View Full Version : Using a PowerMac G5 as a music server

2007-12-20, 23:27
I've been investigating options for building my own music server, and I wanted to run something by everyone here and see what they thought.

I currently have a new Airport Extreme Base Station and a 2 yr old 2GHz Power Mac G5 Desktop with 2.5GB RAM that isn't being used (I have a newer MacBook Pro that's my main computer). I was thinking of dropping two 1TB hard drives into the G5 and turning it into a RAID server for my music. Then I would patch it into my Airport Extreme (via one of the ethernet ports) and a Transporter could pull music files wirelessly to my stereo setup. And since the Mac is already loaded with iTunes, I can rip my CDs in iTunes with Apple Lossless and Slim Server will read them.

Does this scenario make more sense than buying a NAS device, since I already have the G5 and can put up to 4 internal hard drives in it (using a G5 Drive Bracket to expand the number of drive bays)? Or am I missing anything that makes this unfeasible/impractical? Thanks a bunch.

2007-12-21, 07:38
This makes sense to me. That's more processing power than you'll find on any NAS I can think of. It might be more of an energy hog than many NASs, but if you can configure sleep or wake-on-LAN functions okay then power consumption might not be too bad.

Note that using Apple lossless means that you'll be transcoding on the server (not a problem with that much horsepower) and that you won't be able to use FF/Rew.

Eric Seaberg
2007-12-21, 08:19
Are you wanting a RAID just for the combined size of it? You certainly DON'T need the speed of a RAID, and if you've got the original 2GHz G5 (I've got 6 of them in our studios) you must be thinking of changing out the system drive, too. I think you'd be better off keeping the system drive as it is and add a single TB for tunes.

I'm running the server on a Mac MINI and external 500GB FW drive. I've got just under 17,000 tunes and STILL have 100+GB available on the drive after ripping Apple Lossless.

The G5 will certainly work for what you want to do, it just seems like a lot of wasted horsepower and energy.

2007-12-21, 11:47
Thanks for your replies. I'm wanting a 2TB RAID because I have around 5K CDs and want to back them up. I realize 2TB isn't enough space for storing 5K CDs in RAID fashion, but it'll take me a while just to fill that up, and by that time I can add more memory.

I was thinking of changing out the system drive, but now you've got me thinking of leaving it. Am I risking a mess if I remove it and replace it with the larger hard drives? I'm not really an IT guy, so the less hassle the better.

I do understand that my scenario is a bit of overkill, but I thought it would be financially more feasible to pay $700-800 for two 1TB internal drives and put them on a device I already own than to buy a $500 MacMini and a $1500 NAS RAID device.

Aubuti - I didn't quite follow what you meant by this:
Note that using Apple lossless means that you'll be transcoding on the server (not a problem with that much horsepower) and that you won't be able to use FF/Rew.

Does this mean that if I rip my CDs on the G5 (or any computer) using iTunes that I can't use FF/Rew on Transporter, and to have this functionality the music files need to be stored on a storage device separate from the computer's internal hard drive. Thanks...