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WD USB Hard Drive as a NAS, poor performance


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I moved my iTunes Library to a WD My Book 500GB hard drive that is attached to my Airport Extreme via USB.

 

Prior to this I as using the same AE to stream movies and music to my Apple TV with very good results (maybe one or two stutters or pauses per movie, even HD).

 

Now with the new setup it is truly terrible, pausing about ever minute or so to buffer when watching a SD movie.

 

The AE is setup as 5ghz only, but with security enabled.

 

I have yet to try disabling the security, but other than that, any suggestions?

 

Is the WD just not enough to be a sudo-NAS?

 

So the chain is Macbook Pro running iTunes, Apple TV and Airport Extreme - N -> USB WD hard drive.

 

Thanks,

 

Jeff

 

\"It would be a mistake to demonize any particular philosophy. To do so forces people into entrenched positions and encourages the adoption of unhelpful defensive reactions, thus missing the opportunity for constructive dialog\"[br] - Martin Colloms - stereophile.com

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Hey Jeff - Ouch! The 5GHz setting is a big one but it hasn't fixed the problem for you. I know when I had similar problems another big step forward was disabling security settings. But, you're already contemplating that move so it doesn't add anything to the conversation.

 

Other things to consider

1. Make sure your drive is formatted Mac OS X Extended

2. Reboot your Airport Extreme

3. Try resetting your AE to the factory defaults and only adding the hard drive. This is just to test removal of all other factors because the default settings are pretty wide open.

 

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

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Thanks Chris I will try these.

 

Any thoughts that it might be that I am going from ATV to MBP to AE to WD HD and back?

 

Jeff

 

\"It would be a mistake to demonize any particular philosophy. To do so forces people into entrenched positions and encourages the adoption of unhelpful defensive reactions, thus missing the opportunity for constructive dialog\"[br] - Martin Colloms - stereophile.com

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"Any thoughts that it might be that I am going from ATV to MBP to AE to WD HD and back?"

 

Now that's something I must have overlooked in a previous post! Let me make sure I have this setup straight.

 

 

AppleTV is playing music from the MacBook Pro (synchronized or shared library?) and the MacBook Pro's music is stored on the WDHD connected to the Airport Extreme? Wow, I love the ingenuity if this is the configuration.

 

Let me know if I have it right and we'll take it from there.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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Hi Chris, Yes that is correct.

 

The Library is shared.

 

Of course all connections are wireless save for the USB connection of the WDHD.

 

This is my attempt at having two laptops being able to share a single iTunes Library, and to be able to use the ATV wirelessly.

 

Not sure where the bottle neck is.

 

I am thinking of possible running a CAT 5 connection between the ATV and the AE.

 

I should note that prior to moving my library to the WDHD attached to the AE, the library was stored on my local computer, and the ATV would access it wirelessly, very well, even with SD movies.

 

Thanks,

 

Jeff

 

\"It would be a mistake to demonize any particular philosophy. To do so forces people into entrenched positions and encourages the adoption of unhelpful defensive reactions, thus missing the opportunity for constructive dialog\"[br] - Martin Colloms - stereophile.com

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OK Jeff - My guess is that you're getting hit by a double-whammy via wireless. I bet your AE is flooded with to much traffic and here's why. The ATV is requesting music from the MBP which is requesting music from the AE/WDHD which sends the music to the MBP and then back to the AE and on to the ATV. I don't think this configuration is smart enough to route the music any other way.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

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How did you setup the WD drive when you connected it to the router? Is it being externally powered? Make sure interference robustness is OFF in your airport preferences; that definitely hits wireless performance hard. Also make sure your multicast rate is set to 11 Mbps and transmit power 100% in Airport / Wireless / Wireless Options / just to be safe. I think Chris is absolutely right. There is too much traffic. Especially if you are talking about streaming movies which require 1 to 5+ Mbps which isn't necessarily easy for a standard broadband connection to carry alone besides the way every piece of equipment is communicating in the setup. It seems the WD is the weak link in that configuration; would you still be able to access your library through another laptop without the WD in the mix? Try the ethernet cable from Airport Express to the Apple TV and let us know if there is any improvement.

 

david is hear[br]http://www.tuniverse.tv

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I tried resetting the router to default, then chose a 5 ghz only network, not any better performance.

 

I can stream SD movies to my MBP from the AE -> WDHD with reasonable performance.

 

I will try the direct CAT 5 this weekend and report back.

 

Any thoughts if a true NAS like the Thecus or an actual server might help in this situation?

 

Since a MacPro is out of my budget at the moment, wonder if you could make Hackintosh from a HP Workstation and load OSX and use it as a direct connect HTPC?

 

Jeff

 

\"It would be a mistake to demonize any particular philosophy. To do so forces people into entrenched positions and encourages the adoption of unhelpful defensive reactions, thus missing the opportunity for constructive dialog\"[br] - Martin Colloms - stereophile.com

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Especially if you are talking about streaming movies which require 1 to 5+ Mbps

 

I have in mind that 5-7 is more standard, if not Superbit, which is more.

 

More importantly, keep in mind that movies run on sound. So, the sound depicts the (correct) speed of the frames. Mangle with the sound, and stutters are yours.

 

So ... since I don't know anything about Apple TV, the big question is : does the sound go via USB as well ? If so, it won't get along with data. Sound gets the lowest priority in that case.

This counts for music playback, and obviously even more with movies (which take the data part !).

 

Peter

 

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Thanks Bob, that is good info.

 

\"It would be a mistake to demonize any particular philosophy. To do so forces people into entrenched positions and encourages the adoption of unhelpful defensive reactions, thus missing the opportunity for constructive dialog\"[br] - Martin Colloms - stereophile.com

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I'm still having problems with my Airport Extreme streaming (ALAC music only, though) with Seagate Freeagent Pro USB drive. I have a wireless setup in my living room to and Airport Express/Dac, and a wired setup in my study, where the router and drives are, that goes ethernet to PC to HagUSB to DAC. I get regular interruptions with both.

 

It wasn't until muting the stereo while the study system was playing that (by chance) that I noticed the sound of the drive stopping and spinning down and then up, combined with a click that seems to indicate the Extreme doing something. Every few minutes it happens, and with the volume low I confirmed this corresponds to the interruptions of music.

 

I haven't had time to figure this out, but my point is it may have nothing to do with wireless, and may have to do with how it deals with the drives, perhaps putting them to sleep too soon, despite activity.

 

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