NAS and Plex on Mac Mini - NAS - Networking

NAS and Plex on Mac Mini - NAS - Networking

Probably a bit of a newbie question but (and yes, I have googled extensively, and searched these forums, but am now just more confused and have a headache!)...

I currently run Plex on a 2011 Mac Mini (Lion) and it is great. I now want to get a little more clever and consolidate various media that reside on 4 Macs (currently 4 external hard drives) and a PC around the house, as well as provide a home and backup for my burgeoning library of movies and TV programmes, so am heading for a NAS (current thinking is a QNAP TS419 or TS439).

My objectives:
+ Have all my movies and TV programmes in one place, with backup (RAID 5) primarily serving Plex, but also available to Macs/iPads/iPhones wirelessly around the house (which Plex does beautifully today).
+ Have a single music folder, which the different Macs can use for iTunes, preferably by just adding the music each user wants (i.e. each Mac will have different music)
+ Similarly have all the family photos in one place, serving multiple iPhotos on different Macs (possible file sharing issues methinks).
+ Allow access to those photos from iPads and iPhones in the home
+ Allow secure access to those photos over the Internet for geographically spread family members.

If I connect the QNAP to my Airport Extreme (also have a couple of Airport Expresses for Airplay) via Ethernet, will all of this work? What's the "gotcha" that I haven't seen? :-)

Thanks in advance...
reference: whrl.pl/RcTOeZ
posted 2011-Sep-8, 12pm AEST
User #162979   6656 posts
Whirlpool Forums Addict
For running Plex, you'd ideally get a NAS that can run Plex Media Server (not sure if those QNAPs can or not). It will need to be a NAS with an Intel processor. The faster the CPU the better.
Also please don't confuse RAID-5 with a backup. RAID is great at providing redundancy/high-availability, but it's not replacement for having a backup. RAID and backup are two different things. If you primarily store data on the NAS then to backup that data you'll need a USB disk, another NAS or some place else to backup the data to.
iTunes and iPhoto are designed to work with local libraries not libraries stored on network volumes.
reference: whrl.pl/RcTOg1
posted 2011-Sep-8, 12pm AEST
User #56585   12 posts
Forum Regular
Hi if your running Plex on a MM then you already have server streaming capability built-in
Plex can play locally and stream to your network at the same time and whats great is that its BOJOUR self discovery,
Just look at attaching a large drive to you MM via firewire or USB2
NAS will not be able to feed the streaming process over the network fast enough especially when more than two users access you media library
Consolidate all our Media to this attached drive or drives to the MM
on your clients around your house run PLEX also
Plex in these clients will self discover the MM Plex media server and you will see a full menu of content availability.
It will seem as though the content is on you client not the MM
I view content with plex on the following clients around my house
lap top
i am about to install plex in my D series SAMSUNG TV which will give me native plex on the TV
Previously I used PS3 media server solution running on my MM but it was a little underdeveloped but was good as it used the DLNA protocol
Plex is far user friendly
The only downer is that Plex wont work on Xbox or PS3 game machine
i have to retain PS3 meadia server just to provide content to these devices
cheers and best of luck
reference: whrl.pl/RcYWcl
posted 2011-Nov-4, 6pm AEST
User #56585   12 posts
Forum Regular
Actually my friend uses a Acer WHS but a QNAP would do the same TS-459 Pro+ Turbo NAS
he has 4X 2TB drives
runs utorrent on top of the server architecture
runs plex as a streaming server on the WHS
Just a word on streaming over wireless N
I have found drops in connectivity during long film playbacks and somtimes this locks up plex on the clients
the solution i found was to move away from wireless and use ethernet over power
I purchased units in Singapore at $40 a unit.
need one unit at each location.
these devices essentially create a 1GB lan over the power cables in you home.
simply magic, the units plug into the power sockets when you computer imac
Different people will have different experiences.
cheersa and best of luck