Moving to NAS and modernizing

Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
Brethren,
I've been running uncompressed and lossless digital audio files for quite some time now. Many of you know I have an Apple universe in the house but in the last year have added a Windows 10 gaming machine to the mix. Having a mixed environment has its own challenges but so far its been manageable. I've been getting restless over the age of my Apple boxes (2011 vintage) and the disk fallout on my RAID devices. I have lost no data (the RAID has done its job) but my stuff is getting old in computer years. What to do about it? Lots of thoughts crossed my mind but I decided as step one to move forward, I would put up a NAS box and get all the crown jewels of data up and hosted on a brand new piece of tech.

What does a NAS solution bring me? Here were my goals:
1. If one of my mac computers dies: I may not want to replace it. So how can I still use the data without the computer
2. I want to serve up both movies (I have a couple of TB of them) and music and photos on all my devices (mobile, deskside, etc)
3. I want this thing to have a future and run apps that may not be in the Apple universe
4. If iTunes is dead and I need to change library management, well, let's get something that is well supported and not dependent on Apple (but supported)

There are tons of choices. I chose a 4 bay Synology NAS (the DS418play). It does transcoding, runs apps, and so far is easy as pie to use. I am currently moving files and experimenting. Every day that goes by I learn more stuff. I am not yet a NAS expert, but I'm leaving newb status. Here' she is.
NAS4 (2)_edit.jpg


I am interested in how y'all solved similar problems of serving up audio and video to a wide array of devices and keeping things highly available. This is my solution for now.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Spartan
I have many, MANY TB of data which I am serving up. So, I have several RAIDs that I am using from a company called Thecus. For whatever reason, these units have been very reliable for me. I just had to replace a power supply and a couple of fans, but it has been about 10 years. I do not run apps from them, but use a stand alone PC to do duty for my Plex server.

I have about 30TB of NAS right now. I also have a 8-bay unit that I am dying to get populated, but that'll be a couple grand of hard drives to get setup.
 
B

bigkrazy155

Audioholic
Very cool upgrade!
In jest, I will say you are still behind. You gotta have virtualized services running in the cloud against your cloud storage! :eek:
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
Brethren,
I've been running uncompressed and lossless digital audio files for quite some time now. Many of you know I have an Apple universe in the house but in the last year have added a Windows 10 gaming machine to the mix. Having a mixed environment has its own challenges but so far its been manageable. I've been getting restless over the age of my Apple boxes (2011 vintage) and the disk fallout on my RAID devices. I have lost no data (the RAID has done its job) but my stuff is getting old in computer years. What to do about it? Lots of thoughts crossed my mind but I decided as step one to move forward, I would put up a NAS box and get all the crown jewels of data up and hosted on a brand new piece of tech.

What does a NAS solution bring me? Here were my goals:
1. If one of my mac computers dies: I may not want to replace it. So how can I still use the data without the computer
2. I want to serve up both movies (I have a couple of TB of them) and music and photos on all my devices (mobile, deskside, etc)
3. I want this thing to have a future and run apps that may not be in the Apple universe
4. If iTunes is dead and I need to change library management, well, let's get something that is well supported and not dependent on Apple (but supported)

There are tons of choices. I chose a 4 bay Synology NAS (the DS418play). It does transcoding, runs apps, and so far is easy as pie to use. I am currently moving files and experimenting. Every day that goes by I learn more stuff. I am not yet a NAS expert, but I'm leaving newb status. Here' she is.
View attachment 30130

I am interested in how y'all solved similar problems of serving up audio and video to a wide array of devices and keeping things highly available. This is my solution for now.
Honestly, that's a great solution. The Synology devices are pretty great. They actually have a lot of built in apps that do what you want, but you can't go wrong with Plex. Supported by most platforms that exist today.
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
Very cool upgrade!
In jest, I will say you are still behind. You gotta have virtualized services running in the cloud against your cloud storage! :eek:
If I stopped with just the NAS unit, I would agree: I'd be short of the mark. I have cloud storage backup in place today. When I get fully migrated over to the NAS, my plan was to have it replicate to an off site provider in some automated fashion. Today, because my RAID devices are on my Apple iMac, I use the iCloud from Apple. What I want to do when migrated over to the NAS is find a cloud provider that I can use automatic replication with that perhaps isn't affiliated with Apple.

If you guys have favorites for cloud storage and replication from a NAS box, sing out !! Let me hear your choices. Its on my to-do list to choose as I get more data moved over. I know the Synology box has apps to handle my side of the equation. But I have yet to choose a cloud provider for my future.

For those Plex users, its also on my list of apps to try. I used to run it a few years ago and had nothing but trouble. Times have changed and from all I've heard, Plex is the lead dog and perhaps best of breed. Again, on my list. Keep those suggestions coming
 
Spinningbull

Spinningbull

Enthusiast
If I stopped with just the NAS unit, I would agree: I'd be short of the mark. I have cloud storage backup in place today. When I get fully migrated over to the NAS, my plan was to have it replicate to an off site provider in some automated fashion. Today, because my RAID devices are on my Apple iMac, I use the iCloud from Apple. What I want to do when migrated over to the NAS is find a cloud provider that I can use automatic replication with that perhaps isn't affiliated with Apple.

If you guys have favorites for cloud storage and replication from a NAS box, sing out !! Let me hear your choices. Its on my to-do list to choose as I get more data moved over. I know the Synology box has apps to handle my side of the equation. But I have yet to choose a cloud provider for my future.

For those Plex users, its also on my list of apps to try. I used to run it a few years ago and had nothing but trouble. Times have changed and from all I've heard, Plex is the lead dog and perhaps best of breed. Again, on my list. Keep those suggestions coming
I use glacier backup on the synology to Amazon glacier. TBs of storage, low cost to store (expensive to retrieve, so backup only). It was the only cost effective solution I could find, but I didn't look long...

I have a separate rack mount PC running plex server, roon server, and auto-ripping software that rips movies, audio, etc to the synology. Playback to ATV, aftv, shield, and pi-based music endpoints.

All works great, I have 55tb live on a rs1219+.



Sent from my SM-T837V using Tapatalk
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
I use glacier backup on the synology to Amazon glacier. TBs of storage, low cost to store (expensive to retrieve, so backup only). It was the only cost effective solution I could find, but I didn't look long...

I have a separate rack mount PC running plex server, roon server, and auto-ripping software that rips movies, audio, etc to the synology. Playback to ATV, aftv, shield, and pi-based music endpoints.

All works great, I have 55tb live on a rs1219+.



Sent from my SM-T837V using Tapatalk
55 TB ? holy crap! that's a lot of stuff. And I'll bet you aren't the guy with the most. There's probably folks here with more. I feel like a piker.
 
Spinningbull

Spinningbull

Enthusiast
55 TB ? holy crap! that's a lot of stuff. And I'll bet you aren't the guy with the most. There's probably folks here with more. I feel like a piker.
Once you get into uhd movies @ 60gb - 80gb each it goes fast! And with Dolby vision, I double it - full backup for playback on the oppo, and mkv for plex.

Even flac audio of high quality masters can get big. I've got a couple tb of just music.

I've been building up over years, started our with a synology 2-series play, eventually building up to the rack mounted systems and the 8bay + series.

As much ad I love this hobby, it drives my wife crazy!

Sent from my SM-T837V using Tapatalk
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
Once you get into uhd movies @ 60gb - 80gb each it goes fast! And with Dolby vision, I double it - full backup for playback on the oppo, and mkv for plex.

Even flac audio of high quality masters can get big. I've got a couple tb of just music.

I've been building up over years, started our with a synology 2-series play, eventually building up to the rack mounted systems and the 8bay + series.

As much ad I love this hobby, it drives my wife crazy!

Sent from my SM-T837V using Tapatalk
Yep. I'm at 56TB of space with a little more than 4TB available. I very much need to do an offsite backup. I'll have to check the Amazon stuff. Thanks for that.

Doesn't drive my wife crazy, but when the server is down, she realizes how much it actually does. She's not a fan of how much I have to spend on HDDs though. Some of those UHD movies are 100gb. Crazy.
 
adk highlander

adk highlander

pessimistic optimist
Wow. 100gb. I have really been concentrating on music for the last couple of years. All of mine is lossless flac either 16/44 if I ripped the cd or standard flac and some 24/96 when the mood struck me when buying. I have 919 albums which hist around 14000 tracks. That still only takes up 620gb. So it is easy to back up. I am running Roon in a rack mounted vortexbox that supplies 4 zones. The movie server hardly every gets booted up any longer. It is tiny compared to what you guys are talking about and is all just 1080p stuff.

I am going to look into some new storage this fall for UHD movies. I am not happy at all with the Netflix 4k streaming. They have run fiber on my road now so when the gigabit hits I am going to cut the cable and get a new setup which would take more advantage of a big NAS device like that.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
Wow. 100gb. I have really been concentrating on music for the last couple of years. All of mine is lossless flac either 16/44 if I ripped the cd or standard flac and some 24/96 when the mood struck me when buying. I have 919 albums which hist around 14000 tracks. That still only takes up 620gb. So it is easy to back up. I am running Roon in a rack mounted vortexbox that supplies 4 zones. The movie server hardly every gets booted up any longer. It is tiny compared to what you guys are talking about and is all just 1080p stuff.

I am going to look into some new storage this fall for UHD movies. I am not happy at all with the Netflix 4k streaming. They have run fiber on my road now so when the gigabit hits I am going to cut the cable and get a new setup which would take more advantage of a big NAS device like that.
Once you go gigabit, you don't go back. :)
 
Spinningbull

Spinningbull

Enthusiast
Wow. 100gb. I have really been concentrating on music for the last couple of years. All of mine is lossless flac either 16/44 if I ripped the cd or standard flac and some 24/96 when the mood struck me when buying. I have 919 albums which hist around 14000 tracks. That still only takes up 620gb. So it is easy to back up. I am running Roon in a rack mounted vortexbox that supplies 4 zones. The movie server hardly every gets booted up any longer. It is tiny compared to what you guys are talking about and is all just 1080p stuff.

I am going to look into some new storage this fall for UHD movies. I am not happy at all with the Netflix 4k streaming. They have run fiber on my road now so when the gigabit hits I am going to cut the cable and get a new setup which would take more advantage of a big NAS device like that.
I just started playing with the hdhomerun, and plex live tv/DVR. My expectations were very low, but I'm really impressed. Network ota is better than hulu! 1080p & 5.1, plex cuts the commercials out automatically.

Yet another way to fill hardrives... sigh

But, now TV shows are available 'offline', and to anyone in my family without the dreaded "out of home" restrictions, on my phone or tablet... pretty cool!

Music, movies, TV all on the nas.

Sent from my SM-T837V using Tapatalk
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
I decided this week to add a 4th 4tb drive to the Synology NAS. She's full up now. 12tb approx, give or take. Going from all local storage devices to a true network device has been a bit of a learning curve but worth all the troubles. Chief amongst the benefits is it gives me a common place that's always on to see files from both my PC and MAC environments. It lets Plex truly shine across everything. And the darn thing just works.

NAS isn't for everybody and it may not be the most leading edge solution either. For me however its been a great addition to the home IT environment and a nice learning adventure as well. I was shocked this morning as I looked at my completely full Cisco Ethernet switch when I decided to look at my router and count the number of network devices. I have over 40 devices running through my router. I'm just a newb out in the suburbs. But apparently the devices multiply when we turn the lights out.
 
R

Rob_z

Audiophyte
I’ve been following this thread as I’ve been wanting to do the same thing. I had upgraded a six year old NAS with the goal of not having my Mac run a bunch of services (Plex, Channels DVR, Time Machine) full time and centralize files and media. I also didn’t want us to have to Airplay from our phones and be limited to those libraries.
First I tried using the music server built in the NAS. Using HEOS, it felt very sterile browsing through folders (it doesn’t seem to see any meta data). I use Plex for video but I’ve had issues getting it to recognize media which made me not want to even try it for audio.
Yesterday I started a Roon trial and installed the server on the NAS (technically under spec for Roon). I’ve imported about 1000 tracks that are a combination of mp3, m4a, flac and DSD to see how it fared. So far it has played everything and imported 95% of it correctly. Bonus for not affecting the DVR even when transcoding audio for whatever device it’s playing to.
I agree with you that these NAS devices are quite capable especially with all of the good software being developed for it.
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
I’ve been following this thread as I’ve been wanting to do the same thing. I had upgraded a six year old NAS with the goal of not having my Mac run a bunch of services (Plex, Channels DVR, Time Machine) full time and centralize files and media. I also didn’t want us to have to Airplay from our phones and be limited to those libraries.
First I tried using the music server built in the NAS. Using HEOS, it felt very sterile browsing through folders (it doesn’t seem to see any meta data). I use Plex for video but I’ve had issues getting it to recognize media which made me not want to even try it for audio.
Yesterday I started a Roon trial and installed the server on the NAS (technically under spec for Roon). I’ve imported about 1000 tracks that are a combination of mp3, m4a, flac and DSD to see how it fared. So far it has played everything and imported 95% of it correctly. Bonus for not affecting the DVR even when transcoding audio for whatever device it’s playing to.
I agree with you that these NAS devices are quite capable especially with all of the good software being developed for it.
I think I have a separate thread with my Plex experiences and the Synology NAS. Getting movies to work and to organize with meta data was a snap. Ez Peazy. Getting the Plex app to do that with music was a challenge. Way more of a challenge than I wanted.

I wanted to run Plex on the NAS for all the reasons you'd expect. And it works so well with movies I thought it would be the same for music. Not so. Another AH user gave me a series of tips that eventually made it all work but it was a lot of manual intervention. The biggest problem in my case was the naming convention Plex expects verses the one I have been using for years and years. Once I got a tool to convert my file structure/names to what Plex expects, things really took off.

I have had it running for a couple of weeks and I like it. I love the NAS. Plex on the NAS and I are still getting acquainted. So far, its pretty good.

Keep giving updates on the Roon and how you're doing. I don't know much about Roon. I know I looked at it but don't remember much. I've been learning the Synology NAS and that's taken up all my spare brain space
 
B

Blue Dude

Audioholic
I gave up on using Plex for music. It just wasn't working right. And I didn't care about streaming video, so I gave up on Plex entirely. I use Kodi for everything, though it's not as slick and painless as Plex. It does however do everything and play anything I throw at it.
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic General
I think I have a separate thread with my Plex experiences and the Synology NAS. Getting movies to work and to organize with meta data was a snap. Ez Peazy. Getting the Plex app to do that with music was a challenge. Way more of a challenge than I wanted.

I wanted to run Plex on the NAS for all the reasons you'd expect. And it works so well with movies I thought it would be the same for music. Not so. Another AH user gave me a series of tips that eventually made it all work but it was a lot of manual intervention. The biggest problem in my case was the naming convention Plex expects verses the one I have been using for years and years. Once I got a tool to convert my file structure/names to what Plex expects, things really took off.

I have had it running for a couple of weeks and I like it. I love the NAS. Plex on the NAS and I are still getting acquainted. So far, its pretty good.

Keep giving updates on the Roon and how you're doing. I don't know much about Roon. I know I looked at it but don't remember much. I've been learning the Synology NAS and that's taken up all my spare brain space
Been watching this thread and other threads of this type.

My next audio purchase is likely to be an upgrade to my current digital media storage, streaming and management....I'm wanting to get away from my PC based user interface b/c I thought the computer would die on me eventually, and it has done just that, sorta of. I did have all of the music backed up to a 5 TB drive, and some of the pics....I'll see if the local source here can scrape the remaining pics for me, if not they are still on the camera so no big deal.

Again, my primary interest is music storage, and management preferably without a computer front end interface...I'm gearing up to make a purchase around the 1st of the year. Not in stone, but Salk's stream player w/ roon management is the leader right now.
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
Been watching this thread and other threads of this type.

My next audio purchase is likely to be an upgrade to my current digital media storage, streaming and management....I'm wanting to get away from my PC based user interface b/c I thought the computer would die on me eventually, and it has done just that, sorta of. I did have all of the music backed up to a 5 TB drive, and some of the pics....I'll see if the local source here can scrape the remaining pics for me, if not they are still on the camera so no big deal.

Again, my primary interest is music storage, and management preferably without a computer front end interface...I'm gearing up to make a purchase around the 1st of the year. Not in stone, but Salk's stream player w/ roon management is the leader right now.
There are an interesting set of solutions out there. You mentioned Salk's streamer as a possibility. I love all things Salk so I could support that (not that you need me to support anything). I too wish I could come up with a non traditional, doesn't need a "computer", solution for just music. The problem for me is that I have all this "other stuff" that does need a computer to store it. And since I have to store that, I might as well store the music too.

So far, after roughly a month or so of NAS usage, I'm loving the NAS. There is a learning curve for sure. Anytime old people like me have to learn something new its a bit painful. But, now that its running, it is living up to all the promise. A pure music streamer would be very nice for sure. For now, I'm going to see how the NAS does long term. So far, my biggest headache is Plex on NAS, but, its working now so I don't complain much.
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic General
There are an interesting set of solutions out there. You mentioned Salk's streamer as a possibility. I love all things Salk so I could support that (not that you need me to support anything). I too wish I could come up with a non traditional, doesn't need a "computer", solution for just music. The problem for me is that I have all this "other stuff" that does need a computer to store it. And since I have to store that, I might as well store the music too.

So far, after roughly a month or so of NAS usage, I'm loving the NAS. There is a learning curve for sure. Anytime old people like me have to learn something new its a bit painful. But, now that its running, it is living up to all the promise. A pure music streamer would be very nice for sure. For now, I'm going to see how the NAS does long term. So far, my biggest headache is Plex on NAS, but, its working now so I don't complain much.
Exactly, makes perfect sense to me...I've certainly thought about a PC/NAS based system. It's only music for me.

I've finally seen/heard a streamer based system at work...this guy I know has a Roon Nucleus + the Roon management...very nice. He has a music library size similar to mine, but no multi-ch files which I’ve read can be an issue on the Nucleus...not sure about the +.

While I still think parts of what Roon does so well (meta tagging) will not get used much by me, I like the iPad app interface more than I thought I would.

The Salk streamer can handle multi-zone but otherwise just seems more bare bones but solid as a rock...that’s something I’ve never felt with the PC...solid, stable.

FWIW...I still enjoy spinning, so this is not something I’m chomping at the bit to but Jim forewarned me that once I got it set up I wouldn’t go back to spinning....lol

We shall see.
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
FWIW...I still enjoy spinning, so this is not something I’m chomping at the bit to but Jim forewarned me that once I got it set up I wouldn’t go back to spinning....lol
We shall see.
I have been in a flat file world for quite a while now and I'd agree with Jim's basic statement of "you'll never go back". I don't think I could ever go back to a platter spinning in a player now that I've been on easy street for so long. When I do get a small itch for a platter, I pick up a vinyl record and slap it on the turntable. That usually fixes me up for quite a while.
One of the great things about our hobby is the variety of ways to make sound. For every style of making music there seems to be a champion. I truly enjoy the variety. I wish I could afford more stuff. Of course, if I bought more stuff I would need a bigger house to put it in. :)
 

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