Calling all NAS users - questions on how you use it

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by maflynn, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. maflynn, Aug 10, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011

    maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'm a fairly recent owner of a QNAP TS-219P+ and I'm generally happy with it but there are some things that kind of bug me and some things that I thought I use it for but found its not all that workable.

    For instance, storing my iTunes library on the NAS works ok, but if I don't authenticate the share before starting iTunes, then iTunes defaults to ~/iTunes/iTunes Media instead of the NAS. It randomly changes to that location even if I have an active share - not sure why.

    streaming - my videos that I purchased on iTunes cannot be streamed to my PS3 because of DRM - should have realized this. D'OH

    Storing my documents on the NAS works as expected but what has me worried is the lack of back up. I don't have the funds to purchase an external drive to use to back up the NAS. If I store my documents, music, images on my laptop then TimeMachine will back it up to the NAS creating a second copy. I have no second copy if I store them on my NAS.

    Overall what do people use their NAS for and how do you feel about it fitting your needs.

    Until I get an external drive for back ups, I'm a little nervous about storing my pictures out on the NAS - I have over 150gb of images that are not replaceable.

    Edit: one more question/comment. When I'm on my companies VPN I lose connectivity to the NAS. We use the cisco vpn software. Any way around this? I alway connect to the NAS by way of IP address
  2. jdelgado macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2009
    I do not have a QNAP, but a Synology, but I think I can give a shot to some of the questions.

    I have the share containing iTunes in the NAS too. I have the share as a login item so that it mounts automatically each time I login into my Mac. If you have iTunes to launch automatically too, you may run into the problem that iTunes starts up faster than the share is mounted. If this happens, iTunes will not find the library and will ask you to locate it manually. I launch iTunes manually.

    If you have the share mounted but have not been using it, maybe the NAS went to sleep mode and it may take a few seconds for it to respond to iTunes.

    My NAS has four drives. I use two for normal usage and the other two as backups. I also have a couple of external drives that I also use as backups and an additional off-site backup. This may sound paranoid, but cannot afford to loose data.

    Looks that for now you have already one backup, but you will need an extra drive to be covered. Do not forget the off-site backup.

    I use my NAS for backups (three Macs), archive for documents that do not use regularly, iTunes, iPhoto, and a Sonos system.

    You already have the pictures in your computer. Can you make a copy in the NAS? You may also want to evaluate making DVDs of the pictures while you get the extra drive.

    I am not familiar with that setup. However, I tried Slink to access my home network and was able to access the NAS. I am waiting now for an update from Synology that apparently will allow to create your "personal" cloud in the NAS. Maybe QNAP is working or has something similar?
  3. Mr Eddy macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    I have nearly the same issue with my NAS and my MBA. I also have a Synology and was wondering, jdelgado, did you manage to connect to your iTunes library on the NAS over internet ? Or only on your local network ?

    I manage to point iTunes to the folder on the Syno that contains the library, but couldn't find away to do it when I'm away from home. All I managed to do, is get to the web interface.

    By the way, do you use a router or is the Syno connected to the "box" (don't know how do you call it, but in France, all the stuff we use to get DSL are called "name-of-the-internet-company-box") from which you get internet ?

    Last question, how do you put the share as a login item ?
  4. ChristianVirtual, Aug 14, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011

    ChristianVirtual macrumors 601


    May 10, 2010
    I replaced the folder "iTunes Media" with an AFP-based alias to my QNAP.
    Means I have the iTunes folder on my local disk and just replaced the content folder underneath. Also configured to be automatic login during startup. This way I don't need to change iTunes setting which sometimes changes itself ( at least in the past).

    Works well together with the wake-up on LAN of QNAP.

    I still suffer a bit that I also have a iTunes Music folder not yet finally cleaned up from old days. And from time to time I copy the library XML over to the NAS as backup.

    If you have LION you need to make sure to use the latest FW from QNAP due to some AFP issues.

    Backup I do from inside NAS attaching an eSATA drive and make a regular full backup. Rightnow the NAS is not full and still fit on one external disk.
  5. jdelgado macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2009
    My NAS is connected to the router (an AEBS) and the AEBS to the modem (your box).
    I have not tried to connect to iTunes from outside my local network, but I will try it as soon as I have a chance; I will let you know how it goes. According to the documentation, it can be done.
    To put the share as a login item, I recall I dragged the mount icon to the login items list in the Accounts preferences.
  6. Mr Eddy macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    Did the same, works well, but when I'm out of my local network, it's incredibly slow, and indeed impossible to listen a song more than 15seconds without a "silence"... and then it continues, etc

    Have you tried without the router ? Does it help in anything ?
    On my side, I managed to connect to iTunes from outside, just had to open the AFP port (548), but as I said to Christian, it's too slow to be used... I first thought it was because of my upload speed connection at home. So I tried Audio Station from the web interface, and I was able to stream my music without any problem.
    Is the AFP thing which is slowing down something ??
  7. Mr Eddy macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    Yes, it's working !

    So if anyone comes by and wants to know what I did, here it is :
    - First, I needed to activate iTunes service
    - open thé ports number 3689 et 5353
    - installe a proxy rendez-vous (Network Beacon in my case)
    - launch the Network beacon and configure it as it's said here :
    - launch iTunes, and your disk is here, in the "shared" section of iTunes !

    So no overflow of course, but it's just to be able to here some music when I'm not at home, without using 50Gb of space on my MBA.

    For the local network (when I'm at home), I'll tell iTunes my music is on the Syno and will ask him to let me organize the folder and not import the file. Not totally tested yet, but I'll launch the process (quit long to index 50GB of stuff...) in a moment will cross my fingers.

    Another option for the local situation might be to create an alias afp-based juste for the folder containing the music. I may try it before, but I'm afraid this can make iTunes go crazy when launching it without access to the folder where the alias is directing him...

    Will let you know what's the best option IMHO !
  8. Mr Eddy macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    The alias for the folder containing the music is the way to go in my case. When I'm on my personal wifi it works perfectly.

    And when I'm outside, a beacon is the solution.

    So finally I have access to my music from anywhere :)
  9. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    Configured to be automatically mounted. Mainly used for backup, because it's too slow for anything else...
  10. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    Just got my Synology DS411 so I'm still get acquainted with it's multitude of capabilities but I purchased it primarily to serve as backup for my two Macs and media library (presently at 2 TB directly connected to my Mac Mini HTPC. I'm still using an older Time Capsule as primary backup for the two computers but considering the questionable reliability of their HDD over time, figured it was wise to have secondary backup. I was also manually backing up my media on a weekly basis but it was a pain to keep doing so manually (hooking up another external HDD every time since I didnt want to keep it out all the time, especially with limited space in the media center) so now I just set up a regularlyo schedule backup and let it do it's thing. As I have more time, I'll start to explore all of the other functions the NAS offers.
  11. bomsom macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2010
    I have a Synology too, (DS209) 2-bay with 3TB total, 1 + 2TB HDD.

    What do I use it for:
    - Huge movies library that are played by an WDTV Live attached to the TV
    - A duplicate of my music library used with Sonos system. The original library is in the Macbook Pro.
    - MBP Time Machine Backup
    - Documents
    - Can access all music and documents remotely through internet from a computer or iPhone/iPad.

    Been using this for about a year.

    I recently bought an external 3TB drive connected to Airport Extreme router as a backup for the NAS.

    - It's a little slow
    - I don't want to store my iTunes library in the NAS, because I rather have it on the Mac and because of speed too, but syncing between MBP and NAS is a real pain
    - You still need a computer to access the system manager
    - The interface of the WDTV is horrible, very unfriendly to me and even more to wife. This is not a NAS problem but it's related with the overall experience.

    The NAS is great and all but I think I wanna go to the opposite direction and replace the NAS, WDTV and MBP with an iMac with an external drive for a really, really simple setup, but I'm still evaluating the pros and cons.

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