NAS for access video, images and music

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by BarkingGhost, Apr 26, 2014.

  1. BarkingGhost macrumors regular

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    #1
    I have a couple of 3rd generation Apple TV's and an Xbox 360 for which I wish to buy or build a NAS that can run software for the storage of video, music and images. A friend mentioned that some Qnap products can run an iTunes Server, but I am not aware that iTunes--on any platform--can handle image file management.

    Am I wrong? If I am, how does one do this? Also, the need (desire) is to have a NAS that will be redundant (mirroring) in some form via multi-disk setup. I thought about building custom, using FreeNAS and Plex Media Server (using the manual DNS configuration to fool aTV3 to engaging the PMS.

    Anyway, any enlightenment in terms of an iTunes server being able to perform image management so I do not have to be running a desktop computer would be appreciated.
     
  2. BarkingGhost thread starter macrumors regular

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    #2
    I should be clear here. I want to access music, video and especially photos without the need of having a computer running. I already know how to access content with a computer running, but I want to do this without a computer running.

    So far the only thing I can figure out is a NAS running 3rd party software (Plex), but I am being told the iTune Server is capable of handling photos in addition to music and video (BS?).
     
  3. IlikeMacsSoMuch macrumors 6502

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    #3
    With an hacked ATV 2 it might work, but with the ATV 3 you need itunes running on the host computer/server. I have a mac mini that i use as a server but half of the videos that it serves have been downloaded from iTunes so I need iTunes running and those videos can't be streamed on anything non-Apple.

    If you don't have a lot of itunes drm'ed videos, I would suggest not using ATV at all. Most NAS have itunes server functionality built into it but it only works with music since the music is no longer drm'ed. Qnap is good, so is sinology as many other. they all have great capacity if you are not as Apple addicted as I am.
     
  4. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

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    #4
    You can do everything you describe with the Synology NAS and without any other computer running.

    1. It has a Photo app that you can store and sorts the photos in. There is a client that can be used for viewing the photos including for the Ipad and Iphone.

    2. There is a music app that store and sorts Music and there are clients for the various IOS devices which are all free.

    3. There is also a Video App that handles video and it has associated IOS clients.

    You can also run a Plex server on the NAS but you have to be a bit more careful here because Trans-coding on the Fly will not work with all models it requires more horsepower.

    I started off with a bunch of 1 TB Toshiba external drives. I then bought a Synology 411 Slim which takes 2.5 inch drives and opened up the externals and put them all in the NAS. I run four 1 TB drives in a Raid 5 configuration.

    Itunes does not handle photos. Apple has a separate app called Iphoto.
     
  5. BarkingGhost thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    And instead you are suggesting what? This isn't a case with a single location in the home trying to access content, but multiple. And running a mini is no more of an option than suggesting exactly what I stated I did not want to do: run a computer.

    I am aware of the limitations of iTunes [sever], but as I stated I have been told otherwise yet without any proof. So, I am looking at other solution unless enlightenment to the contrary can be ascertained.

    BTW, the content needs to be accessible by 3rd gen aTV, Xbox 360, and all OS X and Windows 7 computers alike.

    ----------

    I have been aware of the Synology (and Qnap, etc.) solutions. I just wanted to make sure what friends were telling me was complete hogwash. They seemed convinced, without being able to show me proof. Still, better to ask others and see what comes of it.

    As for looking at products like Synology, Qnap, etc., I am comparing the costs of them against building a dedicated NAS box around FreeNAS+PMS. I want to run multiple disk for parity-sake (data protection), and when looking at these level of requirements the Synology products start to make DIY look affordable.
     
  6. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

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    #6
    If you are very technical and prepared to do a lot of admin then FreeNas is a good solution.
     
  7. IlikeMacsSoMuch macrumors 6502

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    #7
    It won't work, the Apple tv 3 needs iTunes running for local streaming, period. The ATV 3 is not hackable, the soon to come ATV 4 might be but I would not count on that. however, if you could find a jailbroken ATV 2 or ATV 1, you could then do it. But not with the ATV 3. You have been told otherwise without proof because there aren't any, it can't be done. there are a lot of threads on that very topic here, many people have tried without success.

    But... I re-read what you said, you need this content to be accessible to osx and windows pc, those can run itunes... use them to stream to the ATV3. Set your media files on any kind of NAS, when you set itunes on a computer, point the itunes library on the NAS then you would be good to go. Otherwise, no go with the ATV 3.
     
  8. BarkingGhost thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    No one said anything about hacking. Nice assumption.

    I was thinking of running Plex Media Server (from a NAS) and try an analogy to what is shown in this video.

    And iTunes isn't going to be the 100% solution I am looking for since I am not aware of it being able to manage image libraries.
     
  9. IlikeMacsSoMuch macrumors 6502

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    #9
    That loophole in the ATV3 trailer application has been plugged by an update as far as I know. The PS3 is great for streaming from a NAS, if I didn't have that much iTunes drm videos, I wouldn't use my ATV at all.

    I'm sorry but the trick that you refer to is an old one and it doesn't work anymore. So to stream local content to the ATV3 you need itunes. Everything that you want to do, you can do without an ATV3.
     
  10. BarkingGhost thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    Most unfortunate, but at least is is learned before I spent money. And yes, I recognize everything I want to do can be done without the ATV--just write Apple out of the equation. :D

    But since I have ATV3 in multiple locations, that is why I sought to use them as a front-end solution with a centralized storage. I am still not aware of iTunes being capable of managing/mounting image libraries so that is a waste of my time--and another reason to write Apple out of the equation.
     
  11. IlikeMacsSoMuch macrumors 6502

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    #11
    The ATVs tend to keep their value well enough, maybe you could sell them to buy something else. Anyway, best of luck!
     
  12. MPL macrumors newbie

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    #12
    I have a third generation Apple TV using the Plex client, streaming content form a Synology NAS. It works flawlessly. I'm not sure where the assumption that that solution no longer works; to the best of my knowledge there's no indication of such in the Plex forums.

    You can try Plex Connect for yourself by installing Plex Media Server on one of your computers and following one of the many guides available (it doesn't involve any kind of modification, hardware or firmware wise).
     
  13. blanka, Apr 28, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014

    blanka macrumors 68000

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    #13
    First of all, a NAS is a running computer! Just a bit more lightweight.
    IMO a little bit TOO lightweight, especially for the price.

    My suggestion anno 2014 is make your own package:

    Gigabyte makes a very nice Mini-ITX board for your needs: it is as low on energy use as a decent nas (10 watt!), yet way more powerfull. It is based on the Intel Celeron U1037, has dual gigabit, 3 SATA ports, HDMI out (for direct TV connection, very important if you like 24p content!), and runs FANLESS! Best of all, it is just 70€ including processor, so add 50€ for 8GB of RAM, 30€ for a PSU, and 30€ for a case (or build your own box) and you're surpassing any NAS AND APPLETV for just 180€. You can add 2 3,5 inch drives and an SSD for storage.

    Spec_______Synology DS214+ (290€)______________________DIY Server U1037 (180€)
    Processor_____Marvell Armada XP Dual_1,33Ghz________________Celeron 1.8Ghz Dual 64 bit (same power E7400 C2Duo)
    Die_process___40nm_______________________________________22nm (hence more power at lower heat)
    RAM_________1GB________________________________________8-16GB
    SATA_________2x SATA 3Gb________________________________2x SATA 3Gb, 1x SATA 6Gn
    HD_Decoding__no_________________________________________yes (HD2000)
    Video-out______no_________________________________________HDMI/VGA
    Fan___________90mm (20dB)_______________________________passive
    Ethernet_______2xGigabit___________________________________2x Gigabit
    PCI_slot_______no_________________________________________yes
    Software_______DSM5_____________________________________Windows,_Linux,_OSX
    DTSHD-MA_____icw AppleTV: no_____________________________over HDMI
    24p playback___icw AppleTV: no_____________________________over HDMI and VGA
    (retro) games___no_______________________________________yes
     
  14. BarkingGhost thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Thanks for the information. Curious, I had looked at some of the Synology products but I was still concerned with potential limitations. If i were to buy it would probably be one that can handle redundancy for data protection. Which Synology product are you using?
     
  15. MPL macrumors newbie

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    #15
    I'm using a Synology DS412+. It's a really nice piece of technology. My only complaint is that it's processor isn't strong enough for video transcoding duties. I have to run all my blu-ray rips through iFlicks first.

    You can build your own NAS, but the easy of use provided by the Synology operating system makes it worthy of purchase, in my opinion. A bit like Apple I suppose.
     
  16. BarkingGhost thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    I do realize that a NAS is nothing more than a headless server running in dedicated form. I am also flirting with the idea of building something for a comparable cost. For instance, I was comparing a Synology DS412+, but for the comparable cost (US$600) I could consider a DIY FreeNAS solution, too.

    There is also a nice Plex-friendly NAS product document HERE.
     
  17. phrehdd, Apr 28, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014

    phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #17
    NAS is a computer with a more dedicated function and nothing more.
    Why you elect to dismiss a computer with either OSX or Windows (both can have iTunes installs) is rather questionable.

    The simplest solution is to get a used Mac Mini and exploit DAS (directly attached storage) as in external drive enclosures. Movies, music and reasonable image files don't require heavy bandwidth with respect to gig networks. On a Mac Mini you can add Plex, you can add JRivers, you get iTunes and there are other software to be had to create your media center. Similarly you could do similar with Windows based machine. If the goal is for ATV3 to thrive in your set up you already know how to do it and refusing to acknowledge needing the presence of OSX or Windows is a futile exercise.

    As for NAS - always a good storage option but most NAS don't do as well as one would hope for some of the tasks you want them to perform. Perhaps a visit to Smallnetbuilder site would be of value to you.
     
  18. jlc1978 macrumors 68000

    jlc1978

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    #18
    I run a Synology Nas with DSM 5. While ATV cannot directly stream Synolgy's video app can be used to stream absent a computer running iTunes. You need to start the video on a device, such as an iPhone, and then use airplay to send it to the ATV.

    It would be nice if Apple builds in direct playback of ITunes libraries in ATV 4.; or adds app functionality so things like Plex would be useable.
     
  19. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

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    #19
    Can you recommend a good case for this?
     
  20. BarkingGhost thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    So, i got to the point in my little experiment that I needed to create some certificates in order to proceed with PlexConnect. I stopped there.

    I then booted the Hackintosh running Mavericks and installed the Plex Media Server with the intent to experiment in the OS X environment. Before i could even think of getting to Plex Connect I noticed the PMS was using 127.0.0.1 as its IP address.

    Now, this bothers me (and apparently others). For instance, if I run PMS on one computer on my LAN and PMS uses 127.0.0.1 as its address then another computer cannot reach 127.0.0.1 on the PMS computer because that same address is configured locally on the other computer.

    All my computers are configured using the 192.16.x.y addresses, and the Hackintosh is using an IP on the 192.168.x.y network. BUT, unlike the FreeNAS, the PMS is using 127.0.0.1 instead of an IP on 192.168.x.y.

    Apparently this is a bug from my reading on other forums. But unlike my PMS+FreeNAS experience, I cannot change the PMS server IP in OS X. I do not know if this is due to running the non-server version of OS X, or something else.
     
  21. chalupa_batman macrumors member

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    #21
    If you have not read the FreeNAS forums yet, I suggest you do so. It could turn into a bigger project than you want, and to do it properly it will likely go over the $600 the Synology will cost you. Just some things to think about.
     
  22. Uofmtiger, Apr 30, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014

    Uofmtiger macrumors 68000

    Uofmtiger

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    #22
    Yeah, I think that adding an iOS device to the mix would make what he wants to do a whole lot easier.
     
  23. Lord Hamsa macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Um... 127.0.0.1 is a special address. It means "loopback" and specifies the current machine (roughly the same as specifying "localhost" with some low-level technical differences). You should never configure a computer to use 127.0.0.1 as its actual IP address, but there are times when it's a useful address to use for connecting to a service.
     
  24. BarkingGhost thread starter macrumors regular

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    #24
    I understand that, but I didn't configure 127.0.0.1. In fact, when i looked at the Hackintosh's Ethernet adapter it was 192.168.1.5. This is why I could not understand why PMS configured itself on 127.0.0.1. Strange, but nothing to do with me or my part. :)

    ----------

    Not sure how adding an iOS device is going to make it easier. You are talking about adding several hundred dollars more with nothing going toward network storage.

    I just find it unfortunate that Apple calls its Computers icon 'computers' when it is only good for Macs. It cannot connect to network appliances (NAS'), or other computers (Linux, BSD, Unix, Windows). Why not call the icon 'Macs' instead?

    Also, adding an iOS device does nothing for the same need for accessing network storage on the other devices (Xbox 360, PS3, etc.). Let's try stepping out of the Apple box of thinking.
     
  25. BarkingGhost thread starter macrumors regular

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    #25
    Update

    I managed to get PMS+PC working through the Apple TV 3 units. I ran the PMS+PC combination in my Hackintosh [as an experiment], and in there I created the custom certificates needed by PC. I then used the Ethernet method for published method for changing the certificate profile in the Apple TV 3 unit.

    Voila!

    Now just need to install those same custom certificates onto the FreeNAS system and see if I can repeat the success.
     

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