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Airport Disk as iTunes Server?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey,

My family is taking the plunge into wireless; we ordered a MBP and an Airport Extreme (should arrive early next week).

My one real worry with the MBP is Hard Drive size. In my current G4 tower, I have 180GB of HDD storage (120 + 60), and it's nearly maxed with files--mostly iTunes content plus about 40 GB of video. Because of shipping delays, I went with Apple's stock 120 GB HDD. Not really enough room...

So what I'm wondering is this:

Can I load all our iTunes content into an Airport disk and access it that way? I would imagine it would work, but does the DRM and the authorization of tracks purchased through iTunes mess this up? What if we get another computer? How would this work with iPods (transferring from Aiport to computer to iPod)?

Furthermore, is it possible to set up the MBP as a "device" in iTunes to take a subset (or all) of my media with me when I want some stuff on the road?

Thanks.

Mods: Should this be moved to "iPod + iTunes +..."?
post #2 of 11
This is exactly what I do. I have a 1TB USB Fantom drive attached to my Airport Extreme, and have all my iTunes music on it. I share the library via any Mac. Works like a charm.
post #3 of 11
What is the troughput of a drive attached to the AP via usb as opposed to something over ethernet?
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by auslander View Post

This is exactly what I do. I have a 1TB USB Fantom drive attached to my Airport Extreme, and have all my iTunes music on it. I share the library via any Mac. Works like a charm.

Cool.

Do you have any laptops? Can you take some, or all, of the music with you on the go? Oh, and how does synching iPods work with this set up?

Thanks.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiddenWolf View Post

What is the troughput of a drive attached to the AP via usb as opposed to something over ethernet?

Macworld's review didn't note speeds of AIrport disks, but did note that wirelessly pulling data from another Mac connected via the 100Mbit ethernet was clocking in at a real-world 90+ Mbit (and noting that it probably would have been higher if Apple had included gigabit ethernet). So I figure with an Airport disk, going one way, we'd hopefuly see at least that, if not full speed. After all, the theoretical throughput of wireless-n is greater than USB2.

When/If I get this going sometime next week or the week after, I'll post some reviews.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCQ View Post

Cool.

Do you have any laptops? Can you take some, or all, of the music with you on the go? Oh, and how does synching iPods work with this set up?

Thanks.

1. I do have two laptops - a PB 1.67, and a brand new MBP Santa Rosa with ".n" wireless. Both work great. I usually have some music with me on the go.

2. I actually don't sync my iPods. I prefer to manually manage my library. I use my AE-based iTunes library as the main repository of AAC files (which are all rips of my actual CDs rather than music purchased from the iTunes store, as I prefer to own the CD instead) That means I've never had any AAC files with DRM, so I've never encountered any issues with syncing iPods etc.
post #7 of 11
Do you use it for videos at all? I have a lot of TV Shows and video podcasts in my library- do you think these will play well over the wifi?

Also, what if I added an AppleTV down the line? How would that factor in?
post #8 of 11
I don't use it for video yet, but I will in the future.
post #9 of 11
auslander, do you have all of your devices using the path to the external drive as the default itunes library path, then? are there ever any issues at startup or wakening from sleep with itunes finding the external drive/path?

does that also mean that regardless of machine being used, when you import audio, it automatically gets stored there?

thanks for the info!
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by tic-tac View Post

auslander, do you have all of your devices using the path to the external drive as the default itunes library path, then? are there ever any issues at startup or wakening from sleep with itunes finding the external drive/path?

does that also mean that regardless of machine being used, when you import audio, it automatically gets stored there?

thanks for the info!

I have a lot of music on this drive, and if I add music via, say, my desktop Mac, then it goes to that drive. However, the only library that is updated is the one on that Mac, not the one on any other Macs, which makes sense. So, I just share that one library from all my Macs, which means it's always updated on all the Macs. If I used the shared drive as the default storage path from all Macs the library isn't updated on my desktop Mac if I add music from another computer, so that ends up being a problem. If I wanted to, I suppose I could keep adding the latest updates to every computer's individual library, but that would take a lot of time and essentially be pointless if I can already access the music via a shared library.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiddenWolf View Post

What is the troughput of a drive attached to the AP via usb as opposed to something over ethernet?

writespeed to the AirDisk is between 2.5 and 3 MByte/sec
reading from the AirDisk is aroud 5.5 MByte/sec

That's seems to be the maximum speeds that the USB interface of the AEn is capable of, independent wether accessed wired or wireless.

These speeds allow you to stream audio and video (even ripped DVD's) from the AirDisk to your computer, but it's way slower than that same USB disk attached to another computer and accessed over a network (read and write speeds around 10MByte/sec on a 100Mbit wired network)

Especially copying to the Airdisk is horribly slow (imagine backing up 100Gbyte at 3Mbyte/sec.)

.spoon
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