Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
TJHUB
Topic Author
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:11 pm

I want to buy a NAS with these things in mind...

Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:23 pm

I'm currently running a Windows XP machine in my entertainment center to serve music to my M2000. I'd like to give the PC to my kids and replace it with a NAS. I've searched and read through a ton of posts, but I'm just not certain what to do for my needs.

My music is all FLAC and I run Firefly as a server via wired connection. This of course works perfectly for me and has all of the functionality I need.

I would like to purchase a NAS to not only run Firefly for my M2000, but I'd also like to use it as a shared file server for photos, backups, etc. I read everything regarding the Linksys NSLU2 and I have the link to the full writeup to hack it and run Firefly. I'm thinking this is the way to go, but I'm not so sure the speed of file transfers is going to be all that great due to the USB harddisk. I think I'd rather have something like the Buffalo LinkStation Pro, but I haven't seen where anyone has that working with Firefly.

I've also seen the Thecus N2100 solution with iTunes server built in, but that doesn't do FLAC right?

With these needs in mind, what solution NAS would be right for me? I'm not too concerned about difficulty. I'll be able to feel my way through it. I also have an engineer working for me that is a Linux geek that'll help me.

Thanks.
 
Dave.B
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:53 am
Location: ...a dugout that my dad built...
Contact:

Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:29 pm

If your only concern is speed of file transfer then I would just go ahead get the NSLU2. It's not blisteringly quick, but running (huge) backups here doesn't take that long, and day-today transfer of normal sized files is not an issue, for me at least.
I'm certainly happy with mine.
 
grommet
Posts: 1718
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 9:31 pm
Location: S.F. Bay Area, CA

Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:48 pm

TJHUB, a "USB hard disk" is still going to be faster than Ethernet or Wi-Fi... it won't be a bottleneck.

The Thecus N2100 ships with an old version of Firefly (mt-daapd), to my knowledge.
 
TJHUB
Topic Author
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:11 pm

Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:49 pm

grommet wrote:
TJHUB, a "USB hard disk" is still going to be faster than Ethernet or Wi-Fi... it won't be a bottleneck.

The Thecus N2100 ships with an old version of Firefly (mt-daapd), to my knowledge.


Okay yes, I'm being stupid. :? USB @ 480mbps is a little faster than my 100mbps network.

So is the NSLU2 the best solution for me? Are there any other options to work with my FLAC library?

Thanks.
 
stretch
Posts: 623
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:29 am
Location: Australia

Tue Jan 02, 2007 4:59 pm

USB @ 480mbps is a little faster than my 100mbps network.


That's a theoretical top speed, the hard drive itself isn't that fast.

If you want to transfer lots of files / large files to the slug then turn on its FTP server. I get a top speed of around 5.4MB/s
 
richdunlop
Posts: 798
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:29 am
Location: UK

Re: I want to buy a NAS with these things in mind...

Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:19 pm

TJHUB wrote:
I would like to purchase a NAS to not only run Firefly for my M2000, but I'd also like to use it as a shared file server for photos, backups, etc.


This is exactly what I use my slug for. One extra thing for you to consider - backup! Once you get all your FLAC stuff on there along with your holiday snaps and docs you won't want to lose it!
 
TJHUB
Topic Author
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:11 pm

Wed Jan 03, 2007 3:34 pm

Just to let you know, I purchased my Slug today along with a 250gb USB hard drive. Man, there is a lot to read and learn with this thing. I've spent hours reading through everything and my brain is about to explode. At least in reading everything I'm feeling very good about the purchase. I should have the Slug and USB drive Friday or Monday depending on how fast Newegg is with shipping to me.

I have my planned configuration and all the downloads and instructions ready to go...
 
richdunlop
Posts: 798
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:29 am
Location: UK

Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:54 am

Just in case you aren't aware the guide I wrote on setting up Firefly on an nslu2 from scratch is at http://wiki.fireflymediaserver.org/NSLU2_Installation

Have fun!
 
TJHUB
Topic Author
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:11 pm

Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:44 am

richdunlop wrote:
Just in case you aren't aware the guide I wrote on setting up Firefly on an nslu2 from scratch is at http://wiki.fireflymediaserver.org/NSLU2_Installation

Have fun!


What, are you kidding me?? Your guide is the main reason why I purchased the NSLU2. :D I couldn't begin to tell you how thankful I am for you writing the guide. What else are us noobs supposed to do? It's also the reason my brain is about to explode. I've read through everything a couple of times now, and as a completely non-Linux guy, I have to say that I'm feeling pretty comfortable that the install will go smoothly.

I have an engineer that works for me that is a Linux geek. He's knowledgeable, but he has a couple of friends that are real gurus that really KNOW their stuff. He has poked around on your guide and other wiki's and he wants me to use Debian instead of Unslung. I just want Firefly and my Roku to work. Any comments on that?

Thanks again for the guide, it's great that you've done that and just know it's very appreciated.
 
richdunlop
Posts: 798
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:29 am
Location: UK

Thu Jan 04, 2007 1:55 pm

TJHUB wrote:
What, are you kidding me?? Your guide is the main reason why I purchased the NSLU2. :D


:shock: Well at least you know who to PM when you run into trouble! :lol:

TJHUB wrote:
It's also the reason my brain is about to explode. I've read through everything a couple of times now, and as a completely non-Linux guy, I have to say that I'm feeling pretty comfortable that the install will go smoothly.


It'll all mean more when you set about doing the install. Are you planning following the disk only or the disk+memory stick route? The latter is a bit more fiddly.

TJHUB wrote:
He has poked around on your guide and other wiki's and he wants me to use Debian instead of Unslung. I just want Firefly and my Roku to work. Any comments on that?


I had this exact debate with myself when I set about upgrading my slug last time. The hacker in me was very tempted to go for a Debian install myself (because I could) but in the end I decided that I didn't actually need a Linux box. All I needed was a simple device to store files and run Firefly so I stuck with Unslung. Of course if you outgrow Unslung you can always rebuild it as a DebianSlug at a later date.

Edit: I forgot to mention that there's a handy web page that discusses the different firmwares - http://www.slug-firmware.net/

Good luck.
 
TJHUB
Topic Author
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:11 pm

Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:32 pm

A part of me would like to do the flash drive install for the sole purpose of allowing me to remove my USB drive to use as a portable. But looking deeper into the flash drive install, you really need to have the swap file on the hard disk as to not wear out the flash memory. This of course makes the USB drive attachment necessary for the slug to function.

All things considered, I decided that I'll just be installing the hard disk only. This way I'll have my 250gb drive for the Roku and file storage with the ability to add a removable FAT or NTFS drive for additional file storage while still being removeable. Seems to be the best path for my needs (I think). This also seems to give me the most future flexibility.

As a note, I think I've been to EVERY linked wiki page there is. So yes, I've been to that linked page regarding which firmware to use. I too only really need the Unslung firmware. I need to keep my life as simple as possible. :wink:

Thanks.
 
TJHUB
Topic Author
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:11 pm

Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:57 am

In case anyone searches for this in the future...

I hacked my Linksys NSLU2 "Slug" to Unslung 6.8 and installed Firefly svn-1433 via the instructions from richdunlop. All said, the upgrade went well and is relatively straight forward. It took me about 3-4 hours to complete the upgrades. I've NEVER used linux before this upgrade either, so my biggest issue was using vi to edit my Firefly config file. I got through that and everything works well.

Another note is that I went from using a server PC with Windows XP and Firefly to the Slug. Functionally speaking, my Roku works exactly the same and at the same speed (fast). In both cases I use Firefly to transcode my FLAC music to the Roku. Even though my Slug is declocked to 133Mhz, everything seems to work great for FLAC.

The Slug is a nice setup and virtually silent with the hard drive I'm using. The only sound you can hear is the hard disk itself spinning, but you have to be very close to it. It's far, far better than listening to a PC run in my living room. :D
Roku M2000
Linksys NSLU2 "Slug" (Unslung 6.8 with Firefly svn-1433 serving FLAC)
 
collett_steve@hotmail.com
Posts: 232
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 5:19 am
Location: Sunny Devon(!), UK

Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:29 am

Does a slug+firefly have the guts to transcode WMA lossless and still give a decent user expereice?

I have read in other places that WMA lossless requires more processing power to decode than other lossless codecs.

Anyone got any experiences?
 
grommet
Posts: 1718
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 9:31 pm
Location: S.F. Bay Area, CA

Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:37 am

WMA Lossless can only be transcoded on Windows, since Firefly justs uses the WMF SDK. (There is a decoder available on Mac, too... but it's not the same or supported by Firefly.)

I don't think there are any completed reverse engineered WMA Lossless decoders. Until that exists, you wouldn't even know how much power it would require to decode. But it'll most likely be more than FLAC.
 
Shadowtester
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 8:35 pm

Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:24 pm

TJHUB wrote:
In case anyone searches for this in the future...

I hacked my Linksys NSLU2 "Slug" to Unslung 6.8 and installed Firefly svn-1433 via the instructions from richdunlop. All said, the upgrade went well and is relatively straight forward. It took me about 3-4 hours to complete the upgrades. I've NEVER used linux before this upgrade either, so my biggest issue was using vi to edit my Firefly config file. I got through that and everything works well.

Another note is that I went from using a server PC with Windows XP and Firefly to the Slug. Functionally speaking, my Roku works exactly the same and at the same speed (fast). In both cases I use Firefly to transcode my FLAC music to the Roku. Even though my Slug is declocked to 133Mhz, everything seems to work great for FLAC.

The Slug is a nice setup and virtually silent with the hard drive I'm using. The only sound you can hear is the hard disk itself spinning, but you have to be very close to it. It's far, far better than listening to a PC run in my living room. :D


You might want to check into setting up the ftp and adding ssh to your unslung SLUG its a great device also check into the clock speed to see if yours is one of the underclocked slugs if so you might want to fix that its very easy to do.
Shadow

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