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2647 posts

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  # 1716976 8-Feb-2017 08:39
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I've done an SSD replacement in a slighly-older iMac - wasn't easy, but wasn't too hard either, with the kit to do it (mostly to remove the screen). I can loan you the gear if I can find it :) Made the machine quite usable, and a 512GB SSD isn't overly expensive anymore if you need a bit of space - I have a 128 in my Mac Mini, as most of the storage is on the NAS anyway.



Not sure I'm quite feeling that adventurous, but I'll think about it :-)

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  # 1717039 8-Feb-2017 09:56
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It is definitely not worth buying a new Mac Mini at the moment; in fact practically all Mac models are due for upgrades. I would recommend a 2009 Mac Mini with an SSD, and use your existing external drives, so that your Mini is the TimeMachine server. One thing we have found useful with Mac Server software is the caching function for accessing Apple datacenters.


Also with our household, the server is nowhere near as important as it once was. Most of the time videos and music are streamed from the internet, and we use cloud services for photo and document storage, (with the server acting as a backup to that.) Also our devices all use SSDs now so recovery is a lot less likely.


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  # 1717287 8-Feb-2017 17:00
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My view of a NAS is that its a device that does XYZ
What XZY is depends on why you purchased that NAS.


For most people it is a central store of their files/photos/music.


Why I would buy a NAS over using other computers etc is that all NAS OS and first party apps should be viewed as firmware.  "you have an update - click here to apply"  - very much like an ipad.
Generally speaking a windows/mac OS environment is a lot more complicated.
Why I would choose a NAS over a pc/mac/server OS is that I like to keep my life simple.  I work in IT and don't want it to be my home life as well (too much).
A good NAS is one that does its job.  With mac/win OS/app updates you never really know what is about to get screwed up.


The only exception to this is that when you feel you need more than 4 (or 5 if not technically comfortable) hard drive slots.
At this price point it is cheaper to import from Australia (eg DS1815+ [8-bay NAS] is about NZ$500 cheaper in Australia) or look at home builds >> EG - Silverstone DS380 case/PSU/motherboard/CPU/RAM combo.


Ive done a quick search on pricespy and filtered to these NAS options for you (intel, 1GB Ram, released in last couple of years - selected a few good ones for comparison),2713506,3539261,3741619,2704100,2723685,3718102,3384239,3677805,3695526,2706274,3430266


The idea behind a NAS is that it is a device that performs a set number of functions.
In your specific circumstances I would not look for a NAS to do Plex.
Plex has recently become bloated and resource hungry ( they now recommend an Intel Core i3 (or equivalent) or faster).
This excludes most NAS products we would consider buying at a reasonable price ($2000).
In this regard I would rely on your devices (Apple TV) being able to handle the video format (direct play - not transcoded).


Once you have a NAS your storage requirements will increase regardless of what you thought you needed.
You will be surprised but what random photos, videos, or music your family may have as well as being able to do OS network backups of your system and other things.
In terms of hard drives I would avoid anything over 6TB and if using a 2 bay system stick to 4TB drives - This is about RAID options and drive reliability.


Both Qnap and Synology have good back up options.
You can save to the NAS and then have backups to the cloud (dropbox, google, onedrive, etc).  As well as this you can have a USB drive attached so you have a local (home) backup in case the NAS fails or the cloud providers change their terms/conditions.  These apps are provided as part of the NAS eco-system.


I'm not a conspiracy theory follower or anything but due to constant changes to terms and conditions of providers (especially US based) I would always recommend keeping a local version of things that are important.  This can be done using a NAS with a USB drive attached to it as backup.


Soo.... to go the complete opposite way "iTunes music library only has a 500MB HDD, and our other media takes up around 700MB on an external HDD".
I don't use google/dropbox/apple? so don't know about these but I do use Microsoft onedrive as part of my 365 home subscription.


If bought on sale it can be about $80/year.  This is for the home version that includes 5 users with 1TB storage each.
This gives you/partner/? with Office on windows or Mac but needs to be paid annually.


I haven't tried this with shared media but I do know that so long as you provide write access the device app can be enabled to sync files locally (your apple tv would need enough storage space[if there is a onedrive ap]).
currently read-only set folders on onedrive can only be accessed via web interface. 


you can demo this and see if it would be OK for you by signing up for a free office 365 home trial (30days?).

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  # 1719219 13-Feb-2017 08:59
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OK, so I settled on the Synology DS216j, with 2x2TB HDDs installed. I heard the concerns about CPU and RAM, so am hoping this entry level box will do (I was working to a pretty tight budget). Based on our current usage patterns, I think it should, as most of our media consumption these days is streamed from the Internet (including music these days, thanks to the Spotify Family plan). This is primarily to gain access to our local media on the occasions we do need to.


Things seem to be working well so far, and I've got my Plex library being served easily from the NAS, and DS Photos seems to be working well, including manually synching photos to it directly from my phone (still need to get auto-synch to work).


My next challenge will be getting our iTunes library shared. My initial thought was I'd be running an iTunes server on the NAS, but it sounds like that won't allow some devices to see it (e.g. our ATV 3rd Gen), and I may not be able to use it to sync media to our iOS devices.


I'm currently leaning towards copying the existing iTunes library to it, and simply pointing everyones local iTunes instance to the library stored on the NAS. This will mean that we'll still need at least one iTunes instance running somewhere for Home Sharing of that library to work.


As always, any advice/tips gratefully received (not only for getting iTunes up and running, but general DiskStation tips too).

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  # 1719225 13-Feb-2017 09:04
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My set up is similar. I have my macbook running iTunes connected to the NAS, where the media is stored. If you are doing this, you might as well run plex on the mac too as it will then do transcoding.

Alternatively you might find DS music to be quite appealing, the equivalent library loads much faster using this.



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  # 1719332 13-Feb-2017 12:38
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OK, so I settled on the Synology DS216j, with 2x2TB HDDs installed. I heard the concerns about CPU and RAM, so am hoping this entry level box will do





I have the DS216+II and was able to upgrade it to 8GB RAM myself.. took about 30 mins taking it apart and putting it back together.




Not sure if you can with the DS216j, but maybe worth taking a look online and see if its possible with your model too :) 

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