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fivepoint
Jun 18, 2008, 12:57 PM
The faster we add movies, songs, TV Shows, etc. to our iTunes library for our AppleTVs... the faster we run out of HD space. When AppleTV was released, I'm guessing 500GB seemed like a TON of space to most of you, and now... not so much.


When you started running out of space on your Mac, what long-term external storage solution did you switch to (or plan to switch to)?
List the hardware you've purchased.
Post photos and/or pricing information if you can.
What advice can you give to others?
What would you do differently?
If you could design the ultimate storage setup for your ever-expanding iTunes library... what would it be?




UPDATE: For those of you intending to move your iTunes library to an external drive like many have done here... I recommend you start with this very helpful resource by iLounge. (http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/moving-your-itunes-library-to-a-new-hard-drive/) For Apple's less in-depth, less thorough, less explanatory version, click Here (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1449).

Here are a few other resources you may find helpful:
RAID (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redundant_array_of_independent_disks) stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. Many users are utilizing RAID to add redundancy (backed up) to their data with "mirroring" RAID 1 or speed to their system with "striping" RAID 0.

Drobo (http://www.drobo.com/) is mass-storage device many users here are using to store their iTunes content and have enough room to grow in the future. Drobo is a type of RAID enclosure that utilizes something called UNRAID. UNRAID has many of the benefits of RAID 0 and RAID 1, and more closely resembles RAID 5. Drobo is a (relatively) inexpensive RAID box which lets you add up to 4 SATA hard drives at once. Each drive is backed up 100% so if you lose one drive, you can replace it and keep right on trucking with no data loss. The primary negative of the drobo is that it uses a proprietary system which would require you to buy a brand new drobo in the event that something went wrong with the first one. The hard drives it uses can not be read by any other device. The drobo website (http://www.drobo.com) has many helpful videos to give you more information.

http://www.wifisound.nl/catalog/images/drobo-left-angle.jpg

Every mac comes with a program called Disk Utility (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disk_Utility). You'll need it to do many of the things you'll read about in this thread. It is especially useful for formatting hard drives (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=DiskUtility/10.5/en/duh1009.html) and creating RAID systems (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=DiskUtility/10.5/en/duh1013.html)with multiple external hard drives. With it, you can obtain similar functionality to a drobo, without the expense of purchasing all new hardware.


UPDATE #2: Since a few others posted theirs later on in this thread, I thought I would make a sketch of my own potential setup, which should serve as an example of what's possible.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3017/2686887558_e7d77ea7ab_o.png



tom1971
Jun 18, 2008, 01:13 PM
just add an external USB hard drive

fivepoint
Jun 18, 2008, 01:42 PM
just add an external USB hard drive

:rolleyes:
I am talking more about users who are upgrading to redundant RAID drives, planning for future expansion through multi-bay devices, backing up multiple externals using Time Machine, etc. There are many ways to go about it, and I am just curious about different people's strategies... and the pros/cons of each.

Sorry if I wasn't clear.

netdog
Jun 18, 2008, 01:45 PM
:rolleyes:
I am talking more about users who are upgrading to redundant RAID drives, planning for future expansion through multi-bay devices, backing up multiple externals using Time Machine, etc. There are many ways to go about it, and I am just curious about different people's strategies... and the pros/cons of each.

Sorry if I wasn't clear.

I run my iTunes library on a redundant RAID hung off of my AEBS. I also have two other copies of my library, one here and one kept safely offsite. I am going to have a friend of mine keep a backup with Chronosync as well. I wonder what the RIAA would have to say about that.

FWIW, this may seem a bit over the top, but I have thrown out my CDs. All 1500 of them. These Apple Lossless files are just fine.

FWIW, except for the AEBS, I have had this setup for about 2 years. The music is so much more accessible from iTunes then it ever was as discs. Except in the car (and my computers), I don't even have a CD player or DVD player anymore. I just pipe all the pictures and sounds through my two AppleTVs and an AE with Airtunes to more suitable amplification and speakers.

f(A)t'kId
Jun 18, 2008, 03:16 PM
I have 3 WD 1TB drives for my iTunes movie collection. Got them from Costco. Right now they are only $199.00 bucks. Maybe i'll pick up another one :D. My brother is my back up and I am his. Nice to know if all is lost I can just get it from him.

kkachurak
Jun 18, 2008, 04:04 PM
Knowing that I wanted to rip all my DVDs to .m4v, I picked up a Mac Pro to serve as the home media server.

I filled it with one 150GB raptor for the system and apps, and two WD 640gb disks - one for content, one for backup.

Because the disks are identical size, I'm not using time machine. I'm just using Backup from .Mac to run nightly backups at 4am.

I have the original stock drive in the 4th bay, just holding some disk backups for now. Someday I'll change out both of those 640's for two 1TB's.

And hopefully, disk manufacturers will someday create a 2TB 3.5 inch drive for even more space. Or, I'll just have to go external.

ayale99
Jun 18, 2008, 04:21 PM
The faster we add movies, songs, TV Shows, etc. to our iTunes library for our AppleTVs... the faster we run out of HD space. When AppleTV was released, I'm guessing 500GB seemed like a TON of space to most of you, and now... not so much.


When you started running out of space on your Mac, what long-term external storage solution did you switch to (or plan to switch to)?
List the hardware you've purchased.
Post photos and/or pricing information if you can.
What advice can you give to others?
What would you do differently?
If you could design the ultimate storage setup for your ever-expanding iTunes library... what would it be?



Good question. I'm reaching the end of my 500gb as well. I'm considering the USB hack for the AppleTV to enable an external HD. OR, replacing the internal drive with a 1TB. I know thats not a solution for you since you have multiple AppleTvs. I'd rather go that route since I don't watch movies on my MBP anymore.

Moof1904
Jun 18, 2008, 04:34 PM
I've got Tiger server running from a broken 17" Al powerbook with a dead screen. Attached to that is a Raid 1 made up of two 500 gig drives attached via firewire in two separate external enclosures. This raid is backed up nightly to a separate drive using retrospect.

I mount the network volume on my desktop and play itunes from there.

The only problem with this setup is that only one mac in the house can access the itunes library at a time.

fivepoint
Jun 18, 2008, 08:54 PM
I run my iTunes library on a redundant RAID hung off of my AEBS. I also have two other copies of my library, one here and one kept safely offsite. I am going to have a friend of mine keep a backup with Chronosync as well. I wonder what the RIAA would have to say about that.

FWIW, this may seem a bit over the top, but I have thrown out my CDs. All 1500 of them. These Apple Lossless files are just fine.

FWIW, except for the AEBS, I have had this setup for about 2 years. The music is so much more accessible from iTunes then it ever was as discs. Except in the car (and my computers), I don't even have a CD player or DVD player anymore. I just pipe all the pictures and sounds through my two AppleTVs and an AE with Airtunes to more suitable amplification and speakers.

Do you experience any lag with your setup? Do you notice any sort of hesitation after commands given the wireless setup? The biggest benefit of this type of setup (besides hiding the HD away from the computer) is that you could equally access the iTunes library from multiple computers at the same time... correct?



I've got Tiger server running from a broken 17" Al powerbook with a dead screen. Attached to that is a Raid 1 made up of two 500 gig drives attached via firewire in two separate external enclosures. This raid is backed up nightly to a separate drive using retrospect.

I mount the network volume on my desktop and play itunes from there.

The only problem with this setup is that only one mac in the house can access the itunes library at a time.

Are the two drives connected through software RAID via Disk Utility? How has the reliability of this setup been? Would you do anything different if you were doing it again?

omni
Jun 18, 2008, 09:45 PM
I bought a 4 TB NAS drive from Buffalo. A little overkill to say the least but now my whole house has access to all of my music, photos and movies.

It's a little too loud for where I have it but after I move it to a quieter spot it should be perfect.

So far I've handbraked 994 TV Shows and a paltry 41 movies plus my music/photos shows my NAS at 38% full. So I'm pretty happy with it.

Good Luck!

MacLov1n
Jun 18, 2008, 10:13 PM
I bought a 4 TB NAS drive from Buffalo. A little overkill to say the least but now my whole house has access to all of my music, photos and movies.

It's a little too loud for where I have it but after I move it to a quieter spot it should be perfect.

So far I've handbraked 994 TV Shows and a paltry 41 movies plus my music/photos shows my NAS at 38% full. So I'm pretty happy with it.

Good Luck!

But how can you access a native NAS with Apple TV without hacking it or without using a dedicated mac/pc ?

twoodcc
Jun 18, 2008, 10:41 PM
very interesting thread here. i don't have an applytv, but still like reading this.

i do have a pretty large itunes library. right now, mine is on my mac pro. i have a 750 drive in it dedicated to my itunes library. i was backing it up to externals, but i didn't like having 5 different externals in a software raid to backup to. (was too cheap to buy a new external)

i'm thinking about clearing out enough room on my 1TB drive in my mac pro to backup to it. we'll see if i can make it happen

omni
Jun 18, 2008, 11:43 PM
But how can you access a native NAS with Apple TV without hacking it or without using a dedicated mac/pc ?

I still have an iMac driving the appleTV's through iTunes.

MacLov1n
Jun 19, 2008, 12:12 AM
I still have an iMac driving the appleTV's through iTunes.

Ok, that means your iMac is running 24/7 or you switch it on before using ATV ?

Jeff Hall
Jun 19, 2008, 01:41 AM
OWC Guardian Maximus 1TB RAID-1

I can pop in bigger drives once the 2TB disks hit the market (likely by early next year).

Quiet, and supports USB2.0, FW400, FW800. The internal disks are SATA.

jb60606
Jun 19, 2008, 02:48 AM
I got a Drobo (http://drobo.com/) and it ranks pretty high on my list of my better tech investments. It's like RAID, but expandable on the fly; you can mix and match hard drives.

Watch their video (http://drobo.com/drobodemo.html) here.

-Completely automated and self configuring
-Works with Time Machine
-There is an available GB network attachment for it called the "DroboShare".
-They dropped the price a little recently.
-quiet

CONS:
It can take up to four 1-terabyte drives to get 3TB of usable space because of overhead and data protection. Check out their capacity calculator (http://drobo.com/drobolator/index.html).

It's USB2, but I've heard they may be coming out with eSATA and FW-800 solutions. USB2 is more than enough, as long as you don't need to run any intensive applications off of it.

fivepoint
Jun 19, 2008, 06:47 AM
I got a Drobo (http://drobo.com/) and it ranks pretty high on my list of my better tech investments. It's like RAID, but expandable on the fly; you can mix and match hard drives.

Watch their video (http://drobo.com/drobodemo.html) here.

-Completely automated and self configuring
-Works with Time Machine
-There is an available GB network attachment for it called the "DroboShare".
-They dropped the price a little recently.
-quiet

CONS:
It can take up to four 1-terabyte drives to get 3TB of usable space because of overhead and data protection. Check out their capacity calculator (http://drobo.com/drobolator/index.html).

It's USB2, but I've heard they may be coming out with eSATA and FW-800 solutions. USB2 is more than enough, as long as you don't need to run any intensive applications off of it.

So, do you just have your iTunes library on the Drobo, and have your computer reference that file? Is it connected to your computer through the network or over USB? Do you notice any 'lag?'

fivepoint
Jun 19, 2008, 06:49 AM
very interesting thread here. i don't have an applytv, but still like reading this.

i do have a pretty large itunes library. right now, mine is on my mac pro. i have a 750 drive in it dedicated to my itunes library. i was backing it up to externals, but i didn't like having 5 different externals in a software raid to backup to. (was too cheap to buy a new external)

i'm thinking about clearing out enough room on my 1TB drive in my mac pro to backup to it. we'll see if i can make it happen

This would be the biggest advantage by far of the Mac Pro in my opinion. All of your hard drives in one enclosure. But, do you think it makes the setup more prone to failure? I mean, if everything is in one enclosure, is the likelihood of loss due to power surge or related problems higher?

pilotError
Jun 19, 2008, 06:57 AM
I have a Netgear ReadyNAS NV+. I manage the library through my iMac, but the ReadyNAS has an iTunes server and can serve everything in the house except for my Apple TV (rediculous BTW).

I sometimes use my PS3 to watch movies or listen to music. I have my router / AEBS / ReadyNAS in my attic, so the fan noise isn't a deal breaker. The NAS drives aren't silent enough to have in a living room. They do offer x-raid, the ability to use mixed sized drives and a host of other features.

It was a little expensive, but now I don't worry about space (at least for a while). When the 1TB drives come down in price, I'll fill it with those.

ironjaw
Jun 19, 2008, 07:05 AM
I can't specifically comment on an AppleTV as I haven't bought one yet, but I have a Synology DS207+ hooked up with 2 WD Greenline 1TB drives (they automatically spin down from 7200 to 5400rpm when not used) - a total of 2TB Software RAID.

This is hosting my iTunes liabrary via AFP. I even use it as a torrent download. It has a web GUI with a lot of functionalities.

Oh and it has Gigabit Ethernet, uses low power consumption, and with those greenline WD drives is quiet silent

fivepoint
Jun 19, 2008, 09:28 AM
I have a Netgear ReadyNAS NV+. I manage the library through my iMac, but the ReadyNAS has an iTunes server and can serve everything in the house except for my Apple TV (rediculous BTW).

I sometimes use my PS3 to watch movies or listen to music. I have my router / AEBS / ReadyNAS in my attic, so the fan noise isn't a deal breaker. The NAS drives aren't silent enough to have in a living room. They do offer x-raid, the ability to use mixed sized drives and a host of other features.

It was a little expensive, but now I don't worry about space (at least for a while). When the 1TB drives come down in price, I'll fill it with those.

Hahaha, the thought of a thousand dollar NAS sitting all alone in an attic is strangly humorous to me! :D

sanPietro98
Jun 19, 2008, 10:11 AM
I know this is probably overkill, but it works (for now).

I have three external HDDs attached to a G4 Mac Mini.
(1) For purchases right from AppleTV + music
(2) For handbraked Movies
(3) For handbraked TV Shows

At some point, I want to setup a single RAID for all of this just to simplify and reduce the number of cables!

fivepoint
Jun 19, 2008, 10:16 AM
I know this is probably overkill, but it works (for now).

I have three external HDDs attached to a G4 Mac Mini.
(1) For purchases right from AppleTV + music
(2) For handbraked Movies
(3) For handbraked TV Shows

At some point, I want to setup a single RAID for all of this just to simplify and reduce the number of cables!

Very interesting. I am confused as to how you keep the purchases, movies and tv shows seperate and not in a "iTunes Library" folder. I'm guessing you don't let iTunes "keep your files organized."

Also, do you have backups of any of this data?

bacaramac
Jun 19, 2008, 10:46 AM
Until Apple can support Disk Utility via TC USB port, I will be sticking with no back-up of my movies. I have Apple's back-up software working to back-up everything, but movies. I have stripped my movie library down to less then the 1Tb Time Capsule, but am running out of space the more movies I buy.

I will hopefully be doing the following setup when I get the new house.

Network Homerun Box (central in hall closet) -->Time Capsule (@ Network Box)-->USB Hard Drives (connected to TC)-->iMac(connected to LAN in other room).

I plan to buy a 2Tb HD that I will keep my back-ups on and connect that to TC, but not sure if this will run correctly connected to the TC as it is a 2 HD enclosure.

jb60606
Jun 19, 2008, 11:32 AM
So, do you just have your iTunes library on the Drobo, and have your computer reference that file? Is it connected to your computer through the network or over USB? Do you notice any 'lag?'

iTunes library and all other multimedia are stored on the Drobo and I've experienced no lag at all, even while swapping drives during playback.

Where the Drobo suffers is in disk writes, because it needs to simultaneously mirror and stripe the data. So as long as you're not using it as a scratch disk or something, you should be fine.

typeoserv
Jun 19, 2008, 11:47 AM
3x640GB in a raid5 on server 2008 :D

crotalus99
Jun 19, 2008, 12:43 PM
Drobo with a dedicated mac mini hardwired into a router and wireless N to the aTV.

I am actually in the middle of ripping about 500 DVD's (110 so far and 3 weeks into it). It is extremely time consuming and the thought of loosing everything to a HD crash was not worth it. I looked into a RAID system, but I guess I'm getting old and just didn't want to deal with the hassle. With the Drobo if a drive fails you simple pull it out and plug in a new one and your done. No idea how it works but it does. You can't do that with RAID, so it was worth the extra expense too me.

One thing I did find was ripping DVDs on the mini was way too slow so I do all conversions on my Macbook Pro.

MagnusVonMagnum
Jun 19, 2008, 01:06 PM
For this PowerMac G4 Digital Audio, I first added an Ultra PCI Sata card, bought two 500 GB internal drives (no desktop clutter and both drives are faster than firewire 400 or USB 2.0 could have handled regardless). One drive is used to make bootable backups of the other using Carbon Copy Clone. I created 3 partitions on each, transferred MacOSX Tiger and OS9 over from the stock 40GB drive (using a small 5GB partition for OS9, a 45GB partition for Tiger and left the rest for Leopard and storage of iTunes libraries). I have around 375 CDs in the library stored as Apple Lossless, which takes up over 120 GB and I also have a 2nd library converted from the Lossless one stored as 256kbit AAC to use on my iPod Touch (about 34GB worth there).

I've got another 320GB and 500GB drive on my PC and both are connected via Gigabit Ethernet to a NetGear Gigabit Draft N router. I then transferred a copy of both libraries over to the PC for a secondary backup in case the Mac ever goes south on me. Two AppleTV units are in the house along with an Airport Express DraftN that I can stream iTunes to via AirTunes from either the Mac or PC.

I think as long as I don't buy tv shows or movies, I won't need additional storage any time soon. Frankly, I still use DVDs for buying movies. I do rent HD movies using AppleTV, though. Of course, those don't stay on any drive since they're rentals. If I did need more storage, I could always add another Sata card and a couple of 1TB drives (or even 2TB drives in the future).

Despite the official count of like 3 internal hard drives, there's actually plenty of room for about 6 hard drives internally in this PowerMac if I can get more drive carrier plates (two are stacked on the far right side now; there are mounting holes on the left side and room in the middle as well.) The PC has room for two more hard drives as well internally.

fivepoint
Jun 19, 2008, 01:16 PM
Is there anyone here who has experimented with hanging 2 or more hard drives off of an AEBS with a USB splitter? Perhaps in a software RAID as a Time Machine backup?

sanPietro98
Jun 19, 2008, 01:32 PM
Very interesting. I am confused as to how you keep the purchases, movies and tv shows seperate and not in a "iTunes Library" folder. I'm guessing you don't let iTunes "keep your files organized."

Also, do you have backups of any of this data?

I put the master iTunes repository on External HDD #1. I then import the movies and TV shows into iTunes from HDD #2 and #3. And you're correct, I disabled "keep your files organized" in iTunes.

sanPietro98
Jun 19, 2008, 01:35 PM
Also, do you have backups of any of this data?

Not as much as I would like. Right now, I use the original DVDs as the backup for the Handbrake'd files. And for the iTunes purchased content, I make periodic DVD-ROM backups.

Any suggestions?

fivepoint
Jun 19, 2008, 02:02 PM
I put the master iTunes repository on External HDD #1. I then import the movies and TV shows into iTunes from HDD #2 and #3. And you're correct, I disabled "keep your files organized" in iTunes.

Ahhh... Ok, I see. But, if you buy something off of the iTunes store, what happens to the file? Does it put it in the 'master iTunes repository' and then you just go in manually and re-file it on the appropriate Hard Drive? I can see that.



Not as much as I would like. Right now, I use the original DVDs as the backup for the Handbrake'd files. And for the iTunes purchased content, I make periodic DVD-ROM backups.

Any suggestions?

Well, the DVDs are good, but a software backup would be better so you wouldn't have to re-rip all of that data after a catastrophic failure. I'm no expert (I started this thread to learn more about this and analyze the possiblities) but from what I know... I would say that a good choice for you would be to use software RAID to connect all three of your drives, re-compile all of the data from those three drives into your new software RAID drive and have iTunes begin organizing it all for you (reduced 'hand-work'). After that is done, get a Time Capsule or a Large External drive connected to an AEBS for a Time Machine drive, and have it back up your computer and your iTunes RAID drive.

This would give you quick 'lag-less' access to your iTunes library, eliminate your 'hand-work' media filing that you're doing now, and keep your large Time Machine drive away from your desk and out of the way.

Just a thought, I'm sure there are different and possibly better ways to go about it.

AliensAreFuzzy
Jun 19, 2008, 02:47 PM
Well, the DVDs are good, but a software backup would be better so you wouldn't have to re-rip all of that data after a catastrophic failure. I'm no expert (I started this thread to learn more about this and analyze the possiblities) but from what I know... I would say that a good choice for you would be to use software RAID to connect all three of your drives, re-compile all of the data from those three drives into your new software RAID drive and have iTunes begin organizing it all for you (reduced 'hand-work'). After that is done, get a Time Capsule or a Large External drive connected to an AEBS for a Time Machine drive, and have it back up your computer and your iTunes RAID drive.

This would give you quick 'lag-less' access to your iTunes library, eliminate your 'hand-work' media filing that you're doing now, and keep your large Time Machine drive away from your desk and out of the way.

Just a thought, I'm sure there are different and possibly better ways to go about it.

I don't think this would reduce the "hand work" at all. I mean when I rip TV Shows, I set up the folder struction right then and just do all my tagging and stuff like that. Having iTunes organize the files for me would actually make things less logical since I wouldn't be able to as easily navigate the folder structure to grab a specific show or season.

fivepoint
Jun 19, 2008, 02:55 PM
I don't think this would reduce the "hand work" at all. I mean when I rip TV Shows, I set up the folder struction right then and just do all my tagging and stuff like that. Having iTunes organize the files for me would actually make things less logical since I wouldn't be able to as easily navigate the folder structure to grab a specific show or season.

I see what you're saying... but when you're ripping some movies, and buying others from the iTunes Store, wouldn't it be easier to just keep all of the files in the same spot?

If you manually file them, then your iTunes Store downloads get put into the 'master iTunes' folder... and not with all of your ripped movies, right? Letting iTunes organize them all makes sure that however you get your content into iTunes, once it's there... it's all in the same spot.

Maybe I am missing something. If so, I apologize.

AliensAreFuzzy
Jun 19, 2008, 03:03 PM
I see what you're saying... but when you're ripping some movies, and buying others from the iTunes Store, wouldn't it be easier to just keep all of the files in the same spot?

If you manually file them, then your iTunes Store downloads get put into the 'master iTunes' folder... and not with all of your ripped movies, right? Letting iTunes organize them all makes sure that however you get your content into iTunes, once it's there... it's all in the same spot.

Maybe I am missing something. If so, I apologize.

Well, the stuff from iTunes is all DRMed, so I don't really want to mix that up with my un-DRMed stuff.

prostuff1
Jun 19, 2008, 03:18 PM
The faster we add movies, songs, TV Shows, etc. to our iTunes library for our AppleTVs... the faster we run out of HD space. When AppleTV was released, I'm guessing 500GB seemed like a TON of space to most of you, and now... not so much.


When you started running out of space on your Mac, what long-term external storage solution did you switch to (or plan to switch to)?
List the hardware you've purchased.
Post photos and/or pricing information if you can.
What advice can you give to others?
What would you do differently?
If you could design the ultimate storage setup for your ever-expanding iTunes library... what would it be?


When you started running out of space on your Mac, what long-term external storage solution did you switch to (or plan to switch to)?
Well, for me I built (currently have all the parts and am putting it together) and unRaid server (http://lime-technology.com/).

List the hardware you've purchased.
I purchased a rocketfish case (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://img236.imageshack.us/img236/6326/8428604cv1adc2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://hardforum.com/showthread.php%3Ft%3D1255915&h=500&w=468&sz=97&hl=en&start=6&um=1&tbnid=cucl-QRn7v-8hM:&tbnh=130&tbnw=122&prev=/images%3Fq%3Drocketfish%2Bcomptuer%2Bcase%2Bbest%2Bbuy%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DG) which was on sale at bestbuy for like $40. It will hold a lot of hard drives without me having to add SATA backplanes.
I purchased the Abit AB9 Pro (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813127004&Tpk=abit%2bab9%2bpro) motherboard as it is supported by unRaid and has 9 built in SATA ports.
I purchased an Intel e1200 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116064) for use in the server
I purchased the CORSAIR 550W (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139004) power supply.
I purchased 2GB of generic Ram
I am putting 2 750GB drives and 2 500GB drives into the server.

All in all the computer part of the server was not expensive to build. It's the hard drives that make the cost go up.

What advice can you give to others?
really think about what you want to do with moving your info to another place. I had thought about just going the external hard drive route but after considering and weighting all the options i figured it would be better (and cheaper) in the long run to just build some sort of server and add drives as i need to.

What would you do differently?
Nothing really. For my needs and the time i wanted to put in I think i made the right choice. Each person is going to have different needs and wants and requirements.

If you could design the ultimate storage setup for your ever-expanding iTunes library... what would it be?
At this point in time i think i have the correct setup for my needs. It will allow me to expand as the need arises.

Indohottie
Jun 20, 2008, 07:45 AM
I currently use a 1TB external drive.. however for backups and other reasons its getting pretty full... I am looking at purchasing another 1 TB drive or maybe a cheap G4 desktop and loading it up with hard drive space.. Kinda not sure what i want to do.

I only have 200 gbs of itunes.. its growing, but not that the rate some of the others are.

hauntedcity
Jun 20, 2008, 08:43 AM
Is there anyone here who has experimented with hanging 2 or more hard drives off of an AEBS with a USB splitter? Perhaps in a software RAID as a Time Machine backup?

I currently have 4 drives attached to my AEBS via a USB hub.
1. 500 GB Media drive (iTunes Library + iPhoto Library + other random stuff)
2. 1TB backup drive - I use Apple's Backup program to backup the Media drive overnight
3. Time Machine drive for me
4. Time Machine drive for my wife

It all works pretty well, however, every month or two, I lose connection to all drives and I have to restart the Airport Extreme. I'm not sure why that happens, but once it restarts, I can reconnect to everything without problem.

AliensAreFuzzy
Jun 20, 2008, 09:14 AM
I have just a mess of drives hooked up to my computer. I have a 750GB drive holding my TV shows (that one is getting pretty close to full), and several 500GB drives to store my movies and disk images for encoding.

fivepoint
Jun 20, 2008, 09:49 AM
I currently have 4 drives attached to my AEBS via a USB hub.
1. 500 GB Media drive (iTunes Library + iPhoto Library + other random stuff)
2. 1TB backup drive - I use Apple's Backup program to backup the Media drive overnight
3. Time Machine drive for me
4. Time Machine drive for my wife

It all works pretty well, however, every month or two, I lose connection to all drives and I have to restart the Airport Extreme. I'm not sure why that happens, but once it restarts, I can reconnect to everything without problem.

Very cool. How nice that you don't have to keep all of those drives connected directly to your computer. Have you also had success with streaming speed of iTunes content to the computer and/or AppleTV? No LAG to speak of?

fivepoint
Jun 20, 2008, 09:52 AM
For those of you using Software RAID... a question.

When one of your RAID 0 drives fails, is the other drive any good? I mean... with striped content can you read the data off of the second drive if the first one fails... or do the two drives (once connected through RAID) need eachother to work properly?

Also, with Drives connected through Software RAID, does it matter whether or not you daisy-chain the drives or not?

fivepoint
Jun 20, 2008, 10:47 AM
Saw this article (http://blogs.zdnet.com/storage/?p=335) this morning on Macdailynews.com, and thought it was particularly relevant to our conversation.

Apparently Apple will be including a new file system in Snow Leopard (ZFS) which will completely remove the need for RAID systems. I don't really understand the whole concept... but it sounds very promising for large future storage solutions.

No RAID cards or controllers
ZFS implements very fast RAID that fixes the performance knock-off against software RAID. In ZFS all writes are the fastest kind: full stripe writes. And the RAID is running on the fastest processor in your system (your Mac), rather than some 3-5 year old microcontroller.

Just add drives to your system and you have a fast RAID system. With Serial Attach SCSI and SATA drives you’ll pay for the drives (cheap and getting cheaper), cables and enclosures.

No more volumes
Every time you add a disk to your Mac you see another disk icon on the desktop. If you want to RAID some disks you use Disk Utility (or something) to create the volume. Slow, error-prone, confusing.

ZFS eliminates the whole volume concept. Add a disk or five to your system and it joins your storage pool. More capacity. Not more management.

hauntedcity
Jun 20, 2008, 11:01 AM
Very cool. How nice that you don't have to keep all of those drives connected directly to your computer. Have you also had success with streaming speed of iTunes content to the computer and/or AppleTV? No LAG to speak of?

I have a stutter every now and then when streaming to Apple TV, but that's pretty rare, and once it gets playing again, it's fine.

prostuff1
Jun 20, 2008, 11:22 PM
For those of you using Software RAID... a question.

When one of your RAID 0 drives fails, is the other drive any good? I mean... with striped content can you read the data off of the second drive if the first one fails... or do the two drives (once connected through RAID) need eachother to work properly?

Also, with Drives connected through Software RAID, does it matter whether or not you daisy-chain the drives or not?

There are many different kinds of RAID. Raid 5 allows you to lose 1 drive and be ok (if you lose more then one ALL data is lost) as it can rebuild that lost drive from the parity drive. Raid 0 (also called scary RAID) just stripes data across the drives. It is very fast at read and write but if it fails you are SOL. There are many other types of RAID. The one I plan to use (unRaid) is a "subset" (sorta) of raid 5. It allows for a parity disk and if you lose one drive you can rebuild the lost one. The difference between it and raid five is that if you lose 2 data drives, while you are still SOL, you will not lose the data that is on the drives that is not. Raid 5 stripes data across drive and unRaid does not.

For a more in depth read on RAID i suggest wiki.



EDIT:
Just figured i would go ahead and post back in here and say that i have finally gotten around to setting up my unRaid box. All went really smooth and i could not be happier right now. I did have one hickup but that was because the video card i was trying to use was bad. setting up everything is fairly straight forward. I am using the free version (allows 3 drives; 1 parity and 2 data) and am transferring everything over tonight...we shall see how long it takes. Going to look into setting it up so that my music can be served out over the internet using firefly/mt-daapd.

A couple things i have noticed:
typing //tower into a mac browser does not take my to the unRaid server like it is supposed to. Instead i must enter the ip address (which i made static on my internal LAN).

fivepoint
Jun 23, 2008, 08:17 AM
There are many different kinds of RAID. Raid 5 allows you to lose 1 drive and be ok (if you lose more then one ALL data is lost) as it can rebuild that lost drive from the parity drive. Raid 0 (also called scary RAID) just stripes data across the drives. It is very fast at read and write but if it fails you are SOL. There are many other types of RAID. The one I plan to use (unRaid) is a "subset" (sorta) of raid 5. It allows for a parity disk and if you lose one drive you can rebuild the lost one. The difference between it and raid five is that if you lose 2 data drives, while you are still SOL, you will not lose the data that is on the drives that is not. Raid 5 stripes data across drive and unRaid does not.

For a more in depth read on RAID i suggest wiki.


Thank you. I am aware of RAID 5 and it's many benefits. What I am wondering about however is RAID 0. If you lose one drive, what is that status of the other?



I have a stutter every now and then when streaming to Apple TV, but that's pretty rare, and once it gets playing again, it's fine.

Very cool. This type of setup interests me greatly... I definitely want to try it sometime. One more question... with this setup using a networked iTunes Library, are you able to access the same library from multiple computers at once, and make changes from all comptuers simutaneously... which are soon reflected on each computer?

hauntedcity
Jun 23, 2008, 11:32 AM
Very cool. This type of setup interests me greatly... I definitely want to try it sometime. One more question... with this setup using a networked iTunes Library, are you able to access the same library from multiple computers at once, and make changes from all comptuers simutaneously... which are soon reflected on each computer?

I had commented earlier how few weeks, the AEBS seems to lose connection to the USB drives and require a restart... Funny that how the same day I wrote this, I went through one of those network crashes that required restarting the AEBS!

To recap: I have an AEBS with USB hub and 4 drives attached. Media Library, Backup drive, and Time Machine drive for my MacBook Pro, and Time Machine drive for my wife's MacBook.

Keeping everything in sync is not automatic. I handle it two different ways:

For iTunes media (music and movies), my wife and I share the same files, but we have two separate iTunes libraries. That way, we can have different ratings for our songs, and we can create different playlists. We have Sharing enabled, so that I can see her playlists from my computer, and vice versa. The iTunes library XML files are still kept on our respective computers. The Apple TV is primarily associated with one computer. When I add some files to one library, I have to manually add them to the other.

For our iPhoto library, we want to have one master library, so the library metadata files are actually stored on the networked drive. PROS: Either one of us can have access to our photos on either computer. CONS: Only one of us can have iPhoto open at a time. It's also slower with the library files on the network. Opening the library on a local computer can take a few seconds, on the network library, it can take up to minute.


Does anyone else have a similar setup? I'd appreciate any suggestions or pointers for optimizing.

Doug

fivepoint
Jun 23, 2008, 11:42 AM
I had commented earlier how few weeks, the AEBS seems to lose connection to the USB drives and require a restart... Funny that how the same day I wrote this, I went through one of those network crashes that required restarting the AEBS!

To recap: I have an AEBS with USB hub and 4 drives attached. Media Library, Backup drive, and Time Machine drive for my MacBook Pro, and Time Machine drive for my wife's MacBook.

Keeping everything in sync is not automatic. I handle it two different ways:

For iTunes media (music and movies), my wife and I share the same files, but we have two separate iTunes libraries. That way, we can have different ratings for our songs, and we can create different playlists. We have Sharing enabled, so that I can see her playlists from my computer, and vice versa. The iTunes library XML files are still kept on our respective computers. The Apple TV is primarily associated with one computer. When I add some files to one library, I have to manually add them to the other.

For our iPhoto library, we want to have one master library, so the library metadata files are actually stored on the networked drive. PROS: Either one of us can have access to our photos on either computer. CONS: Only one of us can have iPhoto open at a time. It's also slower with the library files on the network. Opening the library on a local computer can take a few seconds, on the network library, it can take up to minute.


Does anyone else have a similar setup? I'd appreciate any suggestions or pointers for optimizing.

Doug

Oh, ok... you do it a bit differently than I had imagined. I figured you had a 'folder' for each user in iTunes, with the playlists for that person inside of that folder. Then, you would only have one set of data, one set of .XML files, and one set of library data. Each individual computer would point to that same iTunes folder, and would share all of the organizational data as well.

If this was the setup you had, I am curious if 2 users could be using iTunes at the same time, and making changes, etc. at the same time.

cassiopis
Jun 23, 2008, 11:50 AM
Hi - I have had similar issues with storage (currently counting 480 movies and 980 TV episodes - not to mention music). The only solution that worked for me was to get that external NAS and use it to as my default iTunes location. It works great (currently has 5x1TB on a RAID 5 arrangement which gives me about 3.7TB of storage). Plugged into my AEBS and utilising AFP over gigabit it works miracles with my 2 :apple:TVs and MacMini. Also, as it has a 4 port hub attached to it, you can add more gigabit ports to your AEBS without additional hubs/switches and power bricks. The machine runs great and power consumption and noise are kept to a minimum.

P.S. so glad about the genre option in :apple:TV - it takes ages to find a movie otherwise... if only frontrow would get through one of the pending updates...

LorenK
Jun 23, 2008, 12:08 PM
Mine is way out of control and I'm in the process of transitioning. Bought a Mac Pro and originally had two 500gb Samsungs in it, but have since gone to three 750gb Samsungs with one partitioned into a 500 for iTunes and a 200 for movies. I am currently going naked on backup but am also in the process of creating my backup drive, an Addonics case, which holds up to eight drives. It currently has the two 500gb Samsungs, and will get four more Samsung 750s. I will need a PCIe card for the MacPro toi handle an eSATA connection, so only one card to access up to four external drives. I also have three LaCies, two 500gbs and one 250, all firewire, which will get spread out to my family network, our tastes don't run the same.

All of this will allow me to continue my obsession with music (over 4000 cds, 1500 lps, 2000 cassettes (over 30 years of collecting)), and also put the family history in photos onto one of the drives, the next purchase being a film scanner.

Does this qualify for out-of-control?

ascender
Jun 23, 2008, 02:05 PM
Interesting thread. I've been at a crossroads recently with my library as it grew to over 300 Gb on my iMac's internal HDD.

If it wasn't for Apple TV, I'd have gone down the NAS route, but I couldn't find a NAS which supported ATV natively. So instead I picked up a G5 tower, stuck a couple of 1TB drives in it, mirrored them and moved my library to it. I then pointed all the devices in the house to it and job's a good 'un.

Or so I thought.

Then I started to discover some little annoyances. Like how Front Row wouldn't connect to the library - this is a known bug apparently and there's some workarounds/fixes which work for some but not for others.

Not a big deal, but when you connect to a shared iTunes library, things like movies, podcasts etc are presented as a playlist rather than a nice categorised front end.

Synching iPods from a shared library requires you to do a workaround which I posted here last week. Bit convoluted and a bit annoying considering I'm not wanting to do anything illegal, so I'd have thought there would be an official way to get round this problem.

Streaming of audio and video works fine, but I'm still trying to work out some of the little problems with it.

In the mean time I've upgraded the HDD in my iMac to 1TB as well, so I have the option of just putting everything back on there if I need to and backing up to an external HDD.

prostuff1
Jun 23, 2008, 02:50 PM
Thank you. I am aware of RAID 5 and it's many benefits. What I am wondering about however is RAID 0. If you lose one drive, what is that status of the other?

IF you lose one drive in a RAID 0 you will lose it all. There is no backup or way to restore.

fivepoint
Jun 23, 2008, 03:36 PM
IF you lose one drive in a RAID 0 you will lose it all. There is no backup or way to restore.

That's what I thought... Thank You.

Keebler
Jun 23, 2008, 05:00 PM
When you started running out of space on your Mac, what long-term external storage solution did you switch to (or plan to switch to)?
Well, for me I built (currently have all the parts and am putting it together) and unRaid server (http://lime-technology.com/).

List the hardware you've purchased.
I purchased a rocketfish case (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://img236.imageshack.us/img236/6326/8428604cv1adc2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://hardforum.com/showthread.php%3Ft%3D1255915&h=500&w=468&sz=97&hl=en&start=6&um=1&tbnid=cucl-QRn7v-8hM:&tbnh=130&tbnw=122&prev=/images%3Fq%3Drocketfish%2Bcomptuer%2Bcase%2Bbest%2Bbuy%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DG) which was on sale at bestbuy for like $40. It will hold a lot of hard drives without me having to add SATA backplanes.
I purchased the Abit AB9 Pro (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813127004&Tpk=abit%2bab9%2bpro) motherboard as it is supported by unRaid and has 9 built in SATA ports.
I purchased an Intel e1200 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116064) for use in the server
I purchased the CORSAIR 550W (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139004) power supply.
I purchased 2GB of generic Ram
I am putting 2 750GB drives and 2 500GB drives into the server.

All in all the computer part of the server was not expensive to build. It's the hard drives that make the cost go up.

What advice can you give to others?
really think about what you want to do with moving your info to another place. I had thought about just going the external hard drive route but after considering and weighting all the options i figured it would be better (and cheaper) in the long run to just build some sort of server and add drives as i need to.

What would you do differently?
Nothing really. For my needs and the time i wanted to put in I think i made the right choice. Each person is going to have different needs and wants and requirements.

If you could design the ultimate storage setup for your ever-expanding iTunes library... what would it be?
At this point in time i think i have the correct setup for my needs. It will allow me to expand as the need arises.

pro, thanks for sharing your setup. i think this is a great thread. i'm in the midst of trying to figure out what i want to do.

the biggest challenge for me is movies, but not hollywood - my own. i would like to transfer all of our home movies in ntsc quicktime format (about 85 hours right now), keep them in that format as a massive digital backup to the tapes and handbrake those for ease of use within frontrow for a future appletv. I'm thinking i may need a separate 4 TBs just for the home movies so i can raid them.

Handbraking 'hollywood' movies would be great, as well as having my aperture and itunes libraries easily accessible.

the idea behind the home movies came about after looking at how many memories are catalogued in aperture - i should be able to do something similar with the home movies. Would be neat to instantly flash back to one of the boys' births or something.

For now, I have a few 1 TB externals backing libraries. I keep finding awesome threads such as this to help my decision process, plus, the costs keep coming down.

i almost need a home file server...maybe an xraid. who knows.

i have an older G4 dually 1.25 which would be great as a server except I can hear it downstairs while upstairs due to the roaring engine sound (and the fact I sometimes use it for work too).

decisions....decisions....decisions...
:)

an exciting time!

cheers,
Keebler

prostuff1
Jun 24, 2008, 03:20 PM
pro, thanks for sharing your setup. i think this is a great thread. i'm in the midst of trying to figure out what i want to do.

Not a problem. Just hope that my setup might give some insight and pointers in the right direction for other people.

I def. enjoyed putting mine together and everything went fairly well. I had a few hiccups along the way but they seem to be worked out. the board i chose was a referb from newegg and it seems there is a problem with LAN1. This was causing some slow connections and even lose of connection while transferring data. So I went into the BIOS and disabled LAN1 completely and ma running off of LAN2. I transferred the majority of my files last night without the connection crapping out on me so hopefully that fixed the problem.

The only downside with this board is that i have not been able to find a way to run it completely headless (i.e. without a video card). So i had to go buy the cheapest on i could find. I basically set the box up with it and then disconnected the monitor entirely.

If anyone is really looking to build a home media server and wants to read more i suggest heading over to the HTPC section (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=26/) of avs forum. Just do some searching and reading over there and you should be able to pick up some useful information.

pjarvi
Jun 24, 2008, 05:49 PM
iTunes library is stored on a 750GB Seagate FreeAgent Pro (FireWire), backed up to a 500GB Time Capsule (the library is only about 200GB, I don't backup everything on the Seagate). Music and TV Shows are synced to a 160GB AppleTV, but movies are only streamed to the AppleTV.

Currently contemplating popping open the AppleTV to swap in a 250GB drive, or upgrading the internal drive of my MacBook to something big enough to handle the full iTunes library so I can use the Seagate as a secondary backup location and the Time Capsule as the primary backup location.

fivepoint
Jun 26, 2008, 11:29 AM
iTunes library is stored on a 750GB Seagate FreeAgent Pro (FireWire), backed up to a 500GB Time Capsule (the library is only about 200GB, I don't backup everything on the Seagate). Music and TV Shows are synced to a 160GB AppleTV, but movies are only streamed to the AppleTV.

Currently contemplating popping open the AppleTV to swap in a 250GB drive, or upgrading the internal drive of my MacBook to something big enough to handle the full iTunes library so I can use the Seagate as a secondary backup location and the Time Capsule as the primary backup location.

It gets sort of complex once you start having to have multiple externals and multiple backups of your computer, externals, etc. huh!?!

The more and more I think about it, the more I think expandability is the key... but you really pay out the nose for theat expandability and really... how long can you expand it? You can add new drives for the next few years as they go down in price, but after 4-5 years will that core technology still be good? Or will the RAID hardware itself (not jsut the amount of storage) be outdated?

hotzenplotz
Jun 26, 2008, 11:45 AM
I have stopped for now my expansion project at 4TB total. I'm going to wait until flash drives become a true alternative to the spinning disk. Less power, no moving parts, little heat and compact.

fivepoint
Jul 2, 2008, 01:02 PM
Are there any other unique approaches out there? Do you think it is safe enough just to keep your iTunes library on one RAID 1 device, or is having the backup content in multiple enclosures, in different rooms, hooked up to different outlets a better idea? Obviously off-site storage would be the safest...

fivepoint
Jul 7, 2008, 01:59 PM
Here is a helpful link I found which gives you detailed information on all of the types of RAID.

http://www.acnc.com/04_01_00.html

newappleboy
Jul 7, 2008, 02:27 PM
Is there anyone here who has experimented with hanging 2 or more hard drives off of an AEBS with a USB splitter? Perhaps in a software RAID as a Time Machine backup?

I'll try to keep this brief. *deep breath*

I have 2 drives currently connected to my AEBS by USB hub, and soon to be a 3rd. Drive #1 is 1TB and holds all TV shows (2500+ episodes) and movies (150+) currently. Drive #2 is time machine, but currently disabled since stupid AEBS likes to find humor in dropping my wireless connection once the initial backup is about 90% done, effectively never allowing me to utilize this drive; it's pretty much just sitting there taunting me with possibilities. (Pending) Drive #3 will hold all the movies currently residing on Drive #1 as well as the rest of my DVD collection. :)

Brief sidestory... I just finished a month long journey of ripping over 150 movies in Handbrake and had tagged about 50 of them to be transferred to one of the AEBS drives. That is, until my 16 year old brother came over and ignored all my warnings to stay away from it. In the middle of a tagging session he knocked it onto the floor and killed it. All my movies and tagging efforts of the past month - gone. I literally had to leave the apartment because I almost killed him. So I made him buy me a replacement drive (Mom didn't like that much) and now I'm back ripping all my movies again. *sigh* :(

.mark.
Jul 7, 2008, 02:57 PM
I just ordered a drobo and two 1tb drives so that should give me loads of fault tolerant storage which is easily expandable. Was expensive but hopefully will be worth it.

nimno
Jul 7, 2008, 09:02 PM
I yanked the Seagate 750 GB drives out of my Mac Pro and loaded three of them into a Drobo. I replaced them in the Mac with Seagate ES.2 1 TB server drives (slightly more expensive, but I'm hoping a little bit sturdier). One of those is dedicated to iTunes library. I have the Drobo set up as my Time Machine disk. Hopefully the theory will work out that I could lose the server drive or any drive in the Drobo and still not lose any content. We'll see.

ntrigue
Jul 7, 2008, 10:19 PM
What options do I have to transfer data purchased on my aTV to my laptop? I bought the 40GB as I was depending on 100% streaming.

richpjr
Jul 7, 2008, 11:03 PM
I have one 1 TB Seagate (for movies) and one 500 gig Seagate (for music) in my Mac Pro. I have backups of both disks on the same size external drives that I keep powered off and disconnected from my Mac Pro to avoid any power surges that might take out everything. It's a bit of a pain to plug in and unplug whenever I add a new movie or album to my collection but it's safe (unless of course, my house burns down!). If I was really paranoid, I'd take them offsite.

tronic72
Jul 8, 2008, 01:51 AM
Apologies if this had been posted. I've quickly read through the posts and they all seem to be over complicating things. (And needlessly pricey)

Our solution works brilliantly and provides full redundancy.

Step 1. Find an old G4 or G5. ebay, cupboard, shed, etc.
Step 2. Throw a couple of SATA or PATA drives in it. These are cheap as chips these days. Throw in two so you can mirror the data.
Step 3. Find a copy of OS X. Install and share a folder called. "iTunes" The version isn't important.
Step 4. On the client machine, access the itunes folder on this "server" and set it to automatically open at login.
Step 5. Open your iTunes preferences and change the location of your iTunes library. Then import your media files into iTunes on the client.

You can also connect a external HD or Tape drive for even more redundancy. Best this is it's all Apple (hardware & software) and it's cheap as chips. We recently upgraded ours to a G5 but the G4 worked flawlessly. Only reason we upgraded was I wanted to install 10.5 server.

Have has this system for years and works great. Hope this helps.

.mark.
Jul 8, 2008, 03:41 AM
Apologies if this had been posted. I've quickly read through the posts and they all seem to be over complicating things. (And needlessly pricey)

Our solution works brilliantly and provides full redundancy.

Step 1. Find an old G4 or G5. ebay, cupboard, shed, etc.
Step 2. Throw a couple of SATA or PATA drives in it. These are cheap as chips these days. Throw in two so you can mirror the data.
Step 3. Find a copy of OS X. Install and share a folder called. "iTunes" The version isn't important.
Step 4. On the client machine, access the itunes folder on this "server" and set it to automatically open at login.
Step 5. Open your iTunes preferences and change the location of your iTunes library. Then import your media files into iTunes on the client.

You can also connect a external HD or Tape drive for even more redundancy. Best this is it's all Apple (hardware & software) and it's cheap as chips. We recently upgraded ours to a G5 but the G4 worked flawlessly. Only reason we upgraded was I wanted to install 10.5 server.

Have has this system for years and works great. Hope this helps.

one question I have for you is how easy is it to expand? (This is one of the main things that attracted me to drobo). how are you mirroring the data? are you using raid (software or hardware controlled?) or are you using some software like chronosync? or manually?

ironjaw
Jul 8, 2008, 04:15 AM
Tronic72: Would you go into more detail?

.mark.
Jul 8, 2008, 08:34 AM
I just ordered a drobo and two 1tb drives so that should give me loads of fault tolerant storage which is easily expandable. Was expensive but hopefully will be worth it.

looks like I'll be sending the drobo straight back and ordering the FW800 model now!!

fivepoint
Jul 8, 2008, 08:58 AM
looks like I'll be sending the drobo straight back and ordering the FW800 model now!!

Ahhh! New FW800 Drobo! I think I know what I'm getting now...
If only I had an extra $500 (plus $250 or so for hard drives) sitting around ready to spend.

Keebler
Jul 8, 2008, 09:11 AM
Apologies if this had been posted. I've quickly read through the posts and they all seem to be over complicating things. (And needlessly pricey)

Our solution works brilliantly and provides full redundancy.

Step 1. Find an old G4 or G5. ebay, cupboard, shed, etc.
Step 2. Throw a couple of SATA or PATA drives in it. These are cheap as chips these days. Throw in two so you can mirror the data.
Step 3. Find a copy of OS X. Install and share a folder called. "iTunes" The version isn't important.
Step 4. On the client machine, access the itunes folder on this "server" and set it to automatically open at login.
Step 5. Open your iTunes preferences and change the location of your iTunes library. Then import your media files into iTunes on the client.

You can also connect a external HD or Tape drive for even more redundancy. Best this is it's all Apple (hardware & software) and it's cheap as chips. We recently upgraded ours to a G5 but the G4 worked flawlessly. Only reason we upgraded was I wanted to install 10.5 server.

Have has this system for years and works great. Hope this helps.

I have a G4 and might go this route, but my problem is that I have 85'ish hours of home movies that I want to transfer in full ntsc quality so that's just over 1 TB itself :( I would raid that of course. The reason I want to do this is b/c I transfer tapes for folks I see how tapes even 10 years old are getting ugly and some of mine are 7 so a digital back up makes sense (realizing I'll need to transfer those to different HDs in the future as well).

Then I have my photo library which is modest, but large enough (20 GB'ish), then my itunes music which is expanding b/c i'm reripping into lossless).

I almost need a PC box with ubuntu or whatever that is with 8 1 TB drives...or at least 6 to begin. I'd like to have the home movies then ripped via Handbrake into an easier format for a future appletv to read (easier in terms of data flow over a network).

just nuts. I'll hang on as prices and options become available.

I supposed I could buy some 2 TB externals and used 1 to backup the other and then keep the itunes and aperture libraries on something smaller. That might make more sense as prices come down....

Cheers,
Keebler

fivepoint
Jul 8, 2008, 09:21 AM
I'll try to keep this brief. *deep breath*

I have 2 drives currently connected to my AEBS by USB hub, and soon to be a 3rd. Drive #1 is 1TB and holds all TV shows (2500+ episodes) and movies (150+) currently. Drive #2 is time machine, but currently disabled since stupid AEBS likes to find humor in dropping my wireless connection once the initial backup is about 90% done, effectively never allowing me to utilize this drive; it's pretty much just sitting there taunting me with possibilities. (Pending) Drive #3 will hold all the movies currently residing on Drive #1 as well as the rest of my DVD collection. :)

Brief sidestory... I just finished a month long journey of ripping over 150 movies in Handbrake and had tagged about 50 of them to be transferred to one of the AEBS drives. That is, until my 16 year old brother came over and ignored all my warnings to stay away from it. In the middle of a tagging session he knocked it onto the floor and killed it. All my movies and tagging efforts of the past month - gone. I literally had to leave the apartment because I almost killed him. So I made him buy me a replacement drive (Mom didn't like that much) and now I'm back ripping all my movies again. *sigh* :(

"Sorry to hear about your loss." ;)

If you ever find out more about how/why the AEBS was dropping your HD connection, I'd love to hear more. I really like the idea of your setup and keeping all of the drives away from the rest of your setup.

newappleboy
Jul 8, 2008, 09:35 AM
"Sorry to hear about your loss." ;)

If you ever find out more about how/why the AEBS was dropping your HD connection, I'd love to hear more. I really like the idea of your setup and keeping all of the drives away from the rest of your setup.

I think the only reason it happens is that I was backing up about 250 gigs wirelessly and it just eventually tired itself out with the constant data transfer. It never drops while I'm streaming to Apple TV. However, I will say that the Apple TV is much slower with the media on the network instead of directly connected to the computer.

After watching a movie or a TV episode, if you wait more than a few seconds to start watching another one the Apple TV will start "syncing" with iTunes to update the fact that you just watched something. This is not a process that is completed in a few seconds. It sometimes takes a minute or two, and even when it finishes the menu is laggy for another minute or so. Keep in mind - this will also happen if you watch a movie, then immediately start another movie, then pause for any reason. Once the video is not playing, the Apple TV will wait a couple seconds then take that opportunity to sync itself up to update and it will take a while.

All in all, I still feel it's worth the convenience. I don't want to have to keep my MBP tethered to an external in order to have it be the computer hosting my iTunes collection, and I had too many issues with keeping my collection on the PC. I get frustrated, but I have no intention of taking it off my network unless I can stumble upon some pirate treasure and buy a shiny new iMac to replace my desktop PC. Then I'll anchor my collection there. :cool:

hotzenplotz
Jul 8, 2008, 12:51 PM
For the reading/writing impaired (such as me) :), here is a visual representation of my storage network setup. It has served me very well.

newappleboy
Jul 8, 2008, 01:25 PM
For the reading/writing impaired (such as me) :), here is a visual representation of my storage network setup. It has served me very well.

*drool* I not only admire the network, but the time and detail in the diagram. Bravo.

fivepoint
Jul 9, 2008, 07:59 AM
I think the only reason it happens is that I was backing up about 250 gigs wirelessly and it just eventually tired itself out with the constant data transfer. It never drops while I'm streaming to Apple TV. However, I will say that the Apple TV is much slower with the media on the network instead of directly connected to the computer.

After watching a movie or a TV episode, if you wait more than a few seconds to start watching another one the Apple TV will start "syncing" with iTunes to update the fact that you just watched something. This is not a process that is completed in a few seconds. It sometimes takes a minute or two, and even when it finishes the menu is laggy for another minute or so. Keep in mind - this will also happen if you watch a movie, then immediately start another movie, then pause for any reason. Once the video is not playing, the Apple TV will wait a couple seconds then take that opportunity to sync itself up to update and it will take a while.

All in all, I still feel it's worth the convenience. I don't want to have to keep my MBP tethered to an external in order to have it be the computer hosting my iTunes collection, and I had too many issues with keeping my collection on the PC. I get frustrated, but I have no intention of taking it off my network unless I can stumble upon some pirate treasure and buy a shiny new iMac to replace my desktop PC. Then I'll anchor my collection there. :cool:

What type of network are you using? G? N? Is your signal strength between the hardware at full strength? There must be a way to optimize the setup and reduce the amount of lag you're experiencing.



For the reading/writing impaired (such as me) :), here is a visual representation of my storage network setup. It has served me very well.

Very cool. Thanks for the visual. That would be a very cool thing for others to post here... I may even make one up. What did you use to make it? Anything special?

hotzenplotz
Jul 9, 2008, 08:27 AM
I threw it together with Omnigraffle in about a half-hour. The diagram only represents the ATV/iTunes support infrastructure and leaves out other network components, for the sake of simplicity.

newappleboy
Jul 9, 2008, 09:03 AM
What type of network are you using? G? N? Is your signal strength between the hardware at full strength? There must be a way to optimize the setup and reduce the amount of lag you're experiencing.

It's an N network between the AEBS and the MBP. My PC still runs on G, but that shouldn't be affecting the other machine if I understand correctly. Signal strength is flawless as I live in an apartment and all my machines are relatively close to the router.

fivepoint
Jul 9, 2008, 09:26 AM
I threw it together with Omnigraffle in about a half-hour. The diagram only represents the ATV/iTunes support infrastructure and leaves out other network components, for the sake of simplicity.

Good idea. ;)



It's an N network between the AEBS and the MBP. My PC still runs on G, but that shouldn't be affecting the other machine if I understand correctly. Signal strength is flawless as I live in an apartment and all my machines are relatively close to the router.

Sounds like it is completely optimized. I suppose though, your request gets sent from the AppleTV, to the AEBS, to the computer, to the AEBS, to the HD, back to the AEBS, and to the AppleTV. If the AEBS was hard-wired to the computer or to the AppleTV, that would help a lot, but that is defeating the purpose! Very cool setup anyway. I'm going to see what I can make that way eventually. I think I'll end up keeping my 750GB external iTunes Hard drive attached directly to my iMac via FW800, in my homemade iMac Desk's hidden drawer (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=5321920&postcount=84) so that it's out-of-sight but still directly attached. Then I'll back up my iMac and the iTunes external over an 'N' network to an AEBS and a DROBO. Should reduce the amount of back-n-forth and the lag associated with it.

We'll see.

newappleboy
Jul 9, 2008, 09:34 AM
Sounds like it is completely optimized. I suppose though, your request gets sent from the AppleTV, to the AEBS, to the computer, to the AEBS, to the HD, back to the AEBS, and to the AppleTV. If the AEBS was hard-wired to the computer or to the AppleTV, that would help a lot, but that is defeating the purpose! Very cool setup anyway. I'm going to see what I can make that way eventually. I think I'll end up keeping my 750GB external iTunes Hard drive attached directly to my iMac via FW800, in my homemade iMac Desk's hidden drawer (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=5321920&postcount=84) so that it's out-of-sight but still directly attached. Then I'll back up my iMac and the iTunes external over an 'N' network to an AEBS and a DROBO. Should reduce the amount of back-n-forth and the lag associated with it.

We'll see.

That all sounds good. Point of clarification - my ATV is directly connected to the AEBS. The only wireless portion of the process is between the AEBS and the laptop. It works okay. *shrugs*

Yvan256
Jul 9, 2008, 09:53 AM
Am I the only one who's wondering why the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule don't have built-in iTunes servers?

Why isn't Apple offering an all-in-one iTunes server + NAS? A single-core, low-cost, low-power Atom CPU would be perfect for the job. It would probably be able to run on 256 or 512 MB RAM. Just add enough space for at LEAST four 3.5" drives (eight drives in my ideal setup).

Why, with all the "it just works" products from Apple, are we forced to have computers dedicated to serving our media? And before you say "it sells more Macs", remember that it could very well be a small Intel D945GCLF Little Falls Mainboard (http://www.logicsupply.com/products/boxd945gclf) running Windows 2000/XP with a free iTunes download, so there's no profits in it for Apple.

Of course, you don't need to dedicate a computer to media server duties, but otherwise you end up with a Mac mini or an iMac with lots of external USB/FireWire drives on your main desktop. That's also a lot of external power bricks (for most external drives).

Am I the only one who wants an iTunes server product? :confused:

fivepoint
Jul 10, 2008, 12:44 PM
Am I the only one who's wondering why the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule don't have built-in iTunes servers?

Why isn't Apple offering an all-in-one iTunes server + NAS? A single-core, low-cost, low-power Atom CPU would be perfect for the job. It would probably be able to run on 256 or 512 MB RAM. Just add enough space for at LEAST four 3.5" drives (eight drives in my ideal setup).

Why, with all the "it just works" products from Apple, are we forced to have computers dedicated to serving our media? And before you say "it sells more Macs", remember that it could very well be a small Intel D945GCLF Little Falls Mainboard (http://www.logicsupply.com/products/boxd945gclf) running Windows 2000/XP with a free iTunes download, so there's no profits in it for Apple.

Of course, you don't need to dedicate a computer to media server duties, but otherwise you end up with a Mac mini or an iMac with lots of external USB/FireWire drives on your main desktop. That's also a lot of external power bricks (for most external drives).

Am I the only one who wants an iTunes server product? :confused:


I second that motion. I'm sure there would be some huge hurdles to overcome... and it would have to be expandable (like the Drobo) to really get my attention... but yes, I would love it if Apple tried something like this.

You have my vote.

.mark.
Jul 10, 2008, 12:57 PM
I second that motion. I'm sure there would be some huge hurdles to overcome... and it would have to be expandable (like the Drobo) to really get my attention... but yes, I would love it if Apple tried something like this.

You have my vote.

someone just needs to make a droboApp that will act as an itunes server - maybe even apple themselves!

nick.hobbie
Jul 10, 2008, 01:12 PM
I have a windows machine with 800 gigs of HD Space, that I only have 200 mb left. So I am planing on buying a G5 and gutting it to be able to put 4 1TB drives in it. It is possible, I have a friend who has done it. But I wanted to mention, I use Mozy for my back up option. I would highly recommend it, unlimited back up. I would not recommend it for cable users, I switched to Fios entry option and get a consistent 1Mb/s upload speed. It helps a lot when you have that much data that needs to be back up.

MattG
Jul 10, 2008, 01:41 PM
I've thought about this. At this point, my collection isn't what I'd consider out of control, but I do think about redundancy and not wanting to lose my music.

At any rate, I've moved my music off of my iMac and put it on a Seagate FW hard drive (320GB). At this time, I rely on my iPod as being my backup. If something happens to one or the other, I effectively have a backup of everything that I can restore to a new hard drive or iPod if need be.

Borjan
Jul 11, 2008, 10:03 AM
http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/6560/setuprs2.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/6560/setuprs2.775c4b822f.jpg (http://g.imageshack.us/g.php?h=228&i=setuprs2.jpg)

This is what I was hoping to do. The thing is, because I wanted my music library (and photo library) to be on my Macbook, and just back it up to the Time Capsule. The much larger video files would be on the NAS/server (which btw would be have redundancy).

However, then I realised that if my Macbook was away, it might cause some problems for my ATV... what with the media being in two separate locations.

So in that sense, I think I will abandon the idea of a Time Capsule, and just get a AEBS. The I would just point everything to the NAS/server and call that my main location for media.

But what I lose is the ability for my portable and backed up music and photo libraries to be always sync'ed. It would be easier if my main library was on the Macbook and then got backed up.... Otherwise I'd have to manually copy the libraries over to the laptop to ensure I have a full up to date copy of my music and photos for when I'm on the road.

Oh, and not sure whether I would go NAS or Server yet. Still undecided...

Any thoughts?

newappleboy
Jul 11, 2008, 10:20 AM
Borjan, that's the problem I had to deal with as well. I am nearing 1.5 TB of TV shows and movies, in addition to 200 GB of music. I can't possibly keep it all with me at all times, so the TV shows and movie reside on the network connected to the AEBS. It means that my videos aren't available when I travel unless I copy them over, but that's worth it to me.

darious1473
Jul 13, 2008, 11:38 AM
I have an Apple TV in the living room and a mac mini pretending to be an Apple TV in the bedroom.

iTunes runs on the Mac Pro in the study, the media
30,000 songs
5,000 TV shows (1,000 in 720p HD)
Sits on two 2tb Buffalo Terastation Pro NAS drives.

I've had to archive 600Gb of TV as I don't have room for it anymore, it stashed on SATA drives on the shelf.

The 200 movies (100 HD) sit on a 500Gb WD My book connected to the Pro as I've run out of room on the NAS drives.

Bring on 4tb hard drives, a 4x4Tb RAID 5 array (12Tb usable) should keep me going for a while, but I need to come up with a plan as I'd like to rip my 1,500 DVDs as well.

HD is the killer, 1 HD Movie takes up the room of 4 SD movies. Plus add the AC3 5.1 sound and we're looking at 5Gb per movie. 100 of those and your 500gb external drive is gone.

Also, after a couple of drive failures in the past (including loosing my entire music collection) I WILL NOT leave my media on a single drive again, hence the RAID NAS drives. Even then the music is backed up every night to a USB drive.

iTunes is starting to struggle, so I might setup a dedicated iTunes server using some old kit.

fivepoint
Jul 17, 2008, 01:10 PM
I just connected my first two firewire drives up through Apple's Software Raid the other day, and I have to say... I was quite impressed. I am sure there are some good reasons why the hardware solution is better, but I just wanted to say that my first experience with connecting external drives through Disk Utility went VERY well.

The capability to daisy-chain Firewire Drives HAS to be their biggest benefit! Awesome!

I've got the drives functioning as a Time Machine Drive right now, so it is set up as concatenated for space reasons.

Keebler
Jul 17, 2008, 02:39 PM
i'm trying to find a post from ehmac.ca regarding this same subject. i have to go out so i can't search for it now, but there's 1 guy who basically set up a pc box, chalk full of HDs and used ubuntu. it was his media server. it seems to be the way to go for me. similar idea to getting a g5, g4, but building a box means you can fit more HDs than a g4,g5 or even a macpro.

That is my ideal set up i think. i need a ton of space to back all my home movies up. that library is the biggest hurdle.

shaggymac
Jul 17, 2008, 06:21 PM
This is what I did

I have purchased an Xserve RAID (14TB). The Xserve RAID is connected to an Xserve with Fiber Channel. The Xserve is running Leopard Server with Xsan. The Leopard Server does all my DHCP, Remote Login, etc

The Xsan manages the ACL and what not of the data being stored. The Leopard Server provides my network with "Portable Home Directories" and allows me to take my desktop with me when I'm on the go.

I can listen to and watch any video I want from my library. I can "sync" my iPhone with my MacBook Pro or my iMac.

The Music isn't stored on a local drive but Mac OS X thinks it is so does iTunes.

fivepoint
Jul 17, 2008, 06:26 PM
This is what I did

I have purchased an Xserve RAID (14TB). The Xserve RAID is connected to an Xserve with Fiber Channel. The Xserve is running Leopard Server with Xsan. The Leopard Server does all my DHCP, Remote Login, etc

The Xsan manages the ACL and what not of the data being stored. The Leopard Server provides my network with "Portable Home Directories" and allows me to take my desktop with me when I'm on the go.

I can listen to and watch any video I want from my library. I can "sync" my iPhone with my MacBook Pro or my iMac.

The Music isn't stored on a local drive but Mac OS X thinks it is so does iTunes.

Now that's what I call a PIMPED setup. If you don't mind, may I ask how much you ended up putting down for something like that?

mikenike192
Jul 17, 2008, 09:17 PM
These Ideas are all great, I have a WD Mybook Home Edition 500gb almost filled up with all my movies just ordered a 500gb drive from buy.com for like $70 to back that drive up. I still think one of the best solutions is to buy an older machine or build one and just stuff it with drives and nothing else, you dont need a fancy graphics card or sound or really anything, then just have like 2gb of ram or so and a solid c2d and a fast drive (blu-ray maybe) and just set it up as a server in like the basement or by the router and just rip all your movies and music there and just always run itunes on it to distribute content. (I saw some ridiculous setup where he had like 4 tv tuners also and just used screen sharing and client machines to watch tv from it)

Keebler
Jul 18, 2008, 10:01 AM
hey folks,

I wonder if something like what Sonnet has would be the ultimate in scalability?

http://sonnettech.com/product/fusiond500p.html

With it's sata card with port multiplier, it looks like you can keep adding enclosures - i wonder how well that works? It's definitely not cheap, but maybe a way to go.

Maybe the best way is to have a gigabyte switch attached to the aebs, then different enclosures connected to that switch?

prostuff1
Jul 18, 2008, 10:27 AM
i'm trying to find a post from ehmac.ca regarding this same subject. i have to go out so i can't search for it now, but there's 1 guy who basically set up a pc box, chalk full of HDs and used ubuntu. it was his media server. it seems to be the way to go for me. similar idea to getting a g5, g4, but building a box means you can fit more HDs than a g4,g5 or even a macpro.

That is my ideal set up i think. i need a ton of space to back all my home movies up. that library is the biggest hurdle.

This is essentially what my setup is. I run a stripped down version of Linux called unRaid that allows me to mix and match HD sizes and types (IDE or SATA). UnRaid does something different from Raid 5 but they both will allow you to lose one drive and recover all your data.

I am testing the free version of unRaid right now and it is working very nicely. Will probably be upgrading to the full Pro version when funds become available.

prostuff1
Jul 18, 2008, 10:55 AM
hey folks,

I wonder if something like what Sonnet has would be the ultimate in scalability?

http://sonnettech.com/product/fusiond500p.html

With it's sata card with port multiplier, it looks like you can keep adding enclosures - i wonder how well that works? It's definitely not cheap, but maybe a way to go.

Maybe the best way is to have a gigabyte switch attached to the aebs, then different enclosures connected to that switch?

Those look nice and I was considering going with one when i first decided to go the server route. I ended up building one because it allowed me to internallize more then four drives which was a hug plus for me. I have my server sitting downstairs and it is wired into my network, the onlything left to do is upgrade the router to a Gig one and everything will be done.

Keebler
Jul 18, 2008, 01:12 PM
Those look nice and I was considering going with one when i first decided to go the server route. I ended up building one because it allowed me to internallize more then four drives which was a hug plus for me. I have my server sitting downstairs and it is wired into my network, the onlything left to do is upgrade the router to a Gig one and everything will be done.

i'm thinking i'll go the same route as yours...i think it was your post that was similar to my needs. I just want to toss the sonnet stuff out there for thought and for others. if i didn't want to add all my home movies, i probably would go for the sonnet, but i'm thinking a jacked up server is the way to go.

pprior
Jul 18, 2008, 01:22 PM
hey folks,

I wonder if something like what Sonnet has would be the ultimate in scalability?

http://sonnettech.com/product/fusiond500p.html

With it's sata card with port multiplier, it looks like you can keep adding enclosures - i wonder how well that works? It's definitely not cheap, but maybe a way to go.

Maybe the best way is to have a gigabyte switch attached to the aebs, then different enclosures connected to that switch?

I just returned one of those Fusion D500p boxes - was WAY too loud compared with my mac pro. I'm getting a new drobo.

prostuff1
Jul 18, 2008, 01:40 PM
if i didn't want to add all my home movies, i probably would go for the sonnet, but i'm thinking a jacked up server is the way to go.

yup, that was my thought when i started my research into server stuff. I ultimately decided i wanted the expandibility more then the form factor. That and if i ever decide to i can install a full blown operating system on my setup and have another computer.

fivepoint
Jul 20, 2008, 04:22 PM
Since a few others posted theirs, I thought I would make a sketch of my own setup. I also included my 'hopeful future additions' in the grayed-out section. Unfortunately, that gray section accounts for $1000 that I simply don't have right now.

I am currently using the 750 GB iomega external as a Time Machine drive, but would like to instead turn it into my iTunes drive (my library is currently at 525 GB and growing) while the drobo would become the wireless Time Machine drive. This would leave my computer hard drive free for home video storage and editing.


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3017/2686887558_e7d77ea7ab_o.png

ayzee
Jul 20, 2008, 04:36 PM
Some real nice setups here, after reading this thread its given me a pretty solid idea of how I want to set up my storage solutions. Great Thread!!

ascender
Jul 21, 2008, 05:53 AM
The missing link in many of these posts seems to be a NAS device with a built-in iTunes server which will allow you to stream direct to any Apple device (including ATV) and also sync your iPods to it.

Definitely a gap in the market for Apple IMO.

topher5
Jul 21, 2008, 03:18 PM
i'm trying to find a post from ehmac.ca regarding this same subject. i have to go out so i can't search for it now, but there's 1 guy who basically set up a pc box, chalk full of HDs and used ubuntu. it was his media server. it seems to be the way to go for me. similar idea to getting a g5, g4, but building a box means you can fit more HDs than a g4,g5 or even a macpro.

That is my ideal set up i think. i need a ton of space to back all my home movies up. that library is the biggest hurdle.


This is what I did. Works well enough. Two bits of advice if you go this route. First no matter how much space you think you need, buy a case that can hold more. I'm already at a point where I need to replace my case because I went with a cheap $50 one and can only hold 8 drives. The Second is make sure you use Ubuntu Server vs. Ubuntu Desktop. Turns out if you want to do software RAID it is much easier to install Ubuntu server and add the desktop environment (apt-get install ubuntu-desktop) then it is to install the desktop version and re-roll the kernel to support software RAID. All in all I'm happy enough with it. Thinking of replacing it with a Drobo for space reasons but then I'm stuck with all these damn 500GB drives.

topher5
Jul 21, 2008, 03:19 PM
This is what I did

I have purchased an Xserve RAID (14TB). The Xserve RAID is connected to an Xserve with Fiber Channel. The Xserve is running Leopard Server with Xsan. The Leopard Server does all my DHCP, Remote Login, etc

The Xsan manages the ACL and what not of the data being stored. The Leopard Server provides my network with "Portable Home Directories" and allows me to take my desktop with me when I'm on the go.

I can listen to and watch any video I want from my library. I can "sync" my iPhone with my MacBook Pro or my iMac.

The Music isn't stored on a local drive but Mac OS X thinks it is so does iTunes.


Having used Xserve RAIDs at work, I can't imagine how much noise this setup makes. I'm guessing this isn't in the back of the living room type setup.

topher5
Jul 21, 2008, 03:21 PM
This is essentially what my setup is. I run a stripped down version of Linux called unRaid that allows me to mix and match HD sizes and types (IDE or SATA). UnRaid does something different from Raid 5 but they both will allow you to lose one drive and recover all your data.

I am testing the free version of unRaid right now and it is working very nicely. Will probably be upgrading to the full Pro version when funds become available.

Slightly off topic but I looked into unRaid too. My understanding is that with all your drives, you can't make them appear as one big share similar to a regular RAID5. Does that sound right? I was never really clear on that answer so I went with a traditional RAID.

topher5
Jul 21, 2008, 03:22 PM
I just returned one of those Fusion D500p boxes - was WAY too loud compared with my mac pro. I'm getting a new drobo.

Let me know how that goes. I'm seriously tempted due to space reasons but I'm hesitant to reinvest in all new drives (I'm using 7x500GB so I'll need to upgrade to 1TB drives).

williedigital
Jul 21, 2008, 04:28 PM
Slightly off topic but I looked into unRaid too. My understanding is that with all your drives, you can't make them appear as one big share similar to a regular RAID5. Does that sound right? I was never really clear on that answer so I went with a traditional RAID.

It's my understanding that you can define "user shares" which are essentially subfolders on each drive that are named the same. So disk1/movies, disk2/movies, disk3/movies, etc. on three different drives will just show up as "movies" and the share will have all the contents of all three folders on all three disks. This is great. The bummer though, is that this "user share" is not writable. So essentially, you have to fill up the three folders on the three disks before you plop them into the unraid box. You can't directly rename files, etc. to files when using the user share. That's a really big issue that isn't really clearly addressed on lime's website.

gadabout
Jul 21, 2008, 05:48 PM
The missing link in many of these posts seems to be a NAS device with a built-in iTunes server which will allow you to stream direct to any Apple device (including ATV) and also sync your iPods to it.

Definitely a gap in the market for Apple IMO.

as long as it was expandable, i'd buy that in a heartbeat.

ascender
Jul 23, 2008, 04:39 AM
I'm starting to think a Drobo might be the way to go here, with your entire iTunes library held on it and connected via FW800 to the main machine in the house.

Does anyone know if there's any issue with the Drobo going in to powersave mode and spinning the disks down? I seem to remember when I had iTunes referencing an external HDD, the disk would spin down and iTunes would lose the connection to it which was a real pain.

drusoicy
Jul 23, 2008, 05:01 PM
You guys are making me sad. It seems like my dilemma may not be easily solved. Hopefully it isn't as complicated as I think it will be. Here's the situation:

My wife hates that, in order to see or do anything with the images she takes, I need to have iPhoto open on my computer (Mac Pro), and she then has to connect to it over sharing.

By the same token, I don't like that she buys iTunes content on her MacBook, which is sometimes a duplicate of content I already have. Now that the App Store is out, that is going to start getting really expensive.

So instead, I want us to be able to:

1) Have ONE iTunes library on the network, and ONE iPhoto library. Both of these would be accessible to any computer on the network. When you launch iTunes, you would get all the media that is in that library.

2) Both be able to access iTunes at the same time to listen to / watch content.

3) Both be able to purchase iTunes content, and when it it purchased, it updates that single library. If I buy a song, the next time my wife fires up iTunes, that song is there for her to listen to.

4) Have our two Apple TV units be able to play content from this library.

So, I know that we need something on the network. I have a Drobo with DroboShare, so that is one option. I also have a spare Mac Pro laying around, along with a copy of OS X Leopard Server.

I just don't know what route we should take with this. All I want is for us to share a library, to be able to both use that library, for us to be able to sync content from that library to our portable devices, and for our Apple TVs to also see that library.

Possible?!

Keebler
Jul 23, 2008, 05:30 PM
You guys are making me sad. It seems like my dilemma may not be easily solved. Hopefully it isn't as complicated as I think it will be. Here's the situation:

My wife hates that, in order to see or do anything with the images she takes, I need to have iPhoto open on my computer (Mac Pro), and she then has to connect to it over sharing.

By the same token, I don't like that she buys iTunes content on her MacBook, which is sometimes a duplicate of content I already have. Now that the App Store is out, that is going to start getting really expensive.

So instead, I want us to be able to:

1) Have ONE iTunes library on the network, and ONE iPhoto library. Both of these would be accessible to any computer on the network. When you launch iTunes, you would get all the media that is in that library.

2) Both be able to access iTunes at the same time to listen to / watch content.

3) Both be able to purchase iTunes content, and when it it purchased, it updates that single library. If I buy a song, the next time my wife fires up iTunes, that song is there for her to listen to.

4) Have our two Apple TV units be able to play content from this library.

So, I know that we need something on the network. I have a Drobo with DroboShare, so that is one option. I also have a spare Mac Pro laying around, along with a copy of OS X Leopard Server.

I just don't know what route we should take with this. All I want is for us to share a library, to be able to both use that library, for us to be able to sync content from that library to our portable devices, and for our Apple TVs to also see that library.

Possible?!

maybe i'm missing something, but i think you've got your solution?

the drobo and drobo share?

all photos and music go in it. keep your respective libraries for each app there...then access it?

i'll admit i don't know the ins and outs of the appletv, but it sounds like you are almost there.

i laughed at the 'mac pro laying around'. too bad you don't live near me so i could borrow b/c i desperately need another processing machine (but am saving for the funds :)

i'll keep my eye on this thread, but i won't be anything for at least 6 months.
other priorities cash wise. i did buy a nextar external enclosure with a 1 TB HD in it. it even came with an esata card which is neat. I'm using that to free up my 1 TB lacie so it is solely my itunes library and possibly aperture source.

cheers,
keebler

drusoicy
Jul 23, 2008, 05:37 PM
maybe i'm missing something, but i think you've got your solution?

the drobo and drobo share?

all photos and music go in it. keep your respective libraries for each app there...then access it?

i'll admit i don't know the ins and outs of the appletv, but it sounds like you are almost there.

i laughed at the 'mac pro laying around'. too bad you don't live near me so i could borrow b/c i desperately need another processing machine (but am saving for the funds :)

i'll keep my eye on this thread, but i won't be anything for at least 6 months.
other priorities cash wise. i did buy a nextar external enclosure with a 1 TB HD in it. it even came with an esata card which is neat. I'm using that to free up my 1 TB lacie so it is solely my itunes library and possibly aperture source.

cheers,
keebler

Well, I'm not sure if that is the solution, which is the reason for the question :)

For example, I know there are two parts to an iTunes library - the content in the library (music files, movies, app store apps), and then the database file. And I know that were the database file lies play a role in whether two people can use the same library or not (I think).

Like I said, I just want my wife and I to be able to access the same library, possibly at the same time, and for our purchases to end up in that library as well. And for Apple TV to "see" that library too.

gadabout
Jul 23, 2008, 05:50 PM
pu the library file itself on the drobo, and put aliases where the library file goes on the computer. this will only allow itunes to open if the drobo is mounted.

i know next to nothing about drobo though, so i don't know it works if two machines try to access this at once...

if i were you, i'd set up the spare mac pro in a central location, with all camera/ipod docks/cables connected through it. do all of your importing directly there, and access the itunes library via shared library. use screen sharing if you need to buy itunes store content on it so you don't have to worry about moving anything around.

bergmef
Jul 24, 2008, 07:26 AM
I'm looking to upgrade my dns-323 to the qnap 409. Has anyone tried one? I haven't found a bad review yet and I get my raid 5. Plus an itunes server.

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/30324/75/

ascender
Jul 24, 2008, 08:19 AM
How do you guys with a NAS running as an iTunes shared library, sync your iPods to it? I didn't think that was possible.

That's the one thing which keeps bringing me back to an external drive array being shared via a Mac which is always on.

steveedwards
Jul 24, 2008, 10:12 AM
Good thread - keep 'em coming.

At the moment, I'm swaying between DROBO or 1TB/2TB WD Mybook Studio (FW800). My heart says drobo, but my wallet says MyBook. I'll then need to look at backing those suckers up :(

Possibly slightly off-topic, but those looking at multiple macs/libraries could look at TuneRanger or PowerTunes.

http://www.acertant.com/web/tuneranger/
http://www.fatcatsoftware.com/powertunes/

By the way, I'm in no way affliated with either.

.mark.
Jul 24, 2008, 10:24 AM
Good thread - keep 'em coming.

At the moment, I'm swaying between DROBO or 1TB/2TB WD Mybook Studio (FW800). My heart says drobo, but my wallet says MyBook. I'll then need to look at backing those suckers up :(

Possibly slightly off-topic, but those looking at multiple macs/libraries could look at TuneRanger or PowerTunes.

http://www.acertant.com/web/tuneranger/
http://www.fatcatsoftware.com/powertunes/

By the way, I'm in no way affliated with either.

those links look really good.

P.S. buy a drobo... do it!

crotalus99
Jul 24, 2008, 10:35 AM
I am very happy with my setup. Drobo into a mac mini (no monitor, keyboard, etc) and the mini ethernet into the time capsule that serves the 3 aTVs.

I use screen sharing to service the iTunes on the mini and share the library with the other computers around the house.

The only problem I have, maybe someone has a solution, is that when something is added to the library on the mini you have to add it to all the other libraries manually as well because I have created new libraries on each computer from the Drobo. Is there a way to mirror the library to other computers so that they update as well when something is added?

You do know that you can have up to 5 computers access purchased songs, etc from iTunes?

.mark.
Jul 24, 2008, 10:54 AM
I am very happy with my setup. Drobo into a mac mini (no monitor, keyboard, etc) and the mini ethernet into the time capsule that serves the 3 aTVs.

I use screen sharing to service the iTunes on the mini and share the library with the other computers around the house.

The only problem I have, maybe someone has a solution, is that when something is added to the library on the mini you have to add it to all the other libraries manually as well because I have created new libraries on each computer from the Drobo. Is there a way to mirror the library to other computers so that they update as well when something is added?

You do know that you can have up to 5 computers access purchased songs, etc from iTunes?

look at steveedward's links a couple of posts up - sounds like it's the answer to your prays!

sushi
Jul 24, 2008, 11:19 AM
Am I the only one who's wondering why the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule don't have built-in iTunes servers?
No.

I've also wondered why Apple hasn't made the Mac Mini into a home headless server. With the correct connections, you could stack HDs, say 2 x 3.5 inch HD high for each module. Each module could run a mirrored RAID setup. And then span across the modules. So a nice little stack could provide up to 1TB per module.

Seems like this would be a good idea.

.mark.
Jul 24, 2008, 11:24 AM
No.

I've also wondered why Apple hasn't made the Mac Mini into a home headless server. With the correct connections, you could stack HDs, say 2 x 3.5 inch HD high for each module. Each module could run a mirrored RAID setup. And then span across the modules. So a nice little stack could provide up to 1TB per module.

Seems like this would be a good idea.

sounds like a great idea but I wonder if there's a big enough market? I would by one in a heart beat - as I'm sure many people on these forums would - but do you think the average Mac user would? This home server could also act as a time machine server which would be sweet but then it's treading on TC's toes.

ascender
Jul 25, 2008, 11:04 AM
I've taken the plunge and ordered a Drobo with the FW800 connection. Plan is to put 4 * 1TB disks in there and leave it connected to my iMac which is on 24*7 anyway.

I think that's the best solution for me, but please let me know if I've missed anything obvious!

1. Some resilience due to the RAID5-like structure of the disks.
2. Room to grow as disks can be replaced.
3. No problem synching iPods, iPhones etc as the library will still be "local" to the iMac.
4. No problem with ATV connecting to it.
5. Big enough storage capacity to start ripping all my DVDs and TV shows to it.
6. FW800 connection should be fast enough for streaming.

The only downside I can see is that I then have to buy some device which will have enough capacity to back up the 3TB so of potential data.

hotzenplotz
Jul 25, 2008, 11:15 AM
...

The only downside I can see is that I then have to buy some device which will have enough capacity to back up the 3TB so of potential data.

You would have to go with a semi-mirror setup to do that. Or, in your case of a RAID5, buy a spare 1TB drive and keep it handy in case a drive in the drobo fails, so you can replace it immediately.

fivepoint
Jul 25, 2008, 01:22 PM
I've taken the plunge and ordered a Drobo with the FW800 connection. Plan is to put 4 * 1TB disks in there and leave it connected to my iMac which is on 24*7 anyway.

I think that's the best solution for me, but please let me know if I've missed anything obvious!

1. Some resilience due to the RAID5-like structure of the disks.
2. Room to grow as disks can be replaced.
3. No problem synching iPods, iPhones etc as the library will still be "local" to the iMac.
4. No problem with ATV connecting to it.
5. Big enough storage capacity to start ripping all my DVDs and TV shows to it.
6. FW800 connection should be fast enough for streaming.

The only downside I can see is that I then have to buy some device which will have enough capacity to back up the 3TB so of potential data.

Holy *****! You're already needing a SECOND drobo! ;)

jamesarm97
Jul 25, 2008, 01:33 PM
I have all my music stored on my linux server (up to 45gigs of music). In iTunes I just add the music with the 'copy' setting turned off so iTunes adds the links to the songs to the database but the files are still stored in a central location. This has worked out pretty well so far, I have had it this way for a few years. Songs are in mp3 format.

ascender
Jul 25, 2008, 02:06 PM
You would have to go with a semi-mirror setup to do that. Or, in your case of a RAID5, buy a spare 1TB drive and keep it handy in case a drive in the drobo fails, so you can replace it immediately.

I don't have a problem with buying another 1TB disk to have on standby, but can I rely on a RAID5 setup as a resilient and safe backup solution for the data stored on it? With your audio and video files, you're not worried about having access to historic data, but if things went wrong and you lose two discs at once, you're up the creek aren't you?

Holy *****! You're already needing a SECOND drobo! ;)

Lol! I like the way you think!

Keebler
Jul 25, 2008, 05:11 PM
Holy *****! You're already needing a SECOND drobo! ;)

well, if ascender looks for it, he might find a good deal on a drobo usb 2.0. i saw one for $100 less after the fw800's came out.

ascender, your backing up concern is why i'm going the route of a pc box with ubuntu on it (whenever that is). i'm going to have a load of data...probably 3-4 gbs to start . doh! but i'm 6 months to a year away so we'll see what happens technology wise by then.

jb60606
Jul 25, 2008, 05:19 PM
YAY! A FW800 Drobo was released.

fivepoint
Jul 25, 2008, 06:07 PM
well, if ascender looks for it, he might find a good deal on a drobo usb 2.0. i saw one for $100 less after the fw800's came out.

ascender, your backing up concern is why i'm going the route of a pc box with ubuntu on it (whenever that is). i'm going to have a load of data...probably 3-4 gbs to start . doh! but i'm 6 months to a year away so we'll see what happens technology wise by then.

Actually, they are going for $150 less ($350) on most sites. That is the published price by drobo. Old model for $350, or new with FW800 for $500.

For my setup, all I would need would be the USB model (since I would be hooking up via airport extreme) but, I think I would still spring for the new model? Not sure.

jb60606
Jul 25, 2008, 06:19 PM
Actually, they are going for $150 less ($350) on most sites. That is the published price by drobo. Old model for $350, or new with FW800 for $500.

For my setup, all I would need would be the USB model (since I would be hooking up via airport extreme) but, I think I would still spring for the new model? Not sure.

The new one has both "enhanced" USB and FW800, I believe. I'd go for the new one. I wish I would have waited a bit before I bought my drobo, though I am perfectly happy with it, and does what it's supposed to do.

prostuff1
Jul 28, 2008, 10:50 AM
Slightly off topic but I looked into unRaid too. My understanding is that with all your drives, you can't make them appear as one big share similar to a regular RAID5. Does that sound right? I was never really clear on that answer so I went with a traditional RAID.

There is a user shares feature that will "simulate" the joining of disks. If you have disk1/DVD and disk2/DVD they can be represented as one DVD folder. This can be done with as many shares as you like. The only downside of shares is that you can't write to them, yet. Hopefully there will be an update so that this is possible.

I am really liking unRaid. There are still a lot of things to do to make it better and more user friendly but it is getting there. The main thing that needs to be accomplished is some unified form for installing add-on so that the average user can do it.

liketom
Aug 3, 2008, 07:27 AM
I'm having troubles with Storage and iTunes

this is what i have:

Apple TV
Time Capsule 500gb
1TB Mybook World ( ethernet )
1 x USB Mybook 500gb plugged in to TC

my iTunes Lib called iTunes Network on my MBP is set up not to store any files locally, so should run from the network.

Apple TV works ok for this and plays through the Shared Lib Menu screen.

However - my iTunes Network Lib crashes and beachballs to death on my mac ?

from what i can work out Mybook Word is - 10/100/1000 Ethernet but is limited to 10MB due to crappy Cpu inside

file transfers to Mybook World take about 10-15 Min per GB which is dog slow

if only i can plug the dam thing direct into my Apple TV via Ethernet and leave it like that :rolleyes:

Any body got any idea's for me ?

jeremyrader
Aug 3, 2008, 01:50 PM
Things I took into consideration for external storage:

Backup vs. storage. They aren't the same thing. I want storage - my MBP's 120GB and iMac's 250GB are not enough for what I want, which is all my media (including DVD backups) in one location.

Single vs. multiple drives. For anyone who has lost data from a hd crash, the choice is simple. If you're only doing backups (i.e. saving data that is saved somewhere else) then a single drive makes sense. But it would be a foolish choice for dedicated external storage.

Prebuilt server vs. DIY beige box. I like the Drobo and a few of the other similar setups. But I can build a DIY PC-based system that does what I want for a lot less. Hot-swap capability is not high on my list. And I really don't like the idea of using my iMac as a go-between for everything else. I want a single source (i.e. server) feeding multiple devices with nothing but a router. I would have loved to have found a cheap G4 or G5 Mac Pro and used it as a server, but there's no such thing... plus there's the media server software issue.

RAID. Currently leaning toward RAID 5. Recently started looking at UnRaid, but I don't understand it enough to commit just yet. See #2 above...

iTunes vs. 3rd party software. Apple TV only looks for iTunes. iTunes doesn't support non-Apple devices. Tversity is 3rd party freeware that converts on-the-fly for whatever device is requesting. This means I can store all my media in iTunes-friendly formats for a possible :apple:TV, and stream to any other device (Wii, X-Box, D-Link, etc.) in the meantime.

OS. Not bothering with a Hackintosh. TVersity is Win only for now, so XP it is.


I pulled my old homebuilt PC out of the closet to see how hard it would be to set up as a server, communicating/sharing with the macs and the hubs. It currently has a 3.2 GHz P4 (Northwood), 2GB RAM, and an 80GB IDE hard drive; running XP Pro with TVersity as the media server. I have a D-Link DSM-320 hub and will have a Wii later this week, plus I stream to my MBP and iMac every now and then. I'm keeping everything filed in the PC's iTunes library in the event I want to add an :apple:TV later. I'll also be adding some sort of screen sharing support so I can stick the box in a different closet, along with the wireless router, and administer from one of the Macs.

Overall I'm pretty happy with it, but I'm quite aware of its limitations. Music is not an issue, but the 3500 kbps DVD rips sometimes get choppy in the streaming/conversion process (wireless-G with aluminum wall studs doesn't help either, I'm sure). The processor is getting upgraded to a new 45nm Core2 Quad (overkill, yes, but I get 'em for free :D), which means a mobo upgrade as well (probably Abit w/on-board video/sound, RAID 5, and Intel chipsets for possible UnRaid compatability). The DDR2 800MHz RAM will transfer over fine.

I learned a hard lesson by transferring all my media files (TV shows, music, and years of family pics) to a single external hard drive - and then losing everything when it failed in less than 6 months (Western Digital, no less). So I'll be starting off with two 500GB or 1TB SATA drives (RAID 1 most likely), then add a new one every 6 months or so until full (the mobo I'm most interested in can support 6 internal + 2 eSATA). I may give UnRaid a chance, but RAID 5 is the current long-term plan.

I'll reload XP Pro, but probably have Ubuntu as a bootable option. TVersity is Win only for now, and I really like the convert-on-the-fly method for multiple hubs preferring multiple formats.

I realize that I don't actually have an :apple:TV right now, but I'm in a similar situation as most others in this thread, and I'm not ruling out :apple:TV as an option down the road.

fivepoint
Aug 11, 2008, 12:18 PM
I lucked out the other day. My 750GB iomega ultramax drive died (I know, doesn't sound like I 'lucked out', does it?) I was using it as my Time Machine Drive, so I didn't lose any data... just a backup. However, I wanted a replacement right away. I called up Iomega (the drive was only 3 months old) and told them I wanted a replacement. They told me it would take 4 weeks to get it. 4 weeks! For $25 I could have it at my house within 2 days. I paid the money.

To make a long story short, the the replacement drive I got was broken, then the next one was broken, and a few weeks later after finally getting a functioning one, I told them I wanted some reimbursement. I got a second 750gb drive for free. Not bad! Hopefully I have good luck with these two drives.

Instead of getting a drobo now, all I need is a single 1tb external, and I'm all set for the solution I want.

newappleboy
Aug 11, 2008, 02:45 PM
...My 750GB iomega ultramax drive died...

To make a long story short, the the replacement drive I got was broken, then the next one was broken, and a few weeks later after finally getting a functioning one, I told them I wanted some reimbursement. I got a second 750gb drive for free. Not bad! Hopefully I have good luck with these two drives.

...

Umm...doesn't sound like I'd be trusting those drives to anything of much importance. :rolleyes:

fivepoint
Aug 11, 2008, 02:57 PM
Umm...doesn't sound like I'd be trusting those drives to anything of much importance. :rolleyes:

Well, every manufacturer makes some lemons... and the problem with the replacement drives I got was a software thing. They weren't formatted properly from the factory, and I had to do some run-around thing to get them formatted correctly as mac extended HFS+.

I think they will be just fine. At any rate, I always have at least one backup for all of my stuff. As long as the drives don't die at the same time, I'll be fine. :)

livingfortoday
Aug 12, 2008, 12:07 PM
I saw a lot of Drobo-talk in this thread, and thought I'd just pop in and say it's the best damn drive-holdy thingamajig I've ever used. Love it to death, even though I also keep a 4-drive case around (but away from home) to back it up just in case the Drobo dies or gets broken in a natural disaster or theft.

LERsince1991
Aug 13, 2008, 11:14 AM
OK I need serious Help designing my setup. I'm very technically able but my head is just scrambled at the moment. Just lost a laptop (crashed completely, I'm trying to fix it at the moment, the hard drives good luckily)
I need to change my network completely for alot of reasons. Its a family network hence the amount of pc's
My current NAS is rubbish and has about 40GB of space left so I will need to replace it anyway and hopefully before I loose all my media since its not backed up and I recon the NAS hard drive is going...
I think its best to draw a picture so here it is.
Any questions please ask!
Please HELP :o

PS. The remote access isn't that important so don't concentrate on that, just need to know how to use the same itunes library as described, and what would work.

.mark.
Aug 13, 2008, 11:51 AM
this is what I'd do - won't be cheap and I'm sure someone will have a cheaper solution:

Things to buy:
-Drobo + storage
-Mac Mini
-Software to sync itunes libraries

Basically get as much storage as you need for the drobo and use the mac mini as a time machine/itunes/file server.

To keep all the itunes libraries in sync look into these products (1 (http://www.acertant.com/web/tuneranger/), 2 (http://www.fatcatsoftware.com/powertunes/))

That should do you and you could also use the mini to do things like rip dvds. It's a solution that I'm strongly considering.

AliensAreFuzzy
Aug 13, 2008, 12:35 PM
OK, I'm excited. My drobo is supposed to be delivered today :D

I've got 2 500GB and 2 750GB drives waiting for it.

t0mat0
Aug 13, 2008, 12:41 PM
Snow Leopard on a Mac mini, ZFS, and a lot of external hard drives. Oh yes.
Having seen the problems with Drobo, I kept well away - If you're going RAID, you may as well have a properly used form of it. I don't want all my drives going down.

Dmac77
Aug 13, 2008, 01:57 PM
My current setup (which sucks), is made up of my iMac acting as my main computer and entertainment center a 80GB Lacie external HDD, an AirPort Extreme, and my iBook:(.

The iMac has all of my media on it, and streams to my iBook. The most important content (Rolling Stones catalog, and the Beatles Catalog) in my iTunes library is backed up on the LaCie Drive. The iMac is wired to the AEBS, and the iBook is connected wirelessly to the network. I also have my XBOX 360 wired to the AEBS.

I have a DROBO on my christmas wish list, and if I get it, I'll pop 2 1TB drives in it, and split it up in to two partitions. One for TM, and the other for my media. I'll then use it to stream media to my XBOX 360, iBook:(, and iMac.

Question to those with a DROBO, do you recommend getting it with drives already in it, or buying them yourself?

Don

AliensAreFuzzy
Aug 14, 2008, 09:23 AM
I have a DROBO on my christmas wish list, and if I get it, I'll pop 2 1TB drives in it, and split it up in to two partitions. One for TM, and the other for my media. I'll then use it to stream media to my XBOX 360, iBook:(, and iMac.

Question to those with a DROBO, do you recommend getting it with drives already in it, or buying them yourself?

Don

I'd get more than just 2 drives for the drobo. With the data redundancy, you lose the capacity of your largest drive, so with two drive you only get half the space.
I would definitely suggest getting drives yourself. You can find some great deals on NewEgg and Fry's. I got 2 750GB for $110 each a few weeks ago.

Dmac77
Aug 14, 2008, 10:20 AM
I'd get more than just 2 drives for the drobo. With the data redundancy, you lose the capacity of your largest drive, so with two drive you only get half the space.
I would definitely suggest getting drives yourself. You can find some great deals on NewEgg and Fry's. I got 2 750GB for $110 each a few weeks ago.

Thanks! Another question, will I notice speed differences if I get 7200 or 10000 RPM HDD's? I'll be using FW800, with the DROBO. Will the FW800 cap the speed below what a 7200 or 10000 RPM drive can read and write?

Thanks!

Don

Karpfish
Aug 14, 2008, 11:13 AM
Thanks! Another question, will I notice speed differences if I get 7200 or 10000 RPM HDD's? I'll be using FW800, with the DROBO. Will the FW800 cap the speed below what a 7200 or 10000 RPM drive can read and write?

Thanks!

Don

No need to get 10,000RPM drives with a Drobo or even inside a system IMO, but the Drobo will be bottlenecked by the FW not the drive.

Dmac77
Aug 14, 2008, 11:15 AM
No need to get 10,000RPM drives with a Drobo or even inside a system IMO, but the Drobo will be bottlenecked by the FW not the drive.

OK, So I should just go with normal 5400 RPM then. Right?

Don

Karpfish
Aug 14, 2008, 11:19 AM
OK, So I should just go with normal 5400 RPM then. Right?

Don

At 5400RPM i'm not sure, but that may still be OK for the drobo. I'm really not sure though. I think i may be investing in a Drobo soon because I am sick of plugging in multiple HD's.

AliensAreFuzzy
Aug 14, 2008, 03:04 PM
OK, So I should just go with normal 5400 RPM then. Right?

Don

3.5in drives typically are 7200RPM. 5400RPM is pretty low.

Dmac77
Aug 14, 2008, 03:08 PM
3.5in drives typically are 7200RPM. 5400RPM is pretty low.

OK thank you! As you can probably tell hard ware isn't my thing, I'm content with software though:D. Another question (sorry) I was looking on newegg, and saw 3.5" drives that were 5400-7200 RPM, does this just mean that they spin down to 5400 RPM when not in use?

Don

prostuff1
Aug 14, 2008, 03:12 PM
OK I need serious Help designing my setup. I'm very technically able but my head is just scrambled at the moment. Just lost a laptop (crashed completely, I'm trying to fix it at the moment, the hard drives good luckily)
I need to change my network completely for alot of reasons. Its a family network hence the amount of pc's
My current NAS is rubbish and has about 40GB of space left so I will need to replace it anyway and hopefully before I loose all my media since its not backed up and I recon the NAS hard drive is going...
I think its best to draw a picture so here it is.
Any questions please ask!
Please HELP :o

PS. The remote access isn't that important so don't concentrate on that, just need to know how to use the same itunes library as described, and what would work.

The remote access is a little tricky so i will forget it for now and move on.

I am a huge fan of the homebuilt server and unRaid. Just do some searching for my username and you should be able to find some of the posts. My setup right now consist of a homebuilt server with 2x750GB HD and 1x500GB HD (with another 500GB to be added shortly), along with 2 laptops on the network. I have the NAS wired to my router (not a Gig router right now, but soon to be). The way i have it set up is the server houses my DVD collection, music collection and general storage. I use a program called MultiTunes to manage the multiple library's i have. I have a "server library" that has all my music, video's, and audio books and then i have a "mobile library that contains all the music i might need when i am traveling. The mobile library is a fraction of the size of my server one. It can be a little tricky to set up the two separate libraries and it might take a few tries. Just make sure you ALWAYS have a backup of your library that you are not messing with, and ALWAYS let MultiTunes create the new library for you (i.e. do not use the "hold option key trick when starting iTunes").

I suggest connecting the NAS/server to the network via ethernet and not USB, the speeds over Ethernet will be much better. And look into building your own server. It does not take much power to run one and you could even use an old computer you have laying around. A little research on the subject and some time and you can have one up and running pretty quickly. The most expensive part about the server is actually the drives.

Backing up all that stuff wirelessly is going to take a while and will not be fast, by any means.



My current setup (which sucks), is made up of my iMac acting as my main computer and entertainment center a 80GB Lacie external HDD, an AirPort Extreme, and my iBook:(.

The iMac has all of my media on it, and streams to my iBook. The most important content (Rolling Stones catalog, and the Beatles Catalog) in my iTunes library is backed up on the LaCie Drive. The iMac is wired to the AEBS, and the iBook is connected wirelessly to the network. I also have my XBOX 360 wired to the AEBS.

I have a DROBO on my christmas wish list, and if I get it, I'll pop 2 1TB drives in it, and split it up in to two partitions. One for TM, and the other for my media. I'll then use it to stream media to my XBOX 360, iBook:(, and iMac.

Question to those with a DROBO, do you recommend getting it with drives already in it, or buying them yourself?

Thanks! Another question, will I notice speed differences if I get 7200 or 10000 RPM HDD's? I'll be using FW800, with the DROBO. Will the FW800 cap the speed below what a 7200 or 10000 RPM drive can read and write?

Thanks!

Don


Like i said above, with a server you can move all that stuff off of your iMac and leave the task of housing the music to the server. You just have to point iTunes and the other programs to the correct spots. For drive i would get the standard 7200 RPM drives and buy them yourself.


If you have question about the setup i run for iTunes let me know.

prostuff1
Aug 14, 2008, 03:14 PM
OK thank you! As you can probably tell hard ware isn't my thing, I'm content with software though:D. Another question (sorry) I was looking on newegg, and saw 3.5" drives that were 5400-7200 RPM, does this just mean that they spin down to 5400 RPM when not in use?

Don

You were probably looking at the WD Green Power drives. The 5400-7200 tag just means they can run at either of those speeds. They come from the factory at one of those speeds (almost always 5400) and that is were they stay. The speed DOES NOT vary and will not change, ever.

netdog
Aug 14, 2008, 03:15 PM
Almost 750GB of music on a 1TB hanging off of a Time Capsule in the closet with the printers. (all but purchased music in Apple Lossless format)

Another 1TB mirroring that drive, updated nightly.

A 1TB off-site at a friend's place that syncs weekly in the middle of the night.

Same setup again for movies. Ripped with Mac The Ripper with an AppleTV library of selected films done with Handbrake from the MTR DVD images.

AppleTV in bedroom and living room connected to HiFi (and TV).

Okay computer speakers in office.

Remote for the iPhone was the missing link. I could control music from each room via the AppleTV, but this is really even better.

Media sorted.

Dmac77
Aug 14, 2008, 03:16 PM
The remote access is a little tricky so i will forget it for now and move on.

I am a huge fan of the homebuilt server and unRaid. Just do some searching for my username and you should be able to find some of the posts. My setup right now consist of a homebuilt server with 2x750GB HD and 1x500GB HD (with another 500GB to be added shortly), along with 2 laptops on the network. I have the NAS wired to my router (not a Gig router right now, but soon to be). The way i have it set up is the server houses my DVD collection, music collection and general storage. I use a program called MultiTunes to manage the multiple library's i have. I have a "server library" that has all my music, video's, and audio books and then i have a "mobile library that contains all the music i might need when i am traveling. The mobile library is a fraction of the size of my server one. It can be a little tricky to set up the two separate libraries and it might take a few tries. Just make sure you ALWAYS have a backup of your library that you are not messing with, and ALWAYS let MultiTunes create the new library for you (i.e. do not use the "hold option key trick when starting iTunes").

I suggest connecting the NAS/server to the network via ethernet and not USB, the speeds over Ethernet will be much better. And look into building your own server. It does not take much power to run one and you could even use an old computer you have laying around. A little research on the subject and some time and you can have one up and running pretty quickly. The most expensive part about the server is actually the drives.

Backing up all that stuff wirelessly is going to take a while and will not be fast, by any means.






Like i said above, with a server you can move all that stuff off of your iMac and leave the task of housing the music to the server. You just have to point iTunes and the other programs to the correct spots. For drive i would get the standard 7200 RPM drives and buy them yourself.


If you have question about the setup i run for iTunes let me know.

Thanks! I like the idea of the DROBO, because it is so simple, and to be honest, I really don't understand RAID, and from what I do understand it seems like a pain in the a$$ to increase the size of the array. The DROBO is nice because it can be painlessly upgraded. I'll take you up on that offer if I need help when I get the DROBO, which hopefully be sooner rather then later, because to be frank, my back up solution is an accident waiting to happen.

EDIT: Just read your post about the green drives, so pretty much it is a tossup on which speed you get right. IF that's the case, I'll just get a 7200 RPM drive so I know what speed I'm getting.

Don

prostuff1
Aug 14, 2008, 03:41 PM
Thanks! I like the idea of the DROBO, because it is so simple, and to be honest, I really don't understand RAID, and from what I do understand it seems like a pain in the a$$ to increase the size of the array. The DROBO is nice because it can be painlessly upgraded. I'll take you up on that offer if I need help when I get the DROBO, which hopefully be sooner rather then later, because to be frank, my back up solution is an accident waiting to happen.

EDIT: Just read your post about the green drives, so pretty much it is a tossup on which speed you get right. IF that's the case, I'll just get a 7200 RPM drive so I know what speed I'm getting.

Don

Correct, it is a tossup.

As per your concern about RAID. That is the main reason i use a product called unRaid. It allows me to mix and match drive sizes, types (IDE or SATA) and expand whenever i need to. do some reading here (http://lime-technology.com/) on it and see if it might be something your interested in. The setup was not really hard at all and this solution allows me to expand to larger drive sizes as the capacities increase. Another good thing is that UnRaid is not a traditional raid. It does not stripe data across the drives like Raid 5. You can lose one drive and recover all your data. If you lose more then one you will only lose the data on those disks not the data on the rest. Unlike the DROBO or Raid 5, if you lose more then one disk ALL your data is gone.

There is a wiki link via the unRaid site that can explain the ins and outs and if you have any questions feel free to ask me or on there site.

Dmac77
Aug 14, 2008, 03:44 PM
Correct, it is a tossup.

As per your concern about RAID. That is the main reason i use a product called unRaid. It allows me to mix and match drive sizes, types (IDE or SATA) and expand whenever i need to. do some reading here (http://lime-technology.com/) on it and see if it might be something your interested in. The setup was not really hard at all and this solution allows me to expand to larger drive sizes as the capacities increase. Another good thing is that UnRaid is not a traditional raid. It does not stripe data across the drives like Raid 5. You can lose one drive and recover all your data. If you lose more then one you will only lose the data on those disks not the data on the rest. Unlike the DROBO or Raid 5, if you lose more then one disk ALL your data is gone.

There is a wiki link via the unRaid site that can explain the ins and outs and if you have any questions feel free to ask me or on there site.

Thanks, I'll read that later tonight. From your posts, I'm intrigued by it. But would I be able to use TM to backup to and unRAID server?

Don

netdog
Aug 14, 2008, 03:46 PM
You are better off using two separate drives, preferably in different rooms, and using something like chronosync to keep them mirrored in the middle of the night. A RAID is actually more likely to suffer a failure.

starcat
Aug 14, 2008, 04:33 PM
I have a software RAID5 system consisting of 10x 500GB drives running on a general Linux server and it is solid as a rock. Nothing, not even power surges can harm it and it runs snce 3 years 24x7, however one should be familiar with general unix admin stuff at least for the setup. It exports volumes over GE via NFS and SMB, works like a charm. Grow and resize everything is possible and you can run software directly on it (like slimserver for example), not possible on drobos and simple NAS boxes.

PS: I don't use AppleTVs but Mac Mini's running Frontrow though.

starcat
Aug 14, 2008, 06:45 PM
You are better off using two separate drives, preferably in different rooms, and using something like chronosync to keep them mirrored in the middle of the night. A RAID is actually more likely to suffer a failure.
There a RAID and RAID. If you mean some el cheapo RAID controller card with waky firmware, then yes, you are right. But there are better cards and software RAID is even more robust as you can rebuild the array on any hardware again and again (only keeping track of which disk is which).

JPDeckers
Aug 15, 2008, 06:12 AM
Aanybody knows of a solution that can stream VIDEO to the appletv ? I read up about all NAS boxes etc., but it seems they all are able to stream music, but not video.

I see the solutions of managing a iTunes library with another PC on a NAS, but am not in need of another PC: I basically want to put a big stacks of disks in a closet that can run/stream standalone (ie headless) to my appletv, X360, laptop etc. Preferably linux, so I can put other stuff on it (small webserver, torrentflux etc.), but most importantly it should support (wireless) streaming to my appletv.


Might have missed something, but it seems that for it to work I need to have a mac/pc connected to the library to stream to the appletv, all other things look to be supported out of the box for most solutions.

supercooled
Aug 15, 2008, 07:02 AM
Almost 750GB of music on a 1TB hanging off of a Time Capsule in the closet with the printers. (all but purchased music in Apple Lossless format)

Another 1TB mirroring that drive, updated nightly.

A 1TB off-site at a friend's place that syncs weekly in the middle of the night.

Same setup again for movies. Ripped with Mac The Ripper with an AppleTV library of selected films done with Handbrake from the MTR DVD images.

AppleTV in bedroom and living room connected to HiFi (and TV).

Okay computer speakers in office.

Remote for the iPhone was the missing link. I could control music from each room via the AppleTV, but this is really even better.

Media sorted.

How do you manage the AppleTV and HiFi in terms of remote? I hate how every button press triggers both devices. I use my Touch to navigate the menu but it doesn't venture into all places I need it to so the remote is still indispensable at the moment.

Scarpad
Aug 15, 2008, 08:35 AM
Almost 750GB of music on a 1TB hanging off of a Time Capsule in the closet with the printers. (all but purchased music in Apple Lossless format)

Another 1TB mirroring that drive, updated nightly.

A 1TB off-site at a friend's place that syncs weekly in the middle of the night.

Same setup again for movies. Ripped with Mac The Ripper with an AppleTV library of selected films done with Handbrake from the MTR DVD images.

AppleTV in bedroom and living room connected to HiFi (and TV).

Okay computer speakers in office.

Remote for the iPhone was the missing link. I could control music from each room via the AppleTV, but this is really even better.

Media sorted.

How are you doing this, on my system the remote will not control anything unless the media is physically on the Apple TV's Internal drive, if it's streamed, when I go to control the Apple TV's Library everything is blank.

newappleboy
Aug 15, 2008, 09:08 AM
How are you doing this, on my system the remote will not control anything unless the media is physically on the Apple TV's Internal drive, if it's streamed, when I go to control the Apple TV's Library everything is blank.

You need to change the option in the Apple TV settings in iTunes to show all content, not just synced. It's on the front page.

iMerlin
Aug 15, 2008, 10:29 AM
Im glad I found this thread. Its amazing what a search will uncover!!
Im in the process of changing my network. I currently have 1 laptop and a desktop (both PCs). So right now, I have 3 seperate copies of my music library, 1 on the desktop, 1 on the laptop and one on a MyBook 250gb USB HDD that I use as my backup. So periodically I have to recopy all the libraries together to make sure we are all running the same crap... (I know there is a better way to do this but Im not sure how).

Fast forward... when the new MacBook Pros come out Ill be picking one up. At the same time I was thinking about getting the Time Capsule as a backup option.

So my question is....
Could I simply get a larger USB HDD and hook it up to the Time Capsule and use the USB HDD as my media storage device? So every PC and my new MBP can access the same library of music and videos? Then use the TC to backup the USB HDD as well as back up the 2 PCs and my new MBP?
Do I need to worry about drive speeds and disk spinning down if I use a USB HDD as the network drive for iTunes?

Also, Im confused how this works in iTunes, what do I tell iTunes if the files arent stored locally? Meaning, do I need to copy the database file to each PC or will that be done for me when I import the files? Do I even import the files or do I copy them? Im confused!!

Ive read through this whole thread and see a lot of talk about shared libraries but some of the server solutions are a little overkill for my situation. I think 500gb will be plenty for me, but I like the USB solution cause if I ever go over 500gb, I can get another USB and then split the media. One USB HDD for music and one for movies. So I could get the 1tb Time Capsule to make sure I have plenty of backup room.
Am I not thinking about this the right way?
Please help me, Im a novice!!

.mark.
Aug 15, 2008, 10:40 AM
Correct, it is a tossup.

As per your concern about RAID. That is the main reason i use a product called unRaid. It allows me to mix and match drive sizes, types (IDE or SATA) and expand whenever i need to. do some reading here (http://lime-technology.com/) on it and see if it might be something your interested in. The setup was not really hard at all and this solution allows me to expand to larger drive sizes as the capacities increase. Another good thing is that UnRaid is not a traditional raid. It does not stripe data across the drives like Raid 5. You can lose one drive and recover all your data. If you lose more then one you will only lose the data on those disks not the data on the rest. Unlike the DROBO or Raid 5, if you lose more then one disk ALL your data is gone.

There is a wiki link via the unRaid site that can explain the ins and outs and if you have any questions feel free to ask me or on there site.

any idea if you can buy these unRaid servers in the UK?

prostuff1
Aug 15, 2008, 01:49 PM
any idea if you can buy these unRaid servers in the UK?

I am honestly not sure. The server components are easy enough to put together yourself. The components are just basic computer parts. The main part of the whole thing is the unRaid OS. Do some reading around on there site and ask some questions on there forums and they should be able to help you out.

MrCatMan
Aug 18, 2008, 07:47 AM
Hi..

I'm new to this :apple:tv lark. I have to say this thread has helped.

I've currently got 60gb G3 Imac a G4 Powerbook coming in at 80 gb and a MacBook with 100 gb. recently added 160 gb :apple:tv.

Thanks to this thread I have decided to get a new imac with enough Ram to add (600) films to via Handbrake & Mac the Ripper. Probably a 20 inch with 320 gb and 4 gb of RAM.

I will also buy a Drobo which looks amazing and something that will be able to grow with my film collection.

Will it be ok to add itunes to the drobo and stream all films music & tv down to ATV with iMac doing the work ripping the films then copying over to the drobo?

Thanks for the help.

txhockey9404
Aug 18, 2008, 12:45 PM
This is my current setup
I am hoping to add an Apple TV to the mix eventually (once they can do 1080p for my 106in TV) I also need to add another 500gb drive to the mix because my current one is split as a shared Time Machine drive and shared iTunes server. I need to get a 1tb one from Costco and use that for iTunes and the smaller for Time Machine or vice versa. The reason for the Airport Express is that my Airport Extreme's signal is too weak to stream iTunes music. I have found a brilliant way for multiple people to use the same iTunes library--make a copy of the iTunes Library file for each computer with a different name and update it daily by creating a new copy/

Trooperof3
Aug 19, 2008, 09:20 AM
Quick Question?

How do I set up Itunes to find movies on my External Hard Drive So that I can play the movies that are on my HDD?

fivepoint
Aug 19, 2008, 09:34 AM
For those of you who are running Time Machine through an Airport Extreme, have you ever had this problem (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=6068895#post6068895)? Is it a problem?

Thanks in advance.

newappleboy
Aug 19, 2008, 10:17 AM
For those of you who are running Time Machine through an Airport Extreme, have you ever had this problem (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=6068895#post6068895)? Is it a problem?

Thanks in advance.

It's not a problem, it's normal. I get it every time. The idea is that, generally speaking, after your initial backup, all incremental backups from that point forward shouldn't take long enough for you to really notice it there. Only during the initial backup would it remain long enough to truly be a nuisance, especially if performing time machine functions over the AEBS/Time Capsule. Don't worry about it.

starcat
Aug 20, 2008, 05:20 AM
I am honestly not sure. The server components are easy enough to put together yourself. The components are just basic computer parts. The main part of the whole thing is the unRaid OS. Do some reading around on there site and ask some questions on there forums and they should be able to help you out.
Don't bother with the unRaid OS, just build your computer with lot of SATA drives in it (on simple Promise SATA channes, no need for expensive hardware-RAID cards which are only additional point of failure) and the install ubunto and configure as software RAID5. You don't need anything else.

fivepoint
Aug 20, 2008, 06:51 AM
It's not a problem, it's normal. I get it every time. The idea is that, generally speaking, after your initial backup, all incremental backups from that point forward shouldn't take long enough for you to really notice it there. Only during the initial backup would it remain long enough to truly be a nuisance, especially if performing time machine functions over the AEBS/Time Capsule. Don't worry about it.

Thanks newappleboy, I really appreciate it!

ayzee
Aug 20, 2008, 05:10 PM
Quick Question?

How do I set up Itunes to find movies on my External Hard Drive So that I can play the movies that are on my HDD?
Itunes will never go out searching for media unless you tell it where to look. You'll have to add them manually by dragging them onto itunes

But if you want to move your itunes library onto an external hard drive then follow this guide
http://lifehacker.com/software/itunes/ultranewb--how-to-move-your-itunes-library-to-an-external-drive-238296.php

paulinhadrp
Aug 21, 2008, 09:42 AM
I have been trying the following set up for the past few days with no success... please someone tell me what I'm doing wrong.

I have a Macbook laptop streaming to my Apple TV and a 1TB Western Digital Hard Drive connected to my Time Capsule.
I use the Time Capsule as a back-up drive, and decided to use the WD Hard Drive as my media drive, with my iTunes library, and ripped DVDs (since I have hundreds of them and all they do is occupy space in my living room).

However, the transition process has been very problematic. My Time Capsule seems to loose connectivity to my laptop pretty often, and my iTunes crashes almost everytime I try to play a song (which is coming from the WD External Drive)... I hardly can even see the contents inside of the WD Hard Drive, since it often shows as Unmounted after a long time trying to load the drive in Finder. Sometimes it works, most times it doesn't.

I haven't even tried yet to stream anything to my Apple TV, since I can't even get it to work well with iTunes.

I tried setting the External HD as a shared folder, change my settings in the Airport Utility, and nothing... I think Time Capsule is the problem, but I can't figure out what's wrong.

What am I doing wrong?? How can I get this to work?? Anyone???

newappleboy
Aug 21, 2008, 09:44 AM
I have been trying the following set up for the past few days with no success... please someone tell me what I'm doing wrong.

I have a Macbook laptop streaming to my Apple TV and a 1TB Western Digital Hard Drive connected to my Time Capsule.
I use the Time Capsule as a back-up drive, and decided to use the WD Hard Drive as my media drive, with my iTunes library, and ripped DVDs (since I have hundreds of them and all they do is occupy space in my living room).

However, the transition process has been very problematic. My Time Capsule seems to loose connectivity to my laptop pretty often, and my iTunes crashes almost everytime I try to play a song (which is coming from the WD External Drive)... I hardly can even see the contents inside of the WD Hard Drive, since it often shows as Unmounted after a long time trying to load the drive in Finder. Sometimes it works, most times it doesn't.

I haven't even tried yet to stream anything to my Apple TV, since I can't even get it to work well with iTunes.

I tried setting the External HD as a shared folder, change my settings in the Airport Utility, and nothing... I think Time Capsule is the problem, but I can't figure out what's wrong.

What am I doing wrong?? How can I get this to work?? Anyone???

I can almost guarantee I know the problem. What format is the Western Digital drive in?

crotalus99
Aug 21, 2008, 12:20 PM
I've been converting my DVD collection for about 2 months now and couldn't be happier with the setup I chose. I do still have about 150 DVD's to go, but this is what I have so far.

I am using an older Mac Mini with a Drobo attached. Just recently had to add an additional 1TB drive to the Drobo which exhaustingly took almost 3 minutes to install and the Drobo to recognize the storage space.

The Mac Mini is connected via ethernet to a Time Machine which then serves the 3 aTVs (2 wireless N, 1 ethernet), I do not notice the difference in connection speeds. All have a slight lag to get the movie going, but once it is running there have never been a problem.

I use the Linksys router connected to the cable modem to handle all G speed traffic in the house and only my Macbook Pro and my wife's Macbook use the Time Machine for backup.

I really like the use of the Mac Mini, because it can sit on the shelf without monitor, etc connected out of the way in my home office, but could easily be put anywhere. I use screen sharing to connect and manage the iTunes library as well as the shared iPhoto library.

.mark.
Aug 21, 2008, 01:12 PM
...

love the setup - I'm gonna go in that direction but I'm waiting on the new mac minis(!) because I'm an idiot - I know the old ones will do the job just fine, I just can't bring myself to buy one when there is a possible update just round the corner. So is that a time capsule or an AEBS in the pic? how are you finding your drobo? they look amazing!

Keebler
Aug 21, 2008, 01:38 PM
I've been converting my DVD collection for about 2 months now and couldn't be happier with the setup I chose. I do still have about 150 DVD's to go, but this is what I have so far.

I am using an older Mac Mini with a Drobo attached. Just recently had to add an additional 1TB drive to the Drobo which exhaustingly took almost 3 minutes to install and the Drobo to recognize the storage space.

The Mac Mini is connected via ethernet to a Time Machine which then serves the 3 aTVs (2 wireless N, 1 ethernet), I do not notice the difference in connection speeds. All have a slight lag to get the movie going, but once it is running there have never been a problem.

I use the Linksys router connected to the cable modem to handle all G speed traffic in the house and only my Macbook Pro and my wife's Macbook use the Time Machine for backup.

I really like the use of the Mac Mini, because it can sit on the shelf without monitor, etc connected out of the way in my home office, but could easily be put anywhere. I use screen sharing to connect and manage the iTunes library as well as the shared iPhoto library.

me likes this set up! veddy nice.

Volante
Aug 21, 2008, 02:02 PM
I've been converting my DVD collection for about 2 months now and couldn't be happier with the setup I chose. I do still have about 150 DVD's to go, but this is what I have so far.

I am using an older Mac Mini with a Drobo attached. Just recently had to add an additional 1TB drive to the Drobo which exhaustingly took almost 3 minutes to install and the Drobo to recognize the storage space.

The Mac Mini is connected via ethernet to a Time Machine which then serves the 3 aTVs (2 wireless N, 1 ethernet), I do not notice the difference in connection speeds. All have a slight lag to get the movie going, but once it is running there have never been a problem.

I use the Linksys router connected to the cable modem to handle all G speed traffic in the house and only my Macbook Pro and my wife's Macbook use the Time Machine for backup.

I really like the use of the Mac Mini, because it can sit on the shelf without monitor, etc connected out of the way in my home office, but could easily be put anywhere. I use screen sharing to connect and manage the iTunes library as well as the shared iPhoto library.

Nice setup! How is the noise from the drobo?

paulinhadrp
Aug 21, 2008, 05:44 PM
I can almost guarantee I know the problem. What format is the Western Digital drive in?

Oh my God, I will love you forever if you do...
It is in MS-DOS format

.mark.
Aug 21, 2008, 05:46 PM
Oh my God, I will love you forever if you do...
It is in MS-DOS format

maybe try HFS?

paulinhadrp
Aug 21, 2008, 06:15 PM
maybe try HFS?

Care to explain what this is?
I'm kinda illiterate in disk formatting...

.mark.
Aug 21, 2008, 06:24 PM
Care to explain what this is?
I'm kinda illiterate in disk formatting...

yeah sure - its the file format that mac osx uses. i.e. the hd in your mac will be formatted to this. If you go into disk utility (applications>utilities) you can select you drive, select erase and in the "Volume Format" drop down list select Mac OSX Extended (Journaled). Although this will wipe your data so make sure you move it somewhere safe and then you can just put it back.

I'm not sure if this will solve your problem but I think it's what the other guy was getting at - maybe wait until he confirms this until you go to this trouble.

paulinhadrp
Aug 21, 2008, 06:30 PM
yeah sure - its the file format that mac osx uses. i.e. the hd in your mac will be formatted to this. If you go into disk utility (applications>utilities) you can select you drive, select erase and in the "Volume Format" drop down list select Mac OSX Extended (Journaled). Although this will wipe your data so make sure you move it somewhere safe and then you can just put it back.

I'm not sure if this will solve your problem but I think it's what the other guy was getting at - maybe wait until he confirms this until you go to this trouble.

Thanks a lot for your time...
I'll try that right now and I'll let you know how that goes...

paulinhadrp
Aug 21, 2008, 06:34 PM
After many tries, Disk Utility finally formatted my WD HD to MAC OS Extended (Journaled)... now I'm transferring all of my iTunes files to the drive and will try the streaming again after it is done.. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks again for the help!

CoolHand777
Aug 22, 2008, 02:36 AM
love the setup - I'm gonna go in that direction but I'm waiting on the new mac minis(!) because I'm an idiot - I know the old ones will do the job just fine, I just can't bring myself to buy one when there is a possible update just round the corner. So is that a time capsule or an AEBS in the pic? how are you finding your drobo? they look amazing!

Yeah dude, that's a sweet set-up. I looked at the pic and now I'm drooling.

I'm in the same boat, waiting for the MacMini update. Now I'm leaning towards a Drobo too!

bergmef
Aug 22, 2008, 06:18 AM
I really like the use of the Mac Mini, because it can sit on the shelf without monitor, etc connected out of the way in my home office, but could easily be put anywhere. I use screen sharing to connect and manage the iTunes library as well as the shared iPhoto library.


Question for you. I also would like a mac mini in my setup. What do you do about the keyboard and mouse? Did you use a monitor for the initial setup or can you do that remotely? I know there is no space, but I would love an hdmi connector on the mini.

.mark.
Aug 22, 2008, 06:22 AM
Question for you. I also would like a mac mini in my setup. What do you do about the keyboard and mouse? Did you use a monitor for the initial setup or can you do that remotely? I know there is no space, but I would love an hdmi connector on the mini.

he said he uses screen sharing...

crotalus99
Aug 22, 2008, 10:14 AM
love the setup - I'm gonna go in that direction but I'm waiting on the new mac minis(!) because I'm an idiot - I know the old ones will do the job just fine, I just can't bring myself to buy one when there is a possible update just round the corner. So is that a time capsule or an AEBS in the pic? how are you finding your drobo? they look amazing!

I had the Time Capsule previously for backup of my laptop and still use it for that. It also handles the wireless N activity of the 2 laptops and 3 aTVs. I have several other wireless G devices around the house and didn't want them to effect the aTVs so the TC is bridged (I believe that is the term) to the Linksys so everyone is still on the same network for sharing and printing, they use the wireless G to access the network.

My Mac Mini is a G4 and seems to work fine. I would love to see if there would be a difference in performance with a newer Intel chip mini. Leopard is a little sluggish even with the max RAM on the G4.

crotalus99
Aug 22, 2008, 10:20 AM
Nice setup! How is the noise from the drobo?

I can not say enough about the Drobo. Very minimal noise that I appreciate, the box does a nice job of dampening the sound of the drives.
I added the 3rd 1TB drive a week ago and it consisted of pushing it into the bay and that was it. Two minutes later all 3 green lights were on and the Drobo monitor recognized the increased space. I've had RAID setups in the past and maybe I'm just getting old, but I just didn't want to deal with it anymore.
I feel the same way about the Drobo as I did the first time I bought a Tivo, you can do the same with other devices but this thing just works!!

.mark.
Aug 22, 2008, 10:26 AM
I had the Time Capsule previously for backup of my laptop and still use it for that. It also handles the wireless N activity of the 2 laptops and 3 aTVs. I have several other wireless G devices around the house and didn't want them to effect the aTVs so the TC is bridged (I believe that is the term) to the Linksys so everyone is still on the same network for sharing and printing.

My Mac Mini is a G4 and seems to work fine. I would love to see if there would be a difference in performance with a newer Intel chip mini.

ah I see. I'm planning on using the mini as a TM server backing up to a partition on the drobo, then I've got fault tolerance on my backups to.

Another reason I want the new mini is that I plan to use it for ripping DVDs so my main mac doesn't have to bother with it so I think I would benefit from the fastest/newest/shiniest!

crotalus99
Aug 22, 2008, 10:27 AM
Question for you. I also would like a mac mini in my setup. What do you do about the keyboard and mouse? Did you use a monitor for the initial setup or can you do that remotely? I know there is no space, but I would love an hdmi connector on the mini.


Yes I initially used a monitor with mouse and keyboard, but since it will boot up and I set it to automatically load iTunes on boot I don't need them. I do get an error message when it first boots that it can't find the mouse/keyboard that I have to exit out of, but I can do that from the screen sharing and it doesn't effect the network sharing of iTunes if a power outage or such causes the Mini to reboot when I'm not home.
It would be nice if it was in a closet to manage it with a complete setup when needed, but I have gotten very used to the screen sharing. It's a great feature that really works flawlessly, with the added feature of not having to move from my desk.

crotalus99
Aug 22, 2008, 10:33 AM
ah I see. I'm planning on using the mini as a TM server backing up to a partition on the drobo, then I've got fault tolerance on my backups to.

Another reason I want the new mini is that I plan to use it for ripping DVDs so my main mac doesn't have to bother with it so I think I would benefit from the fastest/newest/shiniest!

That has been the only real problem that I have had with it. My MacBook Pro has had Handbrake/VisualHub and Mac the Ripper running almost 24/7 for the past 2 months.

I don't back up the TM now because it only has backups from my laptop and I play the odds that my macbook pro and tm work crash on the same day. :D

CultHero
Aug 22, 2008, 11:04 AM
okay, after reading pretty much all of this thread I think I have my network figured out but want to make sure.

I have an iMac and a Powerbook that both use iTunes rarely. We Apple Tv that will be less and less for the Powerbook.

I am going to get a drobo and an airport extreme and connect the drobo (Ver1) to the airport extreme and move my iTunes library there. Ethernet from the Airport Extreme to the Apple TV and I am good to go right?

No lag streaming from the Drobo to the Apple Tv and writing to the Drobo when a new CD is installed in the iMac? Yes, I am one of those that still buys CD's!

CultHero
Aug 22, 2008, 11:16 AM
okay, after reading pretty much all of this thread I think I have my network figured out but want to make sure.

I have an iMac and a Powerbook that both use iTunes rarely. We Apple Tv that will be less and less for the Powerbook.

I am going to get a drobo and an airport extreme and connect the drobo (Ver1) to the airport extreme and move my iTunes library there. Ethernet from the Airport Extreme to the Apple TV and I am good to go right?

No lag streaming from the Drobo to the Apple Tv and writing to the Drobo when a new CD is installed in the iMac? Yes, I am one of those that still buys CD's!

crotalus99
Aug 22, 2008, 11:34 AM
okay, after reading pretty much all of this thread I think I have my network figured out but want to make sure.

I have an iMac and a Powerbook that both use iTunes rarely. We Apple Tv that will be less and less for the Powerbook.

I am going to get a drobo and an airport extreme and connect the drobo (Ver1) to the airport extreme and move my iTunes library there. Ethernet from the Airport Extreme to the Apple TV and I am good to go right?

No lag streaming from the Drobo to the Apple Tv and writing to the Drobo when a new CD is installed in the iMac? Yes, I am one of those that still buys CD's!

I have the Drobo connected to the Mac Mini. I haven't tried it connected to the TM.
You have a delay from when you select the movie until it starts. Anywhere from 10-30 sec in my case, but once it starts there is no problem with the streaming. Even high action movies run smooth.

61132
Aug 22, 2008, 11:39 AM
This is what I am going to get, I already have a WD drive and it has worked great. You can find this drive for about 300-350 on ebay :)

http://store.apple.com/us/product/TR717ZM/A?fnode=home/shop_mac/mac_accessories/storage&mco=NjUxODM5&p=4&s=topSellers

.mark.
Aug 22, 2008, 11:44 AM
okay, after reading pretty much all of this thread I think I have my network figured out but want to make sure.

I have an iMac and a Powerbook that both use iTunes rarely. We Apple Tv that will be less and less for the Powerbook.

I am going to get a drobo and an airport extreme and connect the drobo (Ver1) to the airport extreme and move my iTunes library there. Ethernet from the Airport Extreme to the Apple TV and I am good to go right?

No lag streaming from the Drobo to the Apple Tv and writing to the Drobo when a new CD is installed in the iMac? Yes, I am one of those that still buys CD's!

you do know you'll have to have itunes running on a mac to server the apple tv yeah?

.mark.
Aug 22, 2008, 11:50 AM
This is what I am going to get, I already have a WD drive and it has worked great. You can find this drive for about 300-350 on ebay :)

http://store.apple.com/us/product/TR717ZM/A?fnode=home/shop_mac/mac_accessories/storage&mco=NjUxODM5&p=4&s=topSellers

rather you than me! raid0 = 2x chance of drive failure and when that happens you lose all your data. or can you set them to raid1?

if your doing lots of HD video editing and you need raid0 then go for it but make sure you back it up. If it's just for storing you media collection then I'd steer well clear. invest in a fault tolerant enclosure a la drobo or a raid1 or higher.

remember, every HD *WILL* eventually crash

61132
Aug 22, 2008, 11:55 AM
rather you than me! raid0 = 2x chance of drive failure and when that happens you lose all your data. or can you set them to raid1?

if your doing lots of HD video editing and you need raid0 then go for it but make sure you back it up. If it's just for storing you media collection then I'd steer well clear. invest in a fault tolerant enclosure a la drobo or a raid1 or higher.

remember, every HD *WILL* eventually crash

Yes, you can set it as RAID 1. I also thought about eventually getting two of them, and setting each one on a RAID 0, then mirror the 2TB onto the second set of drives. Redundancy is key :) I've spent too much time ripping DVD's/Music, plus photos to lose it all. For photos and documents I burn everything to DVD every month. So hopefully when something bad happens (and it will) I will be prepared.

It also has user serviceable drives which is a big plus. One downside is that you have to use their special "Green" low power drives. FW400, FW800, USB, eSATA

Benicio10
Aug 22, 2008, 12:07 PM
Just want to say this is a fantastic thread. I stumbled upon it while researching what i should do with my setup.

Custom-built PC tower, MacBook
iPod touch, BlackBerry Curve
Linksys wireless router
PS3 (want to buy an external 1TB HDD to sit next to the PS3 to store my movies)

What I'm looking to do:

Manage one centralized iTunes library not just through streaming but being able to edit tags and view cover art on both machines not just within the house but remotely too (I have Hamachi) I know if my PC was a mac I coulda ran Doug's Script for remote management but I cant.

I would also love to sync with the PS3 but I tried streaming solutions (Nero and others) and they're just too slow.

Overall I just want managing my library and updating iPod/BlackBerry to be simple. I am constantly importing new music too.

CultHero
Aug 22, 2008, 12:27 PM
you do know you'll have to have itunes running on a mac to server the apple tv yeah?

yea, it is on the iMac.

tbone7467
Aug 22, 2008, 04:22 PM
I just got a MSS (HP MediaSmart Server) for my ever expanding library. They also make a Linux version if your not keen on Microsoft.

paulinhadrp
Aug 24, 2008, 06:45 PM
Hey guys... It worked... kind of...
I can load my library in iTunes from External HD via Time Capsule now, and streaming to Apple TV is slow (a little cranky), but it works...
However, if I try to manage any folders, or add files to the drive wirelessly, it doesn`t let me.. it tells me I do not have enough privileges to do this.. how do I work around this?

fivepoint
Aug 24, 2008, 09:20 PM
Hey guys... It worked... kind of...
I can load my library in iTunes from External HD via Time Capsule now, and streaming to Apple TV is slow (a little cranky), but it works...
However, if I try to manage any folders, or add files to the drive wirelessly, it doesn`t let me.. it tells me I do not have enough privileges to do this.. how do I work around this?

Right click on the drive, click "get info", at the bottom... change all users to read/write access.

paulinhadrp
Aug 25, 2008, 09:04 AM
Right click on the drive, click "get info", at the bottom... change all users to read/write access.

Yup.. did that right after I posted my last message, and now I'm not being even able to see the drive from the Time Capsule.
I just shut my computer off and will let it cool off for today while I'm at work.. will only look at it when I'm back home.. this is getting very frustrating... It's been more than a week and I just can't get this setup to work.

fivepoint
Aug 25, 2008, 09:33 AM
I can load my library in iTunes from External HD via Time Capsule now, and streaming to Apple TV is slow (a little cranky)

The reason it's slow, is because the router is being utilized to send the same content over and over again... When you request content from the AppleTV, the request goes from the AppleTV, to the router, to the computer, to the router, to the drive, to thr router, back to the computer, to the router again, and finally back to the AppleTV.

If you want a faster setup with far less lag, connect the drive directly to your machine. The less times you use the router in the process, the faster it will be. :(



Yup.. did that right after I posted my last message, and now I'm not being even able to see the drive from the Time Capsule.
I just shut my computer off and will let it cool off for today while I'm at work.. will only look at it when I'm back home.. this is getting very frustrating... It's been more than a week and I just can't get this setup to work.

Plug the drive directly into the computer and see if it shows up from there... try to narrow down the problem. Don't hook it back up to the Airport Extreme until it is working perfectly when directly connected.

fivepoint
Aug 25, 2008, 01:06 PM
I think this thread and the "How organized are your movies? - SCREENSHOTS!" threads should be "stickied" at the top of the AppleTV forum. What does everyone else think? It seems like one or two threads get started each week which are just re-hashing this same content. If they were always at the top, all of the newbies could just get the info there.

Does anyone know who to talk to to get this done?

Thanks,
Fivepoint

newappleboy
Aug 25, 2008, 01:08 PM
I think this thread and the "How organized are your movies? - SCREENSHOTS!" threads should be "stickied" at the top of the AppleTV forum. What does everyone else think? It seems like one or two threads get started each week which are just re-hashing this same content. If they were always at the top, all of the newbies could just get the info there.

Does anyone know who to talk to to get this done?

Thanks,
Fivepoint

I think this would be a great idea. Any of the mods could do it, but to be honest I'm still new enough to not know how to get their attention on a specific thread for requests such as this.

iMerlin
Aug 25, 2008, 03:43 PM
So Ive read through this entire thread about 3 times just to make sure I understand everything. Ive talked to fivepoint in another thread too. Because of this thread I ordered a Drobo today along with 3 500gb Seagate drives. I also bought an Airport Extreme n last week and love it so far other than not being able to print.
Anyway, I dont have my mac yet so my question is, when I get my Drobo, I want to plug it into the USB on my AEBSn. However, Ive read if you are using the Drobo on a mac you need to format it to NFS+. Is that also the case if you are plugging it into the AEBSn? I want to get my network, all me media and shared files on the Drobo before I even get the Mac. So when I have it, Ill be ready to roll right away.
Any thoughts on how to prepare the Drobo even though I dont have my mac yet?
Am I mistaken about the NFS+? Drobos website says it can work on all OS without formatting, so why would I need to format to NFS+ then?

Thanks to all in this thread. fivepoint, you are right, it should be stickied. I know it saved me from posting a new thread.

newappleboy
Aug 25, 2008, 03:48 PM
So Ive read through this entire thread about 3 times just to make sure I understand everything. Ive talked to fivepoint in another thread too. Because of this thread I ordered a Drobo today along with 3 500gb Seagate drives. I also bought an Airport Extreme n last week and love it so far other than not being able to print.
Anyway, I dont have my mac yet so my question is, when I get my Drobo, I want to plug it into the USB on my AEBSn. However, Ive read if you are using the Drobo on a mac you need to format it to NFS+. Is that also the case if you are plugging it into the AEBSn? I want to get my network, all me media and shared files on the Drobo before I even get the Mac. So when I have it, Ill be ready to roll right away.
Any thoughts on how to prepare the Drobo even though I dont have my mac yet?
Am I mistaken about the NFS+? Drobos website says it can work on all OS without formatting, so why would I need to format to NFS+ then?

Thanks to all in this thread. fivepoint, you are right, it should be stickied. I know it saved me from posting a new thread.

I'm not sure what NFS is. NTFS is a Windows format and HFS is the Mac format. From my own past experience, I'd highly recommend making any drives, network or directly connected alike, HFS formatted to avoid difficulties. Being over the network, any PCs you may have would still be able to access it without problems.

As for the AEBS not allowing you to print, what's the problem there? I'm assuming you have a printer plugged into the USB port on the back and will soon be using a hub to have both the printer and drobo connected? I'm sure myself or someone else here could gladly help with just a little more info. :cool:

iMerlin
Aug 25, 2008, 03:57 PM
I'm not sure what NFS is. NTFS is a Windows format and HFS is the Mac format. From my own past experience, I'd highly recommend making any drives, network or directly connected alike, HFS formatted to avoid difficulties. Being over the network, any PCs you may have would still be able to access it without problems.

As for the AEBS not allowing you to print, what's the problem there? I'm assuming you have a printer plugged into the USB port on the back and will soon be using a hub to have both the printer and drobo connected? I'm sure myself or someone else here could gladly help with just a little more info. :cool:

Thats what I meant, HFS+ sorry about that. So how would I format it HFS without a mac in my hands?? Im sure Windows wont allow me to do that! So if I get the Drobo and get it formatted to HFS+, then plug it into my AEBS, my Windows PCs will still be able to RW to it?

As for the printing thing, I would love some help!! I didnt want to hijack fivepoints thread though. I have a thread going for it here... http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=549971

Any help would be very appriciated!!

Thanks again.

CultHero
Aug 25, 2008, 04:22 PM
not sure if this helps, but it will tell you more about the format. I just did the same thing. I hung my drobo off my airport extreme.

http://www.drobospace.com/article/10425/Share-Drobo-on-a-Network--Apple-Airport-Extreme/

fivepoint
Aug 25, 2008, 04:35 PM
not sure if this helps, but it will tell you more about the format. I just did the same thing. I hung my drobo off my airport extreme.

http://www.drobospace.com/article/10425/Share-Drobo-on-a-Network--Apple-Airport-Extreme/

iMerlin, just so you know... when this quoted article talks about "OS Extended Version," that is the same thing as HFS+. The format just has two different names... that's all.

Personally, I would wait until you got your mac to start with all of this. But I am an impatient being as well, so that is understandable. ;) Doing so would help you avoid any compatibility problems with the windows stuff. If you want the drive to be able to be accessed from both, you'll have to use "FAT", but I would suggest using HFS+ if that is not a concern.

Regardless, when you are ready to setup, I would suggest hooking it up to your computer directly, formatting, making sure it works 100% that way, and THEN hooking it up to your AEBS. Once hooked up to the AEBS, make sure it is working perfectly there, and then hook it BACK up to your computer to make the first file transfer. Large transfers can take DAYS on a wireless connection. After the first transfer is complete, hook it up to the AEBS and you should be good to go.

Make sure you follow the rules in this (VERY HELPFUL) article when moving iTunes libraries:
http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/moving-your-itunes-library-to-a-new-hard-drive/

paulinhadrp
Aug 25, 2008, 05:13 PM
Plug the drive directly into the computer and see if it shows up from there... try to narrow down the problem. Don't hook it back up to the Airport Extreme until it is working perfectly when directly connected.

I decided to just leave it this way right now until Apple gets their airport/Time Capsule issues sorted out... I really think the problem lays on the Time Capsule.

For now, I'll just have the External HD connected directly to my Macbook, and it is working fine this way... Apple TV is streaming from there and my iTunes is not crashing as much. I only loose mobility, since I can't carry my laptop around (the MyBook HD has a power cable and is not very mobile).

ascender
Aug 25, 2008, 05:39 PM
Just an update. I'm a few weeks in with the Drobo and its been a fantastic piece of kit. Works a treat with iTunes, is nice and fast over FW800 so is good for streaming to Apple TV and I've got lots and lots of disk space left :) Just currently ripping all of my CDs and a few TV series, which are the ones which do eat up the disk space.

Can't recommend it enough basically.

essay
Aug 25, 2008, 05:42 PM
my storage and backup solution.

the only thing missing here is chronosync and supersync which i still have to buy. I am still looking at other apps (superduper, synchronix X, TuneRanger, SyncOtune, synk), but those two are the ones i am more inclined to as of now.

I have not included dotMac in this plan as I still do not have a need for it.

http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb94/essay67/NetworkBackupPlan.jpg

essay
Aug 25, 2008, 05:54 PM
Oops, sorry. my first post. This thread is about AppleTV. the storage/backup plan diagram I posted is not meant for this. :eek:

MovieCutter
Aug 25, 2008, 06:35 PM
I've been converting my DVD collection for about 2 months now and couldn't be happier with the setup I chose. I do still have about 150 DVD's to go, but this is what I have so far.

I am using an older Mac Mini with a Drobo attached. Just recently had to add an additional 1TB drive to the Drobo which exhaustingly took almost 3 minutes to install and the Drobo to recognize the storage space.

The Mac Mini is connected via ethernet to a Time Machine which then serves the 3 aTVs (2 wireless N, 1 ethernet), I do not notice the difference in connection speeds. All have a slight lag to get the movie going, but once it is running there have never been a problem.

I use the Linksys router connected to the cable modem to handle all G speed traffic in the house and only my Macbook Pro and my wife's Macbook use the Time Machine for backup.

I really like the use of the Mac Mini, because it can sit on the shelf without monitor, etc connected out of the way in my home office, but could easily be put anywhere. I use screen sharing to connect and manage the iTunes library as well as the shared iPhoto library.

That's awesome. I just finished a very similar setup..

50" LCD TV with AppleTV+4TB Drobo attached in the living room which syncs from....

Mac Pro in the office with a FW800 4TB Drobo attached with all media content (500 DVDs, 17,000 songs, and 45-50 full tv show series) and a 2nd FW800 4TB Drobo for production work, documents, etc.

Both drobos have the same library so if one drobo fries, I can pull the media off the other, but mainly so I don't have any lag on the AppleTV in the main room. The Mac Pro also feeds the aTV attached to the 32" LCD in my bedroom over Airport Extreme N (I too have a separate router for the G-speed machines in the house so it doesn't slow down my synching and streaming). Screen sharing is SO nice for a lot of this.

iMerlin
Aug 25, 2008, 08:35 PM
Personally, I would wait until you got your mac to start with all of this. But I am an impatient being as well, so that is understandable. ;) Doing so would help you avoid any compatibility problems with the windows stuff. If you want the drive to be able to be accessed from both, you'll have to use "FAT", but I would suggest using HFS+ if that is not a concern.

Regardless, when you are ready to setup, I would suggest hooking it up to your computer directly, formatting, making sure it works 100% that way, and THEN hooking it up to your AEBS. Once hooked up to the AEBS, make sure it is working perfectly there, and then hook it BACK up to your computer to make the first file transfer. Large transfers can take DAYS on a wireless connection. After the first transfer is complete, hook it up to the AEBS and you should be good to go.

Make sure you follow the rules in this (VERY HELPFUL) article when moving iTunes libraries:
http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/moving-your-itunes-library-to-a-new-hard-drive/

Thanks for the link fivepoint, Ill check that out when the time comes.

As for the compatibility, this is what Im confused about and why I ended up going with the Drobo. But now Im still confused. I thought that the Drobo could work with all OS when formatted as HFS+ and hooked up to the AEBS? I cant use FAT, I plan on having some files that are larger than 4gb and FAT cant do it from what I understand. That is why I passed on other external drives because of all the formatting problems.

So, does anyone have a Drobo hung off an AEBS supporting both PC and Mac? I would really love some insight.

not sure if this helps, but it will tell you more about the format. I just did the same thing. I hung my drobo off my airport extreme.

http://www.drobospace.com/article/10425/Share-Drobo-on-a-Network--Apple-Airport-Extreme/

Cult, thanks a ton. This confirms what I thought. I will be ok going with HFS+ to support both mac and PC. Now I just have to figure out how to format this sucker before I get my MBP!!

Impatient is an understatement when it comes to me! If I have to sit here looking at this Drobo not hooked up for a month, Ill go nuts!! Im honestly thinking about calling the Apple store to see if they would format it for me!


EDIT: I just noticed page 2 of the walk through from Drobo tells you how to format using a PC. I guess I have to buy macdisk! Thanks again guys.

iMerlin
Aug 26, 2008, 12:54 PM
Does anyone know how long it takes to format the Drobo with about 1.5tb in it?
Our babysitter has a Mac, she is going to bring it Thursday for me to format the Drobo. I knew I would find a way around waiting!! I just want to make sure it isnt going to take 8 hours.

fivepoint
Aug 26, 2008, 01:37 PM
Does anyone know how long it takes to format the Drobo with about 1.5tb in it?
Our babysitter has a Mac, she is going to bring it Thursday for me to format the Drobo. I knew I would find a way around waiting!! I just want to make sure it isnt going to take 8 hours.

Probably about 45 seconds. Good news, huh?
Seriously though, formatting under normal conditions is a VERY fast process. Shouldn't take more than a minute.

iMerlin
Aug 26, 2008, 01:49 PM
Probably about 45 seconds. Good news, huh?
Seriously though, formatting under normal conditions is a VERY fast process. Shouldn't take more than a minute.

Excellent! Its supposed to be here tomorrow. Babysitter's Mac Thursday, shared iTunes library Thursday night! I cant believe Im this excited about a fricken hard drive. :D

Any special power arrangements I need to make? I already cleared a spot on my desk for it, hopefully I can just plug it into the surge protector I have everything else running off of.

And fivepoint, I know you mentioned in another thread about being careful when having a shared library. Ill just make sure to tell the wife not to open iTunes if Im in it. Ill have to take this approach until I buy TuneRanger or something similar.

fivepoint
Aug 26, 2008, 01:53 PM
Excellent! Its supposed to be here tomorrow. Babysitter's Mac Thursday, shared iTunes library Thursday night! I cant believe Im this excited about a fricken hard drive. :D

I've heard that some people "complaining" that the Drobo almost worked "too well" for them. The plugged it, got it setup, and never had to worry about it again. They found themselves thinking they didn't even own a new hard drive and it made it seem weird that they had just spend $800 on something like that. :) A good problem to have.


Any special power arrangements I need to make? I already cleared a spot on my desk for it, hopefully I can just plug it into the surge protector I have everything else running off of.

No, basic plug-in should be fine. I would guess that it takes significantly less power than a computer would.



And fivepoint, I know you mentioned in another thread about being careful when having a shared library. Ill just make sure to tell the wife not to open iTunes if Im in it. Ill have to take this approach until I buy TuneRanger or something similar.

That is correct. If you access it at the same time, you could very easily corrupt the file and lose EVERYTHING. It's a big gamble.

rhaleuk
Aug 26, 2008, 03:44 PM
For all you people using iTunes and ripping DVDs... what video format / size etc are you converting to?

Am I right in thinking that if you use a pre-set of Apple TV (either in Handbrake or Elgato H264) then those files wont sync and play on the iPhone?

I obviously want the best possible video quality that will also sync with the iPhone as I dont want to have a big screen version of the file and an iphone version of the file.

Really appreciate any comments or suggestions. This thread has been VERY helpful.

fivepoint
Aug 26, 2008, 04:04 PM
For all you people using iTunes and ripping DVDs... what video format / size etc are you converting to?

Am I right in thinking that if you use a pre-set of Apple TV (either in Handbrake or Elgato H264) then those files wont sync and play on the iPhone?

I obviously want the best possible video quality that will also sync with the iPhone as I dont want to have a big screen version of the file and an iphone version of the file.

Really appreciate any comments or suggestions. This thread has been VERY helpful.

You need to rip the content at the lowest common denominator. If the iPhone is the smallest screen you'll be viewing the content on, and you want full compatibility, then rip the content with the iPhone preset. It won't look top notch on the AppleTV, but it WILL play on both. If you rip it at AppleTV quality, it will NOT play on your iPhone.

rhaleuk
Aug 26, 2008, 04:27 PM
You need to rip the content at the lowest common denominator. If the iPhone is the smallest screen you'll be viewing the content on, and you want full compatibility, then rip the content with the iPhone preset. It won't look top notch on the AppleTV, but it WILL play on both. If you rip it at AppleTV quality, it will NOT play on your iPhone.

That's a helpful and clear answer, thank you. Would you recommend bumping the encode settings; ie bitrate or 2pass etc to squeeze as much out of the iphone encode as possible? Or is the resolution limit going to make any tweaks redundant?

Thanks again!

fivepoint
Aug 26, 2008, 04:36 PM
That's a helpful and clear answer, thank you. Would you recommend bumping the encode settings; ie bitrate or 2pass etc to squeeze as much out of the iphone encode as possible? Or is the resolution limit going to make any tweaks redundant?

Thanks again!

For simplicity's sake, I would just use the presets, and leave it at that. I turn on two-pass with turbo second pass... but that's just me. For more information, visit the handbrake forum. Good luck.

rhaleuk
Aug 26, 2008, 04:44 PM
For simplicity's sake, I would just use the presets, and leave it at that. I turn on two-pass with turbo second pass... but that's just me. For more information, visit the handbrake forum. Good luck.

Just doing that now! I'll let this thread get back on topic :cool:

MadBryan
Aug 27, 2008, 02:59 AM
I'm itching to get a Drobo. I'm a newb at this networking though, I've got a D-Link D655 N Gigabit router. Will it work so that my 5 macs and 1 ATV plus 3 iphones can see the drobo? I read all 10 pages of this thread but only saw the airport extreme mentioned. What about that network adapter that drobo sells?

iMerlin
Aug 27, 2008, 07:25 AM
I'm itching to get a Drobo. I'm a newb at this networking though, I've got a D-Link D655 N Gigabit router. Will it work so that my 5 macs and 1 ATV plus 3 iphones can see the drobo? I read all 10 pages of this thread but only saw the airport extreme mentioned. What about that network adapter that drobo sells?


I think the DroboShare is the way to go for you. It would allow you to connect the Drobo to a LAN port on the D-Link. But Im not sure what you plan on seeing with the iPhone. Unless you mean using the Drobo to store your music and videos that you sync to the iPhone. And that it most certainly can do.

fivepoint
Aug 27, 2008, 01:27 PM
Since we've all discussed the benefits of the Drobo to death, I thought - in the interest of full disclosure - it might be a good idea to make a list of the potential negatives. I'll start.

1) Proprietary software. Drives used with Drobo can't be used in other devices without being erased completely.

2) If your Drobo dies, the only way to get the content back, is to buy another Drobo. (same reason as #1)

3) Single device, one outlet. To me, this would increase the likelihood of one electric surge taking out ALL of your data. However unlikely, it seems to me that having multiple devices, plugged into different surge protectors would give you more protection. When all of the data is DIRECTLY hardwired to the backup of that data, I'm sure you lose protection.

4) Expensive. As far as multi-bay RAID drives are concerned, the Drobo seems to be relatively inexpensive. Good bang for the buck. However, for someone upgrading from a simple 500GB external, it's quite the price shock.


Most of us here would like to own a Drobo, and many of us LUST after one... but it's good to remember the negatives of the device as well. If you have any more, feel free to post them.

iMerlin
Aug 27, 2008, 01:37 PM
1) Proprietary software. Drives used with Drobo can't be used in other devices without being erased completely.

fivepoint, you bring up a good point about the proprietary software. But if hooking up to an AEBS and formatting HFS+, isnt that a non-concern?

fivepoint
Aug 27, 2008, 02:09 PM
fivepoint, you bring up a good point about the proprietary software. But if hooking up to an AEBS and formatting HFS+, isnt that a non-concern?

No, as far as I know, it is a concern. Drobo saves data in a unique format which other devices can't read. You could probably "see" the data from another device, but it wouldn't know what to do with it.

As I understand it, only a Drobo can read data written by Drobo.

iMerlin
Aug 27, 2008, 03:01 PM
No, as far as I know, it is a concern. Drobo saves data in a unique format which other devices can't read. You could probably "see" the data from another device, but it wouldn't know what to do with it.

As I understand it, only a Drobo can read data written by Drobo.

I had a feeling. Talk about job and product security! Maybe Ill invest in another external just for back ups and keep that sucker at work.

MadBryan
Aug 27, 2008, 05:43 PM
As I understand it, only a Drobo can read data written by Drobo.
Can you elaborate own this, maybe a link. That don't sound right to me.

fivepoint
Aug 27, 2008, 05:53 PM
Can you elaborate own this, maybe a link. That don't sound right to me.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822240001

Check out the "cons."

haze
Aug 27, 2008, 11:55 PM
What about this as a drobo alternative?

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Raidon/SL36202SLB2/

I can't find any reviews.

iMerlin
Aug 28, 2008, 09:04 AM
fivepoint, I dont want to take over your thread with Drobo setup talk. I moved my Drobo crap to a new thread.
The Drobo setup is giving me a bit of a headache. I cant seem to get it functioning correctly. If you anyone feels like lending some advice check out my thread here...

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=6125206#post6125206

Thanks for all the help everyone.

chinesebob
Aug 28, 2008, 11:52 AM
I looked at the drobo long and hard. It seemed so cool.

My setup is fairly basic.

Mac Mini connected to 42" LCD and stereo.
1 Firewire Drive/Hub
1 Calavry 1TB RAID USB. I have this mirrored so it's effectively 500GB.
1 USB printer (whole printer sharing in leopard is a different thread)

Here's a link at newegg for the Calavry drives. This cost about 220.00 when I got it at Christmas time. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822101088

I'm getting Powertunes to round out the solution since my wife and I both have iphones she doesn't want all of my crap on her phone but we still sync and use the same itunes account.

This year I'll be upgrading to a bigger drive as we've already filled it with all of our media and rsync over sftp to my remote drive is painfully painfully slow.

haze
Aug 28, 2008, 08:13 PM
I looked at the drobo long and hard. It seemed so cool.



Might help others if you said why . . .

.mark.
Aug 29, 2008, 05:34 AM
Might help others if you said why . . .

is it not very very obvious what the attractions of drobo are? anyone who spends 5 mins looking into it would see. They've got a really good video on their site (http://www.drobo.com/Products/drobodemo.html). Check it out and all shall be revealed...

haze
Aug 29, 2008, 08:56 PM
is it not very very obvious what the attractions of drobo are? anyone who spends 5 mins looking into it would see. They've got a really good video on their site (http://www.drobo.com/Products/drobodemo.html). Check it out and all shall be revealed...

Yes, but if you look at the posters subject it says "Forget the Drobo!" Then he starts off with what I quoted, but never says why he chose against the Drobo. He actually chose Cavalry external HDDs, but never said why he chose that route. Read carefully and all shall be revealed . . .

angrysnake
Aug 30, 2008, 08:03 AM
I have a Highpoint RocketRaid 2322 in my Mac Pro going thru mini SAS connectors to an 8 bay enclosure. It is set up with a Raid 50 yielding 5.46 TB.
It is only for iTunes. and feeding my 8GB apple Tv. :cool:

starcat
Aug 31, 2008, 04:07 AM
Anyone know if and when appleTV is going to play dts sound of VIDEO_TS folders? This seems to be a no-go for a lot of potential buyers (me included).

fivepoint
Aug 31, 2008, 08:38 AM
I have a Highpoint RocketRaid 2322 in my Mac Pro going thru mini SAS connectors to an 8 bay enclosure. It is set up with a Raid 50 yielding 5.46 TB.
It is only for iTunes. and feeding my 8GB apple Tv. :cool:

That is a TON of storage! Wow!




Anyone know if and when appleTV is going to play dts sound of VIDEO_TS folders? This seems to be a no-go for a lot of potential buyers (me included).

AppleTV already plays Surround Sound. Handbrake can be used to rip 5.1 audio from the original DVD.

angrysnake
Aug 31, 2008, 09:28 AM
[QUOTE=fivepoint;6141395]That is a TON of storage! Wow!


To bad it is not enough. 4.1TB is used and counting. I am looking for my next solution.

starcat
Aug 31, 2008, 09:52 AM
AppleTV already plays Surround Sound. Handbrake can be used to rip 5.1 audio from the original DVD.
I know that and I know how to convert but my question was "when appleTV is going to play DTS sound" directly?! Frankly, only VLC is able to play DTS directly on Mac OS X which is a showstoper for Frontrow and AppleTV for *all* high-end users going to win-based HTPCs. Highly appreciated that Frontrow plays now VIDEO_TS directly, but without DTS support this is kind of half of the game. And I don't want to talk about playback support for commercial bluray...

paduck
Sep 1, 2008, 01:08 PM
No, as far as I know, it is a concern. Drobo saves data in a unique format which other devices can't read. You could probably "see" the data from another device, but it wouldn't know what to do with it.

As I understand it, only a Drobo can read data written by Drobo.

I think you might find this same limitation with many other RAID devices.

paduck
Sep 1, 2008, 04:45 PM
As I find myself entering the Apple video world, my hard drive storage requirements seem to be increasing dramatically. MP3's are one thing, but MP4's are wholely something else. Especially if you are thinking about putting an entire season of Alias or Battlestar Galactica in your library.

Looking at this from the perspective of a "typical" home user, I find that my 230GB hard drive will be sufficient for the near-term, but not so long-term. Fortunately, I am planning on getting a new computer next year, so I can solve my storage issues then.

OK, now the question at hand, what is a reasonable configuration for typical home use? My requirements are going to be something along the following lines:

1. Desktop computer will be an iMac
2. Need a simple, reasonable backup strategy
3. Want to make sure my Apple TV has ample local storage so I don't have to have the desktop on all the time.

OK, solution is fairly simple.

Desktop - buy the next to bottom iMac in the line next year when it becomes available. Consider either getting a 1TB option (hope it will be an option then) or alternately, get the authorized Apple dealer to replace the small hard drive with a larger one, thus saving the warranty. Store everything on the local drive for simplicity sake. That will be about $1500.

Backup strategy - clearly use Time Machine, why not? With an external hard drive. Desired option is a USB or Firewire RAID system which will give me some redundancy on the backup incase of drive failure. Not the cheapest solution, but gives me access to plenty of storage space. Continue to use my USB hard drives for TM backup until I can make this purchase. I think I can get away with a pair of 1TB drives and a FW/USB RAID system for $450. Perhaps by this time next year, I can get a pair of 1.5TB drives at that price point?

Apple TV - upgrade the ATV internal hard drive to 250GB. Dump all my music and a bunch of movies down there so I won't have to do too much streaming. I can get the 250GB drive and extra cable for about $100.

The challenge/plan here is that I end up have a single master copy of everything on my iMac - the center of my digital universe. The other devices (iPhone, ATV, iPod, etc.) have their own local storage, but are dependencies of your desktop. Hence, I have to concentrate a lot of storage at the desktop and have a reasonable backup system as well. I assume some risk with less frequent off-site backup.

None of this counts the old iMac which the kids will be using. Fortunately for them, I will strip it of material and give them a small USB drive for backup. Once they start building their own libraries, then their storage problems will be their own!

Hard drive manufacturers have to be loving Apple right now. They can sell me something like five or six drives to meet my needs (which aren't through the roof). :)

Other than a large NAS that everyone can share (which I could transition to with an AEBS in future), see any issues with this setup?

MadBryan
Sep 1, 2008, 07:02 PM
I ordered my drobo and four 500gb drives this afternoon. I just started Handbraking my dvd collection (bout 600) a few days ago. I've gained alot of knowledge from this and other threads and I just wanted to say thanks.