Looking for a NAS solution that I can use iTunes and Apple TV with for HD movies.

Otago Lad

macrumors member
Mar 22, 2011
96
8
New Zealand
If you're OK with using a windows OS then I suggest you use Windows Home Server 2011.

To explain - my system is a deicated WHS 2011 sytem with 42TB of storage and I run iTunes on the server itself. This means my destop PC/laptop do not always need to be on - don't listen to people who say you can't run iTunes directly on the server beacuse you can and it causes no issues whatsoever.

I built my own WHS 2011 server using an old HP PC that I lying around but there are plenty of two stop solutions (1- buy server and 2 - install WHS 2011) you can buy.

The advantages of using a WHS 2011 server are:

1. It's a server so you can turn everything else off and just have the server on.

2. It's a server so you can share all your media and files to multiple parties inside your LAN and externally when you're away from home.

3. It's a server :D so you can host all sorts of services on it such as a website/blog if that interests you.

4. By running iTunes directly on the server that instance of iTunes forms part of your "iTunes Homesharing" network.

5. You can also run Plex or XMBC concurrently with iTunes if you want - I also use Plex as I have a Roku 3 that I use for Amazon Prime and a couple of other things.

6. Tonnes of other reasons which I won't bore you with.

Best thing I ever did was move to the server option as trying to work out how to store all the DVD/Blu-ray rips I wanted to make and also a growing amount of music and photo's was doing my head in.
 

westrock2000

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2013
524
22
I have the same setup. Would be nice if itunes accepted nas drives that way we dont have to have a computer up and running all the time :)
You could have itunes run on a very low power computer such as an Intel NUC or Gigabyte Brix. Then have it feed data from the NAS. But a direct access would be nice. But doesn't mesh well with the way itunes is used.
 

JohnnyComeLatly

macrumors member
Nov 12, 2010
99
0
I can't agree with this because Cat5E is capable of running 10Gbit up to 350 feet. Also, you only mention cabling. If you're running Cat6, you need to upgrade your wall plate ports and any structured wiring to Cat6 plugs as well. I have been searching for a trade journal I read a couple years ago, but the gist of it was that co-mingling Cat6 within a Cat5E system created an electrical interference issue that actually slowed the performance below 5E levels. So, all 5E would be faster than a Cat 6 cable between two 5E ports.

I have streamed two HD movies, surfed internet, and started a Skype call via Wifi N, which is no where maxing a 1GB Ethernet router, and had no performance issues. Hence, putting an external switch within a router is huge overkill. Now, if you need to expand your home router, sure. But it's not a good reason to do it because you want to stream 1-2 HD movies within your house.

I will caveat this with: I'm talking about current, 3rd party routers. I was at a friends who used the DSL router from AT&T and their routers are HORRIBLE. A single low def video from a NAS to MacBook Pro stuttered excessively. This was the same NAS that streamed to two macs just fine with a $40 chinese knock off router (TP-Link?).

The import thing is make sure your network is truly using it's full bandwidth. Don't reply on your router's port for local network sped. Buy an external Gigabyte Switch (it doesn't have to be D-Link but get a good home switch) and use only CAT 6 cable. This way you know your internal network is using the fastest Ethernet possible today, unless you want to go fiber cable everywhere.
 

satcomer

macrumors 603
Feb 19, 2008
6,430
980
The Finger Lakes Region
I can't agree with this because Cat5E is capable of running 10Gbit up to 350 feet. Also, you only mention cabling. If you're running Cat6, you need to upgrade your wall plate ports and any structured wiring to Cat6 plugs as well. I have been searching for a trade journal I read a couple years ago, but the gist of it was that co-mingling Cat6 within a Cat5E system created an electrical interference issue that actually slowed the performance below 5E levels. So, all 5E would be faster than a Cat 6 cable between two 5E ports.
r (TP-Link?).
CAT 5E was a stop gap from a while back! Plus hogwash, one Ethernet cable can't give off electric (unless is powered CAT6 cable)interference. The only thing that could affect Ethernet cable is electrical. That is why there us CAT 5 or 6 Shielded cable (that have a aluminum covering the inside small wires). The unshielded cable is called UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair).

Plus should one just future Proof there networks whenever possible since most Ethernet CAT 6 cable is really cheap these days. Plus when 10G Ethernet come down the line only CAT6A and above will be able to get true speeds.
 

jammybastard

macrumors regular
Apr 26, 2010
118
15
In Trasnic
thanks to all who contributed to this thread.
I've got a similar issue.

Just moved my iTunes library to a Seagate 3TB GoFlex using the drive's USB2.0 port into my Airport Extreme USB slot.
Pointed iTunes to the GoFlex once I got it to show up on my network.
Now I can stream my m4v encoded video files to the AppleTV without
taking up space on my MBP boot drive.
Playing files is great. No issues.

But...

Is there anyway to improve the network performance of the GoFlex when transferring or updating file info?
Operations grind to a standstill when I transfer a file or even modify file information from my MBP to the iTunes library on the GoFlex.
iTunes Match updates routinely fail, I'm assuming due to the connection with Apple's servers timing out.

Is it because USB2.0 connection creates a bottleneck and doesn't handle traffic/multiple operations very well?
Is it an OSX/iTunes issue?
How do I fix this?

Any help is appreciated.
 
Last edited:

Panch0

macrumors 6502a
Feb 23, 2010
683
6
Virginia
thanks to all who contributed to this thread.
I've got a similar issue.

Just moved my iTunes library to a Seagate 3TB GoFlex using the drive's USB2.0 port into my Airport Extreme USB slot.
Pointed iTunes to the GoFlex once I got it to show up on my network.
Now I can stream my m4v encoded video files to the AppleTV without
taking up space on my MBP boot drive.
Playing files is great. No issues.

But...

Is there anyway to improve the network performance of the GoFlex when transferring or updating file info?
Operations grind to a standstill when I transfer a file or even modify file information from my MBP to the iTunes library on the GoFlex.
iTunes Match updates routinely fail, I'm assuming due to the connection with Apple's servers timing out.

Is it because USB2.0 connection creates a bottleneck and doesn't handle traffic/multiple operations very well?
Is it an OSX/iTunes issue?
How do I fix this?

Any help is appreciated.
Massive Writes are bad in this setup. I managed to overheat my Airport Extreme to the point where the USB port just gave up and decided the drive wasn't attached anymore. That was done by trying to rip DVDs from two Macs directly to the attached device. Just too much for the Airport to handle.

I would guess that your issues with iTunes Match may be due to having your Library file on the attached disc. A better setup is to leave the Library ( a sort of XML index of your content) on the local disc, but put the actual media files on the attached disc. This lets iTunes know the content of your library from the local, while playing media from the remote drive.

Any NAS solution (which is effectively what you have ) is a pain with iTunes. It can work, but Direct Attached Storage is just much easier to deal with.