Getting a NAS - what do I need to think about?

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by Laban, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. Laban
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    Laban iPF Novice

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    Hello!
    Will hopefully get my iPad 2 within a week and I'm also planning to buy a NAS (Network Attached Storage).

    Is there anything special I need top think about when buying a NAS? Does the NAs have to support any special protocols or be certified for iTunes or iPad?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. DefBref
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    DefBref iPad Junkie

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    What are you intending to use the NAS for? If it's for storing your iTunes library on, you do realise you will need a pc/ mac running iTunes still for syncing and homesharing.
  3. Laban
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    Laban iPF Novice

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    Initially it's for photos. Do I still need iTunes inbetween? What if I want to connect to my NAS when I'm out travelling, still need iTunes?

    Sorry if my questions are basic, I'm new to this :)

    Sent from my OMNIA7 using Board Express
  4. RAC
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    RAC iPad Junkie

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    You might find my slightly later post "Copy Files from SD Card to NAS - One Solution" of interest.

    I'm not sure about remote access but the MWBE (most other NAS devices) has built FTP support so something should be possible I would think.
  5. Mixz1
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    Mixz1 iPF Novice

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    I use FileBrowser to map my NAS, as well as network shares running on my home server. Easy to NAS to iPad, slightly more difficult to iPad to NAS. But it works.
  6. RAC
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    RAC iPad Junkie

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    I file FileBrowser too and find it vey useful for accessing NAS. I do find Linux commands better for somevtasks though. If FileBrowser had a filter mechanism for file selection, I would not need to use Linux.
  7. Laban
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    Laban iPF Novice

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    Alright, thank you for your help!

    So can I download photos and other files via FTP without the use of iTunes?
    For the apps you mentioned, do I need jailbreak?

    Sent from my OMNIA7 using Board Express
  8. RAC
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    RAC iPad Junkie

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    I am not sure which post you are replying to, but everything I am talking about works without jail breaking.

    You only need to consider FTP for remote access (over the web etc). FileBrowser should handle most local file tasks. FTP is always there for local files as well.

    The FTP implentation will be NAS specific but I would think fairly generic. There are no doubt some FTP clients for the iPad, in fact I know Thayer iFiles will do it.
  9. donka
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    donka iPad Junkie

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    Something from my set up that may be of interest. I have a Western Digital MyBook World Edition that I leave on 24/7. Not the fastest or feature rich but has all I need, is rock solid reliable and requires no active cooling i.e. no fan so pretty much silent in operation. I store all my movies on this and use Buzz Player HD app to stream movies to my iPad over Wifi when in the house. Works flawlessly. You can also use this app to pull movies down from the NAS for local playback when you are heading out of town. Great combination and saves me having to convert movies for iPad and then sync via iTunes.
  10. Laban
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    Laban iPF Novice

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    You you all for your help!

    Sounds like there shouldn't be a problem.
  11. JJK
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    JJK iPad Enthusiast

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    Have looknas well to the Dlink DNS-323. It is a two-bay NAS

    6 years ago it was an impulsive buynfrom my side. The thing is still running. Got +100k Itunes songs and 10k photo's for Aperture on it. It is also not the fastest around, but so far it is doing his job.

    Soon I plan to upgrade to a 4 or 6 bay NAS and the Dlink will be used elsewhere in the house.

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  12. RAC
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    RAC iPad Junkie

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    I have MBWE too. It uses very little power (it certainly produces no heat) and is always ready for action and works well with FileBrowser, iFiles etc.
  13. donka
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    donka iPad Junkie

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    Yip, great NAS provided you don't have top end power user requirements. Streams 1080p content perfectly to my WD TV Live. I even customised the downloader applet to allow batch downloading overnight while my laptop is off. I would quite happily buy another of these.
  14. Laban
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    Laban iPF Novice

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    I'm thinking about the Qnap TS-412. It's a bit expensive but having 4 disks is tempting when it comes to RAID.

    A less expensive model would be D-Link DNS-320.

    Anyone using the Qnap or Dlink (or maybe a similar Synology)?
  15. Biggysmallz
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    Biggysmallz iPad Fan

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    This question may not be connected to this thread but while reading it, something crossed my mind: Is it possible to have itunes in a cloud?
  16. donka
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    donka iPad Junkie

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    Unfortunately no. Many NAS devices offer an iTunes server function but that is only to serve up the media library, you still need a Mac or PC to run the iTunes client software.
  17. Biggysmallz
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    Biggysmallz iPad Fan

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    Thanks for your response.
  18. JJK
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    JJK iPad Enthusiast

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    Not only that. The 4 drives give you also a lot of storage. The QNap comes good out of the reviews. They also have an active forum. You could go there to have a look.

    The Dlink is a lower end model, but still a good choice. As I mentioned before. i have been happy with mine for many years.

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  19. Lagranger
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    Lagranger iPF Novice

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    Media streaming

    Although a few posts have touched on this, I thought I'd highlight media streaming from a NAS (if that is even a consideration for you).

    If you want to stream Apple DRM'ed media (protected content you bought via iTunes, basically) then you really can't stream directly from the NAS without a Mac/PC running iTunes, as noted previously.

    On the other hand, if you're planning to play your own movies stored on the NAS that you've already transcoded into iOS-compatible .mp4 files, then you want to look for a unit that supports the streaming protocol you decide to use. Currently the two most popular choices are UPnP/DLNA and SMB/CIFs shares.

    For UPnP/DLNA you'll need a compatible player such as BUZZ Player HD or MLPlayer. (As an aside, XBMC is a great and free multitplatform UPnP/DLNA player for desktop machines)

    Another option is that some player apps will allow streaming over SMB/CIFS shares, so you need an app that supports streaming over this type of fileshare. The tricky thing is that to properly support actual streaming (i.e. allowing your video to start playing immediately w/o having to download the entire movie file to the iPad first, scrubbing, etc) the embedded SMB server in the NAS must support it. How can you tell? It can be difficult, since not all NAS units reveal that type of info. One approach is to research the various media player apps and see if they list compatible NAS devices. Another way is to get the NAS first then just start trying a bunch of apps to see which ones work.

    Anyway, hope this helps. I keep a bunch of the family's movies on a homebuilt NAS/media-server and it saves a huge amount space in not having to sync them onto the iPad just to watch.
  20. RAC
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    RAC iPad Junkie

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    As an example, the Western Digital MWBE NAS a built in Twonky Media Server. I don't understand its capabilities and haven't really explored just what it can do but I think that it is a good illustration of what to look for. This actually supports iTunes but (sigh) only via an online PC I think.

    Also, FileBrowser, iFiles etc will play pictures and media. I am not sure this counts as streaming. You certainly don't explicitly load the files onto the iPad but they may be temporarily downloaded.

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