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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    May 2010
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    NAS -- Basic Guidance Appreciated

    Hi everyone

    Right now I'm using a S/B classic with all my music files stored on an external Samsung 1.5 TB Hard drive, with the S/B server running on my desktop computer. I'm thinking of changing to a NAS. But I have some basic questions.

    I. Is it a good idea?
    2. Which brand (I can see there's an old thread which recommends Vortexbox)
    3. How easy is it to set up? (I'm not really a techie)
    4. How do you do backup?
    5. Will I still be able to use the advanced search feature in the S/B server?
    6. How does it all wire up? Wired link to the computer and wirelessly to the S/B?

    Cheers for any help

    Howie

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by howie.stone View Post
    Hi everyone

    Right now I'm using a S/B classic with all my music files stored on an external Samsung 1.5 TB Hard drive, with the S/B server running on my desktop computer. I'm thinking of changing to a NAS. But I have some basic questions.

    I. Is it a good idea?
    2. Which brand (I can see there's an old thread which recommends Vortexbox)
    3. How easy is it to set up? (I'm not really a techie)
    4. How do you do backup?
    5. Will I still be able to use the advanced search feature in the S/B server?
    6. How does it all wire up? Wired link to the computer and wirelessly to the S/B?

    Cheers for any help

    Howie
    1. maybe, if powerful enough and can easily run SbS
    2. I love my vortexbox and I have a readynas duo that cost more and is basically useless for the purpose I bought it for.
    3. Vortexbox is plug and play. from unpacking the box, I was up and running in less than 10 minutes. Took longer to then scan all my music files, but truly plug and play.
    4. Vortexbox has a USB backup procedure. just plug in an external USB drive to vortexbox and hit "backup" on the web interface for the vortexbox. Or, since it shows up as a drive on my local network, I can plug a usb drive into my laptop and use windows file explorer to copy files from the vortexbox to the usb drive connected to my laptop.
    5. yes.
    6. connect NAS (vortexbox) to your router with ethernet cable. Then your router can talk to your SB players via WIFI (or ethernet if you want to wire the SB players).

    First, keep in mind that a NAS is a computer, just one without a keyboard or monitor. Usually running some sort of linux OS. Use the search function on the third party forums and you'll find lots of info. There are lots of types of NAS units. The key is that many (most?) of them are very underpowered for running SbS. I have a ReadyNas DUO. It plays just fine, but was painful to use in terms of browsing artists, selecting songs, etc. (about a 60,000 track library). There are more powerful ReadyNas units. Key is you really need an x86 processor to be powerful enough.

    A NAS plugs into your router with an ethernet cable and then becomes available on your local network. You can copy files there are stream from your NAS, etc.

    In my case, I abandoned using the ReadyNas for my SB stuff and purchased a Vortexbox Appliance. It is plug and play, is fast, and goes for months and months without so much the need for a reboot. Stick it anywhere in your house (closet, basement) where you can connect it to your router with ethernet and you'll be up and running in minutes. And although not really advertised as such, it does everything a NAS does. I store other files (documents, folders) on my vortexbox and these files are available to all users on my local network.

  3. #3

    Vortexbox not 100% plug and play for everyone

    yes, it is supposed to be, and for some (many) it may be.

    But in the end, it is Linux, and a very specific version of Linux without the full GUI most distros of Linux have today. So if you have any issues you start needing to use Putty to login and write command line code.

    I switched over my WHS system to Vortexbox OS about a week ago, intalling the VB OS on a brand new HD. Had several issues with SBS not working correctly, and the backup function not working. (obviously if you buy a VB appliance with everything pre-installed, you are unlikely to have these problems).

    All the issues were resolved, with reinstalls/updates, help from the VB forum, and some logins and code writing with Putty. Definitely not for the true novice. If it works great for you, I'm happy. But just take a brief stroll through the VB forum and you'll see all the answers that say, "logon to your VB server (putty) and use the following code..."

    And just as a side comment, Logitech support doesn't support installs of SBS on Linux boxes (even though SBS works fine on it). They politely told me so and refused to help when my VB had a problem with some of the functionality of the SBS not working.

    BTW, now that I have everything working, I'm happy with VB and plan to keep using it.

    The SBS web interface and my Touch work just as they did with SBS on Windows. No difference in performance or features.
    Last edited by firedog; 2011-06-27 at 05:19.
    GIK Acoustics Room Treatments. Isol Line conditioner/protection. iFi AC iPurifiers>CAPS4 Pipeline w/Sonore PS >Kii Control>Kii Three speakers.iFi iOne+ Schiit Freya Pre for analog. An SB Touch, Duet Controller, a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator in additional rooms.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by firedog View Post
    yes, it is supposed to be, and for some (many) it may be.
    point taken. And I do read the vortexbox forums as well so I know what you're talking about. I suspect the Vortexbox appliance (purchased with Vortexbox installed, etc.) is a bit more plug and play than installing Vortexbox ISO on an existing machine, but I agree that if things go wrong, you're in linux world (which for windows users like me can be a mystery). But to be fair, about the only officially supported NAS for SbS is ReadyNas, and I've seen even more forum requests for help here (and at readynas forums) than I have for vortexbox.

    I've had a lot of good luck with my various players and network setup. When this stuff works it is really nice. But when something in the system doesn't work (whether it be the network, the players, the software), it is a pain to be sure.

  5. #5
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    I'm starting to think that this is a bad idea. IT which is tricky when problems arise sounds like a no go area for me. Problems are inevitably going to come up.

    Howie.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    158
    Or you could try something like a Synology NAS, for example the DS111. If you look at the download page of the product, they have a package available for squeezebox. So it's not that difficult to set everything up. It has a graphical interface, so (normally) you don't need to do any terminal commands.

    For the record, I do not have such a NAS. I have a SheevaPlug, which you need to custom install, do difficult things, etc., so I would not recommend that to user without any Linux knowledge. It has a slower processor than this NAS (1.2 vs. 1.6 GHz), but more RAM (512 vs. 256MB). I have a library of about 6000 tracks, and am quite content with the speed.

  7. #7
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    I have a QNAP TS-110, which was about the cheapest NAS that I could locate that looked like it would host the SB server. There were instructions on the QNAP site on how to install the SSOTS software and the SB server. I wouldn't say it is for the novice, but then again, I know absolutely nothing about Linux and was able to muddle my way through without any major issues.
    The NAS has been running about a year now with no issues. It does (very occasionaly) have a startup issue (it starts playing, then stops for a moment while "rebuffering" and then continues) but only rarely. And only when playing 24/96 high resolution FLAC. So it may be wise to go with a slightly more powerful NAS than the TS-110 if you intend to do hi-res.
    The Vortexbox or any small (Atom) based computer might be an easier way to go, but I went with the NAS and it has been good.
    As far as backup, I use my desktop computer for all ripping, and I keep a copy of all my music on the desktop. I then copy them over to the NAS for playing. So I have two copies (on two different systems) of all of my music.
    I use a wireless connection to my Touch. The NAS connectes (wired) to a wireless router that connects to the Touch.

    Terry

  8. #8
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    What are the advantages over an external hard drive?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by howie.stone View Post
    What are the advantages over an external hard drive?
    A NAS runs it own OS, so it isn't dependent on a computer. A typical NAS with 2 or more hard drives can also run the drives in a RAID configuration for increased reliability (and/or disk performance). A typical NAS also uses less power than a typical computer, but YMMV.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by howie.stone View Post
    Hi everyone

    Right now I'm using a S/B classic with all my music files stored on an external Samsung 1.5 TB Hard drive, with the S/B server running on my desktop computer. I'm thinking of changing to a NAS. But I have some basic questions.

    I. Is it a good idea?
    2. Which brand (I can see there's an old thread which recommends Vortexbox)
    3. How easy is it to set up? (I'm not really a techie)
    4. How do you do backup?
    5. Will I still be able to use the advanced search feature in the S/B server?
    6. How does it all wire up? Wired link to the computer and wirelessly to the S/B?

    Cheers for any help

    Howie
    Unless you have a curiosity to learn something new, or have endless time to spend to fix broken things you don't understand or have experience with, I'm not sure why you would consider running SBS on anything besides a Win or Mac machine.

    If you're looking to reduce power consumption, there are lots of cheap, low power Win PCs that are pretty hard to beat. Also, you can turn it off or put it to sleep when not in use. "Off" is a pretty low power drain.

    A lot of the techies in the community have had fun spending hours/days to get the software to run on new hardware platforms (like NAS devices and plugs) but those approaches seem unsuitable for the general population who would rather spend that same time listening to music or doing something else.

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