Anybody using a Server at home?

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Sugarcubes Forever
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Anybody using a Server at home?

Postby Sugarcubes Forever » Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:34 pm

Wondering if anybody in here is using a Server at home?

I have two aging Mac laptops, two iPhones, two iPods and a digital camera. My Macs work really well for net surfing and day to day stuff. I don't want to replace them. Their wimpy hard drives are antiquated. And using a back up hard drive is a pain. But I need an easy to access central repository for all my music, video and photo files.

I started looking online at the Mac Mini with Snow Leopard Server. I'd like to hook it up to my flat screen HD Tv in my living room and use it as the "hub" for all my Music and video in iTunes, as well as a place for my wife to archive the insane number of photos she takes.

What I'm wondering is how well a set up like that will work for Sharing iTunes files wirelessly with my laptops, iPods, etc? As well as an entertainment center for my TV.

Looking for some insight from anybody who's doing this type of thing at home.

creepy
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Postby creepy » Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:12 pm

I'm using a portable drive plugged into my PS3 at the moment. I can also stream from a PC thru my PS3 or my Xbox360.

Who said video games were a waste of time?

Tart

Server

Postby Tart » Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:34 pm

I've got a homemade server: an aging Sony Vaio laptop with a dual core (4G combined?) drive that it would have cost more to replace the battery than I wanted to put into this 4 year old and not gently used machine; two 500G external drives (World Book something or others); Windows Home Network software.

It does what I think you're saying you want. And it backs up my laptop every night. All my music is on it and can be played by any player, on anyones computer, wirelessly, if you're on the network. If I put some time into it I could have it stream to my stereo with a Mac Air something but i dont use itunes much so I've not done it I just have to set the appropriate file permissions on the parent music file so others can access it. This program doesn't work for Macs, however, but Snow Leopard seems to be the obvious choice. I'm wondering if you even need the mini tho?

Mixmaster Shecky
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Postby Mixmaster Shecky » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:56 pm

I dunno - why not go with a network drive? Much cheaper. I have no idea how easy they are to configure, but how hard can it be, ha ha?

Sugarcubes Forever
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Postby Sugarcubes Forever » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:40 am

Not sure about the network drive????

I don't want to just back up files. I want a machine that also acts as my main home computer. My assumption looking at the MacMini is that it's not just a storage box for data, it's also a home computer.

For instance, my iBook G4 is crap for playing videos. If all my videos (movies, tv, etc) were on something like a Mac Mini, it would become the machine which played those videos through my HD TV. Not my 6 year old laptop.

Of course, I also want to be able to share/move those files in iTunes to my laptops or iPhones so I can take them with me.

I also need everything to work together easily. Since my old lady, despite the fact that she runs two successful blogs, doesn't know jack about technology and probably never will. And if I have to spend too much time babysitting this stuff I'll just as soon not have any of it.

Guest

Postby Guest » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:26 am

I have a LaCie 1 tb network drive that works amazingly well for my Sonos multiroom system. Wireless through a good stereo. All of the music is accessible from any PC or Mac in the house, but the notion of sharing the playlists, etc has been really messy. Additionally, we seem to have to import the music to all conputers' iTunes libraries - which defeats the purpose in my mind. Makes syncing iPods a mess too... Good luck and let us know if you find a better path.

quasarwutwut
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Postby quasarwutwut » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:54 pm

The most powerful server I can think of:

Image


see what I did there?

Tart

playlists and iphones/ipods

Postby Tart » Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:55 pm

yeah well, as long as you're chained to Apple software you're stuck importing music to itunes in order to get playlists on your ipod/phone.

If, however, you use alternative software to load your music and play it then you can do it a little easier (but still have to populate a library, albeit faster and lighter.) On my windows computer I use MediaMonkey. On her Mac she still uses itunes but I'm trying to wean her off and onto Songbird.

as far as just playing music files, you can always simply use VLC media player which is the lightest/fastest player out there and will play almost any format. Just open a file and start playing. You can even make playlists on the fly in VLC. But it won't load onto your phone/pod.

Mixmaster Shecky
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Postby Mixmaster Shecky » Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:22 am

Sugarcubes Forever wrote:Not sure about the network drive????

I don't want to just back up files. I want a machine that also acts as my main home computer. My assumption looking at the MacMini is that it's not just a storage box for data, it's also a home computer.

For instance, my iBook G4 is crap for playing videos. If all my videos (movies, tv, etc) were on something like a Mac Mini, it would become the machine which played those videos through my HD TV. Not my 6 year old laptop.

Of course, I also want to be able to share/move those files in iTunes to my laptops or iPhones so I can take them with me.

I also need everything to work together easily. Since my old lady, despite the fact that she runs two successful blogs, doesn't know jack about technology and probably never will. And if I have to spend too much time babysitting this stuff I'll just as soon not have any of it.


Ah, I'm catching on now. Basically you want a media PC that will also manage your various iPods/iPhones/laptops from a central point.

I don't know much about OSX Server, so I can't tell you if it'll work. You'd think at this point Apple would come up with a solution to that quagmire and branded it iMedia, but no. If you go the Mini route, let us know how it works.

Sugarcubes Forever
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Postby Sugarcubes Forever » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:03 am

I've been digging around a bit on this. Doing some intertube searches and posting this same thing on another board I frequent.

The responses fall into two camps: People who have cobbled something together to play video on their teevee and people who post techno speak about what sounds like insane complicated hardware and software stuff that I don't want to have to know about. I dont' have time for all that. I just want my shit to work.

I found one guy who's using a Mac Mini as a server, but he claims that he's not doing much of any file sharing with his other machines. Which sounds like it misses the point of having a server.

I found another guy who had a custom media center PC built. But he's 100% Microsoft. And he speaks another language that uses long strings of capital letters in place of nouns.

Found a dude who's set up a PS3 as a server.

You would think that in 2010 you could buy all this hardware crap and it would all just work together. Buy a movie or music and watch it on whatever machine you own.

But that's not the future. The internet died years ago. And what has replaced it is a DRM nightmare bookended by a few companies who want to create closed systems which you pay over and over again to use and within which you really don't own anything.

I love my Macs and I like iTunes so far. Everything is stable and it all works really well if you play by their rules. My computers seem to last forever. But fuck their rules. I'm sick of it. I still can't run Flash on my iPhone!! I'm tempted at the end of the year when my phone contract runs out to get an Android phone, have a linux box built for my media/home server needs, and replace my Macs with a couple of cheap mini laptops. I think I could put all that together for about the price of a new entry level MacBook.

But then I come to my senses and remember all the virus and malware BS I had to deal with on my last two PCs.......

Ugh!


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