View Full Version : Throw away your computer - ReadyNAS as music server

2006-04-02, 09:25
I've been using the READYNAS device from infrant for over a year now and am very happy with it as a Slimserver music server. Infrant offers a module for download that turns their NAS into a slimserver server. It is slower than using a computer but it saves a great deal on your electricity bill. Currently, I'm using the x6 with 500MB drives - giving me over 1.5TB of storage on RAID 3. I would recommend performing a memory upgrade to the base device.
One caveat - since the ReadyNAS is using Linux, it won't serve up your WMA files. You have to use a different format. It also is somewhat less customizable in terms of the add-ons that you can install.
For those interested in a hard-core discussion of music serving and my experience over the years, feel free to check out my blog entry on the subject:

2006-04-02, 14:05
You also cannot transcode any non-native formats to play on the device either. After much considderation this made me decide to pass on the ReadyNAS and go for a real server instead (which i've also used for a PVR/HTPC). At the moment i'm using AlienBBC for BBC radio stations, but will be using a USB DAB reciever once i get ariels sorted out.

Neither of these options are available on the ReadyNAS

2006-04-02, 15:09
It's also considerably more expensive than a cheap PC based server, which will wipe out any savings from electricity (which, to be honest, are going to be minimal).

2006-04-02, 19:30
I have ReadyNAS NV and tried slimserver on it. It works but you cannot add any additional plug-ins (it comes with LastFM plugin).

It is also quite noisy -- noisy enough not to place it in a media room. My media PC with 5 hard drives and 4 fans (CPU, power supply, inlet, and outlet fan) makes much less noise. IMO, Infrant really need to solve the noise issue.


Craig, James (IT)
2006-04-03, 02:10
BTW, how did the original poster work out 2 a day for electricity costs for their P4 server?
How much less is the NAS solution and why?

(thinking of setting up something similar myself, but a cheap PC seems much more cost-effective and extensible than a NAS solution.)


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2006-04-03, 02:35
> BTW, how did the original poster work out 2 a day for electricity costs
> for their P4 server?
> How much less is the NAS solution and why?

In a recent test I've read they measured something between 40-45 watts for
the ReadyNAS X6 (depending on load).



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2006-04-03, 07:12
BTW, how did the original poster work out 2 a day for electricity costs for their P4 server?

I've no idea - that's a completely wacky figure. At 10p/kWH (pulling from my distant memory of UK power prices) that's something like 800W. In reality, figure about 100W MAX (probably less given that it's idle most of the time), which is 24p a day (or 90 quid a year). Even assuming the ReadyNAS uses half the power of a PC (45W was quoted earlier), you're looking at 3 or 4 years just to break even.

But then again, a P4 would hardly be my choice for a power efficient server platform :) A nice cool Athlon XP, or Sempron, or even Celeron would work just fine. Mine's an Athlon XP with no video, no sound, thermal fans (rarely speed up) and a bunch of drives. I haven't measured it (one day I will) but I'd be astonished if it were over 100W.

2006-04-04, 02:58
I should qualify my original post, perhaps. I, too, have run all sorts of different music server scenarios. To address the issue of noise and power consumption, I used a VIA processor fanless mini-itx machine (I think it was a Hush technologies box). But the reason I am such a fan of the ReadyNas is primarily because it provides a great deal of functionality while reducing the complexity of running a PC (particularly one running windows). With all the storage-attached-to-computer scenarios I used, I always found that something would eventually fall down in the chain of products that had been strung together. For example, an OS problem, or a hardware component problem that had little to do with the storage components, or a corrupted driver, etc.
As for electricity costs - yes, I was using a fast P4 server, which was not ideal for this task alone. I figured out the cost by turning everything off for a day, except the machine and looking at my electricity consumption for that day alone. I did this over a three day period and took an average.

Perhaps the ReadyNas is overkill for most people and not appropriate. I like the other features it offers - such as streaming video service. I like to put my video collection on the box and serve it to different players in the house. I like the fact that I can connect to it overseas using an encrypted https connection, browse and upload files, connect to the music server, stream video, etc. If I wanted to attached a terabyte of storage to anything else without putting it inside a computer (so I could easily connect it to another computer if the first one died) - I'd have to set up an external disk RAID box - which is, in effect, what the ReadyNAS is. So, to me, it's a much simpler and more elegant scenario.

It's also easy to administer from a browser (which controls all the functions of the device) and, most importantly, the infrant support team keep adding features to it on a regular basis. A lot of companies don't. Anyway, that's my humble opinion on it all.

2006-04-04, 06:12
I quite understand the appeal of something which "just works". Glad you found a good solution for your particular needs.