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Music Servers?

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Douglas, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. Douglas

    Douglas Senior member

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    Not that anyone cares, but here's the latest update:

    I bought an Apple Airport Express and a mini-Toslink adapter cable (what a PITA - they sell the Airport Express @ BB but nobody there had heard of the digital out and they didn't have the cables; I found that Radio Shack had one in stock @ the store near me but nobody knew where it was on the shelves; I finally found one behind some standard Toslink cables - typical Apple BS - a nicely designed product but one that requires something special and esoteric to make it work), as well as a Musical Fidelity V-DAC Mk. II.

    Right now I just have most of my music on iTunes on a central iMac that is our home desktop computer and not at a high resolution to boot, but I do have an external hard drive and I'm going to start ripping everything to it in lossless format.

    In future I'd like to build out a NAS but I'm technically incapable so I'll probably have to enlist someone's help when that time comes. The NAS seems like a smart way to go anyways - I'd like to have my photos and videos and music all accessible from any device in the house (and beyond?) and backed up properly in a RAID array. At that time, perhaps I'll also move to something more sophisticated for streaming music to the V-DAC. Squeezebox or Sonos or something else capable of handling "bit accurate" information (if I understand that correctly) and easily organizable/controllable and at a higher resolution than Apple's capability.

    Anyone know what a basic NAS with, say, 3TB of storage (3TB of actual storage, so 6TB total, right?) ought to run?
     
  2. otc

    otc Senior member

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    just remember that RAID doesn't count as backup.

    It protects against an individual drive failing, but it doesn't save you if something accidentally corrupts data (something misbehaving could easily corrupt both sides of the raid array since the array would think it was doing the right thing and merrily copy the corruption to both drives) and it doesn't save you from accidentally overwriting/modifying/deleting your data.

    Realistically, RAID takes care of the "scariest" possibility--sudden harddrive failure--but human error is a far more likely way to end up needing to pull a few files out of the backups (whether it be your error or the error of somebody who wrote a buggy piece of software that screws up your crap).
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. yjeezle

    yjeezle Senior member

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    I think synolgy has the best nas servers around. The barebones model costs about 200 on sale and factor in another 200 for 2x1 tb drives.

    I'd wait til q3 of this year since that's when most of this stuff is supposed to go on sale
     
  4. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    +1

    Indeed.. keeping a single copy of one's valuable MP3 library, irreplaceable priceless photos, movies, etc. on a RAID is NOT a backup. I've heard of RAID controllers failing, rendering the HDDs unreadable. The ideal backup IMO, is a separate copy of the data away from PC or server, and another one outside of the building, in the cloud, stored at a friend's house, or whatever
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  5. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

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    Here's my backup plan.

    1. Rip the original CD in wave format to Mac Mini. Keep the CDs. I also do hirez PCM rips and keep those discs.

    2. Backup the Mac Mini to external drive.

    3. Backup that drive to second external drive.

    So I'd agree with above you always need a second backup drive. Drives fail more often than you would imagine.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. chobochobo

    chobochobo Senior member Moderator

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    I'm hating my squeezebox. Had the Duet, remote died, but luckily found apps for android that allow you to set up the machine. When it works it's great, but it's a pain - sometimes it doesn't work and you need to reboot/ reset, and most annoying the computer side server is acting up also, it keeps popping up with error messages when it's not meant to be doing anything. Grr.
     
  7. eg1

    eg1 Senior member

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    I have an old SB3, a duet, a squeezebox boom, and a squeezebox radio. Yes, the duet sucks (mostly because I think the controller is cool in concept but crappy in execution), and I use it the least of all the players (it's hooked up to the TV speaker set-up). I mostly use the duet controller as a clock ... :rolleyes:

    I don't find I have too many problems with the Logitech Media Server (as the old slimserver is now called) which runs on my laptop with the music library on a large external hard drive. I mostly keep the boom (in kitchen) and SB3 (hooked up to portable stereo in dining room) synced, the duet off, and the squeezebox radio (bedside table) running separately.

    Usually operate the boom with the an older remote (the kind that came with the Transporter) or control them all from my laptop (which I did just now to start a playlist on the synced boom and SB3). I haven't been able to figure out a way to use a BB or the Playbook as a remote through their browsers, but I think Android devices can be used this way (don't own one). Not sure if I can from my wife's iPad -- have never tried.

    As for back-ups, I still have all the old CDs and keep an external hard-drive copy in my desk at work.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  8. akatsuki

    akatsuki Senior member

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    I am more than happy with a couple of Airport Expresses and an iPad loaded with music. Easy to control, portable and simple in every way.
     
  9. Douglas

    Douglas Senior member

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    I don't know what's wrong with my danged setup. When it's working, it's pretty great (although the delay in "Remote" synching to my library whenever I first turn on my iDevice is extremely annoying) but it seems to come unhinged easily. I'm sure it's a product of my Wifi setup but I'm reliant on others for my setup - all this networking shit is like 5 pay grades beyond mine.

    Anyways, I frequently have to re-set my main wireless network to get things to work. I can't explain it all that well... everything works at first but then the Remote stops working and then the iMac also stops connecting. A power-down and then power-up of the one wireless router (not the AE) resets everything to wroking again but it's annoying to keep doing it.
     
  10. otc

    otc Senior member

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    What is the main router? A lot of consumer grade routers are pretty flaky.
     
  11. Douglas

    Douglas Senior member

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    It could be the router but I think it's the setup. I have two wireless routers; one is in the basement and is the standard Verizon one they give you with your DSL service, but I was getting crappy reception upstairs so I bought a second router from Monoprice to set up as a repeater. But either the monoprice router is not able to act as a simple repeater or the guy who helped me set it up was not able to get it to do so. So although the two routers are bridged together, there are two wireless networks at play. Then I guess the AE is a third network? Or at least it's a device. I dunno. Anyways, what happens is when I re-set the wireless router that's closest to the computer everything works great for a while. Then I leave and come back home and suddenly my iPhone can't find the library on the iMac though sometimes it can still stream its own library to the AE, but sometimes it can't find that either. Then I check the Mac and it can't find the AE anymore. So I reboot the network, and bang it's all back to normal.

    I need another buddy proficient in networks to help me out, I think.
     
  12. otc

    otc Senior member

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    *shudder*

    The thing from verizon shouldn't be used for anything. It's probably barely qualified to act as a modem.
    Best bet is to take a direct ethernet line from the modem into a solid consumer router. I don't really know what is a good router these days out of the box...I have been a DD-WRT user for many years though and any router that can have DD-WRT or Tomato installed on it is going to be pretty stable.

    One of those might be enough to cover the whole house...is the second router repeating wirelessly? (e.g. do you have a network cable connected to it and it is broadcasting a second network or is it trying to take the wireless from the downstairs unit and then spread it around upstairs) This also sounds like a shaky situation. the DD-WRT routers are a little better in working together.
     
  13. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    I use a pair of Apple Airport Extremes (one connected to the cable modem, and the other to bridge downstairs for devices that don't have wireless), and have been very happy with them. I think they're the first versions that were flat (like the TimeMachine capsules) instead of the older bubble-looking ones. The newer ones are even better.

    But yeah, don't use the stuff the phone and cable companies give you --- they're crap.
     
  14. javyn

    javyn Senior member

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    Not sure if this is what ya want, but here's my setup.

    Cat5 to my Pioneer 1021 receiver with Airplay built in.

    Laptop with iTunes housing my entire mp3 collection.

    Laptop pushes the music to the receiver via wifi.

    Controlled with iPhone or iTunes.

    Have a pretty nice soundbar for the lappy when I want to play music upstairs in the study where the lappy stays.

    Downstairs is the stereo.

    Works great for a 1 bedroom, 2 den townhouse.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  15. 1969

    1969 Senior member

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    Man I put up with that for like 3 years. I' finally bought a Sonos a few months ago and never looked back. It never crashes.
     
  16. Thor

    Thor Senior member

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    I was all about SqueezeBox and Sonos for awhile...thinking I needed one of those to release from my musical bondage...

    But with my new Yamaha AV receiver...its streams all my FLAC files right from my PC wirelessly...its great- no MP3 just fat FLAC files that sound great.

    I control the receiver with the iPad or iPhone and its run brilliantly....

    It -obviously- can run Pandora too which is cool...

    No need for servers with a new AVR.
     
  17. eg1

    eg1 Senior member

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    I assume you are referring to AirPlay? Not sure how useful this solution is for multiple rooms?
     
  18. Thor

    Thor Senior member

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    No- my music collection is not in iTunes (God forbid)...

    I am referring to the ability of my new receiver to network directly with my PC and play FLAC files (streaming wirelessly) without the need for a stand alone server.

    You do need UPnP software on your PC- but its worth it for the FLAC capability- why pay $$$ for a great system only to play MP3s on it?

    It does have multiple "scenes" to play in multiple rooms...
     
  19. eg1

    eg1 Senior member

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    Interesting -- what is the model #?
     
  20. Thor

    Thor Senior member

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    Mine is a Yahmaha RX-A2010...but most decent AVRs should have this capability these days...
     

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