How do you host your Media collection?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mwhq, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. mwhq macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2010
    Just interested to know how folks have their media libraries setup, configured etc. Seeing as libraries are getting extremely extensive these days, every big gun is moving to cloud hosting, be good to have some heads run through their setups and how they will proceed with their setups in the future.

    Reason I ask is because I've just gone down the route of external drive with iTunes, Films, Video, Photos etc. & ATV2. There are numerous preferred way to host your media collections but the fun and efficient part is how you share it or maybe how you best utilise your collections.

    The option I've gone for is just a short term solution, I will probably go down the Mac Mini road once Apple rids the Core 2 processors and use it as a stand alone media server.

    So, External/NAS/Cloud/stand alone computer? Thoughts on postcard please and reasons why.
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Because my media library won't fit on my internal drive, I split it between internal and external drives. I use one iTunes library, but the contents are divided between the two drives, with the most-used content on the internal.
  3. magid macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2003
    How do you go about backing everything up with the split?

    I currently have everything on my internal on my macbook pro, but I use my air nearly all of the time now so I am most likely buying a NAS (synology probably), very soon.
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I use Carbon Copy Cloner to backup my internal drive to two separate external drives. I also have another backup of the external media.
  5. mwhq thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2010
    Was just about to ask the very same question.

    I keep my iTunes library and other media stored on a 2TB G-Drive which is backed up on a 6TB G-Safe along with TM backups and other documents which, has a 2TB G-Drive hanging off the back of that which, I rotate with another 2TB G-Drive weekly so one is always kept off site.
  6. mwhq thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2010

    Good to hear people are backing up their backups.
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    It's taken many years to build my iTunes library. I don't want to risk losing it!
  8. mwhq thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2010
    Amen to that :D
  9. jdelgado macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2009
    I have my iTunes library in a Synology NAS (8TB, 4 drives). I chose this solution because it gave me a simpler solution to put my archives and backups for various Macs that are around the house into a single place.
    I also have two external drives to backup the NAS and I am in the process of setting up an offsite NAS to backup my local unit.
    I use Chronosync, Synology's built-in backup, and CCC.
  10. MovieCutter macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC
    Mac Mini+16TB DroboPro connected to a projector with 130" HD screen. Plex is the interface.
  11. macman312 macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia --> Cincinnati,OH
    Depending on the size of your library(s) a mac mini server would probably be fine, they are reasonably priced (US$999), however you may need to get a RAID system or external HDD for more external storage(only offered with 500GB HDD) with some RAID options which you probably don't need. Hopefully apple will release a new version with bigger HDD options.

    Alternatively if your budget allows it you could get the mac pro server (US$2,999) which is expensive I know but the specs are quite good and if they bring out a newer one then you could get that one cheaper. That is probably more of a business server the mac mini would be more suited to you. Hope this helped :)

    Of course there are also other non apple devices such as the netgear NAS but I don't know much about them.
  12. mwhq thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2010
  13. mwhq thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2010
    Good ideas dude. Not sure I could justify a Mac Pro Server to be a media hub, not intense enough to utilise the Mac Pro Server really. Mac Mini will definitely be the route I go down, hook a RAID 5 configuration off the back of it.
  14. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816


    Feb 10, 2003
    Buckeye Country, O-H
    Mine is setup so that my iTunes media is separate from my OS X drive. Since my MacPro has enough room, I loaded the bays with 3 2TB drives. One for OS X, one for iTunes Media, the last for Time Machine.
  15. peapody macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Mine is not as complex...but for now I have all my media and music on 3 500gb harddrives. That is all I have right now since shifting around my set up and selling off harddrives. I just purchased a 500gb my passport for data on the go, and a 2tb 2x1tb my book to serve as a secondary backup for my media. I have an OWC on the go for time machine back ups.

    I have about 350gb worth of movies and 80gb worth of music and 40gb worth of photos, so I don't have that much.
  16. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    1tb lacie firewire hdd has photos, itunes and movies. Duplicated on 2tb lacie network space2 nas. Macbook gets backed up to time capsule and crashplan. Idisk backed up to dropbox. Whew.
  17. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Sep 15, 2004
    i(am in the)cloud
    I have my iTunes on a HP media smart server (music, tv shows and movies). The library is only about 1.2 TB.

    My plex library (Tv shows and movies) is on a Drobo (NAS version) all of which I access from my mac mini media centre and ATV (Jailbroken) both with Plex installed and attached to my Sony Bravia TV.

    A good setup, that way all my stuff is available in the whole house.
  18. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    I have mine on a pair of 2TB External Drives hooked up to an Intel iMac I use as a Server (Its a redundant Mirrored RAID Array, which is also backed up onto a Third 2TB volume on my homebuilt-cheapo-NAS), although hopefully Ill be able to move its backup on the soon-to-be-mine-Drobo and just have everything hooked up to the iMac or my Mac Pro, since my homemade NAS is not exactly the most stable of solutions.
  19. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I have a 2TB LaCie external which holds my TM backup and video collection. I also have a 500GB external with some of my movies backed up to it but unfortunately the 500GB just doesn't cut it anymore. I know my setup is vulnerable but it wouldn't be that huge loss if I lost my movies, I can always download them again.

    I've also been thinking about selling my iMac so I don't want to spend more $ on external drives. If I end up selling it, then my next setup will be a DIY rig with several internal HDs. I haven't decided yet but I might go with RAID 5 because it would end up being cheaper than e.g. RAID 0 + an external drive for backups, yet RAID 5 would still provide a sufficient protection (one drive can fail without any data being lost). RAID 5 is also natively supported by Intel's 6-series chipsets so I won't even need a separate RAID controller.
  20. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009
    Durham, UK
    I have an iMac which provides media hosting to a bunch of other devices, both at home and when out and about. Its got a 2x 2TB external mybook drives for media storage along with clone copies of all drives and an 8TB Drobo which does Time machine backups of it all.
    It provides the following services to the following devices:

    -iPhone/iPad - Dropbox for easy file access when travelling (and picture storage) Zumocast media streaming for itunes library, tv shows and films. also uses a file system app to browse local network file shares.

    - WDTV Live player (living room) - Can stream/copy ANY media stored on the iMac via simple file shares.

    - iMac G4 (Kitchen computer) and a "Paris" clamshell iBook - Streams iTunes library from main iMac via iTunes library sharing, also has aliases for file shares and dropbox for files.

    - Kindle 3 - Calibre ebook management application for converting an sending books to Kindle via email

    Fiancees MBP and my work laptop - The Zumocast web streaming interface to stream my itunes, films and tv shows. Also dropbox for misc files.

    I'm also planning on testing some sort of VPN system (such as Remobo) to give complete access to media stored on my home network when out and about.
  21. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2004
    I have a raid1 pair of 1.5 TB drives attached to a dual G4 tower running 10.5 leopard server. I put a FW800 card in the tower for faster i/o.

    Two, 2TB external drives are used on a rotating basis by time machine on the server, with one drive always spending its off time in my safe deposit box.

    The used g4 tower was quite affordable on eBay and 10.5 server was too. I also run Air Video on the server to stream any of my videos to iOS devices.
  22. minik macrumors 65816

    Jun 25, 2007
    Bellevue, WA
    Mac mini Server to store my iTunes library and eyeTV collection, then I use Home Sharing to my iPhone, iPad 2, MacBook Air, and Apple TV 2.
  23. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Mar 2, 2009
    I put my stuff on a server. It's a Dell Dimension 4300S inside of a Dimension 4400 case. It's got a 40 GB boot drive and a 500 GB hard drive for all my stuff. It's all put together with Ubuntu 11.10 desktop. Currently this holds my iTunes library, several seasons of Top Gear, a website (I host my own, FYI), and it is where I back up my Mac mini via Time Machine. All the parts were lying around and Ubuntu is free, so the total cost was nothing. It works perfectly. Plus, I have it running MediaTomb, so I can get everything on my PS3.

    Previously, I had just my iTunes library on a Digital Audio PowerMac G4. With an Open Firmware hack, I was able to use that same 500 GB hard drive in it. I wish I could find the article that talked about it, but I can tell you it took only five to ten minutes and was very stable. You just can't reset the PRAM.
  24. Zaap macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    I use a Linux NAS I built myself, with 5TB of storage, connected via gigabit. I'm running Mandriva 2010 which was a breeze to set up, is blazing fast, and pretty much bulletproof.

    My NAS hosts tons of ripped movies, TV shows and music. It hosts TimeMachine and Cobain backups for my household OSX/Windows systems.

    It also runs my Subsonic server for streaming music files anywhere. (For example, I live in California, but am currently on the east coast for 2 weeks, accessing all my home media via my Subsonic server.)

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