Best network media server?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bsmith1, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. bsmith1 macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2008
    Just wondering what would be the best way to set up a networked media server for the home. Option 1 would be to get the Time capsule when it came out, I assume it will work in this capacity? Or will it only be usable as a backup device?

    Option 2 would be to just buy a network connectable external drive and connect it to my router.

    Which one would you suggest is the best way to go? I know that option 2 would give me more future expandability, but option 1 would probably give me the apple 'just works' advantage.

  2. forsey macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2008
    Also building a home media network - best server and direction?

    Good questions in your post, I am in same position. Unfortunately I do not have my solution yet as I am also throwing in the need to create the main server as well as a backup of all the media and home computers, it can get more complex.

    one option I am considering is going with Lacie.

    Lacie Ethernet Disk Mini - Home Edition 500 GB for $199. Then another 500GB tied to it to back it up for another $199. I am wondering if the 2nd drive I use as a backup can both backup the media server as well as the computers.

    Then all tied in through my router so all my home machines and AppleTV (not yet purchased) can get to it.

    The Lacie can be accessed through http login so makes it accessible online and comes as a pre-built iTunes server. I figured that would be simplest. If anyone knows the Lacie products well - seem dependable but as an always on media server - I worry. Also, if I keep photos on it, how easy to work with them in Photoshop etc. over home network? Are consumer networks strong enough to allow quick file transfers from home servers?

    But hoping to post and get others opinions on this versus the time machine direction. Thanks for the post.
  3. sfs macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2008
    I've used PS over networks, and it's not too bad. For high-res stuff, you're looking at about 1-2 minutes (on average-grade G; about 20-30, sometimes 45 seconds on Super-G) to transfer the 60-70MB files from start to finish. I usually just stick a copy on the local drive and either a) make a sync folder to have it automatically re-upload it every so often, or b) put the finished version on the network when I'm done and delete the local copies.

    If you're using Super-G or 802.11n, you probably won't notice the delay much. Actually, the drive speed and throughput may affect your transfers more than the network - reading from an old ATA100 across the network is noticeably slower than the SATA disk attached to the same box, on several networks I've installed/serviced.

    If you're talking about a folder of 2000-3000px JPEGs, you'll be fine. If you're a pro photographer/graphic designer, you might look into gigabit or dual-gigabit lines laid to every important box, as well as the server. Or you could be cool and lay fibrechannel or fiberoptic pipes... But that's rather a lot of cash to lay out to move pictures. I've got a Netgear Super-G router and a USB 108mbps wireless bug, and I've never had any problems nor any really significant delays.
  4. bentup macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2007
    San Francisco
    Just want to give a heads up on the Lacie stuff. I got an Ethernet Big Disk, 1 TB of Media Server deliciousness!! And then an Apple TV! Awesome! Well thats what I thought.

    With first use, I was able to see music on the disk in iTunes, but no video. After updating the firmware, the media server lost all functionality. The Lacie disks use the TwonkyVision media server, which is supposed to be pretty good, but Lacie is extremely slow on coming out with a new software upgrade with Twonky's latest release (the update was announced in Dec). Support was also left than helpful which just encouraged me to downgrade and deal with it.

    So, I have 1 TB of network storage, which is nice, but no media server, and an internal HDD slowly filling up with video for the synced Apple TV...

    Lacie might turn things around with the next update (i hope), but until then, I would recommend (and so would most sites I have been to while looking for help) going with something else.

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