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View Full Version : Buying A Nework Attached Storage 500GB HDD To Run Future Squeezebox From



Sunil Banga
2007-06-13, 08:30
Hi guys

I'm new to this whole malarky so please don't flame me straight away!

I'm looking to buy a Squeezebox at some point in the very near future and I'm thinking I'd be better off with a NAS and using my existing hard drive to mirror it every week (after a big scare of nearly losing everything). However, I'm not sure as to what exactly I require. I've been told elsewhere that a simple NAS will not work and that I need an "intelligent" HDD with Linux installed so it can run Slimserver software.

The only ones I have seen so far are QNAP TS-101s. However, the 500GB is at an extortionate price considering the base price of an empty TS-101.

Are there any other solutions? Will a standard NAS definately not work?

Ksie
2007-06-13, 10:22
A simple NAS will work fine if you only wish to use it for storing your music. Some NAS are able to actually run the SlimServer software, which allows you to access the stored music, via Squeezebox, without having your computer turned on. But, the "simple" NAS is fine if you want to run SlimServer on your desktop machine and just use the NAS for storage. An external HDD is another alternative for music storage, but of course has no processor and cannot actually run the SS server software.

Backing your music up is a great idea! You can have SlimServer stream from the NAS, from an external HDD, or from your desktop machine. Use one as a streaming source and one of the others for back-up.

You don't have to have Linux, SlimServer comes in a Windows and/or Mac versions as well. Most NAS boxes run on a Linux platform, but are manageable through a Windows/Apple interface. If you want to try and install SS on a NAS yourself (takes a lot of technical know-how, and is not possible with all brands), you'll have to use the Linux SS.

Check the Wiki for some more detailed technical stuff. Here's a good start:

http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?BeginnersGuideToServers

Sunil Banga
2007-06-13, 10:54
That's what I was trying to say; I want one that'll run Slimserver, and therefore the Squeezebox without having my computer on. According to the bottom of this page (http://www.audiofi.co.uk/reviews/squeezebox.php), a simple LaCie (http://www.amazon.co.uk/LaCie-Ethernet-7200RPM-Gigabit-Poulton/dp/B000LRIXF6/ref=pd_ecc_rvi_1/026-4471724-9778851?ie=UTF8&qid=1181746522&sr=1-22 ) or Buffalo Linkstation (http://www.comet.co.uk/cometbrowse/product.do?sku=392987&tab=specification#) will do the job I want.
Is this correct?

Ksie
2007-06-13, 11:07
Yes, those will run SlimServer. However, you must install the software yourself. It is a Linux installation. I can't speak to how easy or difficult this is.

Be aware also that these boxes have fairly low power CPUs. This can make your web interface sometimes a little sluggish, and can mean fairly long scans of your database when updating with new music. It also means you have to update the box when new versions of SS come out (if you want them).

Check out the "3rd Party Hardware" Forum. Lots of discussion over there about NAS-run SlimServer.

Sunil Banga
2007-06-13, 11:40
OK, thanks for that Ksie. Would it be a massive hinderance having such low power CPUs in the devices?

Ksie
2007-06-13, 12:12
Massive? No I don't think so. In fact I run SS on an InfrantNAS and it works fine for me. But it depends some on how you plan to use the Squeezebox. I use the Remote to play the music, not the web interface. I have most of the music I want in the SS database, so I don't have to re-scan very often and only do so when I know I won't be listening for the next 45-60 minutes. Also, I can get around the re-scan by Browse Music Folder, which adds new music to the db when you Select-Play it this way.

So, the somewhat slow NAS SlimServer doesn't bother me. If you think you will be playing/operating the Squeezebox a lot from the Web Interface, it might be more of a problem.

You can look at it this way too: you can go the NAS route and if you don't like how SlimServer works install it on your PC. Some people (I think) even run SS on both machines - although I'd think you might have a database synching issue there.

Ian_F
2007-06-13, 12:38
The only ones I have seen so far are QNAP TS-101s. However, the 500GB is at an extortionate price considering the base price of an empty TS-101.

Great advice from Ksie. Just one point tho a 500GB disk costs the same no matter what NAS you put it in! If your comment was regards the prices of QNAPs with a drive already installed then you may find it cheaper to buy an empty QNAP and put your own drive in. It's a simple job, but check on the QNAP website for a list of compatible drives before you buy one. You can then install slimserver yourself.

Do you need a 500GB drive tho? You need a LOT of music to fill that up. If you're buying for future expansion then fine, but you could start off smaller and then buy a bigger disk once prices have come down?

Lastly, if you do fancy the QNAP TS-101 then be aware that they've just launched a better one, the TS-109. You may want to hold off buying either of them for a couple of weeks tho and keep an eye on the "3rd Party Hardware" forum. Currently no one's managed to get Slimserver running on the TS-109 but that's because it has literally just been released in the past few days!

Sunil Banga
2007-06-13, 13:11
Cheers KSie, your advice sounds good.

Ian_F, that's what I meant by the QNAP TS-101 500gb version; it's almost £200 just for the drive! If I was going to buy the QNAP, I'd definately put my own drive in. 500gb is for future proofing. I already have around 150gb of music and my collection seems to be growing a lot quicker now than in the past. I'll definately hit 200gb within the next 4-5 months.

Regarding the TS-109, will this not be even more expensive than the TS-101? The cheapest I've seen the TS-101 without a HDD installed is around about £150 and they're out of stock so it's probably an optimistic price. I can get the LaCie for £133.24 and the Buffalo for £149.99, both delivered. It's quite a lot extra I'd need to put in for a QNAP and if there wouldn't be much of a gain when listening with the Squeezebox, there wouldn't be much point really.

Ian_F
2007-06-13, 14:24
Ian_F, that's what I meant by the QNAP TS-101 500gb version; it's almost £200 just for the drive! If I was going to buy the QNAP, I'd definately put my own drive in. 500gb is for future proofing.

OK, understood. As I said above tho, just make sure the drive you buy is compatible.


Regarding the TS-109, will this not be even more expensive than the TS-101? The cheapest I've seen the TS-101 without a HDD installed is around about £150 and they're out of stock so it's probably an optimistic price. I can get the LaCie for £133.24 and the Buffalo for £149.99, both delivered. It's quite a lot extra I'd need to put in for a QNAP and if there wouldn't be much of a gain when listening with the Squeezebox, there wouldn't be much point really.

The reason the TS101 is more expensive is because itís in a different league to the other two, so youíre not really comparing like with like.
If you're going to simply press "play" on the remote and let slimserver decide what you're going to listen to all evening then the cheapest device capable of running slimserver would do you just fine. If you're going to want to navigate and search through your music then processor speed/memory start to become important. If you plan on using the web interface then these factors become crucial.

The reason I mentioned the TS-109 is you will may want a bit of future proofing and the devices you mentioned are already stretched running Slimserver (the QNAP being the most powerful of the 3). You may just install one version and be done with it. Others want to be able to install later versions. For info, the TS-109Pro is about £200 without a drive.

mrfantasy
2007-06-14, 18:26
OK, thanks for that Ksie. Would it be a massive hinderance having such low power CPUs in the devices?

It's gotten noticeably slower from 6.2 when I started 2 years ago to now with 6.5.2. I have a Kuro Box HG which is basically a Gigabit LinkStation. Still, most of the time it's fine. I have problems if scanning is happening or something else is going on on the box. Also, I can only support one transcoded stream at a time.

If I were doing it now I'd recommend the Linkstation Pro or Kuro Pro (if they ever release it in the US but that's a whole other story). The LSPro can easily get a Gentoo or Debian Linux build on it, or you should be able to run SlimServer on the stock distro. Linkstationwiki.org is very useful here.

Pale Blue Ego
2007-06-15, 07:23
You might actually be better off buying a cheap PC and a cheap 500GB drive.

MadTux has systems as cheap as $139 with Linux preinstalled. Find a rebate deal on a 500GB drive for another $99 and you're set. You might want to get 512 MB RAM on the PC, though.

http://store.madtux.org/index.php?cPath=57