Perfect itunes library solution

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Tech198, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    I'm thinking of upgrading hard drive to compensate for my 'ever growing' Itunes library with movies and TV shows.

    However, also take my ATV2 over to my mates place to watch on his HD display, as well as watching at my place when i'm not there.

    In though of this, i thought of the following:

    1.Getting a NAS server for home use only. fill it with 1TB (or larger) drive just for Itunes library, my thinking is, hopefully while i'm on my local network, i can stream via the NAS over my wireless router. However, if I must use external drive connected to the mac, then so be it.

    2. Get a 1TB (or larger) external just for itunes, so when i'm out of my home network i can connect stream via external storage from the mac.

    Any better ideas? or would this be good enough ?
  2. wjhamilton1987 macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2011
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    Drobo BeyondRAID

    Hi Tech198,

    I've tried both a WD MyBook NAS Drive and external storage, but have settled on a Drobo.

    Basically a Drobo is an array of hard drives, but it uses BeyondRAID so it's really really simple to administer rather than normal RAID arrays. The data is stored redundantly across the hard drives so my data is also protected against a hard drive failure (although I also have an offsite back up plan in place - that's another story).

    I'm using the standard one so it's connected directly to my iMac and it has four drive bays; I'm currently using two of them with 2x2TB drives, giving me about 2TB of storage (due to the data protection) so I've still two more bays to expand into as I need it - with current limits on hard drive sizes that's a max of about 16TB. The standard model connects directly to the computer, but there are many options depending on your needs.

    The downside is the price tag... I picked one up on ebay for around £200 (RRP £450) and then you need to get the hard drives, which varies depending on what you want.

    Definitely worth taking a look before you make your decision though...
  3. roidy macrumors 65816

    Dec 30, 2008
    Nottingham, UK
    I don't understand your math there. The current largest drives are 3TB x 4 bays = 12TB of space - data protection is nowhere near 16TB.... Not to mention the fact that a 3TB drive once formated is only about 2.71TB is size.
  4. Jerome Morrow macrumors 6502a

    Jerome Morrow

    Jun 13, 2011
    United Kingdom
    Base2 that is.
  5. wjhamilton1987 macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2011
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    Apologies, I'm awaiting an update from Drobo that will enable 4TB drives so I assumed they were available somewhere... 4x4TB would have equaled 16TB, but yes, the data protection and formatting would eat into that.

    I've just checked my Drobo and I get 1.78TB usable storage space from my 2x2TB drives once overheads and data protection are taken out.
  6. Cynicalone macrumors 68040


    Jul 9, 2008
    Okie land
    The 3TB Drives give you 2.7TB of useable space.

    If a 4TB existed it would give you about 3.6TB of useable space.

    Assuming things stay the same you will need to wait for the 6TB Drives to get 5.4TB of useable space. And then your Drobo would have 16.2TB of useable space. :D
  7. munkees macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2005
    Pacific Northwest
    I run 2 external 2 TB drives for my itunes, one to host the files, the other for time machine backup. I have had a been over 1 TB for now over 3 years, so I know this works. My music folder is an alias to a music folder on one of the drives, that way iTunes need no setting modifying.

    Do not buy WD, I have a stack of dead WD drives, and the only one that has lasted is 4 years old, last 2 drives did not last a year (WD elements 2TB).

    I have had better success with seagate.

    I am not convinced that Drobo is worth it. very pricey, Thought about getting a drive, until I read reviews. People losing all their data, slow though put of data, poor customer service, etc.

    I recommend that you keep you stuff backed up, I learned from one mistake 5 years ago, when I delete my itunes on an external drive, to lose my library on my desktop. took me a week with some recovery software to get 98% back. ideally I would want to have double backup. I have invested a lot of $$$ with apple for movies and shows, hopefully :apple: will do with movies and shows what it does now with music, that is allow us to have unlimited access to our purchases from the cloud.
  8. EvilC5 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2010
    Hanover MD
    I have a drobo 4 bay with 4x2TB WD green's in it. I get 5.7 protected storage.

    once I moved everything from my externals and internal drives on my mini, over half of that was used.

    I recored the entire telivised portion of 24 hours of Le Mans in HD, and the 18 hours take up almost 4 or 5 years ago, I would have never dreamed of something like this....
  9. IscariotJ macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2004
    I've had a 4-bay Drobo for about 4 years, and haven't noticed any performance issues. The only issue I had with it, was noise. When it was populated with 7200rpm drives, it used to get hot when there was a lot of access. I've since replaced them with 4x2TB Seagate 5900rpm drives. It's attached to an iBook running Leopard Server which feeds 2xATV's ( iTunes ) as well as exporting the Drobo via NFS/AFP, which is mounted by several other Macs in the house, though mainly an iMac running StreamToMe/ServeToMe. It works well.

    I've thought of having a NAS, but I'd still need a Mac to run iTunes / ServeToMe....
  10. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar

    This!!! I have a room at work filled with dead WD externals. They're just shoddy drives. Sometimes its just the enclosures that go, and many times its the board on the drive (I've had a few lucky instances of replacing that board with an identical models board to recover the drive). I wouldn't trust my important data to it.

    I myself like seagate, hitatchi, and samsung.
  11. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    Getting back to the OP's question; Yes, you can use a NAS to store your iTunes Library. Unfortunately, you can't stream directly from the NAS to the ATV (without jailbreaking). You need a Mac or PC to sit in the middle running iTunes. iTunes accesses the media files from the NAS and and the ATV streams them from there. Even though many NAS devices advertise a feature called iTunes Server, this does not equate to the Home Sharing that ATV Needs.

    I have tried using NAS as my iTunes media storage (using a Synology NAS). It works, but it isn't really giving me anything more than an external drive would. It does cost more and it's more complicated to set up, so if those things appeal to you have at it;)

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