Synology applications advice

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by CoffeeMonkey, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. CoffeeMonkey macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2003
    Hi all.

    I was wondering if anyone had any recent experiences with Synology's Audio Station, Video Station, and the mobile apps that control them that they'd be willing to share.

    I just got a Synology DS412+, and have been going back-and-forth as to whether to use it as a stand-alone media server (i.e. using the Synology apps to serve up media that is stored on the NAS) or to use it just as storage, with a Mac Mini to serve up the media.

    I'd be serving up non-DRM audio and video files, to a combination of Airport Express units for audio, and a couple of ATVs for video. (Worst case, I could leave the videos with iTunes and move the audio).

    If I go the Mac Mini route, I'd probably try an iTunes alternative, as I feel like iTunes has really degenerated into bloat-ware as more media-types, features, stores, and so forth have been bolted on over the years. (I understand that others disagree, though). So suggestions for third-party iTunes alternatives would also be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    The synology programs are good for music only. I found video airplay doesn't work very well to a AppleTV.

    Currently I have a DS412+ I am running plex on the device with plexconnect to provide a full interface right on the apple tv 3 that I can browse all my videos / tv shows from. Music I airplay to the device.

    Only thing with plex is that it can't transcode 1080 blueray in real time on the DS412+ so it either needs to be the correct format, lower res or you need to run plex on a true computer.
  3. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    For use with Airplay devices iTunes is the best way to play your own files. I rarely interact with iTunes on the computer. I just use the Remote app. I also have Airfoil and it will capture any audio and send it to Airplay devices, but I prefer the straight forward approach of iTunes. I never really visit the store, so out of site and out if mind.

    I also use the DS Audio app. It will show you library on an iPad or iPhone using the app. For me, it loads songs slower than the Remote app, but you also have the option of sending audio to a DLNA device. It works fine, but I prefer the remote app if my computer is on and running iTunes. If you hate iTunes, you may like the way the DS Audio app has your folder structure, so you can get to music that way, in addition to looking through artist/album.

    If you have occasion to listen to separate streams on more than one system, the DS Audio is pretty cool. As an example, let's say you choose to listen to The Beatles in you living room, but your significant other wanted to listen to Sting in the bedroom. You could pull up the app and select the Airplay device and start playing music on one device, then change the Airplay device and start a separate stream. I have only tried it on two devices, but it works great.

    Also, DS Audio will allow you to stream music away from home. You can use Audiotap with iTunes to do something similar, but you would need a computer running.

    I can't say much about the DS movie app, other than I tried it with Roku and it worked fine with certain files. Not real sure what format is required to play on the Roku, but it did have issues playing some files. Plex on a mini is more versatile since it can transcode to an acceptable format on the fly. I believe you may need one if the higher end NAS devices for transcoding movies. I have a 413j, but I have never tried Plex on it.
  4. DavoteK macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2012
    DS411J here.

    I use a Mac Mini with XBMC for the main viewing area. Got a WDTV for two other rooms.

    There is a Plex app on the Synology. I found Plex a bit more laborious getting it set up to how I've got XBMC set up. But both are superb. Plex having the added benefit of being able to stream to all devices in house. But XBMC works for me, so I am sticking with that for the time being.

    You've got plenty of options bud, have a play with it. Best part of things like this is the tinkering :D

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