iPad with Synology, only

Discussion in 'iPad' started by sers, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. sers macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    #1
    Ever since I got my iPad 1, and more recently my iPad 3, I find I use my desktop computer less and less. My computer needs are very basic - email, web, basic document creation and management, occasional photo and video editing that iPhoto and iMovie handle fairly well, movies, etc. Over the air iOS and app updates and the ability to download podcasts, music and other media has essentially rendered my iMac a paperweight. Also, iCloud backups leave me with one less thing to worry about and my Apple TVs allow me to view my content on the bigscreen.

    My iMac is about 8 years old and is still running strong, however when it dies I don't think I will replace it. It's basically an iTunes media server - a cord that I would like to cut. However, this leaves the dilemma of how to store all of my media (movies, photos, music) and still be able to manage and play it. My 16gb iPad cannot store this data, nor could a 64gb for that matter. Ergo my search for a central data storage unit that will store all of my data that my iPad can access and manage. Here is my question:

    I've done a lot of research on the Synology Diskstations as a NAS device as well as the iOS apps they offer to manage and play the various media. I've checked out several Youtube vidoes and have come to the conclusion that the Diskstation may serve my needs. My question is, however, once I set up the Diskstation with my desktop and transfer all my media to it, can I manage the Diskstation, download and upload photos, videos, music, etc., with my iPad only?? Is this a possible scenario or do you absolutely need a desktop computer to manage the NAS?

    I would love to get rid of my desktop and feel like I'm almost there, but need a bit more info before I make the plunge for a DS. I've researched this and other forums and haven't found any definitive answers, so if anyone has any experience in this regard, your insight would be really helpful.
     
  2. citivolus macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    #2
    you may have some difficulty in upgrading the firmware of the NAS since uploading a file from the iPad is not straightforward. other than that, I would think all management of the device is done via a browser which should be fine with the iPad.
     
  3. Fattytail macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 11, 2012
    #3
    You could also just get a cheap Mac Mini. Serves the same purpose and gives you a desktop in case you need it.
     
  4. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #4
    Actually once you install the initial firmware, this isn't an issue anymore. You can get it to download it for you in the new version of their update tool on the WebUI.

    OP - I think it would serve well for your needs once you setup the initial photo upload and everything. For videos, I'd recommend installing Plex. Its server can run on the Synology and it will allow you to stream to your mobile devices, too.
     
  5. BFizzzle macrumors 68020

    BFizzzle

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    Location:
    Austin TX
    #5
    i want one now.. thanks to the OP. haha which one do you have?!
     
  6. sers thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 11, 2006
    #6
    Didn't know that Plex can run on the server. Thought you needed a desktop for it to run. This is good news, indeed.
     
  7. qbricc macrumors member

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    Jul 26, 2007
    #7
    This is going to become a big deal

    Sorry but I'm unable to help with your question.

    My response is based on how I feel this will become an issue many users will soon be faced with. The iPad will cover most peoples needs within the next 5 years (yes ok not all you power users). Storing media is the missing link when it comes to removing desktops/laptops from the equation.

    The cloud will work for some tasks but its not for everyone. I would like to see apple bring out a time capsule which you can send info from the iPad and have it act as storage.

    When this issue is solved then tablet computing will have very little holding it back.

    Good luck with your server quest. You are ahead of the curve.
     
  8. sers thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 11, 2006
    #8
    Actually, Qbricc, I also wish that Apple had some sort of server solution for the iPad - something akin to a Disk Station or Seagate GoFlex. The Mac Mini is as close as it gets, but it's a full fledged computer that I don't need running 24/7. Who knows, maybe they have something in the works.
     
  9. Sensamic macrumors 68030

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    Mar 26, 2010
    #9
    Don't fool yourself. You will always, always need a computer. The iPad cannot replace it and cannot do certain things that are essential for everyday use.

    I have a synology NAS and I can tell you it's the best NAS company. I'm extremely, extremely happy with it. Not a problem in 2 years. I have plex installed on the NAS, but it's still in early betas, so it won't work as good as the classic server on my Mac mini.

    From the iPad you can only upload pictures and videos to a NAS, be it from any brand. From Android I can upload any file, like .rar files, documents, music, etc.

    See why iPad cannot replace a computer? How are you going to upload a folder with 500 pictures? How are you going to upload a 1 GB movie? You can't upload text documents from any iOS device.

    Keep the computer.
     
  10. vastoholic macrumors 68000

    vastoholic

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    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    #10
    This would be very nice to have indeed and I hope you are successful with this. For me, I don't think I will ever get away from my mini. I don't know what it is, but I can't pull myself from it even though what I'm doing could usually be done just as well on my iPad. I'll stay up late at night in front my desktop instead of laying in bed with my iPad. So for now, the type of setup your looking into isn't relevant to me, but maybe one day when the technology makes a few advancements I may drop the desktop completely since I'm not a power user.
     
  11. sers thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 11, 2006
    #11
    Hmmm, I had the impression that you can upload pictures from the camera role using DS File or DS Photo. In terms of files, I only use PDFs, Excels or Word Documents that GoodReader, Pages and Numbers can handle. For movies, I would only have to upload or download movies that I create from the iPhone video camera. I only rent movies from iTunes or watch them on Netflix - I don't keep or have a vast library of movies.

    The best part about the iPad is the fact that it's so mobile. I'm not confined to my desk to use it. There's nothing like lying back in bed or on the couch with your iPad in hand. For more intense work, I prop it up on a desk and pair a bluetooth keyboard to it and away I go. I realize everyone's requirements are different, but I think mine are simple enough that I hope I can get away from requiring a desktop. My desktop just sits there and plus, it's so old now that its performance is lacking while my iPad is much speedier and pleasant to use.

    If I "need" a desktop to use the NAS, then might as well just by a mini and forget the NAS. Perhaps I need to do more research or find someone that has one and play around with it.
     
  12. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #12
    I think the biggest problem I'd worry about with going computerless is are websites that don't work well with mobile safari. Sure, they are rare, but they certainly exist and sometimes they are important.

    How are you ever going to add new content to the Synology?

    Web-based file management is slow and a PITA.

    Mac Mini is only 10 watts when idling. You could reduce power usage even more by setting schedules where it goes to sleep while you are sleeping or at work. Synology wattage varies based on model, but to pick one that I was interested in (DS112j), it uses 12.1 watts.
     
  13. BFizzzle macrumors 68020

    BFizzzle

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    May 31, 2010
    Location:
    Austin TX
    #13
    there is apps like puffinbrowser,onlive, etc that just basically have a VNC to a desktop webbrowser.. so on the rare occasion you need to, you could use an app like that
     
  14. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #14
    Well that depends. My LG Blu-ray player needed an update that couldn't be performed over its Ethernet connection. It had to be downloaded from LG's support website, extracted from ZIP, placed onto a USB thumbdrive (or CD-R/DVD-R), and inserted into the player.

    Yes, it's a rare case, but in my experience there's always that little piece of sand in the oyster.
     
  15. Sensamic macrumors 68030

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    Mar 26, 2010
    #15
    On iOS you can only add pictures and videos to a NAS, just like I said, but nothing more. But it's only recommend to small size files. What if you wanted to upload 200 pictures? IOS has no multitasking, so you would have to wait for the process to be completed without being able to exit the app to do something else.

    Even if you don't need a computer now maybe you will in 3, 10 or 15 years. You want to spend the rest of your life without a computer???

    That would be crazy. Seriously.
     
  16. citivolus macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 19, 2008
    #16
    If anything, I think as more time passes and more services move to the cloud, we will depend less and less on computers on our desks and laps and more on those in our hands. Unless we have our hands in our laps.
     
  17. Spor 13 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 25, 2008
    #17
    I have a Synology DS-107e and it has served my needs very well despite being bottom of the line. It's also very reliable and managing it in a browser is easily done with my iPad. To stream movies, I use OPlayerHD and Buzz. No problems connecting via Samba or DLNA.

    The only thing the iPad can't do, is use Synology's download station (to download torrents) via the browser since you can't upload the *.torrent files. Not that big of a deal though.
     
  18. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #18
    Get the <$5 app SynoDS. It'll let you download .torrent or Magnet downloads.
     
  19. citivolus macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 19, 2008
    #19
    Can't you copy links to torrent files and paste the link into the torrent server and have it download the torrent file for you? That's what I do with my Dlink DNS-323 running Transmission.
     
  20. sers thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 11, 2006
    #20
    I saw a demo of Synods and it seems to do the job.
     

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