Using Power Mac G4 as a media and TM server - will this work?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by mr1970, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. mr1970 macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Hi there

    We've got two laptops in the house (my Powerbook 12 and wife's Macbook) and I've just bought an old 500Mhz AGP Power Mac G4 from eBay, partly to mess around with, partly because it was a great deal, and partly because I want to use it as a media server. What I'd like to do is have:

    - iPhoto running on the server - cameras would be plugged in there, photos downloaded etc and photos streamed to the Apple TV
    - iTunes running on the server - other machines in the house plus the Apple TV accessing the shared server
    - printer sharing running through the server
    - Time Machine partitions set up on the server for both my wife and I - set up as double our raw drive space (so 160GB and 320GB)

    I've already upped the RAM to 1.25GB and swapped in two 120GB IDE drives. I'm looking to add a Sonnet PCI SATA card and a couple of 1TB Samsung drives, one to host the media and one to host the Time Machine partitions. The media drive would then be backed up weekly to an offboard brick.

    So before I go ahead with this grand plan, I thought I'd solicit views on whether it's likely to work, where the bear traps are etc. I guess some of the specific questions I have include:

    - is there likely to be a performance issue with the PowerMac in this role?
    - can I stream photos to an Apple TV? I know it works with iTunes but thought I'd check on iPhoto
    - would Time Machine work OK over a network? Any issue with hosting two TM partitions on the same drive?

    The Power Mac is running Tiger, the others are running Leopard.

    Many thanks in advance for any advice


  2. mheidt macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2005
    Don't you think, that a Power Mac draws too much power?

    I'm a happy user of a Synology DiskStation NAS and a TimeCapsule...
  3. TrapOx macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008
    500mhz is too slow for iPhoto, it will crawl along like a slug and take hours to "optimize" the photo library.
  4. Macintosh¯Lover macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Yes it shuld work you will need a WiFi or Airport and maby some softwere
  5. ansirone macrumors regular


    Jun 18, 2007
    City of Angeles
    i have a powermac g4 as well and would like to do this also. can you give me some pointers on how your goin to go about this? thanks in advance.
  6. mr1970 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Hi ansirone

    I'm up and running with ATV now - it sits in the lounge under the TV, syncs over a Devolo powerline network (couldn't lay cable) with the Powermac. It seems to have downloaded / synced the photos but streams the music as there's 60GB of it and it's only a 40GB ATV.

    It is, frankly, astonishing how it's changed the way in which we use our lounge. I've loved music for many years, and have many hundreds of CDs, but for storage / decor reasons they're all in bookshelves in the study. So listening to music involved going to the other room, looking through things, picking a CD, putting it on...etc. With the ATV, my wife and I have been listening to far more music and have stopped having the TV on as "background". Cannot recommend it highly enough.

    We're also going on holiday to France in the summer, and the free video podcast lessons from the BBC and others are ideal. My son's been watching the HD Harry Potter trailer, we've shown my parents the wedding photos in full's just a fantastic machine.

    Naturally, just to align with everyone else, I would add the observation that if it also had a Blu-Ray and a recordable TV twin tuner I could get shot of my Humax, PS3, DVD player and CD player, but it's a pretty damn good start.

    I knew my Powerbook was going to be great, and it was. I knew the iPhone was going to be great, and it was. I assumed the ATV would be mildly handy, but it's proved to be massively better and more fun than I ever thought it would be. I'm now thinking about buying my parents one too.

    Next test - adding more hard drives and setting up Time Machine partitions...

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