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  • Suggestions for NAS Device?

    Suggestions please!

    I'm looking for a good Network Attached Storage device. It will be primarily for my iTunes music, so built-in iTunes streaming support is a high-priority. Wat protocol is that? I see some NAS devices claim iTunes media streaming support, but I don't see any info on what exactly that means..and I'm pretty sure I read somewhere it's more than just pointing iTunes at a remote directory to get working properly when you have multiple users accessing that directory. Then I see posts like this one which indicate you can't use album art or rate songs if they are on a NAS? Surely that can not be correct, can it?

    It will also serve up photos and other media too. I don't particularly care about uber performance, so RAID support is not a necessity. It needs to have an ethernet connection--wireless is not necessary.

    Any suggestions?

    TF
    Twisted Firestarter
    a.k.a |TG| Harkonian
    sigpic

  • #2
    Re: Suggestions for NAS Device?

    Rather than a device would you consider building your own appliance?

    Two software applications come to mind:

    Openfiler - Openfiler is a powerful, intuitive browser-based network storage software distribution. Openfiler delivers file-based Network Attached Storage and block-based Storage Area Networking in a single framework.

    Openfiler uses the rPath Linux metadistribution. It is distributed as a stand-alone Linux distribution. The entire software stack interfaces with third-party software that is all open source.

    File-based networking protocols supported by Openfiler include: NFS, SMB/CIFS, HTTP/WebDAV and FTP. Network directories supported by Openfiler include NIS, LDAP (with support for SMB/CIFS encrypted passwords), Active Directory (in native and mixed modes) and Hesiod. Authentication protocols include Kerberos 5.

    Openfiler includes support for volume-based partitioning, iSCSI (target and initiator), scheduled snapshots, resource quota, and a single unified interface for share management which makes allocating shares for various network file-system protocols a breeze.

    FreeNAS - FreeNAS is a free NAS (Network-Attached Storage) server, supporting: CIFS (samba), FTP, NFS, AFP, RSYNC, iSCSI protocols, S.M.A.R.T., local user authentication, Software RAID (0,1,5) with a Full WEB configuration interface. FreeNAS takes less than 32MB once installed on Compact Flash, hard drive or USB key.
    The minimal FreeBSD distribution, Web interface, PHP scripts and documentation are based on M0n0wall.
    Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Suggestions for NAS Device?

      It probably can't handle streaming media, but if you just want cheap NAS, check out the Linksys NSLU2 (affectionately known as the "slug"). You can re-flash it with custom Linux firmware do be a tiny server for all kinds of things. It's slightly smaller than a paperback.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSLU2

      Hmm, looking at that page, I see people have used it to serve DAAP, which is the iTunes protocol. So it might work for you.
      Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

      snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

      Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Suggestions for NAS Device?

        Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
        It probably can't handle streaming media, but if you just want cheap NAS, check out the Linksys NSLU2 (affectionately known as the "slug"). You can re-flash it with custom Linux firmware do be a tiny server for all kinds of things. It's slightly smaller than a paperback.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSLU2

        Hmm, looking at that page, I see people have used it to serve DAAP, which is the iTunes protocol. So it might work for you.
        I've used both FreeNAS and OpenFiler for streaming media without any issues. FreeNAS has a built-in DNLA compliant media server that I use to stream rips of my DVDs upstairs to my PS3. Over wireless, no less.
        Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Suggestions for NAS Device?

          Originally posted by Apophis View Post
          Rather than a device would you consider building your own appliance?

          Two software applications come to mind:

          Openfiler - Openfiler is a powerful, intuitive browser-based network storage software distribution. Openfiler delivers file-based Network Attached Storage and block-based Storage Area Networking in a single framework.

          Openfiler uses the rPath Linux metadistribution. It is distributed as a stand-alone Linux distribution. The entire software stack interfaces with third-party software that is all open source.

          File-based networking protocols supported by Openfiler include: NFS, SMB/CIFS, HTTP/WebDAV and FTP. Network directories supported by Openfiler include NIS, LDAP (with support for SMB/CIFS encrypted passwords), Active Directory (in native and mixed modes) and Hesiod. Authentication protocols include Kerberos 5.

          Openfiler includes support for volume-based partitioning, iSCSI (target and initiator), scheduled snapshots, resource quota, and a single unified interface for share management which makes allocating shares for various network file-system protocols a breeze.

          FreeNAS - FreeNAS is a free NAS (Network-Attached Storage) server, supporting: CIFS (samba), FTP, NFS, AFP, RSYNC, iSCSI protocols, S.M.A.R.T., local user authentication, Software RAID (0,1,5) with a Full WEB configuration interface. FreeNAS takes less than 32MB once installed on Compact Flash, hard drive or USB key.
          The minimal FreeBSD distribution, Web interface, PHP scripts and documentation are based on M0n0wall.
          Can these work with itunes?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Suggestions for NAS Device?

            Just copy the .mp4 files from iTunes and move it to your NAS device/server. The NAS doesn't need to have iTunes installed.
            |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
            TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
            Former 9th & 13th

            Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
            Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





            SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

            TG Primer and Rules

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            • #7
              Re: Suggestions for NAS Device?

              Originally posted by Hambergler View Post
              Can these work with itunes?
              I've never tried that specifically. But I'm not sure what exactly you mean by "working with itunes'. Are you saying that you want iTunes to be able to play the media that is on the NAS device or you want to use the NAS device to store your iTunes music? Or something else?

              EDIT: Apparently FreeNas has ZeroConf networking support using mDNS so Apple's Bonjour product sees it without a problem. (For whatever that's worth as I'm not sure what Bonjour really does).

              With OpenFiler you can install the MT-DAAPD to have it act as an iTunes music server with support for encryption.
              Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Suggestions for NAS Device?

                Thanks for all the great info, Apo! I would typically be happy to roll my own server, but this is something I would really prefer not to have to deal with at all. I'd just like to plug it in and forget it. Although, if there isn't anything in a decent price range that does what I want I will build if I have to.


                Originally posted by Apophis View Post
                Rather than a device would you consider building your own appliance?

                Two software applications come to mind:

                Openfiler - Openfiler is a powerful, intuitive browser-based network storage software distribution. Openfiler delivers file-based Network Attached Storage and block-based Storage Area Networking in a single framework.

                Openfiler uses the rPath Linux metadistribution. It is distributed as a stand-alone Linux distribution. The entire software stack interfaces with third-party software that is all open source.

                File-based networking protocols supported by Openfiler include: NFS, SMB/CIFS, HTTP/WebDAV and FTP. Network directories supported by Openfiler include NIS, LDAP (with support for SMB/CIFS encrypted passwords), Active Directory (in native and mixed modes) and Hesiod. Authentication protocols include Kerberos 5.

                Openfiler includes support for volume-based partitioning, iSCSI (target and initiator), scheduled snapshots, resource quota, and a single unified interface for share management which makes allocating shares for various network file-system protocols a breeze.

                FreeNAS - FreeNAS is a free NAS (Network-Attached Storage) server, supporting: CIFS (samba), FTP, NFS, AFP, RSYNC, iSCSI protocols, S.M.A.R.T., local user authentication, Software RAID (0,1,5) with a Full WEB configuration interface. FreeNAS takes less than 32MB once installed on Compact Flash, hard drive or USB key.
                The minimal FreeBSD distribution, Web interface, PHP scripts and documentation are based on M0n0wall.
                Twisted Firestarter
                a.k.a |TG| Harkonian
                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Suggestions for NAS Device?

                  Actually, I'm doing more research on DAAP and maybe I really don't want or need it...check out this thread:

                  I have windows xp with itunes and an ipod, my girlfriend has an imac and an ipod. I have bought a ReadyNAS NV+ and have put all our music on it. The ReadyNAS NV+ is used as an iTunes Server and both windows and imac sees the iTunes Server in itunes under Shared and are both able to play music of it.

                  But how do we sync our ipods to it? My whole point was to get rid of the music files on our local computers..

                  Any ideas ?
                  And one of the responses:

                  You canīt. The daap protocol used by iTunes specifically prevents you copying music from a shared library onto your iPod.

                  To get around it you have to edit your library location (found under preferences) in iTunes so you are accessing the library directly instead of through iTunes sharing.
                  So, all DAAP gets you is the ability to stream music to your PC, which is cool, but what I really want (and what I assume any sane person who wants a central repository for their music wants) is the ability to have my music files available anywhere on the network so I can synch my iPhone/iPod/etc easily. Maybe there just isn't a way to do this with iTunes. I know if I simply point my iTunes library at a share nothing will synch correctly, e.g. if I add some songs and some playlists from one computer they will not show up in iTunes on another computer since I tunes will keep the library XML file locally.

                  Argh. This should not be that complicated.
                  Twisted Firestarter
                  a.k.a |TG| Harkonian
                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Suggestions for NAS Device?

                    Aha. What you're asking for is a central repository of meta information about the music. Not the music itself. You don't need streaming for that. Streaming is for low-bandwidth storage (ie. the Internet) where you can't guarantee the media will load quickly enough to keep up with the play rate. Local NAS is much faster than the required streaming rate, so you don't need "streaming" in the Internet sense.
                    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                    snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                    Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Suggestions for NAS Device?

                      OK..so this thing you are talking about Apophis..what would that take..? more than a hard-drive in an enclosure? or a whole 'nother machine? I still have that little barton 2500+ that "was" the CS server just setting idle...or another little 2600+ AMD, the one i volunteered that you "sneered" at..! hahahah just kidding..

                      it woul dbe very beneficial for me to have saya 1TB drive setting on my gigabit router that i could get to from outside but especially inside..

                      so would that officially be called an "ftp" server? i am not a network person much, so i need a bit of help here...let me know what it wil take or if i already have it, and what you think best...

                      how would i get around not having a static IP with the cable company to access said machine/unit from say, here at work?


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Suggestions for NAS Device?

                        LOL, how did I give you that impression Scratch? I want to store everything in a central repository--music, metafile, album art, etc. Basically my scenarios are:
                        • Open up iTunes from computer A, add some music, add some cover art
                        • Open up iTunes from computer B, see the added music and cover art
                        • Open up iTunes from computer A, synch to my iPod
                        • Open up iTunes from computer B, synch to my iPod
                        • Open up iTunes from computer A, purhcase a (DRMed or not) track from iTunes
                        • Open up iTunes from computer B, listen see and listen to newly purchased track.

                        This is would seem to be an incredibly common scenario for any home network. Yet, it seems the only way to get it even close to working like this is to jump through many many hoops. For example, iTunes does not allow you to specify where you keep your iTunes metadata--it always goes in your "My Music" directory. The only way to trick it into going somewhere else is either editing your registry or using TweakUI to change your My Music directory to point to somewhere else. Lame.

                        Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
                        Aha. What you're asking for is a central repository of meta information about the music. Not the music itself. You don't need streaming for that. Streaming is for low-bandwidth storage (ie. the Internet) where you can't guarantee the media will load quickly enough to keep up with the play rate. Local NAS is much faster than the required streaming rate, so you don't need "streaming" in the Internet sense.
                        Twisted Firestarter
                        a.k.a |TG| Harkonian
                        sigpic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Suggestions for NAS Device?

                          There was another thread recently involving a little computer about the size of a hard drive enclosure. It had no HD of its own, and cost about $250. That looks like a good candidate for this kind of application.

                          To make an internal server visible to the Internet, forward the needed ports from the router. I'd recommend using SFTP over the ssh port, to keep your passwords from being passed in plaintext across the Internet. Check out WinSCP for use as a client.
                          Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                          snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                          Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Suggestions for NAS Device?

                            Originally posted by Twisted_Firestarter View Post
                            LOL, how did I give you that impression Scratch?
                            Originally posted by Twisted_Firestarter View Post
                            It will be primarily for my iTunes music, so built-in iTunes streaming support is a high-priority.
                            The streaming was a red herring and had us focused on the wrong problem.
                            Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                            snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                            Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Suggestions for NAS Device?

                              Originally posted by Twisted_Firestarter View Post
                              LOL, how did I give you that impression Scratch? I want to store everything in a central repository--music, metafile, album art, etc. Basically my scenarios are:
                              • Open up iTunes from computer A, add some music, add some cover art
                              • Open up iTunes from computer B, see the added music and cover art
                              • Open up iTunes from computer A, synch to my iPod
                              • Open up iTunes from computer B, synch to my iPod
                              • Open up iTunes from computer A, purhcase a (DRMed or not) track from iTunes
                              • Open up iTunes from computer B, listen see and listen to newly purchased track.
                              I am not familiar with itunes, but isn't what you're describing the entire reason DRM exists. What would be stopping computer a-z from participating.

                              Comment

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