As a digital streaming novice I must admit I chose my NAS drive by simply following what Andrew Everard was doing on his blog. I bought a QNAP TS-412 Digital Home Series (Diskless) 4 Bay All-in-One Desktop Turbo NAS Server Multimedia Station – to give it its full catchy moniker – and populated two bays with Western Digital 3TB Red drives.
I rather wish I’d started blogging at that point. Drive formatting took days and I ended up emailing Andrew to ask him if this was normal – it was. Two years ago, whatever iteration of Mac OSX we were using seemed to play well with the NAS drive but one monumental freeze later – during a large file transfer -created an un-mountable monster out of my Multimedia folder. Two years on with El Capitan and QNAP 4.2.0 I don’t seem to get these problems but I moved all my FLAC files to a new folder structure and have not had a repeat of the problem.
I ran the NAS drive for over a year without backup and as my CD ripping finally came to an end at about the 1Tb mark – vinyl yet to go – I thought I don’t want to go through metadata hell again. So buy a backup drive.
The QNAP is well populated with external drive connectors for backups – the fastest being the eSATA as the QNAP ports are USB 2.
USB 2 can transfer data up to 480Mb/s – eSATA up to 3Gb/s
So I looked for a drive I could use USB 3 to a Mac when needed and eSATA to the NAS drive. I use LaCie Porsche Design drives for Time Machine but had to move to a LaCie d2 Quadra 3Tb to find a drive of the right capacity with an eSATA connection. The LaCie comes with every cable every needed and installation was a doddle – formatted on the Mac and mounted using the QNAP OS.
For speed I chose to use the Real-time Remote Replication to mirror the music folder ‘Recordings’ on the QNAP using the QNAP app ‘Backup Station’. I run the script after any major file transfer to the QNAP or once a month.
QNAP TS-412 £199.98 (Amazon EU)
2 x WD 3Tb Red drives £186.00 (majestic deals on Amazon)
LaCie d2 Quadra 3Tb £149 (Wex Photographic)