iMac and Mac Mini Storage Solution

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by downingp, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. downingp macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 26, 2006
    #1
    I will be putting together a mac mini HTPC setup in the next couple of weeks. I currently have an iMac with a 2TB external HD attached to it that stores my iMovie data as well as my iTunes data. I also have an Airport Extreme N to be complete.
    I am looking for the best way to "share" my media (mainly iTunes) between the two computers. Should I leave the external HD attached to the iMac and then share the iTunes library or should I plug the external HD into the Airport Extreme?

    Thanks.
     
  2. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

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    Aug 24, 2011
    #2
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    The iMac will offer better performance than connecting to the Airport Extreme. However, the Airport Extreme will be the more energy efficient setup. I am able to stream one 1080p Kuro reference video from the current generation Time Capsule 3TB over 450mbps wireless-N.
     
  3. downingp thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    I also wanted to add that my iMac and Mac Mini will be connected to my airport Extreme via Ethernet (not wireless)
     
  4. warvanov macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 13, 2011
    #4
    1) Will either of the two Macs be left running 24/7? If so, that one would be the obvious choice to connect the media drive.
    2) Which Mac will be accessing the media in question most often?

    Ultimately, I think that leaving the drive connected to the iMac would be the best option.
     
  5. downingp thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5

    1) I plan on keeping the Mac mini on 24/7 and have always had my iMac on 24/7 before getting the Mac mini

    2) Mac mini will probably be the main computer accessing the music but the iMac will access the home movies
     
  6. warvanov macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 13, 2011
    #6
    The mini should have no problems accessing the music regardless of whether it's plugged into the back of the mini, the Airport, or the iMac.

    However, on the iMac the home movies will be notably slower when connected any other way than directly to the iMac.
     
  7. downingp thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 26, 2006
    #7
    Even a wired Ethernet connection would be too slow for file transfer between airport extreme and iMac?
     
  8. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    Toronto, Canada
    #8
    Ever consider a NAS for that 2TB drive? Synology makes some really nice ones.
     
  9. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    Winnipeg, MB
    #9
    For iTunes, maybe consider iTunes match? That way any changes you make in one place will perpetuate to all of your computers and devices.
     
  10. warvanov macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 13, 2011
    #10
    Well whether or not it will be "too slow" is entirely a matter of your own needs and preferences. It will surely be slower than having it connected directly.
     
  11. downingp thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    If I leave the external hard drive connected to my iMac, would I be able to "wake the iMac" up if the mac mini wanted to access it?
     
  12. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #12
    get a synology nas either the mini or the iMac even has 24/7 access to it. there is a huge choice from 150 to 2 k plus. the basic model is this;


    http://www.buy.com/prod/synology-di...rage-server-800-mhz-type-a-usb/213481643.html

    150

    ________________________________________________________________________
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...-Network+-+Storage-_-Synology+Inc.-_-22108048

    500 with a huge storage upgrade option and a lot of speed


    below is the storage upgrade

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822108087

    500

    _________________________________________________________________

    I started with the cheap one still works fine.
    I now own the better one. faster then fw800..

    they act as shared storage for all my computers. all hard wired with cat 6 cable.
     
  13. downingp thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 26, 2006
    #13
    Pardon my ignorance, but what is the difference between using an external hard drive connected to my airport extreme and Synology?
     
  14. warvanov macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 13, 2011
  15. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    #15
    Ah my mistake. Correct answer is External HDD + AirPort Extreme = NAS.
     
  16. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #16
    speed is the biggest difference.

    how do you attach the hdd to the airport extreme?

    mini to air via cat

    imac to air via cat

    air to hdd via usb? slow slow slow. but still may be good enough.

    the cheap synology gives you 40MB/s
    the expensive synology gets about 110 mb/s

    air port extreme will struggle to top 30 MB/s so big transfers may be a problem. a viewer of a movie on the iMac and a listener of music on the mini may suffer lag.

    Since you don't mention your hdd I don't know if you will connect via usb to the airport with the hdd. some hdds have net hookups and are faster then usb2.
     
  17. downingp thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    The external hard drive I will be using is a Seagate GoFlex 2TB USB 2.0/3.0. It would be connected to the Airport Extreme via USB and then a Cat5 cable will go directly to the iMac and Mac Mini
     
  18. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #18
    since you have all the pieces set it up and use it.

    if it is too slow then consider the sinology solution.

    in fact you can do iMac/macmini to airport

    then airport to seagate usb for iTunes

    add-on a synology to the airport in a year as expansion.

    the airport has 4 cat5 hook ups so 2 for macs 1 for sinology 1 for spare and a usb for the seagate works.
     
  19. downingp thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 26, 2006
    #19
    Ok, one last question regarding setting up my external hard drive with the airport extreme. I understand that once I consolidate my iTunes library that I was using with my iMac and point iTunes to the airport extreme drive, my playlist, play counts etc will all be intact, correct? My question is, if I setup my new mac mini to also connect to the Airport Extreme iTunes library, will my mac mini also have and keep the same playlists, play counts etc?
     
  20. Fry-man22 macrumors 6502

    Fry-man22

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    Nov 25, 2007
    #20
    You seem to just be listing specs and recommending tech. The OP is perfectly happy with the current setup over USB so using USB into the airport station would not be the limiting factor. 40 MB/s is plenty for streaming movings - USB vs other external access is beside the point.

    The network bandwidth is usually the issue with streaming. If you're streaming 1080p high bitrate stuff then cat 5e and gigabit will get you an uninterrupted steam. You may see better with the apple wireless hardware but I did not have good results with 1080p and wireless.

    OP - I would connect the external to the airport and just try it. That seems like a really clean solution using hardware you already have.
     
  21. downingp thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Fry-Man22

    Can you comment on my post above yours about consolidating my library?
     

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