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Old Jul 13, 2009, 09:57 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Media Server Question

Hello All,

I hope this is the correct forum section for this post, but here goes any way...

I have a large digital media collection that continues to grow. Here is a breakdown of my current setup:

*Macbook C2D (black) stores my music and photos
*Several external HD enclosures:
-2tb WD hooked up to Macbook via Firewire 400 stores mainly movies (mp4/m4v ripped DVDs via Handbrake, I'm almost half way through my whole DVD collection) and TV episodes
-750gb external for Time Machine
-Several other smaller external drives I have accumulated over the last few years.
*Airport Extreme Base Station (from 2007 I believe, has wireless N enabled)
*Apple TV hooked up to home theater in basement which accesses all this media through iTunes.

Now that I have explained this set-up I will get to my questions...

I have been considering putting my Base Station/Modem down in my basement some time in the near future so I can build/purchase a media server solution. But I am not sure of the best way to go about this. Your suggestions/comments would help out a lot.

Should I?

-Purchase an older G4 (dual proc) running server OS (10.4) and set it up as an iTunes "server" and purchase a PCI card to install a few more SATA drives in the machine and also be able to hook up any external drive I want. **I am not familiar with setting up any type of server so this kind of intimidates me a little bit. I would like to see how this would allow all of my media on that to be accessed not only in my home on any machine (or future machine) but also accessed remotely.

-Or purchase a QNAP NAS product such as an example seen here.

-Or utilize the Base Station's USB port and hook up multiple drives via a hub. If so, how would I make those files accessible remotely? Or is that even possible? I realize this won't be very fast of a solution, but the other ones may not be either...

Your help is much appreciated, I hope I have explained everything appropriately.
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Old Jul 14, 2009, 03:37 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2005
I have a dual g4 MDD running leopard server and with 4 internal drives. One thing I will say is that it is not the quietest, coolest or lowest power device for an always on machine (and mine has a fan mod to make it quieter).
Starting again I would consider as an alternative a new mini and something like this http://www.caldigit.com/CalDigit_VR/ with the mini SATA ripped out of the case. Would be quieter and lower power.
If you are running osx server you can easily set up a VPN for remote connections or you can use simplify media to share your itunes library to external clients, iphones etc.

Last edited by dazey; Jul 14, 2009 at 03:52 AM.
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Old Jul 14, 2009, 02:12 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2009
I've decided to do the following. Please chime in if you think there is a better solution.

Purchase this.

I will move my Base Station and modem down in my basement so that I can hook up ethernet directly to my Apple TV.

Then, the above enclosure (with a chosen drive) will hook up directly to the Base Station as an AirDisk drive. From then, I can hook up my existing 2tb external, my 750gb Time Machine drive, and there will be room for expansion in the future.

Here are a few concerns I have:

1. The speed through AirDisk will be too slow
2. Power (the above enclosure has an auto on/off power switch, will that work in this setup? I don't want to have to keep the drive(s) running ALL the time.

It looks as if this may be my cheapest bet right now, considering that I am only really wanting this to be based around Apple TV networked storage.

Thoughts on this before I purchase the external enclosure and a chosen drive (probably a 1tb drive at least)?
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Old Jul 15, 2009, 07:38 AM   #4
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Your other main option is to just get a NAS box. I don't have any recommendations so hunt around for performance tests. Depending on how much you have to spend and how much you value your data you might look at RAID boxes.
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