San Jose, CA – March 28, 2013 – Drobo, makers of award-winning data storage products for businesses and professionals, today announced a new software application platform that enables enhanced mobile and cloud-connect capabilities for Drobo 5N customers. The first two applications to be integrated include Copy™, a cloud-based file storage, syncing and sharing platform where users can easily store, protect and share data, and Plex, the industry’s leading media server for managing and serving digital media (video, music and photos) to nearly any device (TV, PC, or mobile). Plex is quickly becoming the default media ecosystem for Google TVs, smart TVs, set-top boxes (STBs), game consoles, DLNA-enabled devices, Roku, home theater PCs, and mobile devices that run iOS, Android, and Windows mobile operating systems. I think I’m still all for devices such as an old PC which would get thrown out, and chucking a load of decent eco hard drives in, and then install FreeNas or Nas4Free (what ever its called now). Have you ever wanted to create a file server to link multiple TVs and to store all photos, movies, and videos into a centralized file server? In this complete guide, I will cover the steps needed to setup your own Network Attached Storage (NAS server) to store all your media files in a home cloud. Free Bonus: Download a free checklist that will show you how to quickly determine if you need a NAS and how you can copy and sync files to NAS and share them to other devices.
It is useful to think of your home theater as a modular setup with a separate front-end and back-end. If you plan on using back-end applications like Plex Media Server to store and transcode your media on the fly, then I would recommend that you build a media server yourself as it is going to be the most cost effective approach.
DIY media server will do all the heavy lifting such as recording live TV, scraping metadata, and transcoding video files and online video streams. I use my Windows 10-based value HTPC as a media server to record, store, and stream all media files with Argus TV, MCEBuddy and Plex software. NAS (Network Attached Storage) is an abbreviation of the term network attached storage, which is a file server that can be accessed over a home network as opposed to a single computer access. In other words, a NAS server allows you to share media files between several computers and portable entertainment devices. To make sure I have reliable backups for the most important files such as my documents and photos, I use a Synology Network Attached storage with hard drives mirroring all files to both hard drives all the time. Then, I map network folders from the Synology NAS to my computers to access all documents and photos. Fortunately, my NAS has a RAID 1 feature, which means that it is mirroring data between two hard disks all the time. Finally, you can extend your media experience to other rooms by adding Digital Media Receivers (DMR) such as Amazon Fire TV, Roku streaming player, Apple TV or Raspberry Pi. These affordable media streamers are particularly good as secondary devices, for example, in your kids’ room or bedroom. I also often take my Raspberry Pi 2 with me when traveling to holidays so that my family can enjoy watching movies and recorded TV shows even when we are on the road.
Keep in mind that you do not need to buy everything immediately, but you can add new modules later over time.
After trying a network hard drive with my old Ethernet router I realized that both wireless and 100MB Ethernet felt quite sluggish especially if I wanted to work with HD video and Blu-ray files. After buying a new gigabit router, the network hard drive read and write speed felt about the same as using my computer’s own internal hard drive.
So, upgrading your home network to 1000MB Ethernet really makes a difference, particularly as gigabit routers are not so expensive anymore. Make sure to connect the gigabit router with the Cat6 Network Ethernet Cable to your HTPC to make sure you will benefit from the high transfer speeds.
There are several sharing NAS devices available in the market with different speeds and set of features. I have been using Synology DiskStation 2-Bay Network Attached Storage for years (latest model is DS215j), but if you think your media library will grow significantly in the future, I would suggest you start off with a 4-bay model such as Synology DS414j so you can grow into it even if you only start off with two drives.
Synology is quite expensive and might feel difficult to use for networking beginners, but it offers excellent throughput speed and nearly all the features you could ever need from a network hard drive. One simple, but important feature that many external hard drives do not have is that Synology shuts down the hard drives after a certain period of inactivity. Lacking this functionality can be very annoying with external hard drives as you will need to turn them on separately when you need to access data.
If you would like to add more hard drives in the future, you should check out the Synology DiskStation DS414j 4-Bay Storage Array. Remember that most of the time the NAS servers do not include hard drives, so you need to buy them separately.
A couple of years ago I replaced my old Seagate 1 TB hard drives with Western Digital 2 TB Caviar Green hard drives as one of the Seagate HDDs failed. WD Red drives cost slightly more compared to WD Green drives, and WD Red drives have a 1 year longer warranty (3 years) compared to WD Green drives (2 years). I’ve had WD Green hard drives running constantly for the past 3 years without any issues. Both options are fine, but if you are tight on your budget you should choose WD Green drives, but otherwise WD Red drives might be a better option for you. Hard drive size also depends on your needs and budget, so choose any size between 2TB – 6TB. Buying two or more hard drives can feel a little costly, but remember that losing your data will be extremely costly. You just need to unscrew a couple of screws, connect the power cable and SATA cable, and then put the screws back in place.
Synology has made mapping a hard drive very easy on Windows machines with their Synology Assistant software. Storage Manager allows you to manage your hard disks and storage spaces, expand your storage capacity or create resilient data volumes. RAID 0 allows you to have the maximum amount of storage, but you will not have a backup of the data if one of your HDDs fails. RAID 1 allows you to mirror data between two hard drives, so if one HDD fails, you still have the data secured on the other drive. In my 2-bay server, I use the RAID 1 level as it provides much greater security compared to the RAID 0 even if I lose 2 TB of storage.
In the Synology Disk Manager, shared folders are directories where you can store and manage media files and folders. After you have formatted the volume, it is time to create the folder structure and set user access rights to the folders. The additional folders include Backup and Documents folders for my desktop computer and Web folder for my Web server (local website development e.g.
When I moved my media library to a NAS server, I spend some time in planning on how my media library would look like on the network hard drive. I’m using iTunes to organize my music collection and I wanted to make sure that it would update files automatically to the network drive. If you are a serious music collector, then you should definitely check out a software called MediaMonkey. I use Google Picasa to manage photos from my DSLR camera, so I changed the default folder as the one in the network storage.
If you want to sync mobile photos to NAS server, I would recommend using an app called PhotoSync on your iPhone or Android device. In the WebDAV settings menu, set your NAS server’s IP address, WebDAV post number and login name and password. The great thing about PhotoSync app is that you can also transfer photos and videos from your DSLR Camera to your NAS if you use Toshiba Flashair or Transcend Wi-Fi SD Card. It is better to have as flat of a video folder structure as possible (of course depending on the size of the collection). Children’s videos and TV recordings have subfolders for each TV show so that it is easy to store all the episodes of a TV show into one folder. Movies are categorized into two subfolders: HD (High Definition = Blu-ray quality) and SD (Standard Definition = DVD quality). Once you have copied all the files to the NAS drive, it is time to configure the server with the media center software.
There are three main sharing protocols you can use to stream media files from the NAS: NFS (Network File System), SMB (Windows File Sharing, Server Message Block) or UPnP (Universal Plug and Play). Many people are asking which one to choose and my recommendation is to use NFS as it is much faster especially when using lower performance front-end HTPC devices.
If you are using a fast computer over Gigabit Ethernet home network, you will probably not notice any difference between SMB and NFS. However, if you are using a slower HTPC such as Raspberry Pi or wireless network connection, I would strongly recommend using NFS sharing protocol.
Depending on the size of your media library, it will take a while to scanning for new content. Having a separate Synology NAS server, media server and front-end media streaming devices allows me to have more flexibility and reliability.


Sure, it costs a bit more to set up this kind of home media system, but if you are doing HTPC as a hobby, this may be a good solution for you.
I made a free NAS checklist for you that will help you to find out what you need to know before buying your first NAS server. I wanted to make it easy for you, so I’ve built and tested each of these four builds myself.
Today Plex made good on its promise to open up its Plex for Chromecast app to everyone, including those who are not PlexPass subscribers.
When it comes to technology, the word a€?servera€? might bring to mind, for some, a warehouse-sized room not unlike the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but with fewer crates and more racks of computers.
Ia€™ve also taken the somewhat more complex step of setting up OS X Server to host a Virtual Private Network (VPN)a€”essentially an encrypted tunnel that lets me securely route my data and my Internet connection back through my home network.
Screens lets you store connections to multiple computers, and can even provide a screenshot of their last known state. Sometimes I want to check on an app thata€™s running on one of my computers, and for that I turn to the invaluable Screens by Edovia. My non-iTunes content, mostly video, is stored in Plex, a home media server with apps for the Mac, iOS, Apple TV, and a few of those other platforms, too. With three Macs in the house (server included), it can be a pain trying to make sure that files dona€™t get lost in the shuffle. In truth, I could stand to be more vigilant about making sure that I shuttle files onto the mini more regularly. In many cases, a lot of these server-based technologies are being obviated by services that run in the cloud and handle common tasks like file storage or streaming media.
Dan has been writing about all things Apple since 2006, when he first started contributing to the MacUser blog.
If you have a large media collection, you may want to use a Mac as a dedicated device to run Plex.
With the arrival of the fourth-generation Apple TV, I found myself trying out the Plex media server, and I realized that using Plex is one of the best ways to watch media on the Apple TV. You can install the Plex server software on a variety of devices: your Mac, a PC, a NAS (network attached storage device), and more.
Ita€™s advantageous that Plexa€™s server be always on, so you can start watching your movies and TV shows without having to boot your Mac. In this article, Ia€™m going to tell you how you can set up a Mac mini as a dedicated Plex server. No matter what, make sure that you have a second drive to back up your movies, unless youa€™re keeping copies on another computer. My Mac mini runs OS X Server ($20, or free with a paid Apple developer account), which allows me to use it for such things as caching software updates, and storing Time Machine backups of other Macs.
When you initially set up the Mac mini, you need a display, keyboard, and mouse, but youa€™ll be setting it up so that you wona€™t needs these items later. After you configure the Sharing settings, the Mac mini doesna€™t need a display; you can manage it remotely from any Mac.
Ia€™d recommend getting a video display emulator, or the $3 Resolutionator, so you can switch resolutions, making it easier to work with the device.
Once youa€™ve got your Mac mini set up, you need to download and install Plex, and read their Quick Start guide to get things up and running. Your Mac mini with Plex can not only serve videos to your home entertainment systema€”or to other devices in your housea€”but if you buy a Plex Pass ($5 a month, $40 a year, or $150 for a lifetime subscription) you get early access to new Plex features, Mobile Sync, Cloud Sync, Camera Upload and a lot more.
While it may sound daunting to set up a media server, with a simple Mac mini, Plex, and a couple of hard drives, you can do so quickly and easily.
Plex project has been initially started as a hobby project, and later it is converted as a Commercial software.
Plex Home Theater, formerly known as Plex Media Center, is the main front-end component of Plex, which is used to manage and play video, photos, music, and podcasts from a local or remote computer running Plex Media Server. Plex Media Server is the back-end media server component of Plex, which is used to host the content and plugins that are then streamed to Plex Home Theater and Plex mobile app clients, either on the same machine, the same local area network, or over the Internet. Head over to the Official Plex download page and get the latest version depending upon your distribution you’re using. As you see in the above screenshot, the movie is playing on the Plex media server(localhost) itself. What’s up, yeah this piece of writing is in fact fastidious and I have learned lot of things from it regarding blogging. The online media management and streaming service Plex will bring an official app to Microsoft’s Xbox One and Xbox 360 consoles. The service provides a slick user interface for all of your music, videos, and photographs, whether stored on a home server, cloud-based app, or some combination thereof. The arrival on Xbox marks a natural, full circle for the service, which was originally based on the open source code of XBMC, a homebrew media center application that started on Xbox (the first one) before expanding to other platforms.The developers have also taken a page from Netflix and other streaming services by adding in suggested viewing features based on your tastes and habits. The move to consoles has brought with it a new interface approach that might make its way to Plex’s other platforms.
Das Western Digital My Cloud EX2 Ultra ist ein so genanntes Network Attached Storage (NAS). Wer das System selbst mit Festplatten bestucken will, kann man auch nur das reine NAS-System ohne verbauten Speicher erwerben.
Das WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra ist ein recht unscheinbarer Kasten, nicht allzu gro?, aber dank der verbauten Festplatten durchaus recht schwer. Sicher, um die Vorteile der WD My Cloud nutzen zu konnen, muss man erst einmal ein wenig Geld investieren. Die My Cloud EX2 Ultra von Western Digital ist in den Konfigurationen mit 4, 8, 12, 16 TB Speicher oder auch ohne vorverbaute Festplatten ab rund 170 Euro verfugbar.
Mich wurden die Ubertragungsraten interessieren, da bei meiner alten MyCloud das bespielen der Platte sehr langsam war. In addition, Plex can extend the media experience across all of these devices with features like web video queuing, recommendations, PlexSync (which enables taking content with you on your mobile device) and more. It is also a much more affordable solution than buying a powerful commercial NAS server as a media server. Then, I use Plexbmc Kodi add-on on my living room and bedroom HTPCs to access all recorded TV shows from my media server (running Plex). I’ve also added photos folder from the Synology NAS to my Plex Media Server so that I can view photos as seamlessly as other media files such as recorded TV on other devices. A couple of years ago my Synology NAS server turned into a degraded mode and I lost all the files inside one of the two hard drives. Therefore, for me, the failed HDD was not an issue, as I simply needed to replace the failed HDD with a new one without any interruption to the availability of the files on the NAS server.
This incident reinforced the importance to have at least two hard drives mirroring the data all the time.
However, WD Red drives may provide better reliability in the NAS environment, and you will get an extra one year warranty.
This is particularly useful for beginners who do not know how to map network drives in Windows. RAID storage technology allows you to combine multiple hard drives together by distributing the data across multiple disks. For example, if you have two 2 TB drives, the total array size is 4TB and you will have 3.72 TB of usable storage. However, if you have two 2 TB drives, your total array size is only 2 TB, and you will have will have 1.86 TB of usable storage. It is very popular RAID level as it has relatively good performance level and it will work fine even if one hard drive fails in the array. So I deleted the old iTunes music library and imported a new library from the network storage. MediaMonkey will help you automatically organize and rename files on your hard drive into a logical hierarchy based on attributes such as artist, album, track title and track number.
You can do the following steps in most popular media centers such as Kodi, Windows Media Center, Plex, Emby and Media Portal. The most practical way of achieving this is with a NAS server such as the Synology DiskStation.
Plex has been available for the Chromecast since the end of 2013, but has been limited to those who subscribe to the companies premium subscription called PlexPass.
Sure, it can get more complex than that, but it can also be a fairly simple and invaluable tool. When Ia€™m away from the house, or on a business trip or vacation, this means I can not only access the data on my home machines, but even see and control them.
Most basic is the Secure Shell (SSH) command line interface (OS X calls it a€?Remote Logina€? in the Sharing system preferences pane) and its associated Secure FTP (SFTP) file transfer service.


In some cases it might be slow, but it does help protect my data when Ia€™m using a spurious Wi-Fi network.
If you know your way around a little firewall trickery, you can use OS Xa€™s built-in screen sharing to the same effect.
Thata€™s where I archive all my documents, store the downloaded copies of my iTunes and Photo libraries, and keep any other data thata€™s not in the cloud. Since I do most of my day-to-day work on the iMac, I generally only remember to move files from there every once in a while. Cloud services are just finea€”I use plenty of thema€”but in some cases, theya€™re simply not the right fit. Since then he's covered most of the company's major product releases and reviewed every major revision of iOS. We give you the scoop on what's new, what's best and how to make the most out of the products you love. You can, of course, use that Mac mini for other things, such as using it as a file server, or for Time Machine backups.
Its small form factor and quiet operation makes it easy to integrate into a home entertainment system or use as a server stashed away in a corner. Ia€™m running a 2011 Mac mini that I tricked out with the fastest available processor when I bought it.
If you buy a current build-to-order Mac mini, you can get a 2TB drive in the most expensive model, but that would cost you $1100. For about the same price, you can get a 3TB USB 3 WD My Passport portable hard drive (or a 2TB model for less than $100). Just find it in the Shared section of the Finder window sidebar, and click Share Screen to start screen sharing. Since youa€™ll need to access the Mac mini in this way from time to time, create a screen sharing alias.
On your Apple TVa€”and any iOS devices you want to usea€”you also need to install the Plex app to be able to interact with the server.
The Mac mini is a low-power, quiet device, which you could put just about anywhere in your home, as long as it has access to your Wi-Fi network. It is much better to store all the media files in a centralized location, so we can access the media files from your phone, PC or any other devices from anywhere. In addition, the integrated Plex Online service provides the user with a growing list of community-driven plugins for online content including Hulu, Netflix, and CNN video.
The recommended hardware requirements to setup a standalone Plex media server is given below. The app will be available for free starting on October 7 for Plex Pass members (or for a one-time fee for non-members) on Xbox One, and shortly thereafter on Xbox 360.
Currently Plex has apps for Chromecast and Roku, but this will mark the first version that’s native to a gaming console, making it even easier to get your Plex-organized content onto your television.
In line with the Xbox interface guidelines, the home screen features a horizontal scrolling design familiar to anyone who has used Xbox Live.
Das bedeutet: Man schlie?t einen kleinen Kasten an den eigenen Router an und kann dann uber das Heimnetzwerk oder per Internet uberall auf die darauf gespeicherten Daten zugreifen. Ein 1,3-Ghz-Dual-Core-Prozessor und 1 GB RAM im Inneren sorgen beim Streamen von Musik, Bildern und Videos fur genug Leistung.
Fur den Fall, dass euch die vorhandenen Moglichkeiten nicht ausreichen, bietet Western Digital die Moglichkeit, zusatzliche Apps zu installieren. Plex’s user interface has been hailed as the easiest and most intuitive in the industry by reviewers and its several million users worldwide. If you have five 2 TB drives, your total array size is 8 TB, and you will have 7.45 TB of usable storage. The month categorization is used for general and family photos while the genre categorization is used for highlighting the best photos in genres such as nature, landscape, close-ups and so on. Today's announcement means that anyone can cast media straight from the Plex for Android or Plex for iOS applications as well as from their Mac or PC using the Plex web app. It also lets me access some types of media that iTunes doesna€™t store in the cloud by default, such as audiobooks. The one major advantage to running your own server is that you have control over everything, from soup to nuts. The current model, starting at $499, includes Thunderbolt and USB 3 connections, and while it doesna€™t have the largest (or fastest) hard drive, its 500GB might be enough for your media collection. The 2.7GHz Core i7 is fast enough to transcode video and handle several other tasks at the same time. These drives are compact, and only need to be plugged into a USB port; no power cables are needed.
You can point, click, and type in the Screen Sharing window, just as you would on a normal display. Read this article to learn how to name your files, so Plex can find metadata efficiently, and then copy your movies and TV series to the Mac mini, or to its external hard drive.
Just get the Plex app for your Apple TVa€”or iPad, PlayStation, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, or many smart TVsa€”and youa€™ll be able to easily watch all your videos (that dona€™t have DRM). You can add as many sections as you want, and you can have multiple sections with the same type. You can browse and install these channels from the Channel Directory, but get started by installing some featured channels. The new Xbox apps are focused only on video currently, but the developers promise to integrate photos and music soon. Voice and gesture controls through the Kinect have been integrated for ease of use from the couch. Das Interface ist komfortabel aufgebaut und zeigt beispielsweise Fotos direkt als Galerie an.
Damit konnt ihr die My Cloud EX2 Ultra mit anderen Clouddiensten wie Dropbox koppeln oder zum Plex Media Server wandeln. Fur Flexibilitat sorgen die zahlreichen nachrustbaren Apps: Vom Plex-Medienserver uber den eMule-Client bis zum WordPress-Blog lasst sich die eigenen Cloud fur zahlreiche Zwecke nutzen und erweitern.
That can have its downsides tooa€”when something goes wrong, youa€™re usually the one who has to fix ita€”but sometimes therea€™s just no substitute for doing it yourself. Plex doesna€™t need a lot of horsepower to manage and stream your media, unless it transcodes video. With these portable hard drives, ita€™s a lot easier to transfer lots of data from another Mac; instead of transferring files over your Wi-Fi network, you can plug one of the drives into another Mac to copy movies youa€™ve ripped. Then create one or more libraries in Plexa€™s settings, which you access in your web browser.
All you need to have is the IP address of the Plex media server and a modern web browser with Flash player installed.
Gleichzeitig konnt ihr dort auch die Daten eurer PCs, Notebooks, Tablets und Smartphones sichern. Wer sich gegen Festplattenausfall absichern will, kann seine Daten per RAID 1 auch auf beiden verbauten Platten parallel sichern – damit halbiert sich jedoch die Speicherkapazitat.
Aber auch uber die My-Cloud-App am Smartphone oder als Freigabe direkt im Heimnetzwerk uber den Windows-Explorer oder Mac-Finder ist komfortabler Zugriff moglich. Praktisch ist auch die Moglichkeit, aus der Ferne Downloads per HTTP, FTP und andere Protokolle zu starten. This positions the service to move into the personal cloud storage arena as well, making Plex Media Server a multi-position home storage solution the entire family can utilize. For $699, you get a Mac mini with a 2.6GHz processor and 1TB hard drive, which will handle most peoplea€™s media collections. This will turn on Remote Management so you can manage the Mac mini from any other Mac on the network. Sofort konnen Daten im eigenen oder offentlichen Ordner abgelegt, angesehen und auch heruntergeladen werden.
Uber die Software und entsprechende Mobil-Apps von Western Digital konnen Dateien automatisch mit der WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra synchronisiert und gesichert werden.
Aber auch als Backup-Server macht die WD My Cloud eine gute Figur: So ist das NAS Time-Machine-kompatibel, fur Windows gibt es die Datensicherungs-Software WD SmartWare. In the a€?Allow access fora€? window, you can specify which users can have remote access, or you can select a€?All users.a€? Click the Options button and check the boxes for Observe and Control. Praktisch ist zum Beispiel die in den Apps integrierte automatische Sicherungsfunktion von mit dem Handy aufgenommene Videos und Fotos auf dem NAS.




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Comments

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