LaCie Network Space MAX will it work for me, New guy needs help please.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by analoguekid, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. analoguekid macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    #1
    Hi Newbie here needing help please

    Want to run a NAS drive that allows me to have one itunes account that can be used by 4 users between 2 macs and 1 PC

    Macs are MBP core i5 with two accounts, and Intel duo2 with 1 account

    PC is a windows 7 notebook

    I would also like to be able to store my aperture library on this drive too (currently on a 1 TB Lacie D2 firewire)

    I need a fair bit of storage 2000 cd’s in lossless and currently 500GB of pics (camera files around 30MB each)

    I’d like to have all users be able to see and upload to iTunes folder, but perhaps have different playlists on their local drive, I’d also like access to my iTunes when not at home via web.

    I understand this can be achieved with a mac mini, but thats a pricey option in the UK, i’d like to keep it under 400 GBP if possible, i’d also like a dual band draft N router, but that can wait.

    The Time Capsule is perfect (especially connectivity of USB devices via a hub, we have 3 printers, office, large photoprinter and small dye sub printer, but ot essential that i can connect these all the time, but would be nice) only thing is for some strange reason apple decided that time capsule isn;t an itunes NAS, bonkers eh?

    I have tried an Iomega Home Server, but it’s not really working right, and will be going back to retailer for a refund.

    I’ve shortlisted the Lacie Network Space Max as i can afford to by the 4TB option and run it raid 1, and add a Draft N router later when funds allow.

    Can any of you guys help, or suggest some other way of doing what i want.

    TIA

    Paul

    ps i'm a network baby
     
  2. analoguekid thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    #2
    would i be able to do what i want with an Airport Extreme base station, and a powered USB hub for printers and hard drives?
     
  3. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #3
    Short of a mini or Windows based box (e.g. WHS NAS) that can actually run iTunes you will be limited in what you can do with respect to media sharing. Most NAS use Firefly to serve iTunes and it is somewhat limited.

    What exactly was your problem with the iOmega unit? Airport Extreme/Time Capsule Airdisk performance is quite poor, and as you pointed out does not include any kind of iTunes or DLNA server. I suspect the LaCie device might give you similar experience to the iOmega.

    If you do go with a dedicated NAS, the general consensus seems to be that Synology has some pretty good/flexible NAS devices.

    B
     
  4. analoguekid thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    #4

    Thanks for the reply

    the iomega works fine as a server, but it doesn;t seem to load on each computer as i expected.

    As to performance i'm really a music guy, vinyl is may main source, i will be using the mac to stream digital to a BT DAC for digital music, i won't be using it for moves much if at all, will it be faster than that?

    If i use a mac mini, a i right in thinking i'll need an intel one running at least 2gb ram and OSX 10.6, if not whats the minimum spec i'll need (I may get a pre-owned one) also if i use a mini will it be ok to use in another room, or should i connect it wired to my router? I take it if i go the mini route (and probably with an airport extreme) i take it i'll benefit from a FW800 outboard raid such as the C-Tech G-Raid?


    Thanks again your help is appreciated. I'll look into synology as well.
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    Since you are a self described network n00b can you expand on this a bit. What did you expect? Where did it not meet your expectations?

    The bitrate required for Apple Lossless is comparable to that of some decent video ~700 kpbs. Even the slowest device like the Time Capsule or Airport Express should be able to handle that, but they don't include an iTunes server. How do you currently stream to your DAC?

    I'm just a bit concerned that the library you describe with an estimated 30,000 tracks in Apple Lossless would throw most consumer NAS systems based on FireFly for a loop. My HP mediasmart EX490 WHS system, granted with an outdated version of FireFly provided by HP and I may have a few individual tracks it doesn't like, is brought to its knees (100% CPU usage) by my ~20,000 track compressed library and even then I can't stream to my :apple:TV2 from it, so I just turned off FireFly for now.

    Even the 2006 Core Solo mini would probably be fine for this purpose, though if you want to use an outboard RAID, you will have to get one that has a FW800 port. ;)

    Here's a recent review of one of the Synology devices. http://www.engadget.com/2010/12/17/synology-introduces-diskstation-ds211-review-finds-the-plus-st/

    B
     
  6. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #6
    I second that you look at Synology - perhaps the DS411j, as you will need a lot of space. Their NAS devices can act as a Time Capsule location, serve to iTunes, create a RAID array from different size drives, etc. This would be a bit more expensive in the short run, but give you room to grow over time. (I can't imagine the 2TB usable space on the Lacie will leave you much breathing room)

    A couple of thoughts -

    - I guess I don't understand the point of Firefly serving to iTunes. Why can't the clients just point their instance of iTunes at the shared music folder on the NAS? I guess if you intend to keep a lot of music also on the individual clients, the server might make things a bit neater, but I assume you also lose any of the metadata tracking abilities (last played, playcount, etc) when using the server?

    - How are you going to back up the NAS? This is a very important consideration - and because most of the options aren't that great (buy a 2nd identical NAS to replicate to, or occasionally connect a drive to it and manually back up - and this gets extremely cumbersome if you get larger than 2TB) - I've recently moved away from this model, and primarily store content on the clients, and automatically back up the clients to the NAS. This doesn't help you serve music though, does it?

    I think given your needs, you might be far more satisfied with a Mini running iTunes and doing the music serving (it could also function as a print server if the printers would be in the same room). I would suggest you connect it to the router via Ethernet if at all possible - just eliminates a lot of uncertainty about the network connection. The backup question still applies, though.
     
  7. analoguekid thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    #7
    Thanks for all the help guys, you've allowed me to get it into perspective.

    My current iTunes library is small, as I said i listen mainly to vinyl in the house, with my system it's so far ahead of digital it's not funny, i use CD's for the car now mainly, but i also have the ability to use my iphone in the car for tunes.

    So based on your advice i will be getting a dual band Draft N router, I've just about sold my cd player, and will soon have a bluetooth dac on order (from Chord electronics) it can be run usb too, over the next few months I will get, based on your advice a Mac mini and a Fire wire Raid array, i take you advice about 2TB not being enough, i may use that intially, and eventually keep that for my pictures and buy a bigger array for itunes, i stupidly believed i could do this on the cheap, but doesn;t look like it, so i'll just have to be patient, thank you very much for your help guys.
     
  8. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #8
    Cool - I'm a big vinyl fan too!

    I have to say that bluetooth and hi fidelity don't usually go together - so that seems like an odd pairing. I presume the idea is that you can send a signal from an array of devices to the DAC? The primary problem that I see is that this can't possibly be a raw digital signal from any device I'm aware of - it's going to already have had the conversion performed before being transmitted by bluetooth. How can this improve sound?

    Have you considered an Airport Express? This is an awesome device that connects to your wireless network and acts as a remote connection to any computer with Itunes on it. The thing is, it it carries that signal in a lossless format, AND it can output the signal in pure digital for standard toslink connection to any DAC of your choosing. Lastly, you use the free Remote app on your iPhone, Touch, or iPad, and you can now control your entire music collection from your favorite chair. I have one of these hooked up to my main hifi, one in the basement, one in the kitchen, and an AppleTV in the livingroom. When I want to play music, I just tell it where to output the sound to. :)
     

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