leenorris78

Do I really near a Synology NAS?

59 posts in this topic

Agree with much said here. I sell data storage including enterprise NAS for a living. Done so for 25 years. My own network has evolved from basic PC playing music, to supporting family of 5s IT reqs, and my music first and foremost.

This is a long post, but I hope useful to some.

raid is really not relevant for back up. And if ever you have had misfortune to have had to rebuild one of a failed mirrored or stripped set, you will know, and probably never wish to do the same again. Any corruptions, malicious code, conflict etc, will be mirrored. As such it offers no data protection, it's more about continuos access. I see it as an unessessary expense in the home.

synology kit is nice for SOHO use but not vital for home music streaming, or even video streaming, if your budget doesn't stretch.

some home networking basic tenets

the key to successful NAs implementation is of course the network.

  • Insist on Gigabit wired end to end - NAS to router (gigabit), and on to PC. Wire every device that you can to your router, or (if you have lots) to a Gigabit switch then to the router. Use power line for remote parts. This will maximise transfer speeds amongst the traffic. Multiple HD video and 24bit music streams can run within gigabit pipes.
  • Assign every wired device a fixed IP address. If you dont know how to, then get someone who does. Pay a local geek a few £££ for an hour of his/her time. This basic will minimise ip conflicts, when (inevitably) router, NAS, devices etc need updating or rebooting. If you must use DHCP (and most do). Then you can still reserve ip addresses, but good advice on reboot, is to switch off every device, then switch on router first, then NAS, then the rest. This way things have less chance of dropping off network thru Having different address after reboot, to the one that any application may be looking for.
  • Wi Fi optimisation. If you have a gigabit wi fi router, then you probably also have a dual band wi fi service. The latest Virgin Superhub does, so does AirPort Extreme. Work out which devices you have which can operate on 2ghz and which ones 5ghz. Don't connect the 2ghz-only devices to the 5ghz, otherwise it will slow it all down. Setting separate SSIDs and passwords for each will help. 5gh great for streaming, 2 ghz has better range. If you have taken step of hard wiring as much as you can, your wi if performance should be optimal.
  • invest in home plus wi fi extenders to help your wi if. Assign these to the 2ghz SSID. Devolo plugs are great and it's easy to set up one big seamless wi fizone this way.

If you do these, your network will be as fast and robust as it can.

What Server to choose/managing Your Media

There seems confusion sometimes about what a server is. a dedicated headless box like a WHS, a NAS that runs applications as well as serving files; an old laptop running J river, LMS etc, are all 'servers'

  • You will have something constantly running on your network. So Make it quiet and discreet. Make it easy to manage ( that precludes Linux for me). Sleep modes look good on the box for energy saving, but are a mixed bag IME. I leave it all running unless we are away for atime, then it's a controlled complete system shutdown. (Opposite to boot up BTW- close devices, then servers/nas, then router.
  • dedicated media servers are still costly. Fanless, headless boxes costly too, and never seem to last as long as fan cooled devices. I ran Tranquil PC box faultlessly for 5 years then pop. Motherboard burned out.
  • an old PC netbook running in a cupboard, gigabit to router is all that's needed. Music is not a cup intensive application.
  • hD video need not be intensive cpu. Choose your application wisely.
  • Synology great, but so are other cheap nas boxes these days. They have far more powerful cpu than the cheapie so of 18 months ago, such is Moores Law.
  • The latest WD Mycloud boxes at £100 for 3tb on Amazonare perfect primary repositories for streaming. The Seagate boxes are similarly priced. If above networking tips are followed, these NAS can fly. Indexing can take some time, but initial transfer copy files is fast enough.
  • You can and should set up shared public folders and dedicated users accounts for your NAS.
  • Consider using multiple NAS boxes. I use two, one for MKV/divx video serving, and another for music and pictures. This minimises bottle necks and also adheres to principle of keeping large Video and small music files in separate repositories. Indexing is them more efficient as it multiple user accessing.
  • rather than mass drag and drop windows commands, consider using a file compare program for updates to libraries and initial transfers, plus backups. I use BeyondCompare from Scooter SW to sync and copy and also mirror to back up drives. 2TB of MKV films transfers quickest this way.

  • Backups, as often mentioned, using a sync program such as above, 3 copies, 3 different places, one off site is the mantra. Weekly if you can, RAID is not a back upfield you only mirror the bad stuff...

After Virgin Media finally yielded to my pressure for latest Superhub, and upgrading to 200mbs broadband, i just redid my home internal network set up with 2 WD my clouds NAS one 4TB for MKV video, one 3TB for music files. Both are running Twonky on NAS head. As I mentioned, I hate command line Linux, so I leave well alone. Secondary and tertiary copies of each are maintained incrementally on usb drives, one copy of each offsite, the others attached to PC for download, copy duties.

Media applications running:

Logictech Media Server running Spotify Premium and Qobuz Hi Fi

Squeezepad running LMS thru iPads onto AirPlay devices.

Shairport running AirPlay on PCs

iTunes (not used much)

Twonky on NAS for video MKV divx, some MP4

VLC media player - films on PCs

Air Video HD - streams MKV and Divx to IPads etc

Netflix 4k

Amazon Prime Video

Devices

2 Samsung Smart TVs Ethernet wired

5 PCs, one as media server (nothing flash) Ethernet (media server) and wi fi

3 squeezebox touches

1 squeezebox classic

1 B&W A7 wi if player

1 Airport Express to Audioengine A5s

5 iPads wifi

4 iPhones. Wi fi.

Network infrastructure

Virgin Superhub2

Apple AirPort Extreme

apple AirportExpress

Netgear 8 port gigabit switch

WD nas 3TB

WD nas 4TB

mulitiple USB hdds

devolo 1200 homeplugs

3 development 500 wi fi extenders.

That lot would have run a small bank 15 years ago.

As I type, as a test, I am running concurrently:

Wired:

- 1 MKV HD movie to Samsung from NAS

- Netflix 4k film to other Samsung from web

Qobuz flac stream to Squeezebox from web

- 24bit flac LMS stream to squeezebox from NAS

- 1 MKV movie VLC on PC from NAS

- R4 from LMS streamed from web

wireless

-1 MKV movie streamed Air Video HD to iPad from NAS

-Netflix Nina Simone doc to iPhone from web

-Radio Paradise 320 from web LMS thru squeezepad On iPad to B&W A7

That's a bit of network traffic. Not a buffer or a glitch.

So what? Aren't I clever?

My, ahem, somewhat lengthy point is that, when embarking on a NAS type adventure, get the end to end basics right and you can really scale out for multiple users, media and devices. It's a joy.

It can also be an utter nightmare of reboots, apps hanging, support calls, outages, if you are not starting from best place.

You don't need a Synology NAS. Nice kit though. But a £100 NAS, PC, Gigabit router are good place to start.

Thanks for reading.

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Super Wammer

I'm using an Odroid U3 with a large USB hard disk running Max2Play which is remarkably cheap, fanless, silent and rock solid stable. Very recommendable alternative to a Synology. Backups are held on my main PC and in my desk drawer at work.

These days, a conventional multi disk NAS is overkill for streaming

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  • Assign every wired device a fixed IP address. If you dont know how to, then get someone who does. Pay a local geek a few £££ for an hour of his/her time. This basic will minimise ip conflicts, when (inevitably) router, NAS, devices etc need updating or rebooting. If you must use DHCP (and most do). Then you can still reserve ip addresses, but good advice on reboot, is to switch off every device, then switch on router first, then NAS, then the rest. This way things have less chance of dropping off network thru Having different address after reboot, to the one that any application may be looking for.

Not keen on this advice. The NAS should have a reserved DHCP address, but you'll cause more address conflicts through human error and the need to maintain a record of client IP addresses than not. There's just no reason wired clients should run on fixed addresses and wireless clients like smartphones on router allocated DHCP. If there's a problem with DHCP, fix it, not the symptom.

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'Twas clumsy English on my part. I advocate using reservations on a constantly changing network. But static on a small and static network.

it can also gets frustrating for some on Virgin (net gear) hub, setting up reservations. For example took me a while to work out following, by which time static addresses was not more trouble.

<<<The virgin router is a bit odd with reserving IP addresses. I've found it easier to have your devices request a certain IP rather than get the router to give it what you want. On the virgin router you can't reserve an IP for a device if it's already on and attached to the router in someway. The device already exists in the reservation table, even if only temporarily, so you can't add it again or change its IP because it tries to duplicate the entry. You have to note the Mac address, then disconnect the device, then manually add to the reservation table with the desired IP then reconnect the device.>>

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Super Wammer

Two problems

Seems my Sky ethernet is 10/100Mbps. The NAS would like to see 1Gb?

Also, the fan is not working. There is a warning beep and an alert to say so. Switch off and on sees the same alert.

Reporting to Amazon means they will send out another ASAP and I can send my unit back in 30 days. This means I can remove the HDD's and insert straight into the new unit.

Shame it does not work but, hey ho.

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Two problems

Seems my Sky ethernet is 10/100Mbps. The NAS would like to see 1Gb?

Also, the fan is not working. There is a warning beep and an alert to say so. Switch off and on sees the same alert.

Reporting to Amazon means they will send out another ASAP and I can send my unit back in 30 days. This means I can remove the HDD's and insert straight into the new unit.

Shame it does not work but, hey ho.

Lee - the NAS doesnt have to see 1Gb, it will default to 10/100bps. And that rate is still sufficient to stream any audio right up to full fat 24bit FLAC. Challenges may arise, in form of rebuffering, or at worse your NAS hanging, if your house places more demands on the NAS shared content. eg someone streaming an HD movie at same time - concurrent hits on the NAS I/O and cache capability.

It may never be a problem. Gigabit will never be the bottle neck, 10/100 may be. It was for me before I upgraded my router.

If it is an issue, you can consider putting your SkyBox in modem-only mode, then add your own cheap Gigbit router. I am not familiar with Sky set ups, but many do this with Virgin modem/routers. an added bonus is that you can get dual band (2/5ghz) Wi Fi at same time.

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At home we have quite a considerable SOHO with four Buffalo NAS drives, and additional Rukus WAP, five PC's, four laptops, TV streamer, 2 x squeezebox's, squeezebox radio, Home cinema, a Roku streamer, an XBox 1 and a PS4. 2 x network printers, 2 x network security cameras, VPN to studio, i think that it....

Most of the data and software is split across two of the NAS drives, one is for music only and the other is for films etc. The NAS drive for music is often is use by all three SB devices and possibly on to two laptops at the same time streaming FLAC files, not once ever, has there been any issues!

Buy what you can afford but I think its pointless buying some uber product for minimal duty.

I looked into the Synology NAS but couldn't justify the cost when there are alternatives that offer the same performance, I think some go for the 'high' end NAS drives as they do hi-fi = brand snobbery. If I could justify the cost I'd buy I've but I've seen plenty of posts with pricey NAS drives that have bitten the dust of eat HDD's, I'll stick with what suits my needs...

:peace:

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Super Wammer

I received another unit that works fine.

I moved my iTunes folder from by local hard drive to the NAS (took about 22 hours). Now I am trying to point Jriver to the iTunes files on the nas. I cannot seem to do it properly as most of the artwork has disappeared and albums display as single tracks. Any ideas? iTunes program seems to work fine!

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^you need to move the artwork folder and iTunes library database, in addition to the music folder. Due to the (crap) way iTunes handles meta data, artwork etc in separate folders, there are a bunch of files that need moving. J rivers I think needs all that to integrate with iTunes

Its all here : https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4445160?tstart=0

22 hours to move, I take you have a very large library; or busy 10/100 Ethernet; or you used wireless?

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Super Wammer

Many thanks for the information, I'll look into this today.

Ah, yes, I used wireless.

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Super Wammer

What have I learned?

I gave up on using iTunes. JRiver can deal with my files. I will import cd's using iTunes and move my files across to my MEGA file (containing music files) manually.

If it works first time, you are fine. If it doesn't, you are screwed! RESET EVERYTHING!!!

Moving large numbers of files does not work. Move files across in small batches so when ERROR CODE 50 comes up, you can sort it out. The old set of folders have errors.

Write ALL the username and passwords down for when you need to record it.

I will, over the next week, see what the sound quality will be like. I am now using my system like this;

NAS -> Wireless to Mac laptop -> Wireless to Apple tv

Will it affect sound quality??? Bits are bits, 100% transmission means no data is lost......................:geek: ???

I am also considering DBPoweramp. Will it upgrade my MP3 files to AIFF?

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lee, why don't you get an Ethernet cable and plug direct Mac >router, for large transfers? Mac should recognise link, then turn off your wi fi on Mac and you will get better speeds. Much better for bulk transfers.

With DBpoweramp you can convert to and from pretty much any format. Right click 'convert to' in Windows command. Mac should be similarly easy. What you can do is add back bits lost through previous compression exercises. ie go back to lossless (eg FLAC WAV) etc from lossy (eg MP3 mp4a). Well, to be precise, you can re convert and get a file that plays, but it will not contain the information lost thru previous compression WAV>FLAC.

Best practice is to back up your music; do some trial conversation work on a few files to see if it works; transfer these; only then do bulk conversion and transfer

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Super Wammer
lee, why don't you get an Ethernet cable and plug direct Mac >router, for large transfers? Mac should recognise link, then turn off your wi fi on Mac and you will get better speeds. Much better for bulk transfers.

With DBpoweramp you can convert to and from pretty much any format. Right click 'convert to' in Windows command. Mac should be similarly easy. What you can do is add back bits lost through previous compression exercises. ie go back to lossless (eg FLAC WAV) etc from lossy (eg MP3 mp4a). Well, to be precise, you can re convert and get a file that plays, but it will not contain the information lost thru previous compression WAV>FLAC.

Best practice is to back up your music; do some trial conversation work on a few files to see if it works; transfer these; only then do bulk conversion and transfer

Lossy algorithms are not reversible - you might be able to convert from MP3 format to WAV format, but you will not reverse the "loss" of bits created by the initial compression. The conversion process may add in bits that were removed but this will be done by extrapolation/interpolation or it might just pack the data out with zero's (without seeing the algorithm or deep analysis of the file it produces its impossible to say how it does the conversion).

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^that should, of course, have said "What you can't do...." as rest of body text went on to intimate and illustrate, such are vagaries of posting from iPhone with big fingers!

You can't magic back in from the ether, that which had been taken away thru compression algorithms.

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Super Wammer
^that should, of course, have said "What you can't do...." as rest of body text went on to intimate and illustrate, such are vagaries of posting from iPhone with big fingers!

You can't magic back in from the ether, that which had been taken away thru compression algorithms.

:^ I thought it looked like you had contradicted yourself........;-)

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