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Recommended external Hard Drives using MacMini as music serv

 
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acarroll
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:05 pm    Post subject: Recommended external Hard Drives using MacMini as music serv Reply with quote

I appreciate all responses to questions I and others submit. You guys are a great group of knowledgeable and informative people. With that being said, another couple of questions. What is the recommended 1TB external hard drive recommended for a MacMini being solely used as a music storage unit ? And which connection is recommended - USB or FireWire 400 ? The plan is to purchase two hard drives - one as primary, and one as back-up. And which software program would do best for backing-up to the second drive ? Any and all feedback/recommendations is greatly appreciated.
Thanks
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devo
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would think about buying that Guardian Maximus drive from Newertech.

http://www.newertech.com/products/gmax.php

I don't think you need FW for music, but it has FW 800/400 and USB. It also does RAID 1 (Mirrored) with auto rebuilds if one of the drives should fail. The prices aren't that bad either. You can even pick up a barebones kit and add your own drives.

The dual drive MyBooks would be another one to look at. I think they might even go for a little less money.

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/index.asp?cat=8
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Coldfire
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If this suggestion does not put a spanner in the works, see if a network attached storage (NAS) meets your needs.

The connection is ethernet and the NAS can be hooked up to your router (wireless or not). Many NAS boxes also double as a iTunes server as well as being a RAID-1 storage, meaning your music gets guarded against HDD failures. Throughput-wise, there will not be a problem since the required bit rate for music is low.

THe one I use is D-link DNS323. More information can be found here.
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jwray
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought one of those Guardian Maximus drives when I was setting my system up and ended up returning it. It was too loud to sit in my living room as part of a home theatre set up. Not sure if that's a factor for you.

I ended up with the WD, specifically this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-WDH2Q20000N-Studio-Interface/dp/B0016P7H3Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1239582696&sr=1-1

Basically 2 1T drives that can be set up as RAID 0 or 1. No fan, so it is very quiet. I basically never hear it.

Jonny

devo wrote:
I would think about buying that Guardian Maximus drive from Newertech.

http://www.newertech.com/products/gmax.php

I don't think you need FW for music, but it has FW 800/400 and USB. It also does RAID 1 (Mirrored) with auto rebuilds if one of the drives should fail. The prices aren't that bad either. You can even pick up a barebones kit and add your own drives.

The dual drive MyBooks would be another one to look at. I think they might even go for a little less money.

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/index.asp?cat=8
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought one of the WD My Studio 500GB drive and used it as a time machine / backup drive. I was never 100% comfortable with it, it just seemed to have a mind of its own sometimes, refusing to turn off etc. Recently my iMac became very unstable, which always followed running a TM backup or using the WD.

After taking it off the system I haven't had any problems with crashing. I did reinstall Leopard though, so I still had the doubt it might not have been the WD drive. I plugged it back in and let it update its TM backup which worked ok. Yesterday I turned it on to do another TM session, I do them weekly usually on a Sunday. The WD is turned off most of the time other than when doing a weekly TM session. Yesterday the drive just wouldn't come on. I can here the drive spinning up and its definitely getting power to it but the lights don't come on any more.

I'd never trusted this drive since the minute I bought it 14 months ago, and I'm not surprised in the least that its failed. Its probably only been turned on for around 60 days (~120 hours of use), in over a year. As soon as the TM backup had completed I would turn it back off as I found it slightly noisy next to my iMac. I wouldn't say it was loud it was more a low vibration that just annoyed me, the light on the front was also very distracting so other than when I did my weekly TM backups I usually left it switched off.

I definitely wouldn't recommend this drive. I probably bought a lemon, but I wouldn't risk it again.

Last Christmas I did buy another drive to use as a media drive. I immediately dismissed the WD's and after looking at other options I eventually went for Freecom Hard Drive Pro USB 2 & FireWire 400/800 drive. I haven't been disappointed in this one. This drive has been brilliant I use it constantly, its been much more stable and reliable than the WD ever was. I'm probably going to buy another to replace the failed WD.
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devo
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't actually own one jwray, so that's good to know. Noise levels are always a factor for me. I've ended up ripping many of fans out. Take the MiniStack for example....

It sounds like you guys are mixed then on the WD MyBooks.

So what other dual-drive enclosures are out there these days? A Drobo would be sweet, but they are up there a bit in price.

Hey now Cypher, that Freecom is pretty sharp looking! Cool
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jwray
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I'm bothered by drive noise at the best of times so going into a HTPC setup, noise was even more critical. My initial thought when setting my system up was a Drobo but in the end I couldn't justify the cost, and I wasn't sure about the noise again. If I could dedicate a room/closest to servers I guess it wouldn't matter eh?

I've been very happy with my WD. Running constantly for the 2-3 months, totally silent, no heat issues and it has hardware RAID 1. Basically everything I needed; I'd get another in a heart beat. It's funny with drives though, there does seem to be a large lemon factor out there. My last drive before the WD, a LaCie, was awful but nothing but good reviews out there. I just got a lemon I reckon.

Jonny

devo wrote:
I don't actually own one jwray, so that's good to know. Noise levels are always a factor for me. I've ended up ripping many of fans out. Take the MiniStack for example....

It sounds like you guys are mixed then on the WD MyBooks.

So what other dual-drive enclosures are out there these days? A Drobo would be sweet, but they are up there a bit in price.

Hey now Cypher, that Freecom is pretty sharp looking! Cool
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MoL
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've bought a WD 500GB, the My Passport Essential model, powered by usb.
No noise, no power supply, can be moved easily ... and correct price.
Bought on Amazon (yes, they don't sell only books and music Smile


Edit : i'm moving my ripped dvds on this hdd, and i don't ear anything, no noise, better than my previous hdd Smile
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Last edited by MoL on Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mdgm
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coldfire wrote:
If this suggestion does not put a spanner in the works, see if a network attached storage (NAS) meets your needs.

The connection is ethernet and the NAS can be hooked up to your router (wireless or not). Many NAS boxes also double as a iTunes server as well as being a RAID-1 storage, meaning your music gets guarded against HDD failures. Throughput-wise, there will not be a problem since the required bit rate for music is low.

THe one I use is D-link DNS323. More information can be found here.


I use a NAS as well mine is a ReadyNas NV+ hooked up to my new AEBS with 802.11n.

I can play video files over a wireless connection. You shouldn't have a problem playing back audio at all from a NAS. The great thing about using a NAS is that it can share the music with all other computers on your network as well if you wish or you can password protect it so that only those you want to can listen. Bear in mind that DRM Music won't work on the iTunes Server on a NAS. If using the NAS route I would keep the DRM Music on the mac mini and back it up to the NAS. The rest of the music can stay on the iTunes server.
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Bobaloo
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a 1.5TB Seagate FreeAgent Desk which was configured for Windows. I reformatted it and that is where I keep all of my movies and music. No noise problems. I also have another 500mb FreeAgent that I use to do my conversions.
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ghostdawg
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just bought an internal WD 640gb hard drive last week and slapped it inside a cheap Bulldog brand USB enclosure for movies & music. I must say, I don't hear anything coming from it. Only issue it have is the power, read/write light is large and bright.
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krugorg
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 6:01 pm    Post subject: budget? Reply with quote

Not sure what your budget is, but if you want silent I would recommend a fanless enclosure with a Caviar Green hard drive. I picked up a OWC Mercury Elite-AL enclosure of Other World Computing. It has USB, Firewire 400/800 and eSATA connections. $89 for the quad interface and less for USB or Firewire400. I am using the Firewire 800 with my new mini. The enclosure is well thought out... nice aluminum with rubber bushings where the hard drive screws are mounted. It is as silent as you can get IMO. The only noise you would hear would be the actual hard drive. I decided to go with the WD Caviar Green 1TB and it is black-hole quiet...

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/MEFW924AL1K/
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