Please help me organize the media in my Apple Ecosystem!!!!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by DrMotownMac, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. DrMotownMac macrumors 6502

    DrMotownMac

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #1
    The problem with being an insane Apple enthusiast like myself is that over the past 14 years, I have accumulated a lot of Apple devices, along with a LOT of music, photos and videos. I have thousands of each of them, and files have originated from a variety of sources. The worst part is that they are scattered among an iMac, two MacBook Airs, an external hard drive with stuff from previous Macs (including old iMovie files and folders), a first gen Apple TV, two iPads and two iPhones (p.s., it's not just my stuff, but my wife and daughter's stuff as well).

    Anyway, what I want is a central repository of all photos, tunes and videos which is secure and backed up, and is accessible from every device. Is this even possible? My external hard drive is a 1 terabyte Western Digital MyBook, and my iMac has a 1 terabyte internally. Also, I have a recent generation Airport Extreme Base Station (maybe 1.5-2 years old) which is connected to a high speed AT&T U-Verse internet connection (18 Mbps).

    I do NOT want to lose any of my data, and I really need to work on consolidating and archiving all of my photos and videos especially, since those are unique items that will never be replaceable through iTunes (unlike my music, movies and TV shows).

    Of course, in an ideal world, I'd like to be able to open iTunes or iPhoto from any device, have access to the same library, and have it so that any changes I make from one device is saved across all of them. I know that iCloud is not there yet, though I certainly hope that it's headed in that direction. Are there any solutions in the meantime?
     
  2. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #2
    You could plug a hard drive into the airport extreme and use that to store the data centrally. You'd be better off working with the files locally, but this would be a very cheap and easy way to accomplish what you want.
     
  3. DrMotownMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    DrMotownMac

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #3
    I tried that, but with about 6,000 photos in my iPhoto library, it moved EXTREMELY slowly. This was completely unmanageable as the application became essentially unusable with the frequent spinning beach ball problem. Also, for some reason, when my hard drive (again, Western Digital MyBook) is plugged into my Airport Extreme, the fan starts running after a couple of hours, and it gets very loud and very warm, and nothing seems to slow it down other than powering it off or disconnecting it from the Airport. Maybe it would work better with a Time Capsule, but my understanding is that those are pretty much for Time Machine Backups and that's it. Ugh.

    I'm really looking for more of a cloud-based solution.
     
  4. Bobby.e macrumors 6502

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    Kansas
  5. DrMotownMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    DrMotownMac

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
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    #5
    Okay, now I think we're getting somewhere! First, I'm not really familiar with what NAS (network-attached storage) is and how it differs from me just hooking up my external hard drive to my Airport Extreme. If there's a significant difference in terms of performance and seamlessness, I'm prepared to invest the cash and time into it. Any info on particular products I should look at, especially with respect to Mac/iTunes/iPhoto compatibility and perhaps even access over the Internet (so, for instance, if I'm out of town, I can use my MacBook Air to access my iPhoto library stored at home on the NAS)?

    Please point me to some specific products/websites/how-to guides if possible!
     
  6. Jungo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #6
    a good NAS recommendation

    I'd like a good NAS recommendation as well. - mac network
     
  7. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #7
    I'd highly suggest Synology. They sell NAS Raid enclosures that you insert normal desktop hard drives into. If a hard drive inside there dies, the others take over and your data is safe. On my phone so I can't link, but search for DS411j Honest Review for a software-oriented review that I wrote last year.

    I've since upgraded to the DS411+II for increased speeds. Over 100Mbps read and write. I keep a several-thousand RAW aperture library on it. Sometimes it struggles when adding a couple hundred pics at a time, but otherwise is pretty seamless.
     
  8. Bobby.e macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Location:
    Kansas
    #8
    I have never used them personally. However I hear Drobo is good.
     
  9. DrMotownMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    DrMotownMac

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #9
    Excellent review, blevins321! For others who want to read it, it's here:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1117716

    So, I see that you use this for iTunes and Aperture, but will it work with an iPhoto library over a wireless network? In fact, does it work well with your Aperture library over a wireless network? If so, that's the direction I'm going!!
     
  10. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #10
    It works alright over wireless. Bit of a longer delay when opening a picture to full resolution, but very manageable. Would be similar on iPhoto, especially since the upgrade last week they share the same library now.

    I will say iTunes wise, there's a hiccup since I did the review. iTunes Match updates put a big hamper on the process. Since the library update involves traversals of all the directories, it takes a very long time and iTunes actually freezes for a bit. IMHO, this is something that would happen with any NAS, and the slow updating I understand. I wish that Apple would fix it though so that the rest of iTunes were at least functional while it was happening. I'll try again after the next big release, but for now I've copied the music library to my HTPC as a local version (backed up via Time Machine) and use iTunes Match streaming on my main Mini with SSD. Good temporary solution until Apple improves Match behavior. If you're not an iTunes Match user though, this should be a problem at all. In fact, it was working quite well until I did the match conversion.
     
  11. estrides macrumors regular

    estrides

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #11
    You could always set up a folder that would act as a sync to your NAS. While youre working on your files natively. You just save them into the folder and then it would transfer over to your NAS.

    the rsync command is what i'm referring too. This would help with latency issues.

    So to reiterate.

    1)Set up NAS.
    2)Set up folder with script to transfer new files to NAS
    3)Work on files natively/locally on your everyday mac.(pull the files off of the NAS and place on desktop)
    4)Save them in the transfer folder so it syncs back up.

    Now you can work with all your power and have the backup of your NAS system.
     
  12. DrMotownMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    DrMotownMac

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #12
    Yes, I like this idea A LOT! I don't know anything about the rsync command, but it sounds like it's just what I'm looking for. I need to look into the whole management of music vs. photos vs. videos, as each one is associated with different apps, yet I'd like all of them to be available on demand on my Apple TV and on each of my computers. Of course, if there's a way to remotely access the files from my iPads and iPhones, even better!

    But I think you folks are definitely pointing me in the right direction. Thanks!
     
  13. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    #13
    Whilst your thinking about consolidating your media and investigating options like NAS also start thinking about a backup strategy. Having all your media in one place makes a lots of sense, but it's a lot of heartache when it fails and you don't have a copy!

    I have a couple of MBA's and a iMac (plus the usual iDevices) and all my media is stored on a Netgear ReadyNAS NV+. Some of it also lives on the iMac (music, pictures and some video).

    I tend to backup from the iMac to the NAS and then also have a USB HDD plugged into the NAS for backing up the irreplaceable stuff.

    MBAs tend to share media from iMac, with local libraries for pictures and music. They also backup using Time Machine to the NAS.

    Once you've got everything on a NAS, have a think about adding a aTV to bring everything together on the TV too :D
     
  14. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #14
    Do you have a computer that you usually leave on all the time? Or one that you don't mind leaving on but asleep? If so, you could try Plex. It would let you stream your iTunes non-DRM music and videos, any other format video, and also photos to IOS. The ATV has a client but only if you jailbreak. Alternately, you can use the phone or iPad Plex app and AirPlay to your ATV. Works very well.
     
  15. estrides macrumors regular

    estrides

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #15
    As far as backups go, you could always buy a raidbox NAS. then it would back itself up. And also if youre really worried, you could set up a time machined backup of your NAS, I believe I saw a way to do that....:rolleyes:
     
  16. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #16
    Synology (and many others) supports backup on its own. I know syno allows for network backup to another syno unit or even Amazon E3 cloud. Or you can also plug a USB or eSata hard drive into the unit an it'll run a timed backup sync on a schedule that you choose.
     

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