Some Airdisk/Airtunes issues.

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by SnakeXs, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. SnakeXs macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2007
    Alright, let's see.

    I have a (GB ethernet) AEBS running in N (5GHz) only mode, connected via Ethernet to a APEx which runs in B/G mode and connects to my sound system via Airtunes.

    I've had just a storage drive as an Airdisk connected to the AEBS for a while and it worked well enough. Not super fast, maybe 5 minutes to write a gig to it, and having to mount it at start up was a little annoying, but it worked.

    Now that TM works over Airdisk I decided to try and work things out to work for me.

    Attached a little (powered) USB 2.0 hub, connected both hard drives. Worked well enough, until further use showed TM backs up very slow, the storage drive writes really slow, and accesses slowly, and quite often when TM machine is going, Airtunes will drop out (sometimes resuming later). All my music IS on the shared Airdisk.

    But on top of that even before the TM stuff, Airtunes has been dropping. Nothing else had changed and it had never had issues, but now songs/albums will pause arbitrarily, sometimes resuming, sometimes not.

    Anyone have any tips? Is the hub to blame? Will a "better" one make the situation better? Is my set up flawed to begin with? I just wanna have TM going, my storage/music connected with non-abysmal transfer/read speeds, and Airtunes to work properly. :eek:
  2. SnakeXs thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2007
  3. macleod199 macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2007
    My instinct is that you're maxing out the processor in the AEBS. It's well accepted that the limiting factor in the AirDisk transfer speed is the processing overhead of the USB protocol. If the base station isn't managing it's process priorities especially well, this could certainly cause problems with other operations.
  4. SnakeXs thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2007
    I'd understand that if I was backing up and transferring data at the same time, but I have the TM drive unmounted and the speeds still take quite the hit.

    This also doesn't explain the Airtunes dropouts, which occured before TM via Airdisk.
  5. fonetik macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2008
    The problem is your setup.

    Wireless bandwidth is limited, streaming music takes a lot of bandwidth, and if there isn't enough, you see the problems that you are reporting.

    If you want file sharing and TM to be reasonable, you must use N rather than G, so make sure that the Extreme and Express have different SSIDs so that you can make N capable devices access the Extreme over N.

    It should just be one subnet so things are not slowed unnecessarily, so make sure that only the Extreme is set to be a DHCP server and do NAT (the Express should just be in bridge mode). Make sure that AirTunes over Ethernet is enabled.

    In fact, unless you have old G only devices that you must keep online, it would be best to simply turn off the wireless on the Express. If you must keep it on, G only mode (rather than B/G mode) will offer better performance unless you have really really really old B only devices that preclude this.

    Lastly, you should really decide if you want your music files available everywhere, or your sound available everywhere. The problem with your setup is that music gets transfered twice over wireless, and even with N, wireless is a fairly limited resource. It would be better to either have the music files on the computer that plays them, and then just sound gets streamed, or just play the sound locally on whatever computer is near where you want the sound, so that just the music file is streamed over wireless.

    With N you can ignore the previous and still get music to play, but keep in mind that you are still eating out of the bandwidth that would otherwise be available to AirDisk / Time Machine.

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