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View Full Version : What is the ideal way to store and serve your music?



gweempose
2007-02-05, 22:21
I recently got an SB3, and I absoutley love it! My music is currently stored on a 7200 RPM drive in my PC. This PC is powered on 24/7 and runs the SlimServer software. All of my music is backed up to an external USB drive which is connected directly to the PC. Since I plan on ripping all my CDs in the near future, I'm going to need more storage. Before I go out and start buying more/larger drives, I wanted to make sure that I am doing everything in the best way possible. I see a lot of people talking about storing their music on some type of NAS device. What are the benefits of this approach? Is there some other type of setup I should consider?

Thanks!

erland
2007-02-05, 23:24
I see a lot of people talking about storing their music on some type of NAS device. What are the benefits of this approach? Is there some other type of setup I should consider?
Some different setups and their advantages/disadvantages in my opinion.

The main advantage with a NAS box is that its small and pretty silent and you are free to use the PC for other stuff.

Setup 1:
- 24/7 running PC with SlimServer and large harddrives which contains the music
- The harddrives can be either internal or USB/Firewire
- Advantages
-- Fast running SlimServer
-- Fast access to harddrives compared to setup 2 and 3.
- Disadvantages
-- PC must be running at all times when you like to listen to music
-- Not so silent compared to the single NAS box in setup 3
-- If PC is used for other stuff like games and running desktop applications this could affect music if playing SqueezeBox music at same time.

Setup 2:
- 24/7 running PC with SlimServer
- NAS device with harddrives which contains the music
- Advantages
-- Fast running SlimServer
-- You can access the harddrives and the music from any computer at any time, even if though the SlimServer PC isn't running at the time
- Disadvantages
-- Two boxes
-- Harddrive access typically slower than USB/Firewire drives like in setup 1. Might affect scanning times, but shouldn't affect the overall performance in SlimServer
-- Not so silent compared to the single NAS box in setup 3
-- If PC is used for other stuff like games and running desktop applications this could affect music if playing SqueezeBox music at same time.

Setup 3:
- 24/7 running NAS device running SlimServer and with harddrives which contains the music
- Advantages
-- Small physical box, easy to stuck away somewhere
-- Silent compared to setup 1 and 2.
-- Low power usage compared to PC's
-- You are free to do whatever you want with the PC, its not needed in this setup for listening to music
- Disadvantages
-- Harder to setup SlimServer, typically some sort of Linux knowledge is required
-- Slower SlimServer, shouldn't affect music quality but will slowdown scanning and navigations(mainly in web interface)
-- Harder to setup integration between iTunes and SlimServer

Another thing you should think about already from the start is backups. When the harddrive crash and you don't have a backup you will have to rip your music again, this is something most people don't want to do. Making backups of all music at regular interval is very important. Backup's can be taken to a second harddrive which preferable is either an external drive or a drive in another computer. All harddrives will crash, its just a matter of time. Most people are just lucky so they have already bought a new PC before it happens.

MrSinatra
2007-02-06, 02:11
if money is no object, get a NAS box and do a raid 5 so it can survive drive death.

even better would be to store your music at a remote web server, so you could listen to it and stream it from there, to yourself wherever you are and your friends or whoever.

i don't know if you could get SS installed at the remote server, but it might be possible with the right permissions.

also, i suggest EAC to anyone serious about their archiving to rip CDs.

mattybain
2007-02-06, 02:23
"even better would be to store your music at a remote web server"

Has anyone had any success with web servers and streaming to the squeezebox?

I notice that oboe have an unlimited account for $39.95 a year but is this really unlimited. I have 120gb of music would this reallybe covered?

Also is there anyway of streaming this to the SB yet?

peter
2007-02-06, 02:59
mattybain wrote:
> "even better would be to store your music at a remote web server"
>
> Has anyone had any success with web servers and streaming to the
> squeezebox?
>

Well, I have a colo server that runs slimserver. I normally use it for
running SoftSqueeze at work, but there's no reason I shouldn't be able
to run my kitchen SB3 off it. I never tried it, but why not right now? I
just specified the colo ip address on the SB (via setup networking) and
it connected. I had to change the firmware (different version of SS on
the colo box) but that was no problem.
> I notice that oboe have an unlimited account for $39.95 a year but is
> this really unlimited. I have 120gb of music would this reallybe
> covered?
>

My colo costs me ~$16/mo so that's a little more, but I use it for
backing up important stuff.
> Also is there anyway of streaming this to the SB yet?
>

Run SlimServer on the remote box (if they'll let you) and connect your
SB's to it. Note, that some folks will cringe knowing that this runs
over the Internet without ssh tunneling or anything. My colo box runs
Linux and I have my home & work IP's (all fixed of course) as exceptions
in iptables. Perfectly safe.

Playing FLAC files worked fine, so I guess there are no real problems. I
haven't tried synching with other players, but I suspect that might be a
little more problematic. Oh yes, I'm on a 20 Mbit (downstream) DSL link,
so YMMV.

Regards,
Peter

srasher
2007-02-06, 03:18
erland already gave a neat summary of the general options, I'd just like to add some of my personal experiences (to make choices even harder ;-)):

1. Loudness:
Of course, it is very likely, but a NAS solution might not necessarily be more quiet than a dedicated PC/workstation solution. I personally have my music stored on a Buffalo Linkstation II and this one is significantly louder than my normal workstation (which is an Athlon64 3400+ based Linux workstation which I build explicitely to be as quiet as possible).

2. Power:
I use the NAS for the 24/7 music server because it consumes much less power than the PC. If you don't want to waste a significant amount of money it might make sense to go for either a NAS device or an explicite low-power optimized PC solution (there are several threads describing people's projects in the 3rd party hardware forum) or at least setup something like standby mode and wake-on-lan for the PC your slimserver is running on.
EDIT: Sorry, most of the threads mentioned above are of course located in the DIY forum!

3. Performance:
As erland wrote the major drawbacks of a pure NAS solution are located in the library scanning and web interface performance. For my 10,000 song library the Linkstation slimserver needs about 4-5 hours for a full re-scan while the Athlon PC does the job in <= 20 minutes. Regarding the web interface, you can find roundabout 10,000 threads here showing that everyone has his/her own perception of the web interface response times on slow server machines. It can take several seconds for some browsing actions to happen if the server runs on a NAS like the Linkstation. For me that's perfectly OK as I am only using the web interface for administration purposes at the moment but I'd like to switch my living room remote to a handheld WLAN device (Nokia770) completely and e.g. for browsing albums by artwork the NAS server performance is unaccepatable, therefore I'm thinking about switching to a PC based server. By the way, the Squeezebox response time for use with the standard remote is perfectly fine even with a NAS based server.

Hope this helps you somehow to select what's necessary for your taste.

Cheers,
Sebastian

adhawkins
2007-02-06, 03:29
Hi,

In article <MrSinatra.2lktez1170753301 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>,
MrSinatra<MrSinatra.2lktez1170753301 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
> even better would be to store your music at a remote web server, so you
> could listen to it and stream it from there, to yourself wherever you
> are and your friends or whoever.

As long as bandwidth from the server is free...

Andy

gweempose
2007-02-06, 22:41
Thanks for the feedback, guys! Since I always have a PC running 24/7, it probably doesn't make any sense for me to go the NAS route. Most likely, I'll set up a large RAID array inside my PC and use an external drive for added backup.

short_y
2007-02-07, 12:46
My colo costs me ~$16/mo

Peter, please PM me. I'm interested where you're colocated cause I've been thinking of doing the same thing.

peter
2007-02-08, 14:11
short_y wrote:
> Peter;178172 Wrote:
>
>> My colo costs me ~$16/mo
>>
>
> Peter, please PM me. I'm interested where you're colocated cause I've
> been thinking of doing the same thing.
>

I'm here: http://tinyurl.com/2fcoc7* ;)
*
It's really close to my house, but most likely pretty far from yours.
Since you need to place and maintain your own server proximity is quite
important.
I believe there are hosting places that rent you a server that they set
up for you, perhaps that's an interesting option.

Regards,
Peter

JJZolx
2007-02-08, 18:34
I recently got an SB3, and I absoutley love it! My music is currently stored on a 7200 RPM drive in my PC. This PC is powered on 24/7 and runs the SlimServer software. All of my music is backed up to an external USB drive which is connected directly to the PC. Since I plan on ripping all my CDs in the near future, I'm going to need more storage. Before I go out and start buying more/larger drives, I wanted to make sure that I am doing everything in the best way possible. I see a lot of people talking about storing their music on some type of NAS device. What are the benefits of this approach? Is there some other type of setup I should consider?

How large is your music collection, or how large do you anticipate it growing within, say, the next two years?

The first step would be to add sufficient drive capacity to your PC to house your collection. Of course you'll need similar capacity for your backup. Using external drives, that might pose a problem if it requires multiple drives. I'd say if your entire backup can be backed up to no more than maybe two or three drives, then it's probably feesible. With drive capacities expanding quickly these days, you might keep adding drives to the PC (until it maxes out), but keep replacing the external backup as larger drives become available, with the goal of keeping the backup on a single drive.

cparker
2007-02-10, 03:49
Just to add my 2p worth, I recently purchase a Dynamode usb2 2.5" hard drive caddie, it works extremely well and is dirt cheap!

http://www.dabs.com/ProductList.aspx?fb=144

It is basically a nice aluminum box with a circuit board that plugs on to any 2.5" hard drive you have laying around, plug it into a usb socket and you have lots of easy to move around disk space. (Takes all the power it needs from the usb socket, no drivers required)

Will take a max capacity of a 80gb drive which is perfect for now. ;)

My collection comes in at about 55gb so this is a very cheap and efficient storage method. I now have 3 backups of my pictures and mp3s, and because you can easily remove the hard drive and put a new one in it, I store the hard drives one in my car and one in the office. 2.5" 80Gb hard drives are about 30 each :)

I was thinking of all kinds of expensive backup solutions, but now I will stick with my Maxtor Shared Storage NAS and use these to backup my data. :)

There is also a 3.5" caddie version and everyone has at least a few hard drives laying about!

I guess you could also buy two and have 80gb in each and have a backup capacity of 160gb!

Greg Erskine
2007-02-10, 05:00
Thanks for the feedback, guys! Since I always have a PC running 24/7, it probably doesn't make any sense for me to go the NAS route. Most likely, I'll set up a large RAID array inside my PC and use an external drive for added backup.

IMHO RAID is not neccessary if you backup to your external drive. RAID is for ensuring up time, not a backup solution. If the RAID controller fails all your data could still be loss, requiring a restore from backup.

I just use synchronising software to copy newly ripped CDs to my external USD drive.

regards