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Old Dec 4, 2012, 12:54 PM   #1
GarrettL1979
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NAS Recommendations

For those of you who use a NAS drive for your iTunes/ATV collection, do you have any recommendations? I am hoping to eventually purchase a 2 or 3 TB version and connect it to our Airport Extreme. (budget = $200)

Also, is there any downside to moving your iTunes collection to a NAS? Noticeable lag, etc?
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 01:04 PM   #2
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I use a lacie 5big network2. You can buy them discless and add your own drives. Mines 10tb in raid5 and used only for iTunes. Works fantastic with ATV. It works faultlessly, no issues for me. It looks very nice too! Loads of ports at the rear to plug in other drives like the 3tb lacie drive next too it via esataClick image for larger version

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Old Dec 4, 2012, 01:36 PM   #3
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excuse my ignorance, but what does RAID mean?
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 01:39 PM   #4
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There are different setting of raid and each setting has different advantages.
In raid5, if one of my hard drive fails, non of my data is lost.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 01:55 PM   #5
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I use a lacie 5big network2. You can buy them discless and add your own drives. Mines 10tb in raid5 and used only for iTunes. Works fantastic with ATV. It works faultlessly, no issues for me. It looks very nice too! Loads of ports at the rear to plug in other drives like the 3tb lacie drive next too it via esataAttachment 381475
I was thinking of getting the Lacie cloudbox thing. That should work the same way correct?
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:01 PM   #6
GarrettL1979
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I was thinking of getting the Lacie cloudbox thing. That should work the same way correct?
yeah, this one, right?

http://www.amazon.com/Lacie-9000344-...+storage+lacie
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:05 PM   #7
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I use a lacie 5big network2. You can buy them discless and add your own drives. Mines 10tb in raid5 and used only for iTunes. Works fantastic with ATV. It works faultlessly, no issues for me. It looks very nice too! Loads of ports at the rear to plug in other drives like the 3tb lacie drive next too it via esataAttachment 381475
How does this handle an OS X upgrade?

I use my WD Sharespace for Time Machine backups, and it has has been bricked by the last two upgrades (to Lion and then Mountain Lion), and WD takes forever to update its firmware to get it working again. I'm still waiting on WD to get it working with Mountain Lion, which means I haven't backed up anything for 4 months.

At some point, my media library is going to overflow my 2TB external drive, so I plan to switch the (4TB) WD Sharespace to be my media drive, and get a bigger drive for Time Machine backups. I'm interested in drives that play nice with Apple operating system upgrades.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:13 PM   #8
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I've not used the lacie as a time machine as I have my apple Time Capsule for that. But I've had no issues with OS X or windows via boot camp with the lacie NAS. They even stream my 3D films to my 3DTV in 1080p DTS mkv wirelessly without any issues via DLNA.
As for storage, my biggest advice would be to make it future Proof with regards to upgrading the hard drives.
I used to have some netgear NAS duo but the maximum size drive was 2tb, it wouldn't allow me to put in 3tb drives so that was a nightmare, I ended up with 3 netgears NAS duo with and lots of plugs and wires!

HD films eat storage so plan for the future, even if you think you'll never fill it all... You soon will.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:40 PM   #9
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how does that Lacie 5Big work with iTunes/Apple TV? i've been looking to getting a NAS for a while, but the reviews through me off since they focus on features not as relevant to me. all i want it to stream my media library to my ATV3s, as well as MacBooks throughout the house, spending the least amount of money. the diskless 5Big looks like a good value, but i know their is a synology 4bay that is only a bit more
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:43 PM   #10
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If you don't already have a backup solution for your media, then I would seriously consider looking at RAID options. Maybe not RAID 5, but perhaps RAID 1 as a minimum (basically a mirror of one hard drive onto another automagically).
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:49 PM   #11
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The lacie NAS works prefect with my iTunes and AppleTV3 over wireless.
Most of my films are 1080p and there's no buffering issues or lag. I think the drive is the best looking drive too, its in the same finish at mac so it fits in nicely. it weights a ton when loaded with 5 drives so a strong shelf is a must.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:53 PM   #12
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The lacie NAS works prefect with my iTunes and AppleTV3 over wireless.
Most of my films are 1080p and there's no buffering issues or lag. I think the drive is the best looking drive too, its in the same finish at mac so it fits in nicely. it weights a ton when loaded with 5 drives so a strong shelf is a must.
might be off topic, but how does one set it up? plug your external where your media currently is and its transfers it over?
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:56 PM   #13
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Short version:

A NAS drive plugs into your router (Network Attached Storage) and all computers can access it and add files etc.
You set it up by opening your web browser and typing the NAS's IP address in.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 03:03 PM   #14
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Short version:

A NAS drive plugs into your router (Network Attached Storage) and all computers can access it and add files etc.
You set it up by opening your web browser and typing the NAS's IP address in.
awesome thanks. what features are there in some of the more expensive ones? accessing documents from outside the network etc.? im curious as to practical consumer features, not fancy SMB ones
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 03:21 PM   #15
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awesome thanks. what features are there in some of the more expensive ones? accessing documents from outside the network etc.? im curious as to practical consumer features, not fancy SMB ones
I have a Synology, which I love. Take a look at a software-oriented review that I wrote for one here.

It is basically a web-based Linux software package that has prebuilt applications available for use. Torrent downloader, entire web hosting suite, Time Machine backup that's updated quickly, the ability to back itself up, photo archive management, etc...
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 03:41 PM   #16
GarrettL1979
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I'm hoping to get something more like these:

http://www.amazon.com/Lacie-9000344-...+storage+lacie

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digita...7&keywords=nas

http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-FreeAg...ywords=nas+3tb

Good idea?
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 03:48 PM   #17
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For those of you who use a NAS drive for your iTunes/ATV collection, do you have any recommendations? I am hoping to eventually purchase a 2 or 3 TB version and connect it to our Airport Extreme. (budget = $200)

Also, is there any downside to moving your iTunes collection to a NAS? Noticeable lag, etc?
If connecting to your Airport Extreme, you don't really have to get a NAS - you can just get a USB enclosure and connect to the AirPort through USB instead of ethernet. The AirPort provides the network share. THis will help you meet your $200 price point, as a true NAS enclosure is much more expensive than a a USB device.

I've said this many times, but here it is again. Putting your itunes library on a NAS can be done, but unless you have very specific needs, it is not worth the trouble. If you are looking to stream your media to ATV, you STILL need iTunes running on a computer, so the NAS isn't buying you any more than a direct connect external drive, except for more complexity. The 'iTunes Server' feature that many NAS devices advertise IS NOT the same as Home Sharing, which is what the ATV needs.

Like I said, you can put your iTunes library on a NAS and it will work. I have never noticed any lag in playback. What I did notice is that everytime my iMac rebooted, I had to make sure that the NAS share was mounted before launching iTunes. Not a big deal if you are launching iTunes manually, but a very big deal if you are trying to have it done automatically. If the volume is not mounted when iTunes starts, iTunes will decide that you really want a new library created in the default location, and all of you media will show up as unavailable. This can be dealt with in various ways, but at the end of the day, it has absolutely no advantage over direct attached storage (USB, FW800, TB) to justify the aggravation.


If your main goal for this device is to feed your itunes library to an Apple TV, without jailbreaking or using AirPlay, the simplest and most economical choice is a USB2 drive connected directly to your computer running iTunes. At $200 - I think this is probably your ONLY choice.

If you want something as a Time Machine target, a NAS, TimeCapsule or USB drive connected to AirPort all start making sense.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 03:53 PM   #18
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Like I said, you can put your iTunes library on a NAS and it will work. I have never noticed any lag in playback. What I did notice is that everytime my iMac rebooted, I had to make sure that the NAS share was mounted before launching iTunes. Not a big deal if you are launching iTunes manually, but a very big deal if you are trying to have it done automatically. If the volume is not mounted when iTunes starts, iTunes will decide that you really want a new library created in the default location, and all of you media will show up as unavailable. This can be dealt with in various ways, but at the end of the day, it has absolutely no advantage over direct attached storage (USB, FW800, TB) to justify the aggravation.
This.

I ended up using my old NAS as a dedicated media drive, hard wired to my Mac by firewire, to avoid this boot-up issue. I then got another (larger) drive and connected it to my router for Time Machine backups (including the media drive).
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 03:54 PM   #19
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if you are connecting it to the APE, all of these are useless as the point of these is if you don't have a router with a USB in, or if you have a main computer you want a wired connection with. personally, im considering a NAS for the redundancy, Home Sharing already lets me share my media throughout the house
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 04:09 PM   #20
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In general, the USB ports on routers are dead-slow for drive access to an attached USB drive. The USB 2.0 port is slow for the type of access that storage needs, and it requires CPU management -- the tiny little brain in a router can't run USB very efficiently. So a USB connected hard drive on a router is the least expensive, but also the lowest performance alternative.

The advantage of a more expensive NAS from Synology or QNAP is that they have a mature suite of NAS native apps, and play nice with Macs and iDevices for media streaming, backup, etc.

Entry level NAS units from Iomega, D-Link, Seagate, WD, Buffalo, Netgear, etc. make some compromises on Mac compatibility and features. Carefully selected, they could be an adequate backup and file sharing platform, but you'll need to do the research on the specific models you are considering.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 04:17 PM   #21
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+1 for Synology

Very quiet and cool unit with a very solid software suite.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 05:28 PM   #22
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Wow-- thanks! I didn't realize I could connect a simple USB drive to my AirPort Extreme. I'm using a MacBook Pro, so this would be better than connecting the drive directly to the computer. I'll test it out.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 05:41 PM   #23
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Wow-- thanks! I didn't realize I could connect a simple USB drive to my AirPort Extreme. I'm using a MacBook Pro, so this would be better than connecting the drive directly to the computer. I'll test it out.
its pretty brutal. i had a 1TB lacie hooked up to my APE and it was way more of a hassle and frustration than beneficial. even you're just dragging documents back and fourth, not bad. if playing media, or using it for Time Machine, absolutely brutal
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 08:51 AM   #24
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its pretty brutal. i had a 1TB lacie hooked up to my APE and it was way more of a hassle and frustration than beneficial. even you're just dragging documents back and fourth, not bad. if playing media, or using it for Time Machine, absolutely brutal
Thanks for the help. That's a shame. I'm really hoping to move our rapidly expanding iTunes collection off of the internal hard drive in our MacBook Pro. Any suggestions? Sadly, I have a limited budget-- would something like this work well?

http://www.amazon.com/Lacie-9000344-...+storage+lacie
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 09:07 AM   #25
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+2 for Synology

I'm using a DS212 3TB RAID1 with my ATV 2(JB for XBMC) and it's superb.
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