Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Using Final Cut Pro X with ReadyNAS

With the release of Final Cut Pro X, Apple has removed the ability to directly and easily work with video clips & projects stored on traditional AFP, CIFS or NFS accessible network volumes, now only supporting XSAN based network storage.

It is  however still possible to archive video and projects to ReadyNAS devices by following a few additional steps

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Apple Related Services not Visible over WiFi

Apple products primarily rely on a technology called mDNS to advertise and discover the availability of services, the Apple implementation commonly known as Bonjour. ReadyNAS products implement the  Linux application Avahi to provide mDNS support for Mac users.

Unfortunately however, a number of Wireless routers do not properly support mDNS over a wireless connection, and as a consequence it can appear that a ReadyNAS device is not working correctly when in reality the issue is caused by the router effectively blocking the necessary advertisements.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Bliss Addon for ReadyNAS (x86)

When first purchasing a ReadyNAS, my only real thought was to have a centalised backup for an every growing library of documents & media, and a facility to make backing those files up easy. But owning a ReadyNAS device introduced me to the idea of actively streaming audio from a central library to multiple clients. My audio library is now available on any of our computers at home, via our Plex based media center, multiple Squeezebox audio players, iOS devices and even remotely via the excellent Subsonic application.

The ubiquitous access to our audio however soon revealed one limitation: the high resolution screens of some of the devices being used (eg iPad) clearly showed that the artwork associated with my audio library was pretty poor quality, incorrect, incompatible with some applications but not others, or just non-existent. In short - the audio artwork of out music library was a mess.

While I found that there are a number of applications around that puport to help with artwork issues, most seem to focus on tagging rather than artwork, with artwork being just another tag. Also as all of my media was stored on my NAS, streamed from it and managed there, I much preferred to have an artwork management application that would also run from the ReadyNAS rather than run separately with an OS specific frontend .

That's when I found bliss

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Setting Up a Website with PHP & MySQL

One of the most common tasks ReadyNAS users wish to use their devices for is to host a small personal web site

Creating a basic Personal Web Server is very easy to do and documented on the ReadyNAS site here.

This basic setup is perfectly sufficient for hosting HTML only based web sites, but many users would like to go that step further and create more advanced setups, perhaps using common Open Source CMS systems such as WordPress (like this site) or Joomla. To support such setups, the ReadyNAS typically needs to be updated to support both PHP - a common programming language used for creating web sites - and MySQL - a relational database application.

Here's how to add the PHP and MySQL missing pieces:

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Migrating TimeMachine Backups to a ReadyNAS

ReadyNAS devices can be used as a target for TimeMachine backups. However when users first set this facility up they also often want to migrate an existing backup from an external HDD attached to their mac to the ReadyNAS so that they maintain their backup history but free up the external HDD

Here's is one way to do this that is known to work based on feedback from one user as well as success doing this myself.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

My ReadyNAS Wishlist

After using ReadyNAS devices for a few years now, I have a number of features that I would like to see in future products and software. None are earth-shattering enhancements - many would address the tweaks documented on this blog for instance. But some are already supported on competitor products and could address many of the more common ease of use issues we ReadyNAS users often encounter.

Whether you believe these ideas are 'right' or 'wrong', worthwhile or  not, I thought I'd take the time to list them and track when (or if) any of them are addressed, if only for my own benefit. I may well also add other items as they occur to me.

The list is in no particular order other than to try and categorise the requests in some limited way.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

What are Reallocated Sectors?

Most ReadyNAS users have probably experienced it. Waking up, eventually checking email over a morning cup of coffee to find that overnight your NAS has sent you the friendly warning:

Error message: Reallocated sector count has increased in the last day.

Disk1: Previous count:0 Current count:4

Growing SMART errors indicate a disk that may fail soon. If the errors continue to increase, you should be prepared to replace the disk.

So after clearing out the coffee you just spluttered all over your keyboard,  what are Reallocated Sectors and, more importantly, what are you going to do about them?

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Managing your Music on your ReadyNAS

A primary use of home NAS devices is the central storage of, and access to, a media library. For many people a large portion of that library will be music, music that is also often being accessed by multiple applications: SqueezeboxServer, DLNA servers, iTunes etc.

It would of course be of great advantage if that music library could be managed directly on the NAS in a manner that all these other applications can access the same consistent metadata and cover art and I recently came across the application bliss, the aim of which is exactly this - a single web based tool for organising a music library. While it appears to be in the relatively early stages of development, with an initial early focus on Album Art management, it works very, very well and I'm keen to see how it develops.

I won't cover the functionality of bliss here, there are full detailed instructions on the bliss website, but here are some instructions specifically for installing bliss on a ReadyNAS device.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Backing-up via Rsync to a local USB disk

It is often desirable to use rsync to backup data due to the benefits it offers: true incremental backup, the ability to remove data from the backup that has been deleted in the source and rsync's support for verification of the backed-up data are just some of the advantages.

Below is an example of the backup settings needed to enable rsync to be used to backup a NAS share to a locally attached USB drive.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Enabling User & Anonymous FTP Access

Anonymous FTP access is a useful way to allow people access to download files from your NAS via a web browser without having to setup user accounts or figure out WebDAV.

Here's how to enable anonymous FTP access to your ReadyNAS, while still retaining User Authentication Mode for the data you still wish to protect access to

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Using iMovie with ReadyNAS Devices

One key reason for my investing in a NAS was to host the large video files that are generated during video editing with applications iMovie and Final Cut Express.

While it is relatively easy to setup FCE to use network storage to host video clips (network storage is fully supported in Apple Pro Apps like Final Cut and Aperture), iMovie is another matter due to Apple constraining its consumer apps by requiring data to only be hosted on HFS+ formatted local disks or directly attached storage devices. (Done to reduce the support burden?)

Fortunately, there is a workaround that appears to work for both iMovie '09 and iMovie '11, though it requires AFP or NFS networking to be successful - CIFS seems to be supported less & less by Apple.