jonherries:Skolink: If you have an old PC and don't care about power consumption or size you could use FreeNAS. I have tried it on a fanless PIII 700 with 400MB RAM, but transfer rates were only 4MByte/s up 7MByte/s down. Strangely I can get 8-10MByte/s in both directions to my similarly spec'd XBox.
I had a Welland ME-747ANS but it was also too slow.
The Synology DS212j looks nice but is beyond my budget.
+1 - you say you have an old laptop, with an ethernet port you could use this as a NAS, and add a switch timer to wall so you keep using the battery (UPS), maybe for 30 mins every night. This way you have an itunes server running 24/7. Drives can be connected to the USB ports, or through a hub.
I have done this with an old emac, which runs Leopard and the latest version of iTunes. Runs 3 external drives of differing capacity's, from various previous purchases.
No need for the timer, Lithium Ion batteries mainly degrade as a result of being hot, and also charge/discharge wear. Cycling the charge won't extend their life.
Just noticed the DS212j supports IP cameras! It's value has suddenly jumped for me, as I have spent many hours looking for an IP camera that would write to a NAS drive, but eventually gave up.
The DS112j (single bay) is quite alot cheaper, and I have no use for RAID (either speed or redundancy) so I think that may be a winner for me. It apparently does at least 30MB/s which is faster than my 100Mbps network is capable of.