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  1. #1

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    Default iTunes server NAS

    Hi.

    Has anyone had experience with these NAS boxes (Thecus, QNAP and others) that state they are 'iTunes servers'.

    I am looking for a way to network 2x Mac's and 1x PC (with possibly an AppleTV - not yet decided), and these look like a good option to keep the library centralized. I don't have a Mac Mini, and would prefer not to run the big G5 PowerMac all the time.

    I'd welcome anyone's review/suggestions etc of these type of applicances.

    Thanks.
    Dual G5 1.8
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  2. #2

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    Default

    Certainly do. I purchased a DLink DNS323 a few weeks back, infact probably about month or more ago. Works fine. It's currently configured with 2 x 250gb sata2 drives in a RAID1.

    And the itunes side works fine too.

    Browse the webgui pictures of the unit here.



    EDIT: of course you can't add album art to tracks stored on an itunes server, nor rate the tracks.. You only get to play them.

  3. #3

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    why don't you just locate the itunes library on the NAS? That way you have a fully functioning itunes library. How do you go about importing new stuff?


  4. #4

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    I setup a share so I can make the tunes you see via the itunes server process, and mainly keep tracks on it that I like to play, but don't want to consume disk space on my internal disk/library. Kinda like an archive, and then all itunes applications can see those tunes and play as they like.

    The DNS323 also has uPNP server too, so if you have a media streamer type box somewhere that supports connecting to upnp box, then the NAS unit can serve content to that too. I don't have one, so don't use upnp atm. Mainly got it for network protected storage (without having to leave a linux box running to provide that service).

  5. #5

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    That looks excellent. Thanks.

    How does it go with movies (or music video's)?
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by dopus View Post
    That looks excellent. Thanks.

    How does it go with movies (or music video's)?
    I don't believe they do that, I thought the itunes server software was just for audio.. guess I could drop on a file and try.

    I use the unit as a network protected storage for backups and channel bt downloads. Means my wife has easy access to all the avi files for various shows she loves to watch

  7. #7

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    Default

    If you do try this (video podcast or such) I would be interested to know how it goes.

    Thanks heaps for the info. I am onto Dlinks site right now.



    Dual G5 1.8
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    Just what all MCSE's need :-)

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by dopus View Post
    Has anyone had experience with these NAS boxes (Thecus, QNAP and others) that state they are 'iTunes servers'.
    I looked at this kind of solution when building my iTunes based home media system, but I ended up going for an all-Apple solution with a PM G4 running iTunes as a server and a much larger external storage product as it was far better suited to my needs:

    1. I use the iTunes store to purchase a fair amount of media (both music & TV Shows), and hence would need to download them via iTunes somewhere first, then copy to the NAS device for serving to the rest of the house. I preferred a single-step solution ie download via iTunes on server, media available to house.

    2. iTunes on the server is set to download new TV Shows (season passes) as they are released which makes the single-step even less work (ie the shows automagically appear in the shared media lists as soon as they become available via iTunes, so no manual downloading is required). Replicating this 'hands-off' approach with a NAS device would have meant some kind of file replication to copy downloaded media from iTunes to the NAS device.

    3. iTunes on the server is an easy way to manage the media - for instance adding a new playlist. None of the NAS devices I looked at made these type of tasks as easy.

    4. Downloading / managing media via iTunes on one computer then copying across to a NAS for network use means that you need sufficient space on that computer to store your iTunes library before it is copied to the NAS. At the moment the biggest internal volume in a computer I've got at home is 160Gb (in my MBP, which isn't always at home anyway), but my iTunes library volume is 2.28Tb.

    5. The server itself is also used as a backup server, so it is on 24/7 anyway.

    The only downside I've encountered so far is that I had to authorise iTunes on the server in order to synchronise content to my iPod, so I can't expand my network any further as I don't have any spare authorisations. Obviously as the NAS doesn't actually play back any content you don't need to use an authorisation for it, which would be a positive.

  9. #9

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    The Dlink might struggle with movies. I found this on their website.

    "There is a 2 GB transfer limit on the DNS-323. Unfortunately, this is a limitation of the Linux module being used in the unit. This transfer limit may be resolved in future firmware upgrades, but there is no resolution at this time... The indexing service cannot exceed approximately 2GB at a time. You need to divide the folder to smaller ones, and the server will be able to handle them. If the server still has an issue with particular folders, it could be one of the files in the folder."
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  10. #10

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    Thaks also jamesatfish.

    I think you might be right.

    For me i'd say a G4 Mini might be the trick, external HDD, and park it on the network somewhere and leave it going. I don't think I would need to go for an Intel mini.

    More food for thought.

    Good one. Take care
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by dopus View Post
    The Dlink might struggle with movies. I found this on their website.

    "There is a 2 GB transfer limit on the DNS-323. Unfortunately, this is a limitation of the Linux module being used in the unit. This transfer limit may be resolved in future firmware upgrades, but there is no resolution at this time... The indexing service cannot exceed approximately 2GB at a time. You need to divide the folder to smaller ones, and the server will be able to handle them. If the server still has an issue with particular folders, it could be one of the files in the folder."
    I think that is somewhat true, I really do wish they'd bring out some more firmwares. I'll do a file copy of a file greater then 2gb to confirm if the current firmware still has that issue.

  12. #12

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    Default

    On another thought, any ideas how iTunes goes running on Tiger Server on an Xserve? I can get one really cheap (cheaper than a mini would you believe), but I can't see anything that will tel me how (or if) itunes can run on server and if it will serve media files, like jamesatfish's PM G4.

    I suppose I could remove server and install tiger desktop.
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  13. #13

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    I am using Infrant ReadyNas NV+
    It has an inbuilt media server which is iTunes compatible and can handle HD video.
    The company was recently bought out by netgear.
    http://netgear.com.au/Products/Stora...s.aspx?for=All
    Digital Media Streaming: stream multiple high-definition videos, music or high-resolution photos to more than one compatible device at the same time.
    It is on expensive side. I paid about A$1000 for the diskless unit


    Here is some great info on how to set up NAS and iTunes
    http://techdigs.net/content/view/134/46/

  14. #14

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    I'll look into it. Thanks. Might be cheaper for me to use the Xserve in the same (similar) fashion though.
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  15. #15

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    I really wish Apple would make iTunes share album art - it's the one thing that is holding me back from setting up my sawtooth for media sharing purposes.
    "The need is not for, say, half a million -inch drill bits. The need is that there are ten million -inch holes that need to be drilled." - Robert Noyce
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by dopus View Post
    On another thought, any ideas how iTunes goes running on Tiger Server on an Xserve? I can get one really cheap (cheaper than a mini would you believe), but I can't see anything that will tel me how (or if) itunes can run on server and if it will serve media files, like jamesatfish's PM G4.

    I suppose I could remove server and install tiger desktop.
    Dopus,

    iTunes runs perfectly on Tiger Server, but you do need to do a little bit of fiddling to get iLife to install under OS X Server if you want to use things like iPhoto to share photos over your network as well as music / video.

    If you're running an XServe I'd be sticking with OS X Server rather than trying to install the regular client version, as there's really nothing that runs on OS X Client that can't be run on OS X Server.

    As for the Mac mini with external HDD as a media server, this also works well (it was something like version 0.5 of my 'Home Media Solution'). That said, depending on how much media you want to serve you might find the storage of this type of solution is quickly consumed.

    James

  17. #17

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    Hi.

    I will investigate that option then. Thanks for th etip. I don't really need to do anything with photo's, just music and videos.

    Thanks all for your excellent guidance. I'll let you know how I get on.

    Have a great weekend.

    Go the Soccerros!!! (guess what I'm doing this weekend)
    Dual G5 1.8
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