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View Full Version : NAS + ATV, NAS + Mac Mini, or Mac Mini alone for music?




mcdj
Apr 15, 2013, 12:57 AM
I'm currently storing my music on a Synology DS410 NAS. I manage music via iTunes on my rMBP. I stream from the Macbook to an ATV, connected to a DAC, then to my amp/preamp.

Works great, but I don't always want to pull out my MacBook to play music. So most of the time, I just Airplay iTunes Match files from my iPhone or iPad to the ATV. This is fine and dandy, but I'm losing out on all my lovely lossless audio, maxing out at 256kbps AAC.

iTunes also has this nasty habit of occasionally and randomly adding new music to the local iTunes folder of my rMBP instead of to the NAS, meaning cleanup in aisle 6 at least once a month.

So I've been toying with 2 ideas.

1. Ditch the NAS for music, as it's sometimes slow to wake up, causing iTunes headaches. And I don't really stream files from it most of the time anyhow, unless I have my MacBook out. Replace it as a music source with a dedicated always-on 1TB Mac Mini. This would hold all my lossless music, and then I could just use the Remote app to stream ALAC files to my stereo.

2. Keep the NAS, keep the music on it, but get the Mac Mini, keep it on, with iTunes always running, and use Remote to stream lossless files as described above.

Both options give me better quality music than iTunes Match/Airplay with the iPod app on a phone/iPad .

The question is, is one option better than the other? I assume keeping all the music stored directly on the Mini would be the lowest latency way to play it, and would avoid the wake up issues/wrong library problems I sometimes have with the NAS.

Am I missing any other alternative setups with the given equipment? Not really looking to change apps on my iOS devices. I tried the Synology music app. Pretty limited. Sonos and other devices are not an option. We have enough tech to do this right...just wondering what the best combo is.

Thanks.



ChrisA
Apr 15, 2013, 07:01 PM
I'm currently storing my music on a Synology DS410 NAS. I manage music via iTunes on my rMBP. I stream from the Macbook to an ATV, connected to a DAC, then to my amp/preamp.
....


I think the DS420 can act as an "iTunes server". Have you tried that? Then there is no need for the Mini or the Macbook.

Would also be good if you told people the size of the iTunes library.

mcdj
Apr 15, 2013, 11:20 PM
The synology can run an iTunes server, but you still need a Mac running to play music via Apple TV. Apple TV doesn't see the synology server as a shared library, because Apple doesn't license Home Sharing to anyone.

There is a standalone music player app that can play the synology's stored music, but it's not iTunes integrated, and it's pretty limited.

My library is nearly 200gb.

ChrisA
Apr 17, 2013, 06:44 PM
My library is nearly 200gb.

200GB?? Then why are we even talking about NAS? That would fit on any external disk drive and even the internal drive on most notebook PCs

NAS is for very large data sets or if the data needs to be shared by a large group. Buy a used Mini for cheap and copy the library to the internal drive. No need for a NAS.

Used Minis are cheap of you buy and old enough one. Unplug the monitor and use screen mirroring to control the Mini.