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Apple TV and NAS

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by designjohn, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie


    Hoping someone can give me some advice on the following:

    I currently have an old G5 imac, a new Powerbook and about 4 different hard drives with movies and music on. The powebook and G5 also have music and movies on them. I'd like to consolidate all the files into one central iTunes library. I hope that I'll be able to stream music and movies (using itunes) to any device, plus a new Apple TV I plan on buying.

    Does anyone have a recommendation on what I consolidate my iTunes library on and use as a server? Is it best to have a new computer such as a mac mini to do this, or can I simply use a NAS of some type to stream from? My hesitation with a new computer would be that I'd need to attach some additional storage to hold all of my media on anyway - so is it possible to cut out the expense of the new computer?

  2. macrumors 6502a

    what size are your hard drives? I wouldn't even try to use the powerbook but the imac g5 should be able to handle being a media centre with no problem. I would go get a 2tb drive from best buy they are running cheap right now. Put all of my media into that 2tb drive. Make itunes save my files to that 2tb drive. and put all of my music media into itunes. Make sure your movies and tv shows are converted into mp4 format so itunes can see them.
  3. macrumors newbie

    Thanks for the advice.

    Currently I have about 2TB of iTunes data, I plan on ripping my DVD's which I think would push the combined library up to about 3.5TB.

    I'm a bit concerned that if I put all of my iTunes data on one device and it fails then I'm in trouble. So I will probably buy two drives one to mirror the other. Or would you say a Raided Nas box of some kind would be better?

    Thanks again.
  4. macrumors 65816

    Speaking as someone who lost over a terabyte of media in an HDD mishap, a backup - especially of that much data - is a must. I have a 2TB WD external HDD attached to my iMac (via USB) for all my media (as whizkid described above), and a 4TB WD drive attached to the network for a Time Machine backup that includes the media drive.

    Firewire 800 isn't an option on the 2TB drive, but over USB 2 it is fast enough that it doesn't impact response times on my ATVs. The 4TB drive is attached by ethernet to an AEBS.

    You will have to keep your G5's CPU awake permanently to serve your ATV(s), but that shouldn't be a big issue.
  5. NightStorm, Jan 12, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011

    macrumors 68000

    I have my ~3.5TB iTunes library stored on an iSCSI volume hosted on a ReadyNAS Ultra 4 Plus. This configuration has worked very well for me so far, and has been very stable compared to my previous solution (AFP-mounted share). My library is comprised of my own encodes and iTunes-purchased content. While it would be a pain, I've decided that I am content with using the physical discs (stored at another location) as the "backup" for my encodes should something happen (RAID failure, fire, etc). To backup my iTunes purchases (which account for ~1TB), I purchased a 2TB USB 2.0 drive and I have Applescripts copy new purchases weekly. When it is not copying new content, I keep the drive in a drawer at work.

    This solution works well for me, but you've got to be willing to accept using the original discs as the backup. You do not really want to use RAID as your only backup mechanism for your library. Sure, it'll take a lot of time to re-encode my entire library again, but as an active member of the Handbrake community I've found myself to be in a constant state of re-encoding anyways. :D
  6. gdeusthewhizkid, Jan 12, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011

    macrumors 6502a

    These are options i am looking into for backups of my media and time machine drives

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Data Robotics, Inc./DR04DD10/
  7. macrumors 68000

    I agree with Nightstorm in that I'd go for a solution that is directly connected to whichever computer is serving up the library (e.g. by iSCSI, USB or FW). You could go for a dual device like Nightstorm's that can connect via iSCSI and also acts as a NAS, or you could go for a device without its own network capability and then share the volume (or folders within the volume) over the network using file sharing on your mac. Personally I use a Drobo connected to a mac mini, with a Western Digital external drive backing up the Drobo that I keep offsite in my office at work apart from when I'm running incremental backups to it with SuperDuper.

    I would emphasise the importance of having a backup (preferably offsite) even if you have a RAID setup, as RAID just provides redundancy in case of HD failure and isn't really a backup per se (e.g. if your house burns down, god forbid!). Now so many of our assets are digital (family photos etc.) it's good to know that if disaster strikes a copy of that sort of stuff is safe elsewhere.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Use and love the Drobo myself...just upgraded 2 of the drives to 2Tbs plus 2 existing 1.5Tbs...still only have 800Gb free.:( I gotta stop ripping Bray discs!!!)

    Expensive but fantastic option. I'd buy a second drobo and reuse the 1.5Tbs in it if I could justify it. NAS just doesn't appeal when your playing with this much data.
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Is your drobo connected to a mac mini? Do you use it with time machine and is your itunes pointing at your drobo drives? Im curious about this type of setup could you explain yours more ?

  10. macrumors regular

    I have well of 4TB of movie data myself. Just moved mine for two external 3TB drives to the 411j NAS with 4- 2TB drives, moved it over to the router and loving it. Now all movies available on both iTunes, and I encode/rip from the PC and Mac at same time straight to NAS.
  11. macrumors 68020

    If I had a Drobo (and a large enough library to require it), I would probably only put movies and tv shows on it and just not worry about backing it up any further than that. Hard drive failure is much more common than catastrophes like fire or flood. If I ever lost them in a fire then so be it. They are replaceable and not treasures to me. For photos, family videos, and music I would store on 1 large drive and back up with Time Machine regularly and offsite maybe once per month. Seems to be the best compromise to me.

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