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Archer_1400
2007-10-24, 14:54
Hi

I have been looking at the idea of getting a NAS such as QNAP TS109, but before I take the plunge can anyone give me some insight on the benefits of using a NAS to run slimserver versus using a dedicated budget PC?

Thanks

Ian_F
2007-10-24, 15:14
Cheaper. Smaller. Lower power consumption. Less noise. Less heat. Easier to manage as a headless device (although that one's arguable).

If you get the TS-109 it does SO much more than just run slimserver. It's also a video streamer, BitTorrent Client, print server, FTP server, Web server etc etc.

Very happy with mine and have no regrets at all. :)

aubuti
2007-10-24, 15:20
Here's a start. I'm sure others will chime in to add the things I've left out, or correct (cough!) some of the things I've left in. ;o)

NAS advantages
- low power consumption
- small physical footprint

NAS disadvantages
- web ui response and scanning times tend to be slow because of slow processors
- slimserver installation and maintenance can be fiddly on some models (or slow for vendor to provide updates)

PC advantages
- suitable old ordinary PCs are available at a price somewhere between free and cheap
- better performance with web ui and rescanning

PC disadvantages
- tend to be noisy
- relatively big physical footprint
- high power consumption OR
- low power consumption PCs tend to cost as much as a NAS

I usually run slimserver on a very low horsepower Buffalo LinkStation NAS, but sometimes use a much more powerful PC, and imo the two are a dead tie in the area that matters most: reliably streaming music to multiple SBs around the house. Either does just fine.

jeremydta
2007-10-24, 15:30
I have been trying to set up my QNAP 209 for the last week. I have spent heaps of hours. I initially made mistakes received some good help from this forum, and QNAP support, but now I'm stuck as Slimserver doesn't scan my library properly, so I've got no way of searching all my music. I am quite "tech-savvy", but I think you really need to know some Linux programing to do it. I am thinking of getting a mac mini, or maybe even a Sonos, as it is designed to easily link with a NAS device. NAS's are definitely the way of the future, and I think Slim Devices needs to make it easier for normal people to be able to get a NAS based Slimserver setup.

Jeremy

Ian_F
2007-10-24, 15:54
I have been trying to set up my QNAP 209 for the last week. I have spent heaps of hours. I initially made mistakes received some good help from this forum, and QNAP support, but now I'm stuck as Slimserver doesn't scan my library properly, so I've got no way of searching all my music. I am quite "tech-savvy", but I think you really need to know some Linux programing to do it. I am thinking of getting a mac mini, or maybe even a Sonos, as it is designed to easily link with a NAS device. NAS's are definitely the way of the future, and I think Slim Devices needs to make it easier for normal people to be able to get a NAS based Slimserver setup.

Jeremy

I'm sorry to hear you've had so many troubles getting yours working properly, I'm very happy with mine.
Are you sure the scanning problems are NAS related and nothing to do with slimserver and/or your music collection?

EDIT: If you've moved your music from a different platform (eg. a windows desktop) then perhaps you've still got links referring to now non-existent locations?

jeremydta
2007-10-24, 16:00
Hi Ian
you have been helpful getting me this far
I am not sure what is the problem
others seem to be having the same problem, so I imagine it's not a defect in my equipment
maybe I should re-transfer my music collection across, when I did it initially, I dragged my iTunes folder across to my NAS. Should I do it some other way, how did you do it Ian?

Jeremy

I moved it from a Mac platform

Ian_F
2007-10-24, 16:10
Hi Ian
you have been helpful getting me this far
I am not sure what is the problem
others seem to be having the same problem, so I imagine it's not a defect in my equipment
maybe I should re-transfer my music collection across, when I did it initially, I dragged my iTunes folder across to my NAS. Should I do it some other way, how did you do it Ian?

Jeremy

I'm sure your equipment is fine ;)

I've never used iTunes so have no idea whether that's where your problem lies. I had no playlists or anything fancy when I copied my music across from my desktop. There were no cross-links of any sort. I do fear that's where the problem lies - redundant links that are upsetting the slimserver scanner.

I've read a few threads recently from guys who've started tracking down the errors using the scanner debugging options and a bit of trial and error.

It's not a very pleasant task but I'm not sure there's an easier way?

jeremydta
2007-10-24, 18:55
I just retagged the filenames from the tags of the songs on the QNAP using a free program called tritag,I used the format suggested by giorgio, it scanned for a long time after that, and now it recognises about 3500 out of my 5500 songs. I checked some albums which were half missing, and they all had the same format tags. Any suggestions?

Jeremy

bernt
2007-10-24, 23:40
Get an old PC with Celeron. I have a 2,8GHZ with 512 MB RAM. It has only one fan and is very quiet (but ugly).

I got mine for free. Had to buy a SATA controller but it was cheap.

Install SlimNAS. It's easy and up and running in no time.

Fifer
2007-10-25, 05:22
Here's a start. I'm sure others will chime in to add the things I've left out, or correct (cough!) some of the things I've left in. ;o)

NAS advantages
- low power consumption
- small physical footprint

NAS disadvantages
- web ui response and scanning times tend to be slow because of slow processors
- slimserver installation and maintenance can be fiddly on some models (or slow for vendor to provide updates)

PC advantages
- suitable old ordinary PCs are available at a price somewhere between free and cheap
- better performance with web ui and rescanning

PC disadvantages
- tend to be noisy
- relatively big physical footprint
- high power consumption OR
- low power consumption PCs tend to cost as much as a NAS


Good summary. However, there is a solution (http://www.ulverston.myzen.co.uk/mini-itx/) which provides most of the main advantages of both platforms and is relatively straight-forward and inexpensive to put together.

aubuti
2007-10-25, 05:51
Good summary. However, there is a solution (http://www.ulverston.myzen.co.uk/mini-itx/) which provides most of the main advantages of both platforms and is relatively straight-forward and inexpensive to put together.
Agreed that the mini-itx approach covers most of the advantages, and that's a great how-to site for how to put it all together. I expect that will be the upgrade path I take from my current NAS, whenever that day comes.

Do you have an estimated price range for a mini-itx setup like that? Maybe it's on the site, but I didn't see it. While I think it is probably good value for money, I suspect it is also considerably more expensive than either using an old ugly desktop (my first slimserver host, US$40) or a basic consumer NAS (my current slimserver host, a Buffalo LinkStation that currently goes for < US$200).

EDIT: Okay, I took a closer look at the site and see that the cost of that mini-itx system in Aug 2007 was about GBP300. At current exchange rates that's US$600+, although it is also quite possible that the parts can be sourced a lot cheaper in the US, maybe bringing the cost down under US$500 on this side of the pond.

Fifer
2007-10-25, 06:39
EDIT: Okay, I took a closer look at the site and see that the cost of that mini-itx system in Aug 2007 was about GBP300. At current exchange rates that's US$600+, although it is also quite possible that the parts can be sourced a lot cheaper in the US, maybe bringing the cost down under US$500 on this side of the pond.

No, I think the US price would be closer to 300. 300 GBP generally equates to around $300 for hi-tech goods. We've pretty much got used to paying pound for dollar.

I've just finished building a mini-ITX server for 150 with a new case, a new 250GB HD and a used mini-ITX board from eBay. That compares with a 240 for a 250GB TS-109.

aubuti
2007-10-25, 08:57
No, I think the US price would be closer to 300. 300 GBP generally equates to around $300 for hi-tech goods. We've pretty much got used to paying pound for dollar.
Yep, I was being conservative with "under $500", but it's good to know that the outrageous pricing in the UK extends to these items as well. Well, good for Yanks at least. Looks like I have another project coming up!

It always amazes me that even for non-hi-tech goods the prices in GBP are so close to USD prices, ie, meaning twice as expensive. Unfortunately, I've gotten used to it as well. Fortunately, it only affects me 1-2 weeks/year instead of 52 ;o)

Archer_1400
2007-10-25, 16:02
Thanks for all the info, it's helpfull to know that there are no performance issues for playback from a NAS versus a PC. I may spend a bit of time looking at the ITX option, it looks very interesting.

gwnzen
2007-10-27, 08:37
do you guys ever heard Koolu, a green pc from canada www.koolu.com. Someone at this forum mentioned it. I am planning to use it too, it's weak point I know by far is its limited HDD only 80 Gigs but I am planning to add external-Sata HDD(high speed) via USB(is this possible?). it strengths are 15 watt operational usage. silent fanless design

Should I go for this