal with BLuetooth and WiFi issues...

RaceTripper
Feb 15, 2013, 11:31 AM
I ordered the bare model, along with a Blu-ray slot drive. I have a 1.5 TB drive I took out of a retired DVR. This will be utilized for my workflow of ripping and encoding Blu-ray and DVDs for streaming. I have a late 2012 Mini (240 SSD, 16 GB, 2.6 GHz i7) for this.

2002cbr600f4i
Feb 15, 2013, 11:53 AM
What the heck were they thinking?!?! No Thunderbolt connection?!?!? Useless!!! While I'm sure this helped keep the price down, it seems pretty dumb not to have TBolt...

And what good is a Blu-Ray drive on the Mac? If you boot camp, fine, but can you even play Blu-Ray movies on the Mac???

RaceTripper
Feb 15, 2013, 12:06 PM
What the heck were they thinking?!?! No Thunderbolt connection?!?!? Useless!!! While I'm sure this helped keep the price down, it seems pretty dumb not to have TBolt...

And what good is a Blu-Ray drive on the Mac? If you boot camp, fine, but can you even play Blu-Ray movies on the Mac???

I'm happy to have something like this without TB. I don't need it and including it would have priced it out of the range I am willing to pay. There are TB solutions out there if you want to pay that high price.

driveparty
Feb 15, 2013, 01:04 PM
into a single elegant aluminum finish enclosure


Liars! Their own specs says it's made of "Scratch-resistant ABS plastic body and glossy plastic black top", so it's a (cheap) piece of plastic, with an external power supply.
Moreover, not only this is (IMHO) too much for a pice of plastic with a kinda cheap external power supply, it's likely gonna either fry your HDD or blow your ears, 'cause plastic (HDD) cases are far away from any known affordable thermal solutions for both HDDs and optical burners.
Considering it's USB 3.0 (unlike wanted TB) connectivity, even if they would made it of aluminum, i won't pay more than $100 for a USB 3.0 to dual-SATA / eSata / FW800 adapter with a couple of additional USB ports and questionable front SD reader.

For me OWC is a tricking company. I bought some products from OWC, including cheap Chinese MBP batteries, or "mini Data-doubler kits" with some cheapest screw grommets and the screws 'em selves, nothing to say about fake (not made by Apple or OEM) second HDD cable.
This ones seems to be the next naive MAC users rubbery attempt from OWC, IMHO.

treyjustice
Feb 15, 2013, 01:12 PM
If you say so. I got a Memorex Blu-Ray/DVD/CD USB 3.0 burner for $69 on sale and my 3TB USB 3.0 external drive for $110 for a grand total of $179.

My Mac Mini already has the card reader on it (why would I need another one?). That leaves the extra two USB 3.0 ports which are nice, but not worth the $261 difference in price (i.e. $440 for a Blu-Ray Burner with 3TB; $400 for read-only Blu-Ray and 3TB).

I suppose it'd be nice to have the FW800 OPTION (theoretically it could come in handy if I had to use it with another computer), but the computer I'm using it with has USB 3.0 so I don't really then NEED the slower FW800 option.

I thought the base model had a blu ray drive in it. Apparently not pricing doesn't look so great now

RaceTripper
Feb 15, 2013, 04:04 PM
Liars! Their own specs says it's made of "Scratch-resistant ABS plastic body and glossy plastic black top", so it's a (cheap) piece of plastic, with an external power supply.
Moreover, not only this is (IMHO) too much for a pice of plastic with a kinda cheap external power supply, it's likely gonna either fry your HDD or blow your ears, 'cause plastic (HDD) cases are far away from any known affordable thermal solutions for both HDDs and optical burners.
Considering it's USB 3.0 (unlike wanted TB) connectivity, even if they would made it of aluminum, i won't pay more than $100 for a USB 3.0 to dual-SATA / eSata / FW800 adapter with a couple of additional USB ports and questionable front SD reader.

For me OWC is a tricking company. I bought some products from OWC, including cheap Chinese MBP batteries, or "mini Data-doubler kits" with some cheapest screw grommets and the screws 'em selves, nothing to say about fake (not made by Apple or OEM) second HDD cable.
This ones seems to be the next naive MAC users rubbery attempt from OWC, IMHO.

Mine arrived a short time ago. It has a metal case best I can tell (appears to be cast something with aluminum colored paint). The bottom on which everything mounts is ABS. I am assembling it now with a BRD drive and a 1.5 TB 3.5" HDD.

deconstruct60
Feb 15, 2013, 10:53 PM
Other World Computing has begun selling NewerTech's miniStack MAX (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ministack_max), an ambitious all-in-one hard drive, Blu-Ray/CD/DVD reader/burner, SD card reader and USB hub in one compact enclosure meant to match the footprint of the Mac mini.

A bigger, yet unstated issue is whether this new offering has the properly shield USB 3.0 sockets or not.

http://blog.macsales.com/15990-shielding-resolves-usb-3-0-conflict-with-bluetooth

Some folks had problems with older Newer Stacks with USB 3.0. OWC came up with a kluge to 'shield' the bluetooth radio from the interference. However, the root cause seemed to be the older product's USB 3.0 sockets. Hopefully this one has a better design.

P.S. Thunderbolt here makes almost zero sense. Access to a single HDD or a single BlueRay drive won't be much or not at all faster than using USB 3.0 or eSATA. Even FW800 won't be that far off for relatively random accesses. At best could get eSATA like speed out of a much more expensive Thunderbolt solution.

driveparty
Feb 16, 2013, 01:50 AM
Mine arrived a short time ago. It has a metal case best I can tell (appears to be cast something with aluminum colored paint). The bottom on which everything mounts is ABS. I am assembling it now with a BRD drive and a 1.5 TB 3.5" HDD.

OMG! Don't you make a little difference between painted plastic and metal case, which must disperse HDD / optical drive heat? Unbelievable! :D
There are plenty of good aluminum HDD cases with USB 3.0 interface as well as many DVD/BD slim or full size... However, i won't put a drive with some important data into the plastic box.

Marx55
Feb 16, 2013, 02:23 AM
At least two Thunderbolt ports is a must. No Thunderbolt is a deal breaker!!!

RaceTripper
Feb 16, 2013, 11:21 AM
OMG! Don't you make a little difference between painted plastic and metal case, which must disperse HDD / optical drive heat? Unbelievable! :D
There are plenty of good aluminum HDD cases with USB 3.0 interface as well as many DVD/BD slim or full size... However, i won't put a drive with some important data into the plastic box.

Leaving the argument of plastic vs metal aside, I have been running 2TB drives inside Antec MX-1 eSata enclosures for years. These are plastic cases with whisper fans that pack the drives in tighter than the miniStack MAX does. I have three of these Antecs running as ext drives on DVRs that buffer video full time. IOW: the drives run 24/7/365 since the DVRs are never off. I have yet to have a problem with heat or drive failure as a result.

MagnusVonMagnum
Feb 16, 2013, 03:06 PM
At least two Thunderbolt ports is a must. No Thunderbolt is a deal breaker!!!

WTF is the point of using Thunderbolt if you already have USB 3.0? It'd just double the price of the enclosure and wouldn't gain a thing in terms of performance for a single drive.

Thunderbolt = Consumer FAIL (too bloody expensive for EVERYTHING out there)

phrehdd
Feb 16, 2013, 03:57 PM
This is not a bad unit at all and it fits well with the Mac Mini. It contains ports that are most commonly used and for the price, it serves a purpose.

Thunderbolt - A great idea that is by today's standards, not cost effective for the typical user. For those unhappy that there is no TB on this unit, go pay for a TB enclosure and empty your wallet. Given that most likely a good set of SSDs would be the only thing to really (storage-wise) take advantage of TB then you wouldn't be looking for a single drive enclosure to begin with. There are small bus units out there from a few makers that probably do just fine for 250-400 dollars.

Blu Ray reader - while nice I am one of those that realizes that slot load disc reader/burners are notoriously slower than full sized internal or external units. They also have on the average shorter lives. If one doesn't care how fast the read is, then its not such a bad thing.

USB3 and eSATA - The USB 3 is a great fit for this unit with plenty of adaptors out there to take advantage of using non-USB3 ports from MACs and other systems. The eSATA is disappointing on this unit as it is SATA II not SATA III.

Plastic vs aluminium etc. - Doesn't matter as long as the outside as stated is scratch resistant and the unit can properly cool itself down. This was not meant to be a carry around unit but a stacked unit thus sit it down and simply use it.

Power supply - whether cheap or not, it is a shame that it is a brick along the power line rather than internal. Then again to fit in a 3.5" drive would make it very difficult to have an internal power supply. If the unit instead housed 2 2.5" drives this could have been done.

If someone wanted such a unit and didn't need more than say 1 terabyte, they might consider the 1 tb Velociraptor by Western Digital given its high speed and built in heat sink casing (it really is a 2.5" style drive encased in a 3.5" heat sink housing).

If someone had a Mac Mini, wanted a local back up or additional storage this is not a bad unit at all. If someone is looking for a high end bus/storage unit, this certainly is not it.

So consider what you want vs what you need and choose to buy or not buy and not sure why anyone would be upset with no Thunderbolt at the given price. Apple was late on USB3, didn't come forth with FW1600 or FW3200 and eSATA seems to be falling out of favour.

ctrlshft
Feb 17, 2013, 09:29 AM
no thunderbolt, no deal. what a missed opportunity...

MagnusVonMagnum
Feb 18, 2013, 12:30 AM
no thunderbolt, no deal. what a missed opportunity...

Hey, give them some time to make a deluxe version at 4x the cost that also has Thunderbolt for those that like to waste money on zero performance improvement over USB 3.0 for a single drive. Surely two posts in this thread prove there is at least some demand for a waste of money. :D

G4er?
Feb 18, 2013, 01:16 PM
At least there is finally a third party external device that closely matches the look that Apple gave to the mini. One that has room for a ODD since Apple no longer offers them.

This product will at least allow me to consider the mini. I will wait until I see what Apple comes out with desktop wise during the rest of 2013.

MagnusVonMagnum
Feb 18, 2013, 01:39 PM
At least there is finally a third party external device that closely matches the look that Apple gave to the mini. One that has room for a ODD since Apple no longer offers them.

This product will at least allow me to consider the mini. I will wait until I see what Apple comes out with desktop wise during the rest of 2013.

I actually "hide" my Mac Mini behind two monitors, a Klipsch speaker system, external Blu-Ray/DVD/CD drive (everything is classy black, not aluminum/plastic/grey) and a Brother MFC-J835DW on the far corner completes the look. Even my new Logitech B910 HD Webcam is jet black. The Blu-Ray drive sits vertical between the extra monitor and one of the speakers. My 3TB USB 3.0 hard drive is hidden behind my monitor as well. I have no need for a "stack" when it's all hidden anyway. All you see is a desktop terminal with multiple monitors from the chair.

mpainesyd
Feb 18, 2013, 03:31 PM
I know nothing about Bluray. Past discussions have talked about how OS X lacks Bluray codecs, so even if you plug a Bluray in, you can't watch them as you would a DVD. Is that right? If so, are there third party codecs you can download and/or purchase?

There is a Mac app called Blu-ray Player (~$40) that happily plays Blu-ray movies on my iMac. I use an MCE blu-ray burner that connects with USB2 - old technology but it seems to work fine.

My main reason for getting a blu-ray burner is archiving data, photos and music on 25Gb disks. The MCE will write to 50GB disks but I cannot buy any high-quality archiving disks in Australia.

I am holding out for a Sunix Thunderbolt dock with most of the features that people in this thread have asked for.
http://www.sunix.com.tw/cc/en/e-DM/2012_COMPUTEX-banner/sunix_thunderbolt_dock%20.html
Apparently Sunix is waiting for Intel certification of the Thunderbolt interface...

T'hain Esh Kelch
Feb 28, 2013, 01:51 AM
Is this (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/MNEPWREU/) the cable i would need to use the MiniStack in Europe?

sportster
Mar 11, 2013, 09:57 AM
I just ordered a new Mac Mini (2.6 i7), and I've been eyeing the Mini Stack Max for a while now.

I've seen alot of talk with Bluetooth and wifi interference with the mini stacks. Has anyone else that ordered in the past month of so had any issues?

I like the product, it fits my needs. But, I do not want to drop $200 in the mini stack max (along with my extra 3tb drive) and cause issues with my new Mac setup.

RaceTripper
Mar 11, 2013, 10:02 AM
I just ordered a new Mac Mini (2.6 i7), and I've been eyeing the Mini Stack Max for a while now.

I've seen alot of talk with Bluetooth and wifi interference with the mini stacks. Has anyone else that ordered in the past month of so had any issues?

I like the product, it fits my needs. But, I do not want to drop $200 in the mini stack max (along with my extra 3tb drive) and cause issues with my new Mac setup.

I had one briefly, and yes, I did have the BT issues. I ordered the shield kit, which I have yet to install. I ended up returning my Max. OWC sent me a faulty Blu-ray drive twice, so I gave up and returned everything.

I am now waiting until I buy another Mini to use as a dedicated media server before I decide what and how I will use to manage storage, etc.

sportster
Mar 11, 2013, 11:05 AM
I had one briefly, and yes, I did have the BT issues. I ordered the shield kit, which I have yet to install. I ended up returning my Max. OWC sent me a faulty Blu-ray drive twice, so I gave up and returned everything.

I am now waiting until I buy another Mini to use as a dedicated media server before I decide what and how I will use to manage storage, etc.


It's a shame that there are continued issues with it. I am no ways an expert, but it seams that if the Mini Stack Max was (better) shielded, and a high quality cable was included that the issues would go away...

One last question: Are all the issues mainly with the BT? Any issues with wifi? I'm thinking wifi wont be affect as much, seeing how it is using 5ghz (for wireless N) range. From what I've read the main issues is in the crowded 2.4ghz spectrum.

I may still give it a try, it solve many needs of mine (dvd drive, easy access SD card, and the built in drive for expanded use (plan on saving my home folder or at least iTunes files there). I will be using a Logitech mouse and keyboard, both share a usb receiver.

RaceTripper
Mar 11, 2013, 11:18 AM
It's a shame that there are continued issues with it. I am no ways an expert, but it seams that if the Mini Stack Max was (better) shielded, and a high quality cable was included that the issues would go away...

One last question: Are all the issues mainly with the BT? Any issues with wifi? I'm thinking wifi wont be affect as much, seeing how it is using 5ghz (for wireless N) range. From what I've read the main issues is in the crowded 2.4ghz spectrum.

I may still give it a try, it solve many needs of mine (dvd drive, easy access SD card, and the built in drive for expanded use (plan on saving my home folder or at least iTunes files there). I will be using a Logitech mouse and keyboard, both share a usb receiver.

Apparently, the Mac Mini is part of the problem. The BT module is not well enough shielded against signals from USB 3.0 devices.

http://blog.macsales.com/15990-shielding-resolves-usb-3-0-conflict-with-bluetooth

APlotdevice
Mar 11, 2013, 02:39 PM
Apparently, the Mac Mini is part of the problem. The BT module is not well enough shielded against signals from USB devices.

http://blog.macsales.com/15990-shielding-resolves-usb-3-0-conflict-with-bluetooth

Specifically USB 3.0 devices. The specification for which is also lacking in the shielding department, causing problems for more than just Mac Minis.

RaceTripper
Mar 11, 2013, 02:45 PM
Specifically USB 3.0 devices. The specification for which is also lacking in the shielding department, causing problems for more than just Mac Minis.
Right. I clarified in my post.

Mojo1
Mar 11, 2013, 03:30 PM
As I noted earlier, WiFi is adversely affected. My data transfer speed was reduced by a factor of 100 or killed altogether...

sportster
Mar 11, 2013, 04:11 PM
Well crap...

I'm so on the fence with it, now leaning more towards just skipping it. I really like the package, has everything I'm looking for in one unit. DVD drive, SD reader (front facing), external HD.

What gets me is, people on that blog page clearly state they do not have issues with other usb 3 devices. It's only when the ministack max is powered on.

phrehdd
Mar 11, 2013, 06:40 PM
I am unsure why people seem to like slot load drives. They have a higher failure rate and also tend to be slower than their tray load counterparts. I would love to have a tray load that was the same footprint (though it will be taller) as the Mini and then in addition something like the Mini-Stack.

As for Thunderbolt - its a very expensive proposition between any Tbolt unit plus cable. USB3 is superior to FW800 and in that, it meets the needs of the majority of people (though I do love faster is better).

I have older Mini Stacks and they work as claimed. I have had zero problems and have since graduated them on to a friend of mine who finds them efficient and easy on the eyes.

Mojo1
Mar 12, 2013, 12:45 PM
What gets me is, people on that blog page clearly state they do not have issues with other usb 3 devices. It's only when the ministack max is powered on.

Other USB 3.0 devices do cause problems; a quick Startpage search will turn up lots of reports online about USB 3.0 interference...

I agree with the previous post about slot-loading optical drives: If anything is likely to fail prematurely, it's a slot-loading drive. Apple's so-called "Super Drive" is a cheaply-built mostly plastic device in a typical purty Apple package.

I'm glad that optical drives are going the way of the Dodo bird. But if you must have one I recommend a $30 Samsung USB slot-loading drive (Newegg) or $40 LG tray-loading drive (Best Buy). When it breaks (and it will, probably sooner than later...) you can just throw it away and buy a new drive. Replacing an optical drive in a Mac or Mini Stack will cost more money and require dismantling the computer/enclosure; in some cases the repair is so complex that it is beyond most people.

itsthamessenger
Mar 12, 2013, 02:33 PM
its not a bad piece, would help if it had thunderbolt. would help if we all had thunderbolt displays lol too. i think if u arent really stacki ng your mac on it it may work. i agree with the other poster on buying your own drive though.

T'hain Esh Kelch
Mar 13, 2013, 04:15 AM
Can someone test if this can rip Blu-Ray discs using MakeMKV on a Mac? NewerTechs pages say that it only works in Windows, but it is unclear if it only refers to Blu-Ray playback, which currently doesn't work in Mac OS X of course.

RaceTripper
Mar 13, 2013, 07:37 AM
Can someone test if this can rip Blu-Ray discs using MakeMKV on a Mac? NewerTechs pages say that it only works in Windows, but it is unclear if it only refers to Blu-Ray playback, which currently doesn't work in Mac OS X of course.

I use one of OWC's tray loading BRD to rip Blu-ray disks.

T'hain Esh Kelch
Mar 13, 2013, 07:41 AM
I use one of OWC's tray loading BRD to rip Blu-ray disks.
Thank you, I assumed as much. :)

mpainesyd
Apr 7, 2013, 05:35 PM
A new Thunderbolt dock with USB3, Blu-ray etc has been announced:
See http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1565862

See also this Apple Discussion:
https://discussions.apple.com/message/21710111#21710111

RaceTripper
Apr 7, 2013, 06:01 PM
A new Thunderbolt dock with USB3, Blu-ray etc has been announced:
See http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1565862

See also this Apple Discussion:
https://discussions.apple.com/message/21710111#21710111

For $400. :eek: I would rather see it without TB for a lot less (like $150 or so).

TB adds a big premium and many (me for one) don't need it.

MagnusVonMagnum
Apr 7, 2013, 09:19 PM
Has ANY of these docks been released yet? I keep seeing announcements of massively overpriced docks but I don't recall ever seeing one actually for sale (save the one built into Apple's monitor which STILL hasn't been updated to USB3 even).

mpainesyd
Apr 10, 2013, 07:13 PM
Has ANY of these docks been released yet? I keep seeing announcements of massively overpriced docks but I don't recall ever seeing one actually for sale (save the one built into Apple's monitor which STILL hasn't been updated to USB3 even).

The Australian distributor for Sonnet hopes to be able to tell me next week when the TB dock will be released here and for how much (waiting for a shock). The Sonnet online store is taking orders but is only available to North American residents.

Still no sign of the Sunix dock, 8 months after it was announced.

mpainesyd
May 3, 2013, 04:52 PM
Still a few weeks to go...

https://secure1.sonnettech.com/product_info.php?products_id=455&osCsid=b0ad86a5540398ee06cfb1977b318fff

helkav
Dec 23, 2013, 03:57 PM
...bear with me - power is not my forte.

looking at the specs for the newertech ministacks it looks like the power may not be dual voltage - i.e. compatible with UK power supply

has anyone in the UK bought one and could you possibly advise me on this?